Whether you’re an owner of a commercial or industrial cleaning company, or running a residential services business, it’s only natural that you’re always on the lookout for new ways to optimize your processes.
Increasing productivity, improving quality and boosting profitability are the leading forces in reinventing a wide range of industries across the U.S., and they are driving the evolution of the cleaning field, as well.
The cleaning industry certainly is undergoing massive changes. Innovative cleaning tools and processes are fundamentally altering the way business owners manage their companies, and how employees conduct their day-to-day activities.
From green cleaning and new equipment to social media marketing and automated management, staying ahead of the competition means being aware of cleaning trends at all times.
The efforts are clearly paying off. The cleaning industry is currently in a great place: revenue from janitorial services in 2017 was $59.22 billion and is projected to hit $61 billion in 2018. With the overall positive economic outlook, cleaning companies are expected to have more business opportunities and to hire more employees in the coming years.
What are the most important cleaning innovations in 2018, and how can your business take advantage of them?
Check out these six most efficient approaches, and then let us know how they’ve helped your business.
Improve your cleaning efficiency with new technology
The innovations in cleaning services today largely revolve around technology. While in recent years many companies started considering new tech, cleaning businesses have understood their importance and are ready to start adopting them, as Gretchen Roufs from Cleaning & Maintenance Management shares.
Among the hottest trends in cleaning tech are data-driven tools based on the Internet of Things. They can provide managers with real-time information about the status of dispensers of soap, paper, and towels — and this is just the start. Issues with supplies and hygiene standards are tackled via a dashboard where all data is immediately available.
Smart tools hold great potential for janitorial businesses, as they can reduce the time needed to complete processes, simplify operations, and free up employees’ time for more important tasks that need manual care.
Other new smart tech solutions for the cleaning industry include smart touch-free dispensers that can track hygiene compliance and new toilet paper technology, such as the Biologic Active Tissue Paper that prevents organic waste clogging pipe systems.
There is also a new surface treatment system that has already won various innovation awards. The Clorox® Total 360® System, which puts a charge on the cleaning solution, helping it reach all corners of the cleaned spaces.
Boost your cleaning business productivity with the right tools
Improving your processes and the way your team functions is essential for staying ahead of your competition. From cost savings to better productivity and beyond, there are a number of tools to help you ace business management.
You can employ new software to handle a wide range of your operations:
- Managing business leads and customers with CRM
- Automated invoicing and billing
- Streamlined payroll and HR management
Innovative communications software for janitorial businesses
There are also a number of useful customer communication tools and platforms that help cleaning business owners in organizing all aspects of day-to-day operations such as inventory control, purchasing orders, and delivery scheduling.
One of the tools that can greatly help your day-to-day handling of work is Hubstaff. It is a productivity and time tracking platform that has a special solution for janitorial teams. Hubstaff helps you simplify crew scheduling and shift management, which benefits both managers and janitorial employees.
Besides time tracking, the tool also provides GPS location tracking, automatic payroll, and timesheets and reporting, all necessary for mobile workforce management of a cleaning business.
Move fully toward green cleaning
Green cleaning is not a new trend in the industry, but rather has become the norm. It touches all areas of janitorial services, from cleaning products to equipment and consumables, as prominent cleaning company owners note for Services Magazine.
In fact, eco-friendly cleaning is embedded in the requirements for LEED certification of buildings, as well as other administrative standards.
What’s new in recent years, though, is that customers are much more aware of green and health cleaning.
They simply require cleaning companies to provide high quality, safe services with environmentally friendly products. Thus, green cleaning is not only a fad or a legal requirement but also key to business success.
Embrace social media marketing
As in most other business fields, marketing your cleaning business online is a must rather than an option.
While building real-life customer relationships remains crucial in janitorial services, social media channels provide great opportunities for businesses to reach their prospects and for customers to engage with them.
For up-and-coming cleaning businesses, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts have turned into central points of communication with their current and potential clients.
One of the reasons for the effectiveness of social media in attracting and retaining customers is that it allows for easy communication and seamless contact with potential service providers.
Social media marketing is also a powerful way to brand your cleaning business and make it visible for the world. Gone are the days when service companies could be successful with a name only.
Today, customers are willing to work with a business if it can showcase a unique identity that stands for respectable values and high standards. Acing your social media efforts is a major requirement for achieving an effective and impactful brand.
Provide your customers with a flexible, easy-to-use service
Technology is changing the cleaning industry in a multitude of ways, and one of them is customer expectations. People today require cleaning services to be seamless to order and pay, and your business simply has to deliver this, or risk getting left behind.
As a recent Jobber article notes, clients prefer paying for cleaning services by credit card. Allowing pre-authorized payment methods is a must.
What’s more, people are less keen on making phone conversations for ordering a service They prefer typing or just clicking a few buttons.
More than 50% prefer to message rather than call to obtain customer servicing. You should be available on numerous platforms, such as SMS, Facebook Messenger, and a range of other mobile messengers so that you can communicate with your customers in the way it’s best for them.
Customers also expect to be able to get a price quote online within seconds, so this is something that your website should provide.
Don’t forget that most people would search for your service on their phones, so it’s imperative to have a mobile-first optimized website that they can easily access and operate.
One of the tools that can greatly help your cleaning company’s day-to-day management is Hubstaff. It is a GPS and time tracking platform that has a special solution for janitorial teams.
Invest in employee training and increasing professionalism
According to data quoted in Janitorial Manager, commercial cleaning companies lose up to 55% of their customer base because of an unsatisfactory level of cleaning. Ensuring your services are up to par is essential for keeping people happy with your company.
The most effective way to achieve that is to invest in employee training, so that your team is knowledgeable enough to perform on a high level.
Among the topics that should be in your training curriculum, the Wilburn Company outlines the following:
- Working with cleaning supplies and equipment
- OSHA’s HAZCOM training
- Green procedures
- Working with hazardous materials
- Managerial skills for supervisors and senior staff
While high employee turnover is characteristic of the cleaning industry, this trend is bound to change.
Successful cleaning businesses are increasingly paying more attention to their employees, providing them with the necessary training and support.
At the same time, cleaning companies also require more of them: trustworthiness and dedication are prerequisites for getting a better salary and benefits. By raising the bar for yourself and for your employees, you can ensure that your cleaning team can execute services that meet customers’ expectations.
Get started with innovative cleaning approaches today
Innovation in the cleaning industry is here to stay, from Internet of Things and management tools to green cleaning and social media. The trends outlined here are among the most important ones for 2018.
Implementing them in the right way is sure to keep your business competitive in the evolving cleaning market.