Is Your Cleaning Company Hurting Your Bottom Line?
There is no doubt that a clean facility has many advantages and generally hiring a commercial cleaning company will help ensure your facility always looks its best. However, who you hire to manage your facility’s cleaning program can be the difference between a profitable business partnership and a costly one.
Not All Commercial Cleaning Companies Are The Same
When choosing a commercial cleaning company to manage your facility’s cleaning program, you have a lot of choices. You will likely find several companies offering cleaning services in a variety of price ranges. The important thing to remember is that it’s not about price; it’s about value and return on investment.
Typically, companies offering cleaning services at rock-bottom prices are inexperienced and underfunded. They likely do not have adequate staff or proper equipment and training. These short-comings might save you money in the short-term, but over time you may find that their inexperience is costing you more money than you saved. In fact, hiring an inexperienced or fly-by-night cleaning company can hurt your bottom line in more ways than you think.
Lost Tenants Equal Lost Revenue
An inadequately cleaned facility makes a bad impression and could scare off potential tenants. In addition, existing tenants may feel compelled to look elsewhere once their lease is up if they feel that the facility is not well maintained.
Your tenants understand the value of a clean and inviting facility. They recognize that their clients form opinions about their business based on the cleanliness of the facility. They also recognize that their employees are better served when the workplace is clean and sanitary.
The bottom line is: a poorly maintained facility is bad for your tenants, bad for their staff, bad for their clients, and ultimately bad for you.
Dirty floors, smudged windows and mirrors, dusty lobbies, and unsanitary restrooms will leave your tenants dissatisfied and they will eventually move their organization to a better-maintained facility. This means empty spaces, more dollars spent on marketing, a potentially damaged reputation, and lost income for you.
Proper Maintenance vs. Costly Repairs
Improper training, poorly maintained equipment, and carelessness on the part of a cleaning crew can cost you more than just tenants. Commercial cleaning is not just about cleaning, it is also about maintaining your property to ensure longevity. Improper use of commercial cleaning chemicals can damage surfaces in your facility which can lead to costly repairs and replacement costs.
Imagine an inexperienced cleaning crew using overly caustic chemicals on your lobby’s marble floors. Or a poorly maintained buffing machine gouging your hardwoods. Using the wrong cleaning chemicals can damage all types of surfaces, from chrome fixtures in restrooms and kitchens, to granite countertops and expensive furnishings. These types of ‘accidents’ can lead to repair and replacement costs of thousands of dollars and a commercial cleaning company that is ‘just starting out’ may not have the funding or insurance to cover the costs. This leads us to a third unanticipated cost associated with ‘inexpensive’ commercial cleaning services.
Liability And Insurance Claims
Commercial cleaning companies that are not yet well established may not have the necessary insurance coverage to deal with property damage and personal injury claims. If a cleaning company employee is injured on your premises and their employer’s insurance company denies the claim, you could be held liable.
What if an inexperienced cleaning crew inadvertently creates an unsafe environment for your staff, your tenants, or their clients? Lack of training can lead to all manner of unsafe conditions when it comes to commercial cleaning. Are you willing to take that risk?
How Do I Know Who To Hire?
As was stated earlier, hiring a commercial cleaning company based on pricing alone is not the best approach. You should request proposals from several potential providers and then vet each one separately. Some of the questions you’ll want to be answered are as follows:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have experience with similar facilities?
- What are your training protocols?
- Do you perform employee background checks?
- Are you insured and to what extent?
- What is your employee turnover rate?
- Will there be management oversight of cleaning crews?
- What is the communications protocol? (i.e. Who can I call when there is a problem?)
- Can you provide references?
Getting answers to these questions will go a long way toward weeding out the bad apples during your vetting process and should make the decision-making process easier. If you can carve out three or four respectable providers from your list of prospects, then you can start talking price.