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.
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 — revenue from janitorial services in 2023 is projected to increase by $2 billion.
With the overall positive economic outlook, cleaning companies are expected to have more business opportunities and to hire more employees in the coming years.
Power up your workday
Reach your goals faster with time tracking and work management.
The top innovative approaches for cleaning businesses
1. Improving your cleaning efficiency with new technology
The 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.
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.
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 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.
2. Boosting your cleaning business productivity with software tools
Organizing day-to-day operations can be a head-scratcher even for experienced cleaning business owners.
With 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.
The 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.
Team and time management tools
Time 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.
Even 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.
Some 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.
Hubstaff 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.
Lead generation tools
Your business’ profitability grows as your client base does, so it’s important to reach out to the right people armed with the right knowledge.
Lead 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.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
Customer 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.
CRM 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.
3. Specializing in waste management
Waste is an unavoidable by-product of cleaning services.
For 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.
According 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.
Cleaning businesses can look forward to industries looking for safe and efficient waste management services that can help them control — and possibly repurpose — their waste.
4. Moving fully toward green cleaning
Green cleaning touches all areas of janitorial services, from cleaning products to equipment and consumables.
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.
5. 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.
Social 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.
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.
6. Make your service easy for your customers to use
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.
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 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.
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.
7. Invest in employee training and increasing professionalism
According 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.
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 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.
Get started with innovative cleaning approaches today
Innovation in the cleaning industry is here to stay, from the Internet of Things and management tools to green cleaning and social media.
Implementing them in the right way can greatly help your business stay competitive in the evolving cleaning market.
What 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.
This post was originally published October 19, 2018, and updated April 2020.