How To Manage A Successful Cleaning Business

The commercial janitor service industry may be one of the most competitive industries there is. There are companies of all sizes competing in various geographic markets every day all over the world. Regardless of the age or size of the company they all must adhere to the same principals of effective business management in order to be successful. Poor or irresponsible business decisions can quickly erode a company's reputation and profit and will eventually lead to failure. I have been fortunate to have an opportunity at Central Maintenance to work alongside experienced mentors that have helped me learn the right way to manage this type of business. In my experience the 3 most important factors in managing a successful cleaning business are as follows:

1. Sales, Sales, Sales: New business development is paramount to the success of any company regardless of industry. Implementing effective marketing strategies and consistently executing them will supply a steady stream of new business opportunities. Marketing should continue even as prospects become paying customers to avoid a lull in uncovering new qualified, targeted prospects. To maintain a solid reputation through these growing pains it is important to properly bid each new job. Underbidding can and will result in poor service, customer complaints and a sharp reduction in previously assumed profit. The new account may also be eventually lost which will reflect badly on your reputation.

2. Labor & Supply Budgets: Mismanagement of labor and supply budgets will cut deeply into company profits if not corrected quickly. Closely monitoring employee time at each account and discussing with each employee the importance of not working more than the allotted time will help control excessive labor costs. This is especially important with full-time employees that will receive an over-time rate. Employees that are constantly calling off can also pose a problem if their routines are being covered by other employees that make a higher wage. Policies should be put in place to help minimize employee call offs. Keeping a close eye on supplies is also very important. Going a little over budget on several accounts can make a big dent in profits. Requiring managers to monitor inventory at each account is critical to ensure employees are not over ordering supplies or improperly using them resulting in waste.

3. Fleet Maintenance: On of the largest expenses of a commercial cleaning company is its fleet of vehicles. The size of the fleet is typically determined by the number of accounts and the average labor hours per night that are required to cover call offs and to perform scheduled periodic work. Deciding the right time to purchase another vehicle can be tricky, but waiting too long can cause problems for your customers and damage your reputation. Keeping tabs on maintenance costs of an aging fleet is also important as older vehicles cost more and more to repair as they age. Justifying parting ways with an older, paid off vehicle for a new or newer one is also a balancing act when considering the cost of maintenance versus the cost of a new vehicle. Holding on to an older vehicle or purchasing a new one too soon can also sharply cut into profits.

In conclusion the janitor service industry is a lot like many other services when developing a successful management plan. Acquiring new customers should always be at or near the top of the list. In a service based business effectively managing labor and supplies is critical to making a profit. Staying on top of fleet maintenance is important to ensuring your customers' expectations are being met and your profits are not being cut short. Successful managers are aware of everywhere money is being spent and are always fine tuning budgets to assure they are realistic. This ultimately helps to paint an accurate picture of the company's financial health.

Taking Janitorial Bids? Why The Lowest Bid Is Not Always The Best Option.

Whether you manage an office building, a manufacturing plant, a car dealership or a school someone needs to clean the facility. Some choose to manage their own in-house staff while others contract the service. Selecting the right janitorial service provider through the plethora of companies can sometimes be challenging if it is something you are not familiar with. The economy has forced many managers to take a much closer look at low bids which often does not meet their expectations. Below are several factors that should be considered before choosing a janitorial service provider.

1. Time. The bulk of the cost in a janitorial service bid is comprised of labor to clean the facility. Companies that bid significantly lower than others are likely not putting in anywhere near the amount of time that is required to clean the facility properly. They also may be trying to work at unreasonable production rates to keep their prices low. Something else to consider is the type of facility. A knowledgeable company understands that each facility is different and requires different production rates. For example a school cannot be cleaned like an office building. If a company does not bid at a reasonable production rate they will eventually begin to have problems and will be unable to meet customer expectations.

2. Wages. How much is a prospective bidder going to pay their employees? In an industry where part -time jobs are a majority of the work force wages are very important. Companies that are not paying a competitive wage will have massive turnover problems which will result in poor service. Many employees will leave one company and go to another for as little as $0.25 to $0.50 an hour more so it is worthwhile to select a janitorial provider that is paying higher wages because they will retain the best employees which will result in better service.

3. Benefits. A company that is not providing their eligible employees with benefits including medical, vacation and retirement will also have significantly higher turnover than companies that do provide them. Not to mention they may be breaking the law in terms of medical benefits according to the Affordable Care Act. Providing these benefits when applicable will raise the price, but will also provide stability to the workforce and better service.

4. Extra Services. What additional services can a prospective bidder provide besides the regular cleaning service? Do they have the expertise to strip & wax floors, shampoo carpets or machine scrub hard surface floors? Do they have the manpower to provide these services in a reasonable time frame and at what cost? These services are often not built into the regular service price, but should be considered otherwise the customer may have to take bids for those services as well.

5. Coverage. What happens when a regular employee of a prospective bidder calls off sick or goes on vacation? Can the prospective bidder provide coverage for this employee? If they cannot the routine may be left without service. If an employee or employees are out for an extended period of time this will surely result in poor service. The ability to provide coverage is something that is often built in as overhead which will slightly raise a bidder's price, but is well worth the extra money when compared to the headaches that can result from using a service that cannot provide this coverage.

The janitorial service industry is extremely competitive and many companies will cut corners in order to be able to offer the lowest prices. These companies are only thinking about the short term and will undoubtedly fail sooner than later. While the lower bids can often be attractive they should be thoroughly questioned to assure they are a good fit. At Central Maintenance our goal is to build long term relationships with our customers which we have done successfully since 1960. Our prices are competitive, but we don't cut corners which is the reason we continue to be the choice of some of the most high profile companies and schools in southwestern PA.

5 Most Germ Infested Objects In An Office

If you've seen one office you've pretty much seen them all. Most offices are comprised of a typical lobby, reception area, restrooms, private offices, cubicles, etc. Working in an office environment is also nice because the temperature is controlled so you don't have to deal with extreme hot or cold weather. So working in an office environment can be pleasant, however there is a significant drawback, germs and lots of them.

An office building with lots of people also has lots of germs to go with it. Everyone in the building brings plenty of germs back to the office from the various places they visit each day. There are quite a few common areas in an office where germs can be easily spread causing sickness that can spread quickly throughout the building. I have listed 5 of the most common areas below.

1. The Elevator. Almost every single person that works in a multi-floor office building uses the elevator each day. Studies have shown that elevator buttons can have more than 40 times the amount of bacteria found on a public toilet seat even when cleaned regularly. Using elbows or other objects to push the buttons can help reduce exposure to those germs. Companies like Microban use technology to incorporate anti-bacterial and anti-fungal protection into products like elevator buttons to reduce the spread of disease.

2. Door Handles. We all touch them everyday and there is no real easy way around it. Door handles have lots of bacteria. Doors that require pushing to open can be opened by using your forearms or body to reduce contact, but doors that require pulling to open are little more difficult to avoid. Using a sleeve is sometimes possible. It's best to carry ant-bacterial wipes or wash hands frequently to avoid the germs on door handles.

3. The Infamous Copy / Fax Machine. Unless you're lucky enough to have your own personal copy machine or fax you are left to use the "community" copy machine where a study by the University of Arizona concluded that there are approximately 69 germs per square inch. You may want to start using your pen to hit the start button from now on.

4. The Cell Phone: This is the most germ infected object in our lives which make total sense given how attached most people are to their phones. Whether it be for work or pleasure the average person checks their phone over 2 dozen times a day. That's a lot of opportunity to spread new germs from all the other things we touch. The same study showed phones to contain 25,127 germs per square inch. Yuck. Some cell phone manufacturers are adding anti-microbial technology to the painted surfaces of phones to reduce the spread of germs. Until you have a phone like this wiping with antibacterial wipes wouldn't be a bad idea.

5. Desk Top Surface: Not far behind the number of germs on the cell phone is the desk top containing approximately 20,961 germs per square inch according to the University of Arizona study. Vigilance in disinfecting your personal space will help you and your coworkers reduce the spread of germs and overall out of office sick time.

Office environments harbor lots of places for germs to congregate. Being aware of these "hot spots" and taking personal responsibility to reduce the number of germs you spread can help everyone in your office be healthier more productive employees. If you're interested in a professional quote to assure the health of your office contact Central Maintenance.

Employee Turnover: How To Keep It To A Minimum

Every company faces challenges in its given industry. In the cleaning industry one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is employee turnover. Employees leave for a variety of reasons, but whatever the reason the result always negatively impacts customer service. Open positions may mean that the service is not meeting expectations resulting in complaints and the potential to lose the account if things are not turned around quickly. It is impossible to completely eliminate employee turnover, however there are a few proactive steps that can be taken to help reduce it.

The first step to reducing turnover is paying competitive wages. What I mean by competitive is paying a wage that is near the upper tier of wages paid for a given position in your geographic area. If another company is paying $0.25 per hour more for the same work employees will often leave if there is an open position. If the wage you are paying is near the top in your area you will reduce the number of employees leaving for this reason. It is far more costly to have to cover an open position with other personnel than to pay a higher wage to begin with. Not to mention the possibility of losing the account all together.

The second step to reducing turnover is by giving employees adequate time to perform their routines. Nothing is more frustrating for a cleaner than to be rushed through a routine with management expecting that everything will be done properly. Things are going to be missed and complaints will result. Most employees will not tolerate working this way for long and will eventually find employment elsewhere if they are not allowed more time to do their jobs. Bidding the proper time to perform the work may increase your bid, but if awarded the contract will allow you to meet expectations and keep the business.

The third step in reducing turnover is allowing for full-time positions with benefits when possible. If a job requires at least 8 hours of work consider making the position full-time with medical benefits instead of 2 part-time positions with no benefits. Many people are seeking the stability of a full-time job. Offering medical benefits adds further stability that may help to retain the employee longer.

In conclusion there is no silver bullet to eliminating turnover entirely, but there are steps that can be taken to help reduce it. Paying higher wages, allowing adequate time for routines and offering full-time positions with medical benefits can help to minimize turnover and add stability to your workforce. The cleaning industry is very competitive and there will always be companies out there that "low-ball" their quotes to get their foot in the door. These are the companies that pay at or close to minimum wage and rarely allow for enough time to do the job properly. They may get the contract initially because of their low price, but usually fail because they cannot keep good personnel. By bidding the job responsibly with good wages and sufficient time to do the job you put yourself in a position to be able to meet expectations if you acquire the contract down the road. The strategy of thinking long term will result in a more stabile work force and a much better reputation.

Central Maintenance & Service Co takes pride in the fact that we pay our employees above average wages and when possible also provide full-time positions with medical benefits. This allows us to retain the employees that are the backbone of the service we provide to our customers everyday. Our experience has given us insight into production rates for a variety of different industries so we understand how long it takes to clean a particular type of facility properly.

Schools: Why They Require A Higher Level Of Service

A lot of companies clean office buildings, but much less can say they clean schools. Schools are a very different animal when it comes to providing janitorial services. Companies that bid a school like an office building are doomed to fail. The level of service a school requires is much higher than that of an office building for several reasons.

First and foremost the personnel that are employed in a school by Central Maintenance must pass a rigid background investigation using the Pennsylvania State Police and FBI to access an applicant's criminal history and finger prints. The applicant must also provide proof they have passed the required child abuse clearances required to work in PA schools. Beyond the back ground checks drug testing is often required as well. CMS takes the safety and security of students and school personnel very seriously so the employees that are selected are carefully scrutinized to assure they are a good fit.

Second, the cleaning production rate in a school is typically far lower than in an office. The reason for this quite simple. In an office a cleaner usually has a lot of wide open spaces allowing for higher production rates. In schools there are very few areas like this. Schools consist of classrooms that have lots of desks, chairs and tables covering the floor space. This makes it more time consuming to sweep and mop. In the lower grades children often leave lots of small items on the floor like pencils, eraser heads, paper clips and paper bits. Picking up these items takes time and lowers production rates even further. Areas like cafeterias, auditoriums and athletic facilities including locker rooms also require more time to service than the typical office.

Third, most schools have extensive after school activities that often interfere with cleaning routines. This is something that is typically not a problem when servicing an office building, but in a school occurs quite regularly. These activities can take place practically anywhere in the school including the cafeteria, gym, auditorium, or classrooms so cleaning personnel must be able to adjust routines with short notice and still get the job done. At the end of the day school administrators want the school clean, not excuses. This often requires far more management time than the average office building which is something that a company that isn't familiar with servicing schools doesn't account for.

Fourth, most schools have extensive cleaning and floor programs that require service every summer. This includes stripping and waxing all vinyl tile or terrazzo floors and shampooing or extracting all carpeting. All restrooms and locker rooms must be overhauled, lockers cleaned and walls, desks and chairs in classrooms washed. The list can be much more extensive, but all of this is usually included when Central Maintenance provides a bid to clean a school. All materials and supplies including the right amount of wax is also included. This can be difficult for a company not familiar with schools.The most challenging part is completing everything before the start of the new school year. This is another reason schools require more supervision and management time to assure on-time completion.

These are just a few of the most important things a company must consider before considering marketing to schools to provide janitorial services. Having the right personnel in place, a knowledge of potential time consuming tasks and floor care, and flexibility on the fly are all critical to successfully providing the level of service schools require. Central Maintenance services close to 20 schools in southwestern PA including several high profile institutions. For more information visit our website at

Safety Training: Why It Should Be A Top Priority

In today's business climate most companies understand the benefits of properly training employees  and visitors on safety. This is especially true if a company has had to go through litigation because of accusations of negligence or operating in an unsafe environment. Money spent on safety training is usually much less than what it potentially could cost if an accident occurs. When an employee is involved in an accident several things happen that can cost the company money.  Consider the following:

Accidents halt or slow down productivity. No company ever wants this to happen. When productivity is not running at optimal levels current customers become unhappy and potential customers move on to work with competitors.

Injured employees must be replaced with new employees which often requires additional training. This uses company resources. New employees typically work at slower production rates and require more supervision as well.

As the # of claims increases, the company will pay higher premiums for coverage. This can take away from buying new equipment, giving current employees raises or adding new employees. All of which would help the company grow.

Companies can often face expensive legal claims. Unfortunately in today's climate we are bombarded with ads on TV from lawyers that are always ready and willing to sue a company for a workplace accident. These legal battles can result in negative publicity on top of paying out thousands or even millions of dollars in settlements.

Although intangible, a good safety training program is an invaluable asset to every company. Accidents are going to happen, but most are preventable with proper on the job safety training. A company that has fewer accidents is more productive and more profitable which results in higher employee morale and more of an interest in participating in the on going effort to keep the workplace safe.

Central Maintenance recognizes that safety and loss control is an essential ingredient in our operation for humanitarian, economic and legal reasons.  In 2003 we implemented a safety committee consisting of 7 members, with the objective to help provide a safe working environment.  The safety committee is certified by the State of Pennsylvania and meets on a monthly basis.  The committee is dedicated to providing active leadership and the necessary support to develop and maintain a successful safety program.

Reputation Management In The Janitor Service Industry

Technology today gives everyone a forum where they can express their opinions of products and services. This is also important in the janitor service industry. In this business we're always under a microscope so to speak. The service is only as good as the last time it was provided. Each day brings along new challenges to keep the facilities we service in pristine condition. If problems arise that are not fixed in an expeditious fashion a damaged reputation can and will result. There are a lot of things that can give a company a bad reputation. Below are a few I feel are most important.

Poor service can be the result of several things like insufficient time, turnover, inadequate training and lack of supervision to name a few, but it's usually a consistent pattern of poor service that causes a loss of contract and a tarnished reputation. Customers understand that issues will arise from time to time, but when they have to allocate a portion of their day to resolving cleaning issues there's a problem. If the same problems persist for a period of time they lose confidence in the service contractor's ability to do the job which results in the loss of the contract. At CMS our Regional Managers consistently perform quality control checks to assure the customer's expectations are being met. They are proactive in resolving issues often before the customer notices. This is key to keeping complaints to a minimum.

Communication is a key element in building and fostering a healthy business relationship. Only through consistent communication will the service contractor know where they stand in terms of performance. This task is usually assigned to the company's account managers. At CMS our managers conduct regular scheduled and unscheduled inspections to assess the condition of the facilities we service. The customer often participates in the walk through. This gives them an open forum to discuss the service and expectations. It allows our managers to personally interact and respond to any issues before they become a serious problem that could negatively impact our reputation.

Cleaning is very labor intensive which requires hiring employees to perform the work. A company's employees can lead to success or failure so putting the right people in place is critical. At CMS every employee must pass a criminal background check and often times drug testing if requested by the customer. If we are recruiting for a school the applicant is also screened for child abuse history. This is all in addition to a face to face interview for every applicant. If an employee is not performing to expectations it is important that it is addressed sooner than later to avoid customer complaints. If after a performance action plan the poor work continues the appropriate steps must be taken to replace the employee to avoid losing the account. There are also other reasons an employee may need to be removed. At CMS if an employee is accused of stealing from the customer or engaging in any unprofessional conduct CMS will conduct a thorough in-house investigation during which time the employee may be suspended until the investigation has been completed. If the employee fails to cooperate they may be suspended indefinitely. Poor employee management can severely damage a companies reputation and should be taken very seriously.

The web affords our customers an open forum to critique the service they receive everyday. Unfortunately most people only go online to express their thoughts if they're unhappy or have had a bad experience. CMS is proactive in managing the various facets of a our business that could negatively affect our reputation and ultimately result in lost customers. The janitor service industry is a small world so a damaged reputation can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Maintaining a positive image is something that must be worked at every single day.

3 T's to Employee Success

In the janitor service industry there is no question that people are the most valuable asset to achieving success. Cleaning is very labor intensive whether it involves sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, or dusting and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. Sure there is automatic equipment and restroom machines available for some situations, but people are still needed to operate this equipment. Since people are so important to running a successful cleaning business it only makes sense that they should be treated accordingly. The three most important things that an employee needs to assure success are time, tools and training.

Time is the single largest cost of any cleaning job, however it is also the variable that is often cut in order to keep prices down and to remain competitive with other companies. When this happens employees are forced to do more work in less time which often leads to subpar service and customer complaints. CMS has conducted cleaning time studies in various settings including office buildings, schools, industrial plants and auto dealers. Each setting is very different thus requiring employees to work at different speeds. In each setting an employee can only work so fast. If they don't have enough time to do their work properly it's going to be evident sooner than later. Furthermore, an employee that is rushed and pressured to work too fast will be stressed and eventually quit. Consistent turnover often leads to poor service and unhappy customers.

Tools are the equipment and supplies that employees need to work effectively. They are an extension of the employee that helps them to be successful. A mechanic that must rely on a tool box full of broken wrenches won't be able to properly fix the vehicle they are working on. Not only must the tools be in good working order, but employees must be provided with the correct tools for the job. This rings true in the janitor service business. An employee that needs to empty 200 trash bags in a dumpster 150 yards from the  building needs a special tilt cart. If this equipment is not provided 2 things will happen. First, the employee will take much longer to empty the trash. This can be a problem if the time wasn't budgeted. Second, they may get frustrated and end up quitting. If the proper equipment isn't provided turnover may result leading to unhappy customers and lost business.

Training of employees is critical for a successful cleaning program. Employees must become familiar with proper techniques and instructed on the use of equipment. Failure to train accordingly can result in lowered production rates, damaged equipment and poor service. It can even result in employee accidents and worker's compensation claims all of which are bad for employees and business in general. It is also important for managers and employees to stay abreast of new trends and equipment in the industry. A business that fails to look ahead will get left behind by companies that embrace the latest methods and technology. A well trained employee is happier, more productive and safer than an untrained employee. Training should be a priority for every successful business, but is often overlooked.

At CMS we understand the importance of providing our employees with the time, tools and training to be successful. If they're successful so are we as a company.

Quality Control. Why It's So Important.

It's no secret that every business needs new sales to survive, but many fail to realize the importance of what must happen after the sale. Effective account management and quality control is critical to the success of every cleaning business and here's why. Once a business becomes large enough account managers are needed to foster the newly formed relationships with customers. These personnel are responsible for quality control which includes managing employees, meeting with customers on a regular basis and performing inspections to assess the condition of the facilities.

Although cleaning is not generally considered strenuous it is manual labor so employees are needed to perform the work. Other industries can rely on equipment and machinery to do the work of people, but not so much in the cleaning industry. Sure, there is automatic equipment that can boost production rates, but this equipment must still be operated by actual employees which leads me to my point. Effective employee management is imperative for success. Employees are the people that represent your business who will ultimately affect your reputation by the work they perform. Their work must be scrutinized to assure they are delivering what was promised. On another note, managers must be conscious of how much time the employees are working to assure they are not consistently going over the budgeted time that was quoted to do the job. Sometimes there are circumstances where extra time is needed, but if it is not kept in check it can seriously cut into profits. This is also why it's important to quote each job properly. If employees don't have adequate time to do the work service issues and turnover will result and the account may be lost.

Providing the customer with "face time" is another element of quality control and key to effective account management. Even if there may not be any serious issues with service, the customer always appreciates seeing the account manager whether it is for a scheduled meeting or an unannounced inspection. They need to know they're important and that their business is valued after the sale. A customer that feels like a little fish in big pond may end up going elsewhere if their needs are not being met. It's not always about the product or service offered or even the price. In business relationships matter. Failure to recognize the importance of building strong relationships with customers will undoubtedly result in lost business and a tarnished reputation.

The most obvious feature of quality control in the janitor service industry is a site inspection. These inspections are typically performed by the account manager to assess the condition of the facility and the work performed by the employees. Checklists are often used to grade specific areas using a point system. Reports can be given to the employees and/or customer contact outlining areas where improvement is needed. It's always better to tell the customer when there are deficiencies than vice versa because at that point it may be too late. The customer usually appreciates the contractor's honesty and proactive approach to resolving issues. Customers know service won't be perfect with any janitor service company so they will often grade on how responsive they are when problems do arise.

At Central Maintenance we strive to meet the needs of every customer every day, but that couldn't happen without our account managers and an effective quality control program. In an industry where the service we provide is largely performed after business hours it's important that our customers know we're here for them when they need us. Quality service leads to happy customers and a good reputation which often leads to more customers. Check out our Central Quality Assurance program on our website at

Diversity Breeds Success

Do you ever wonder why some companies are so successful and other are not? In a global market full of competition every company that offers a product or service is looking for an edge to gain that next customer. Gone are the days of being confined to the "box". Today, company growth is defined by technological know how and diversification, the ability to offer products or services that appeal to a wide range of customers. In the commercial janitorial service industry having the knowledge to service different types of facilities can be the difference between just making your payroll and accelerated growth.

Let's face it change is hard. Going outside of your comfort zone is unnatural and no one wants to do it, but it's necessary in order to grow. My dad always says "if it ain't broke don't fix it". In business I tend to disagree because this is how business owners and ultimately companies become complacent which leads to stagnation. A stagnate company will get eaten alive by its competition.

In our industry it's imperative to be up to date on cutting edge technology that will increase production rates, reduce labor and supply costs and exceed customer expectations. The use of automatic floor equipment and restroom machines are a couple of examples of technology that help make cleaning easier. Sure this equipment can be expensive, but it can pay for itself in a fairly short period of time depending on the size of the account and can certainly help reduce employee turnover.

Diversification also applies to marketing to different types of facilities. There are a multitude of facilities to which a commercial cleaning company can offer services such as office buildings, schools, auto dealers, restaurants, retail, medical facilities, banks etc. A company that has most of its "eggs" (revenues) in only a few baskets (customers) is sure to experience a substantial loss at some point when a basket breaks. In business it's inevitable, you will lose accounts, however by diversifying you will limit the loss. An example of this is a janitorial company that relies solely on cleaning offices to survive. If this company loses a few accounts it may be in serious jeopardy of not making it. By marketing and securing customers in different markets this company may survive in an economy where competition is stiff and there isn't a lot of new office construction taking place.

Being diverse is one reason for the success of Central Maintenance. Learning new technologies and how to service different types of facilities has allowed us to broaden our marketing reach which has enabled consistent company growth. We're always looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition while delivering exceptional service to our customers. Visit our website at for more information on our services and what we can do for your facility.

5 Benefits of Using a Contracted Cleaning Service

Whether you're managing a private corporation, an educational facility, an auto dealer or medical facility, a decision must be made on how to keep it clean. Deciding whether to manage the cleaning in-house or to use a contractor is a personal decision and there are pros and cons for each. In commercial cleaning, there are far more advantages to using a contracted service than not. In my professional opinion there are 5 main benefits of using a contractor. In no specific order of importance they are:

1. Experience - A reputable contractor has a lot more experience cleaning various types of facilities. There are production rates that can often be used from these experiences that can give an accurate estimate of the amount of time needed to service the facility properly. Most companies that use their own cleaning staff never conduct actual time studies on how long it really takes to clean their facility, they simply keep hiring full time employees until it appears the work is getting done properly. This often results in allocating more time than is needed to get the facility clean. Also, contractors understand what cleaning chemicals work in different settings and what doesn't work. Their familiarity with automatic equipment can prove as a time saver and reduce labor costs as well.

2. Control - When employers manage their own cleaning staff sure they're the boss, but that doesn't always translate into a cleaner facility, here's why. Managing people is hard and time consuming especially if the cleaning staff requires micromanagement. Most managers don't have the time or desire to deal with cleaning issues and personnel on a daily basis. Sure contractors often face similar hurdles when managing their employees, but that's when a good account manager is valuable to the program. A contractors' account managers manage the quality control of the facility and all personnel. They can be proactive in implementing a change in the program if quality control reports are not to acceptable levels. Customers have much more power in shaping a successful program than if they were managing it themselves. All they have to do make a phone call or send an email expressing their thoughts and the contractor makes it happen or they risk losing the account. Customers can spend their time and energy on their actual job instead of on cleaning issues.

3. Liability - Reputable contractors are always fully insured and bonded. They hold all responsibility for their employees and incur all costs of liability insurance, unemployment insurance and workman's compensation. This is another reason responsible contractors perform strict background checks on all employees. Contractors also are responsible for payroll taxes and medical benefits although these costs are often passed on to the customer.

4. One Stop Shop - Contractors often serve as a one stop shop for customers. Most will always provide their own cleaning chemicals and equipment which is one less expense the customer needs to worry about. Many contractors can also provide paper products, trash liners, soaps and other consumable products at competitive prices adding even more convenience. If the customer needs floors stripped and waxed, carpets cleaned or restrooms scrubbed a contractor can do this as well. This is key considering most in-house crews have to outsource floor care anyway.

5. Coverage - Most established cleaning contractors can provide coverage if a regular employee is out on vacation or calls off due to sickness. A facility with in-house staffing often cannot do this so areas are left unclean which can be a health concern especially in restrooms that are frequently used and schools where bacteria and viruses are rampant.

If you don't want to spend your time managing the cleaning issues of your facility hire a reputable contractor like Central Maintenance and get back to focusing your efforts on what's important to you.

Customers Expect Clean Facilities

As a provider of commercial janitorial services I see it in facilities everyday. Dirty floors, layers of dust on window sills and enough dust on the tops of cubes to make your fingers black. I haven't even touched on restrooms yet. I don't understand how so many businesses can ignore the potential damaging effects a dirty facility can have on sales, especially businesses that often have customers on site.

Most sales people, myself included make a concerted effort to polish their personal appearance before a meeting. Why, because we know that first impressions are very important. If that is the case for most people, then how much sense does it make to set up a meeting and introduce yourself to new potential customers in an unkempt office or place of business? It makes no sense at all.

Think about it. Say you're in the market to buy a new car. Imagine walking into a dealership. You begin peeking inside the windows of all the shiny new cars when you look down and the floor is absolutely filthy. What does that do to your experience? Does it reflect poorly on the product you were thinking about purchasing? Yes, it does. A car dealership should be as clean as the new cars it sells. It's about attention to details. In a customer's mind if a business doesn't care enough to keep their facility clean, why then would they care about the needs of their customers?

It doesn't matter what industry or business. If customers visit your facility to potentially do business and your facility is filthy, it will reflect poorly on the product or service you are offering. A clean facility will only add to the polished image you're trying to portray of your product or service. Use the condition of your business as an advantage, don't allow it to be a disservice.

Hiring a professional janitorial service like Central Maintenance can be the difference between leaving a good or bad impression with your customers. Why chance it? Visit our website to see what we can do for the appearance of your business.