By Laura Elizabeth Smith Co-Author: David Andrew Smith
Employ to Expand Your Contract Cleaning Business – Advice For the Small Business Owner
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Laura_Elizabeth_Smith]Laura Elizabeth Smith and David Andrew Smith
This article explores the benefits of staffing out your contract cleans to free up your time to manage and expand your contract cleaning business, and why playing it safe may not be so safe after all.
Small cleaning businesses will usually reach a point where they have as many contracts as they can comfortably oversee themselves without having to employ cleaning staff. This is often the case for ‘husband and wife’ teams, partnerships or sole traders and the reluctance to employ means that the business can never grow as they can only take on additional customers when others leave. These businesses are almost exclusively reliant on customer loyalty and being able to hold onto customers by providing a consistently good service, but there is a danger of getting too comfortable.
The ‘one-man-band’ cleaning business usually provides daily or weekly cleaning to small premises for which contract cleaning is rarely an essential expense. In the current economic climate cost cutting is rife, and for small pubs, cafes, shops and offices, it is often the case that a member of staff, or the owner themselves can take over the cleaning and relive the company of a monthly cleaning bill. Loyalty goes out the window and the small cleaning business owner can suddenly find their income reduced to a crippling level, without an immediate solution. This isn’t to say that this scenario is only a problem for cleaning businesses that don’t employ, but is a warning that you shouldn’t get too comfortable with your ‘morning and evening cleaning round’. The small cleaning business owner should be exploring all the ways in which they can maintain the level of work they want, and how expanding could be the way in which to do this.
So where does this reluctance to employ come from? It is often not just a matter of the fear of employment law and the heavy weight of responsibilities as an employer, but it is also because those cleaning business owners who ‘do it themselves’ believe that they could not find someone else to do what they do, all well as they do it.
There is a certain truth behind this, and of course it is only natural that the business owner has more incentive to look after a contract clean than a cleaner who is just working part time. But doing the cleaning yourself is not maintainable in the long run for a number of reasons and it will invariably mean that the owner becomes a self-employed cleaner rather than the manager of a cleaning business. With comprehensive and thorough training, regular supervision and staff incentives, there is no reason why your employee won’t perform just as well.
There are two main dangers when starting a contract by doing the cleaning yourself and then hiring a cleaner to take over, and the first one is that the owner is used to getting a full income from the contract cleans, rather than a smaller percentage once wages, holiday pay, and employers insurance have come out of it. The other danger is that the customer becomes far too used to the owner coming in who has perhaps over the years done all the little extras they have asked of him or her, whether it be unblocking a toilet or cleaning the shop front windows when their window cleaner didn’t show up.
When an employed cleaner shows up who works only to the schedule provided and never works beyond the allotted hours (even when an important client from overseas is visiting the next day!), then it is no real wonder why a client will become annoyed and disgruntled. It is then that it shows hat the little extras were just unpaid extras, and they never bothered the small business owner when s/he did them, as it didn’t cost the owner anything but a little time. Now the owner has to pay the cleaner an additional half an hour in wages for going in early to wash up all the dishes from the oversea visitor’s lunch in the boardroom, and now the cleaning business owner thinks that it’s about time that the client gets billed for this. Well after all, they are now out of pocket. The client starts looking at their monthly bill which all of a sudden has a lot of extra hours added to it which has never been the case and then thinks that perhaps it is time that they found a new contract cleaner.
The key to running these contract cleans successfully is in the very sentence; running them. From the point of quoting it should be viewed as a clean that will have cleaners employed, with the Manager’s time built into this for training and regular supervisory visits. Holiday Pay and Employers Liability Insurance should be worked into the costs and the contract should state clearly that additional cleaning to that on the contract will be at the cleaning firm’s discretion and will be charged for. It really is a matter of getting it right from the start that is key to all-round satisfaction and success.
This means that the owner now has the time and incentive to go out and look for additional cleaning contracts and expand their client base. The owner of a cleaning business is now a manager and their priority is running the business as a manager and owner, and not keeping afloat as a self-employed cleaner.
Laura along with David Smith is the co-owner of http://www.thecleaningservicesgroup.co.uk the website of The Cleaning Services Group Ltd a UK based http://www.wesparkle.co.uk cleaning services company. Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Employ-to-Expand-Your-Contract-Cleaning-Business—Advice-For-the-Small-Business-Owner&id=4774656] Employ to Expand Your Contract Cleaning Business – Advice For the Small Business Owner