If you are lucky and doing a great job on an exiting account, you will get a notice to renew your contract for services instead of a notice that the customer is putting the account out to bid. When this happens, it’s time to give some long hard thought to what it will take to get the longest renewal possible and how to increase profits or at least keep them where they currently are. Here are three areas that I would focus on to improve your chances of success.
- Green Sustainable Cleaning
Is there any other way to clean? More and more I am seeing contractors and in-house operations move towards greener sustainable cleaning products and processes. What used to be a premium level of service and a costlier way of cleaning has evolved to being the way we do business. In many cases this is also an effective approach to finding ways to reduce costs and increase profits.
- Employee Training
It’s all about the people. No cleaners no business. The greatest challenge we face today in the cleaning industry is to find and keep qualified workers. One of the most effective approaches to doing this is to provide a visible, realistic and easy to access employee training and upward mobility program for workers at all levels of your organization.
- Hold the Line on Costs
Nobody wants to pay more for cleaning. Like it or now, customers are looking for ways to increase profits and reduce costs. This is a tough one, because most of the cost of operating and staffing a business are increasing at the same time. My advice is to look for internal efficiencies in the way you do business and get the work done. The answer is not only in working hard and smart, but in also changing the way you do things. Technology, chemical reduction, and more efficient processes can help with this, but the greatest opportunity for cost saving is related to labor reduction. You will need to find ways to increase the square feet of area cleaned by each worker each hour and to make sure everyone has the tools and knowledge they need to get the work done as quickly as possible without a loss of quality.
Making it Happen
Here are some tips on how to go about accomplishing the recommendations provided above:
- Get your people involved. Ask for help from both those doing the work as well as from management staff. Lay it on the line, we are looking for ideas and ways be more competitive so we can retain the contract and improve the level of service we provide. Have some meeting, for a committee and get the process going with everyone focused on the same goals.
- Talk to the Customer. What are their hot buttons and what is important to them? What do the like about what you are currently doing and what would they like to see change and then put it in the renewal agreement and cover letter.
- Get your Distributor Involved. Ask the right question. Do you know of any new products, chemicals on the market on the market that can help me increase production and reduce labor costs?
- Due the Research. Search on line forums, articles, chats and websites for ideas and examples of what others have done. No need to reinvent the wheel, copy and improve upon what others are doing.
Certainly, there are other things that you can do, but this is where I’d start and I’m out of space for this month. Good luck and keep it clean.