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April 2011
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June 2011

Do Your Cleaning Technicians Feel Like "Fish Out Of Water" Due To Your Lack Of Training?

Last night I ate too much chocolate. Do you know what happens to me when I eat too much chocolate? I have strange dreams! And last night, as expected, I had a somewhat unusual dream. But it got me thinking about how this "fish out of water" dream can apply to the employees we hire for our cleaning business. But first, let me tell you about the dream.

I was dreaming that I was a new employee at an optical center. It was a busy Saturday and there were only two of us working. I was a brand-new employee, had no training, and was expected to know what to do. I have no idea how to adjust glasses, or do an eye test, or how to run the cash register. They might as well have picked someone off the street and told them to get to work.

I really felt like a fish out of water in my dream. And I know that this is how many new employees feel when they start a new job. Now we all know that cleaning isn't rocket science. You don't need a degree, you don't need a license or certification. And as kids growing up, we all had to clean up the kitchen, clean up the bathroom, and clean up our room. So shouldn't we all intuitively know how to clean? Well as any experienced cleaning business owner can tell you, a lot of people have no idea how to clean!That's why it's our responsibility as the employer, to train our employees thoroughly, and give them systems to use while cleaning.

So what is YOUR system for training new employees? Do you just hire someone and have them follow you around showing them how to clean? Or maybe you tell one of your best cleaners to train the new employee without giving them the tools they need to do it successfully.

My challenge to you is; if you don't have a written training program, write one. If you don't want to write one, then buy one and use it. Every employee you hire deserves to have a chance to be successful in their job. And if you don't train them and give them the tools to become successful, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

So the next time you lose an employee, don't blame the employee. Instead ask yourself; am I the reason we lost that employee? What could I have done to make the experience better for that employee? I challenge YOU to challenge yourself to become a better employer and trainer.

How To Market Your Cleaning Service If You Are An Introvert

Marketing our cleaning business was never something that came easy to me because I've been an introvert my whole life. But becoming an entrepreneur has taught me a lot about marketing over the years. I've discovered that changing the way I think about marketing made a huge difference in my feeling that I needed to get out there and "sell" my business. Here are some tips that might help you get over the same fear.

1. Think of your prospects as friends you haven't met yet. I used to think that whenever I went to a networking event, everyone was a prospect and I had to sell them on what I do. I finally realized that networking was a lot more fun when I took that pressure off myself and just started making friends.

Not everyone at networking events is your prospect, but the people that you get to know probably have connections that ARE your prospects. So focus on getting to know people rather than turning them off by selling to them. Once they get to know you, it is YOU they will think of when they get the opportunity to refer a cleaning company.

2. Share your knowledge. There are many different ways to do this. 

  • Do short presentations at your networking events that raises awareness of some aspect of your business. For example, color-coding microfiber cloths to avoid cross contamination. I know, that doesn't feel like something an introvert should do, but believe me when I say, your networking friends want you to be successful and if you do a short, 5 or 10 minute presentation on a topic you know well, it is much easier than you think.
  • Offer the same kind of information via social networking sites. You can write short tips or you can write longer blog posts and link to the articles from your social networking sites. Your online connections will quickly realize that you are the "go to" person when it comes to cleaning.
  • When you have the opportunity to get in front of your ideal client, remember to keep the focus on them, asking questions about what is important to them. When you uncover what is important to them, you can then share how your company can solve their problems. Remember, you are in the problem solving business, so you can become the hero if you can get to this point in the relationship.

Keep in mind that even though you may be an introvert, marketing your cleaning business doesn't have to be painful. There are people who desperately need what you have to offer, so it's up to you to get out there and find them by building connections and sharing your knowledge.

For you introverts out there, how do YOU handle marketing your cleaning service? Share your thoughts by clicking on the Comments link below.