I’ve been in business for a while and have seen many companies get fired for one reason or another. If you think about it, the only way I get hired is by some other poor soul getting fired.
The flip side of that is that I’ve also been canned a few times. I’m not proud of that but it happens every now and again. Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot over the years. It’s this insight that I hope to pass onto you so you can avoid some of the common mistakes that bring you grief and misery.
So what I’m going to do today is talk about a few cleaning accounts that I either picked up due to someone else’s mistakes or lost due to my own stupidity. I’ll give a brief description and analysis of each. Here we go…
Case Study #1
LOST ACCOUNT – Commercial cleaning, $330.00 month. This was a small little office that was cleaned once per week. The customer really didn’t like the staff we had going to clean and wanted a change. I resisted because that would mean I would have to hire and train another group because no other crew was able to clean that account due to time constraints. They complained several times then showed me the door.
LESSON LEARNED – The customer was gently nudging me to give them someone else, and I IGNORED that because it meant more work for me. So what happened? I lost the job and CREATED EVEN MORE WORK for myself by having to go out and replace the lost income from that account. The moral is LISTEN to the customer! I took a yearly $3,960 dollar gross income CUT because I was LAZY.
Case Study #2
ACCOUNT GAINED – Commercial cleaning, $500.00 month. This once per week cleaning job is an absolute joy for me but it was a nightmare to the former cleaner. The customer has a foyer with a tile floor. The tile had about three small areas that had dirt buildup off to the side when you first walked in. Customer wanted it fixed, cleaning guy NEVER BOTHERED. He gets fired I get hired.
LESSON LEARNED – The customer was concerned about appearance and wanted the area clean to impress visitors upon arrival. The guy was LAZY and put it on the back burner. I guess he thought it would take a long time to clean and kept putting it off. When I was hired it took me only 15 minutes to clean the dirt off. He lost $6,000 in yearly gross income and a job that takes only 39 minutes for two people to clean once per week (that works out to about $86.82 per hour).
Case Study #3
ACCOUNT LOST – Commercial cleaning, $1,048.00 month. A twice per week cleaning account right around the corner from my office that gave me a sweet monthly profit. They had a big shot CEO who enjoyed a huge corner office on the 2nd floor. This office had a rather large tree in a planter that sat next to his desk. The tree was never watered so it was CONSTANTLY losing leaves on the floor. My staff NEVER picked up the leaves that fell and I lost a highly profitable account as a result.
LESSON LEARNED – This is pretty simple… never ignore the CEO’s office! The CEO called me himself to let me know that my LAZINESS cost me the account. Though he was one of the biggest snobs I ever met in my life, he was absolutely right about me being LAZY. I should have been checking the account to begin with PLUS training my staff better. This was a bitter pill that I still taste to this day!
Case Study #4
ACCOUNT GAINED – Commercial cleaning, $1,100.00 month. A twice per week cleaning account of a high-end doctors office. Botox and skin peels for rich folks trying to stay young-looking meant this doctors office needed to stay pristine from front to back. The old cleaning company didn’t get that memo evidently and got themselves behind the eight-ball concerning the cleaning. This resulted in them getting EARLY RETIREMENT and me getting a RAISE.
LESSON LEARNED – At the end of the day you need to understand what the overall objective of your customer is. This particular one just completed a major renovation so they can attract wealthy people who have money to burn on their appearance. These people will NEVER come to a shabby looking place to drop hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars. When they called me I recognized that and was hired as a result.
I’ll wrap this up by pleading with you to learn from both my good fortune and my misfortune. This business is not really all that hard. You just have to not allow yourself to get lazy AND understand where your customer is coming from. If you can do those two things odds are you’ll enjoy a lot of success in the cleaning business.
If you liked this post, you can subscribe to our Cleaning 4 Profit RSS feed. If you are looking for a step by step blueprint that will show you how to start your own cleaning business, then check out my Cleaning Business Training Manuals. If you need a great website or would like to upgrade what you already have then you may want to take a look at my Cleaning Business Website Packages.