Previous month:
September 2009
Next month:
November 2009

Introducing The Happy Cleaner Blog!

We recently conducted a survey of all our newsletter subscribers to find out more information about how they're handling Human Resources issues. Some of you might have taken the survey and we'd like to thank you!

We received a lot of feedback asking for more specific information on these issues so we've created a blog specifically for cleaning company owners who would like more support and information on this topic.

Please head over and visit the new blog to see the survey results. And be sure to sign up for email updates!

The Happy Cleaner Blog

Do I Stay In The Cleaning Business Or Do I Quit?

The past year has been tough on a lot of people, including cleaning business owners. Many are simply shutting the doors to their business because they're losing clients faster than they can obtain new ones. The good news is that many cleaning company owners are actually growing their business despite the odds against them!

Recently a cleaning business owner asked for advice because she's fearful of the growth of her business. She has the opportunity to go back to her old job and she's seriously considering it. She asked, "Do I abandon my growing cleaning business to accept a job in my old profession (with all of the same old headaches) or, do I take on new headaches that will come with moving forward to fully grow my current business and hire an employee?"

A couple people offered encouraging advice:

1. Do you prefer working for yourself or for someone else? Which one gives you the most pleasure, makes you happy, gives you freedom and control? Anything we want bad enough is worth working for and working through the headaches.

2. You have to ask yourself several questions first. Then, the answer to those questions will drive your pursuits. If you want to be in business for yourself and don't want to return to your old job, then I recommend you stay in the business and look for ways to grow. There are incredible opportunities for growth in the cleaning industry. Hiring and training and growing and expanding your cleaning business can be rewarding and lucrative. But it can also be fraught with headaches and frustration as any business can be. Your vision and your dreams for this business need to be the driving factor.

What advice do YOU have on whether or not she should stay in the cleaning business or quit? Click on the Comments link below to share your thoughts.

Are Your Cleaning Supervisors Too "Nit-Picky"?

A cleaning business owner is having a supervisor problem.

"We have a supervisor that the employees say is toooo nit picky. He takes the job personally and gets upset about little issues. He inspects all day long and the employees feel he is being petty."

The following advice was offered:

Have you done any follow up on the employees who are doing the complaining? I would inspect their work myself and then check your supervisor's reports. If there is consistency with what you're observing and what your supervisor is observing then you've likely got a problem with the employee.

One thing you also need to keep in mind with supervisors is that they sometimes get so wrapped up in looking for things that got missed that they forget to look at the big picture and look for the positive things that are going on. People get tired of always being told they're doing things wrong. Eventually their morale goes down and they just don't care any more. Make it a point to remind your supervisors to give as many compliments as criticisms. In fact, I would make it a rule that for every negative, give two positives.

I would also watch your supervisors to see how they talk to the employees. Are they approaching them, telling them everything they do wrong and then leave? It's better to approach the employee and say something like, "Hi Sue, you do such a good job on the restroom cleaning, but there's just one thing I've noticed that you often forget to do. Please watch the spots that appear on the lower part of the mirror. When people wash their hands, water always splashes up. Sometimes you need to bend down and look at that area to actually see the spots. Mrs. Smith, the building manager mentioned this to me so I'd appreciate it if you'd keep a closer eye on that."

Here is some additional comments from another cleaning business owner:

Hummmmm, my first thought was - "isn't it his job to be picky?!?" I mean after all.... I expect that my supervisors be as picky if not more than my most picky customer. If they are anything less, then they are not doing their job properly.

Btw - my second thought was "So are the persons who are crying loudest about the supervisor being picky the same persons who he is asking to correct problems?" If so there in lies the problem As long as you are clear about your required/ desired results then allow him to do his job and back him up. 

Care to offer your opinion? Click on the Comments link below to add your thoughts.

Get Your Cleaning Prospects "Off The Fence"

We often hear from cleaning business owners that after they submit a proposal to a prospect, they never get a call back as to whether or not they were awarded the contract.

First, you should schedule a follow-up appointment after turning in the proposal. But if you're not able to do that or if they cancel the appointment, be sure to make follow-up phone calls to see where they're at in the decision-making process. Just be sure not to become a pest!

Sometimes people just get busy and put off making a decision. In this case, you may want to try something to get them "off the fence". Here is a suggestion from cleaning business consultant, Dick Ollek:

Whenever I had someone on the fence delaying their decision or just not making a decision I would try to think outside the box on how to get their attention. I have been known to send a flowering plant with a note indicating something like, "hope these flowers brighten your day and you can surely brighten ours by awarding us your business. You are important to us".

Doesn't have to be flowers or this wording but something that grabs their attention and something like this should bring a smile to their face and not aggravate them.

What do YOU do to get your cleaning prospects "off the fence"? Please share your thoughts by clicking on the Comments link below.