Whether you’re an owner of a commercial or industrial cleaning company, or running a residential business, it’s only natural that you’re always on the lookout for new ways to optimize your processes.\nThe 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.\nFrom 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.\nThe efforts are clearly paying off — revenue from janitorial services in 2023 is projected to increase by $2 billion.\nWith the overall positive economic outlook, cleaning companies are expected to have more business opportunities and to hire more employees in the coming years.\nThe top innovative approaches for cleaning businesses\n1. Improving your cleaning efficiency with new technology\nThe innovations in cleaning services today are mainly driven by technology. While most companies have been relying on technology for years now, cleaning businesses have only started adopting tech recently.\nAmong 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.\nSmart 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.\nSmart 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.\nThere is also the Scotch-Brite™ Clean & Shine Pad which combines floor cleaning and shining in one. It works on both coated and uncoated floors and gradually increases floor shine over each use.\n2. Boosting your cleaning business productivity with software tools\nOrganizing day-to-day operations can be a head-scratcher even for experienced cleaning business owners.\nWith several aspects of the business to manage such as progress tracking, lead generation, and client billing, keeping things in order can be a real challenge.\nThe good news is that a number of software tools are built for these purposes so you can handle your responsibilities with significantly less effort. From cost savings to better productivity and beyond, there are a number of tools to help you ace business management.\nTeam and time management tools\nTime tracking with GPS location capabilities is an indispensable tool for cleaning companies. You can easily view when and where your team worked throughout the day, as well as the projects that they spent time on.\nEven better are time tracking apps with a geofencing feature. These apps will start tracking time as soon as you or one of your team member’s step inside the job sites you create. This allows cleaning crews to start working right away instead of having to remember an additional step when they arrive and leave.\nSome options even have a scheduling feature that allows you to create one-time or recurring shifts and get notified if anyone misses their shift, starts late, or leaves early.\n\nHubstaff is one example of a thorough time tracking app for cleaning crews. In addition to all the features listed here, Hubstaff can also automatically generate invoices based on total hours and billing rates. You can also automate sending payments to your team members via Hubstaff’s payment integrations like PayPal and TransferWise.\nLead generation tools\nYour business’ profitability grows as your client base does, so it’s important to reach out to the right people armed with the right knowledge.\nLead generation tools have a ton of helpful features such as email finding, scheduling, and metrics tracking. You can easily manage your communications in the app and see what’s working and what’s not so you can create email templates and outreach campaigns that will win you clients.\nCustomer relationship management (CRM) tools\nCustomer relationship management tools make it easier and more efficient to communicate with customers and potential clients so you can provide them with the services that they need.\nCRM tools consolidate all the messages you receive across your communication channels. As a result, you won’t miss any messages, and you can easily revisit previous interactions. Another advantage of CRM tools is their automation capabilities such as chatbots, knowledge databases, and ticket forwarding.\n3. Specializing in waste management\nWaste is an unavoidable by-product of cleaning services.\nFor a lot of businesses, getting rid of waste is not enough. They are also looking for safer and smarter ways to remove waste from their offices and plants, and possibly reduce the waste they generate in the first place.\nAccording to The World Bank, 289 million tons of waste were generated in North America in 2016. The number is projected to grow to just below 400 million tons through 2050.\nCleaning businesses can look forward to industries looking for safe and efficient waste management services that can help them control — and possibly repurpose — their waste.\n4. Moving fully toward green cleaning\nGreen cleaning touches all areas of janitorial services, from cleaning products to equipment and consumables.\nIn fact, eco-friendly cleaning is embedded in the requirements for LEED certification of buildings, as well as other administrative standards.\n\nWhat’s new in recent years, though, is that customers are much more aware of green and health cleaning.\nThey 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.\n5. Embrace social media marketing\nAs in most other business fields, marketing your cleaning business online is a must rather than an option.\nWhile 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.\nFor up-and-coming cleaning businesses, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts have turned into central points of communication with their current and potential clients.\nSocial media marketing is also a powerful way to brand your cleaning business and make it visible to the world. Gone are the days when service companies could be successful with a name only.\nToday, 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.\n6. Make your service easy for your customers to use\nTechnology 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.\nWhat’s more, people are less keen on making phone conversations for ordering a service. They prefer typing or just clicking a few buttons.\nMore than 50% prefer to message rather than call to book. You should be reachable on popular platforms, such as SMS, Facebook, and Twitter so that you can communicate with your customers in the way it’s best for them.\nCustomers also expect to be able to get a price quote online within seconds, so this is something that your website should provide.\nDon’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.\n7. Invest in employee training and increasing professionalism\nAccording to a previously cited study, commercial cleaning companies lose 55% of their customer base because of low customer satisfaction. Ensuring your services are up to par is essential for keeping people happy with your company.\nThe 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.\n\nAmong the topics that should be in your training curriculum, the Wilburn Company outlines the following:\n\nWorking with cleaning supplies and equipment\nOSHA’s HAZCOM training\nGreen procedures\nWorking with hazardous materials\nManagerial skills for supervisors and senior staff\n\nOvercoming turnover\nWhile high employee turnover is characteristic of the cleaning industry, this trend is bound to change.\nSuccessful cleaning businesses are increasingly paying more attention to their employees, providing them with the necessary training and support.\nAt the same time, cleaning companies also require more of them: trustworthiness and dedication are prerequisites for better wages and benefits. By raising the bar for yourself and for your employees, you can ensure that your team can execute services that meet customers’ expectations.\nGet started with innovative cleaning approaches today\nInnovation in the cleaning industry is here to stay, from the Internet of Things and management tools to green cleaning and social media.\nImplementing them in the right way can greatly help your business stay competitive in the evolving cleaning market.\nWhat strategies do you use to keep your cleaning business ahead? Did we miss any technological trends that have worked well for you? We’d like to hear about it below.\nThis post was originally published October 19, 2018, and updated April 2020.