How long has your janitorial cleaning company been in business? Getting it off the ground was undoubtedly a feat of scrappy decision-making, tight budgeting, and long hours.
Building a foundation for expansion is key to a prospering janitorial company—it’s what got you here today. But with that foundation in place and demand for cleaning services steadily flowing in, how does one take that strong beginning and transform it into momentum for growth?
Is your company ready for new demand?
Elevating your business to the next level requires new investment. You’ve spent years building out your crew and cleaning services, and now you have to find a way to meet the scale of not only the needs of your team but your customers.
You’re not alone.
A recent survey from BSCIA suggests that building service contractors had a phenomenal year in 2021 with both profit and revenue increases. The consensus seems to be the same for 2022.
Prepare your cleaning business to meet challenges on your terms
You want to be in a solid position to tackle the challenges that come with growth, but first, you must be aware of the problems you’ll need to solve. Before targeting potential customers, you may need to optimize your cleaning business’s finances and operations, scale new services or address changing customer needs.
The challenge of scale will arise whether you expect it or not. Fortunately, this post discusses three of the biggest hurdles janitorial services must overcome to support limitless growth.
Scaling to new clients and verticals
The first hurdle is expanding to new clients in other verticals. Many respondents of the BSCIA survey pointed out that they are looking to expand into new cleaning services or target new customers:
- Industrial property services
- Recreational facilities
- Restaurants, bars, and cafes
- Retail establishments
The payoff of these expansions for cleaning business owners is access to a new world of clients and customers, but the struggle of scaling into these industries remains.
Existing processes can hold your cleaning company back
Consider these three potential impediments to maintaining profitability in a growing cleaning business:
- Inaccurate or out-of-date business reporting and analysis
- Unbalanced workloading of staff
- Misaligned pricing on estimates
- Time-consuming auditing processes
If you’ve relied on experience and traditional ways of handling these areas of your business, you might struggle to adapt to new verticals or an influx of new customers.
If you're new to an industry, you can’t simply eyeball an estimate for a new facility like a restaurant or retail business. Trusting analytics and reporting to manually fill spreadsheets puts entrepreneurs at risk for an increased margin of error as they expand their business.
So what’s the solution?
Improve operations with business management software
Standardizing your business practices is the best way to achieve a smooth expansion. You will need intuitive processes that meet customer needs and seamlessly work across verticals.
This means your whole commercial cleaning business has to be aligned with the processes and systems they use to provide service.
New cleaning services mean new competition. To win over potential clients, you have to prove your services are just as comprehensive as the businesses that have been doing it for years.
If your marketing strategies prove your success in previous industries can translate seamlessly to their industry, you have a higher chance of winning over new clients.
Achieving growth through acquisitions
The second hurdle is growing through acquisitions. Many janitorial company owners consider acquisitions when their business begins to scale and expand services.
Acquiring businesses with expertise in new industries can help cleaning companies transition into novel verticals. Taking on a smaller company can also help to bolster your workforce.
These acquisitions typically come at a heavy investment and play a significant make-or-break role in a successful cleaning business’ ability to grow.
You risk wasting a huge chunk of company growth investments by not considering how to scale your business during an acquisition like this.
New customers and staff bottleneck operations
Consider these new challenges when it comes to acquisitions:
- Optimized scheduling for a rapidly growing workforce
- New costs
- Redundancies and inefficiencies in workload management
- Aligning new and existing staff
When acquiring a new company in the cleaning industry, the typical thought process is to trust that business to continue running independently.
Trusting a company's expertise may be initially beneficial, but having two organizations running on independent methodologies will never amount to growth momentum.
You can’t just invest in another business’s expertise—you have to invest in alignment, cohesion, and intuitive integrations.
Once done, you can grow together as one comprehensive business that can earn the business of clients all over.
So what’s the solution?
Use data analytics to optimize operations
An easy-to-onboard business management system can streamline operations and provide business owners with a smooth transition during an acquisition.
Have you ensured your current process and management solutions provide consistent data about how you are servicing your clients or is it based on the word of your employees?
This is the time to do a full sweep and eliminate any business practices that don’t have a scalable system behind them.
Managing workload and how you service your clients must be fully aligned and done intuitively before you can bring on another team, or you’ll fail to hit the ground running.
Effective communication with customers and staff
The third obstacle to janitorial business growth is effective customer and employee communication—a common pitfall among small businesses in the service industry looking to scale. It’s no doubt a substantial part of your daily operations.
Customers need to know you’re looking out for their interests and that you’re aware if any problems or issues arise.
Communication with your staff is equally important. They are your eyes and ears in the field and are the first line of defense in ensuring customer needs are met.
Siloed communication processes can limit market expansion
What happens when growth begins strapping your staff and scheduling and communication become a burden?
Keep in mind these potential obstacles to scaling:
- Tracking communication regarding estimates, contracts, and follow-up
- Incident reporting between customers, work crews, and the office
- On-the-fly management for issues, concerns, or add-on services
So what’s the solution?
Cloud-based software for commercial cleaning management
This is where a standardized and comprehensive solution designed and built for growth becomes critical.
Issues arise when reports are siloed and individually documented: phone calls, texts, emails, word of mouth, etc.
Scheduling on the fly and communicating clearly and often will be your best tool for ensuring customer satisfaction and proper coverage of accounts in your small business.
Cloud-based software is a central hub where your entire organization can go to notify the business about:
- Completed jobs or required additional labor hours
- Customer feedback, issues, and requests
- Reports and data analytics
Aspire has everything local businesses need to track day-to-day operations.
If done correctly, you’ll always have a birds’-eye view of business operations whenever you need it so you and your customers can benefit from full transparency.
Choose the right solution to grow your janitorial cleaning business
Janitorial companies are no strangers to change. The most successful companies constantly adapt to their customers’ commercial cleaning service needs and find new growth opportunities. Your business needs a solution that can support that growth at every turn.
You don’t want to fall into the trap of relying on dozens of individual solutions to address every growing pain.
One easy-to-use tool can give your entire team access to:
If growth is a significant goal in your 2023 operations, reach out to the experts at Aspire.
Our team understands what it takes to help your business scale because we’ve done it before. Get a demo of our software today, and our experts will walk you through how our solution can meet your needs.