The Ultimate Online Tool Kit for Janitorial Business Owners

As the owner of a commercial cleaning company, you could likely recommend many different products, supplies, and pieces of equipment as "must-have's" for a successful cleaning business.

If you’re new to the business, and don’t yet have favorite tools, you’ve probably considered asking others what they would recommend for a given job.

The unfortunate truth is that what most janitorial business owners are lacking is a digital toolkit. An online arsenal, if you will.

We’re talking blogs, tools, and other resources that don’t just help you in your business — but rather help you work on your business. In other words, help you spend less time doing things you don’t enjoy, and more time on the things that light you up.

We noticed that there was a serious lack of educational resources and tools out there for our industry when we were a commercial cleaning company. So when we shifted to a janitorial software company, we set out to change that.

Between the resources we’ve developed and a few we’ve awesome partnerships we’ve made over the years, we’re happy to share with you something we wished we had when we were a janitorial company:

The Janitor’s Ultimate Online Tool Kit

Below is a list of tools, materials and resources that we recommend anyone growing a commercial cleaning company have in their back pocket.


CleaningJobs.co

This free hiring tool will change the way you hire cleaners.

It’s as simple as creating your job posting on Cleaning Jobs, sharing it on online job boards like Craigslist as you normally would, then viewing the responses to your posting within Cleaning Jobs. There you will find them sorted based on which candidates are the best match for a given job.

By selecting candidates who are most suited for a job, you’ll improve employee retention rates and reduce the amount of time and money you spend on hiring. How cool is that?

Not only does it rank applicants based on who is the best match for the job, but it stores their application so that you'll always have a database of cleaners to hire from in the future.

Click here to sign up for Cleaning Jobs »

I am using Cleaning Jobs and LOVING it!
— Julie McAdoo, Office Pride

 


The 21 Day Sales Challenge

Don’t worry, this may sound more like work for you than a time-saving tool, but this “Challenge” is simply a neatly packaged set of resources (cold-calling scripts, email templates, checklists, interview questions, etc.) that you can use to land new customers for your business.

Between videos, blog posts and downloadable worksheets / templates, Swept’s CEO, COO and Sales Manager have given you everything you need to close your next contract.

Delivered to your inbox over the course of 3 weeks, the Sales Challenge has gotten fantastic reviews and helped janitorial companies win business.

Click here to join the Challenge »

I really enjoyed the challenge and I appreciate the Swept team from putting this together. One of the things I really liked was the practical application and Swept sharing documents that I can begin to use right away.”
— Sheldon Brown, Crisp & Clean
 
 


Quick Estimate TOol

An easy-to-use mobile app, the Quick Estimate tool helps you calculate what you should charge for a new cleaning job.

And because this brand new tool has just hit app stores, you’ll be among the first cleaning companies to have a quote calculator on their phone during a walk through. By showing potential customers that you’re ahead of the curve and willing to use innovative new approaches to save time, you’ll be sure to impress!

The Quick Estimate Tool is a free and available for both iOS and Android devices.

Click here to get the app »
 

Reframe Workshops

These might not be tools, exactly, but they are certainly helpful resources! This online workshop series covers four of the biggest challenges faced by commercial cleaning companies: sales, marketing, hiring, and cleaner retention.

In addition to video training by experienced industry professionals, there are also downloadable workbooks to help you record what you’re learning as you go.

The best part? You can do all of them on your own schedule, from the comfort of your desk!

"These workshops aren't about marketing or sales in general — they are specifically focused on the janitorial industry. I would definitely suggest them to anyone running a commercial cleaning company."
— Jason Martell, Inside-Out Cleaning Services

Click here to get access to the workshops »

 

Grow My Cleaning Company Facebook Group

Some questions are best answered by people who are facing similar challenges as you. For those questions, you’ll want an engaged group of peers in the janitorial industry. The best place to get that? Mike Campion’s Grow My Cleaning Company Facebook Group is arguably the most active, support-focused community of cleaners the internet has to offer, and we recommend it to everyone in the industry.

Cleaning Nation, as Mike lovingly refers to his community, is made up of both residential and commercial cleaners from all over the world, so you’re sure to get a variety of perspectives on any issue you present to the group. Plus it’s an opportunity to share your own expertise and help others!

Not to mention Mike and his wife Nathalie are super cool humans who love to help business owners by providing hugely valuable learning content. But you can read more about that below.

Click here to join the group »

 

Grow My Cleaning Company Podcast

As if an awesome Facebook community wasn’t enough, Mike also provides his audience with super helpful learning content via the Grow My Cleaning Company podcast.

With two new episodes released each week (we're not sure when these people sleep!) the amount of great content is endless. And because it’s in podcast form, it’s a great way to learn while on the go — you could listen in your car, while doing paperwork, or even while cleaning!

Now, we’re a little biased, but one of our favorite episodes is from just a few weeks ago — Manage Your Employees Better with Swept CEO Mike Brown. Take a listen!

Check out the podcast »


Proposify

If you’re not already using a proposal software, you should be. There, we said it. Professional looking proposals will make your business seem more professional, thereby increasing the likelihood of you closing the deal.

Our favorite proposal software is Proposify. It offers a wide variety of proposal templates, completely free of charge. The best part about this gallery of free, professionally written and designed templates? It includes one specifically designed for cleaning companies!

Not convinced? We wrote an entire blog post about why we love Propsify, which you can read here.

Click here to get the proposal template »

"I can literally quantify 70+ hours saved by switching to Proposify for contracts. Lifesaver for small businesses."
— Collin Belt, Ice Nine



The Complete Guide to Hiring for Your Janitorial Business

If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for everything cleaner hiring related, this is your guide. This free, downloaded PDF is jam-packed with templates, scripts and recommendations that will save you time on screening, interviewing, and creating an employee referral program.

To get your own copy of the Hiring Guide click here »

6 Marketing Tools Every Janitorial Business Should Use

Since getting into the business of building tools and learning resources for janitorial customers, we’ve received a lot of question about marketing.

Do I need a website? Should I use Facebook ads? Where else can I advertise my cleaning company?

We answered many of these questions in the One Page Marketing Plan workshop video, which you can access here.

In this post we’ve outlined a few key tools that will help you implement what we go over in the workshop, or just get started on some of the most popular marketing projects that business owners tend to tackle.
 

1. Up Close & Persona

If you’ve watched the One Page Marketing Plan workshop video, you know what we mean when we say a marketing “persona” and how important it is to identify who your ideal customer personas are before you invest time or money into marketing tactics.

Personas are a great way to make sure your marketing will connect and resonate with your target audiences. Up Close & Persona is a free tool to help you make your own personas.

Link: http://www.upcloseandpersona.com/
 

2. Website Design Templates

As you may have already noticed, the rise of millennials in decision-making positions at the types of organizations you serve has led to a change in the way cleaning company are hired. In fact, we wrote an entire blog post about how internet savvy office managers will research cleaning companies online before calling for a quote. You can read the post here.

In other words, it’s important to have a professional online presence that makes a good first impression — namely, a website.

But having a great looking website doesn’t need a huge investment. Here are a few resources to help you find a design that will make a great first impression and set you apart from your competition.

Link: https://www.templatemonster.com/
Link: https://www.elegantthemes.com/
Hosting and Domain Registration: www.godaddy.com
All in one design and hosting: www.wix.com | www.squarespace.com

 

3. Facebook Advertising Training

At some point in your business you’ve probably considered, and maybe even tried out, Facebook ads. And that’s great! Facebook is an amazing channel to reach and engage your audience.

Having said that, without a good understanding of how Facebook’s algorithm works, and what types of ad content actually perform well, you risk spending a lot of money for not a whole lot of return. Before launching your next Facebook ads campaign, take a look at these free courses to learn the fundamentals of marketing on Facebook.

Link: https://www.facebook.com/blueprint

 

4. Adwords Training

Search (ie. Google) is the number one way people research answers to the questions they have. And advertising to people who are looking for cleaning services in your city tends to be much more cost effective than advertising to people casually scrolling through their social media feeds looking for cute cat videos. Google Adwords allows you to pay to show your relevant answer in the form of an ad.

But the same rule applies to Google Adwords as Facebook ads — learn before you launch! The links below will help you understand how to get the best bang for your buck and see a return on your ad spend.

Best Practices: https://goo.gl/GC6dRd

Paid Training via Lynda.com:  https://goo.gl/cVOspl


 

5. Ring.Ninja
 

Have you ever hung up the phone after talking to a prospective client and thought “I wonder how they found out about us…”?

When we were a cleaning company, we tried lots of different marketing tactics — even things like putting ads on pizza boxes. Because who doesn’t love pizza?!

But when it came time to re-invest in that tactic, we knew to say “No way, Jose” to those pizza box ads, because they just weren’t working.

How did we know this? We used a tool called Ring.ninja to track where our phone calls are coming from to better understand what marketing activities drive your customers to call.

And you can too! We wrote a whole blog post about it here.

Link: ring.ninja


 

6. Google Forms

Surveying customers — or potential customers — is something all small businesses should do, but few actually do it.

Understanding what their day-to-day activities look like, the people they serve, and the challenges they face can all help you better market to more businesses like them, as well as upsell current customers.

Google Forms is a simple and free way to collect information from customers. We also recommend learning more about your cleaners by creating surveys for them as well!


Link: https://www.google.ca/forms/about/

Two New Trends in the Janitorial Industry

As you likely already know, the janitorial Industry hasn't changed much in the last 10 years.

And while many would say this is a bad thing, it does create an opportunity for companies who are willing to try new things to stand out amongst the competition — both to clients and cleaners.

There are no doubt countless ways you could make your company stand out. You could mail potential customers outlandish gifts. Appoint a cat as your new CEO. Or hire someone to stand on a street corner, singing your praises in a chicken costume. 


But for the purpose of this article we're going to go ahead an assume you'd rather stand out in a good way.

With that in mind, here are two ways companies can set themselves apart in the janitorial industry.

1. by Starting with Why

In 2009 Simon Sinek delivered a TED Talk that provided many business owners a new perspective on how they may want to communicate their business, and what it has to offer.

The concept is brilliantly simple. He refers to it as the "Golden Circle."

 

Most businesses, as he describes, start with “WHAT” they do (ex: Janitorial Services in Philadelphia) and stop there.

Even fewer companies go on to describe HOW they do it (ex: Quality services dedicated to meeting all client expectations.)

Most companies, however, fail to communicate WHY their company exists.

What Sinek’s approach shows is that shifting the conversation to talk about your why can have a huge impact on a customers perception of your business.

Using this approach, the “WHAT” you do, simply serves as the proof of what your company believes — your why. So the question becomes… what is your why?

And more importantly, what are you doing to communicate it to your customers?


2. by using The “Good Job” Strategy

In 2013, Swept was operating as a residential and commercial cleaning company called Clean Simple. We learned very quickly that the most expensive aspect of our operations had to do with the loss of a great cleaner.  

And while this challenge was costly, it forced us ask:

What makes some cleaners stay?

Trust me, it wasn't because they loved cleaning.

We found that our most successful and most reliable cleaners felt they had a “good job”.

In other words, they felt supported, respected, paid well for their time, and enjoyed a stable schedule. We learned that the more we focused on our people, the better attendance and performance was, and the happier our customers were. 

And so our mantra became:

We focus on our cleaners, so they can focus on you.

And this became something that we proudly discussed with clients. Our golden circle looked like this...

WHY - Happy cleaners make happy customers. We focus on them, so they can focus on you.

HOW - We leverage technology to engage, support, and recognize our cleaners for the amazing work they do when cleaning your business.

WHAT - It’s this focus that allows us to deliver the unparalleled quality of service you will experience.

This discussion allowed us to not only differentiate ourselves but entirely change the conversation we were having with potential customers. It became the secret sauce that allowed us to close over 80% of our quotes.

In turn, winning 80% of our quotes allowed us to confidently invest in the development of the software that is now available as Swept. It provides our cleaners better support, and us with a guiding principle that allowed our business to grow over 530% year over year.


we're not the only ones

It's this sort of thinking that has also allowed companies like Managed by Q to disrupt and change the expectations of customers. In February of 2016, the New York Times wrote an article about how Managed by Q is leveraging the Good Jobs Strategy.

In the article, Managed by Q CEO Dan Teran outlines a clear business case for how increased wages, better training, and better support and the use of technology have allowed his company to operate with a customer turnover rate of only 10% and an even lower cleaner turnover rate of 5%.

Backed by nearly 50 million dollars in funding, Managed by Q has expanded from one city to four in the last 18 months, with plans to expand globally soon.

 

will you Lead this movement?

At Swept, our goal is to help janitorial companies around the world adapt and thrive in an industry that is about to go through rapid change. We want to help you and your team compete, win new business, and grow an amazing company doing it. Will your company lead or chase this movement?

If you’d like to hear more about how we’re helping change the janitorial industry, reach out for a demo and we’ll show you a step by step process to get started.

 

3 Workshops That Will Take Your Business To The Next Level

To sign up for any of the workshops described in this article click here.


If you’ve ever tried Googling “how to improve cleaner retention” or “how to market a cleaning company” you know how hard it is to find helpful information like this for the janitorial industry.

So when we switched from being a cleaning company like yours to a janitorial software company, we vowed to provide our customers with as many educational materials as possible.

Here are 3 super educational, janitorial industry-specific workshops that are free to sign up for and accessible from anywhere.

online workshop.jpg

1. Creating A One Page Marketing Plan

Truthfully the title of this workshop is a bit misleading, because in reality you’ll get so much more out of it than just a one page marketing plan

Swept COO Matt Cooper put all 15+ years of his marketing experience to use when designing this workshop. He starts off this 60 minute session by helping you identify who you should market to. You’ll then work on choosing the best marketing channels for your business, and by the end of the hour, have crafted a message that will resonate with your ideal client.

Appropriate for both new and more experienced business owners, this training helps you strike the perfect balance between analyzing data and using creativity to reach more potential clients. The goal? To help you use your marketing to directly impact your sales.


Click below to join this workshop

 


2. How to Close 80% of Quotes

When we were a cleaning company, we developed a pretty effective sales strategy. So effective, that we were able to close 80% of the contracts we bid on and expand into 3 different cities.

To help you do the same, Swept Sales Manager Toby Keeping reveals our secret sauce for winning new business in this 60 minute workshop. With more than 10 years of sales experience, Toby will walk you through the steps of closing a contract — from surprising advice like not talking about cleaning, to calling up your competitors and asking for a quote — he’ll teach you all the tips and tricks to standing out in a sea of cleaning companies.
 

Click below to join this workshop

 

 


3. How to Find and Keep Great Cleaners

If you’ve already experienced the challenge of hiring and retaining cleaners, you know how time-consuming and expensive it can be. And if you’re not there yet, you probably want to avoid costly mistakes like hiring the wrong people.

In the first of two 30 minute workshops, Swept COO Matt Cooper will share with you a free tool that will save you 90% of the time it takes to hire great cleaners and allows you to build a database of cleaners that you can continue to hire from.

The second workshop then shifts to focus on retaining those employees. One of our core beliefs here at Swept is that people should be at the centre of our business. Not only did we build our entire software around this idea, but we’ve created educational materials that teach better HR practices. In his retention workshop Matt offers tips, tricks and tools for improving communication and collecting feedback from your team so your cleaners feel empowered to do their best work.

Click below to join this workshop

Questions about any of the workshops? Email reframe@sweptworks.com

How To Close Your Next Cleaning Contract

Winning new contracts is one of the toughest challenges commercial cleaning companies face.

It’s hard to know where to find new leads, how to stand out from the competition, and how to avoid competing on price.

It’s such a big issue that it’s even stopped owners who love our software from “putting a ring on it” so to speak...because investing in your business is scary if you don’t know when you’ll sign your next contract. 

So naturally we started brainstorming how to help you overcome this challenge. We knew we needed to create a resource that would get you ready to close your next client in the shortest amount of time possible.

It started with cold calling and emailing scripts. Then walk-through checklists. A free estimator tool. And even partnering with our friends at Proposify to provide a professionally designed proposal template.

Soon we had so many free, yet incredibly valuable materials, that we had to package them up in a way that was easily digestible.  
 

The 21 Day Sales Challenge was born.

To make it easy to decide if signing up for the 21 Day Sales Challenge is right for you and your business, we’ve answered some Frequently Asked Questions about the challenge.

Frequently Asked Questions
 

Q: Is it reeeally free? What’s the catch? 

A: No catch, it’s reeeally free. In order to complete the challenge you’ll need to sign up for a free trial of the Swept app, but there is no pressure to buy the software at the end of the trial. We’re pretty confident it will help you stand out from your competition, but we’ll let you see for yourself!

 

Q: Do I have to do the challenge in 21 Days?

 A: Truthfully, “21 Day” sales challenge is a bit misleading. You can complete it in whatever number of days suits you. If you need more time, take it. If you want to skip ahead, you’ll have access to the whole 3 weeks worth of materials right from day one.

 

Q: What type of business owner is this challenge for?

 A: The challenge is designed with owners and managers of small / medium size commercial cleaning companies in mind. Especially helpful for those who are new to the industry or who have not yet put sales systems and processes in place, the challenge assumes you are starting from scratch. Having said that, you can also pick and choose what you take from it!

 

Q: Is it a big commitment?

 A: The only commitment you’re making by signing up for the challenge is to yourself and your business! The challenge materials can be hugely beneficial to your company, but we can’t make you do the work. There’s no penalty for signing up and not completing the challenge, but you won’t see the results you’re looking for! 

 

Q: What will I learn during the challenge?

A: Each week of the challenge has a different focus. Here’s a breakdown of each one:
 

Week 1: Bidding on a Space

  • Learn how to take charge of a walk through
  • Learn how to stand out from the competition
  • Get tips & tricks for bidding on a space
  • Download your walk-through checklist
  • Sign up for our free estimator tool
     

Week 2: Generating Leads

  • Learn why and how to pick an ideal client
  • Build a list of businesses you want to work with
  • Get scripts for cold calling / emailing
  • Learn how to write better job postings
  • Start building a database of cleaners to hire from
     

Week 3: Closing the Deal

  • Learn what goes into a professional proposal
  • Get a beautifully designed proposal template
  • Download your follow-up email scripts
  • Get scripts for conducting cleaner interviews

It’s important to note that we don’t just help you find and win the client. We’ve also built in tasks and tools for ensuring you have hired the best cleaners for the job by the time you sign the new contract.

 

Q: How are the challenge materials delivered? 

A: Once a week we’ll send you an email that outlines the tasks for the challenge that week. In that email there will be a link to a webpage with the challenge materials, including videos, short blog posts and downloadable worksheets and scripts in the form of PDF files.

  

Q: Do I need to watch all the videos?

A: The short answer is no. We created the videos in addition to the written material because many people prefer to learn new things by listening / watching rather than reading. You can choose to watch, read or both — the material covered in the videos is the same as what’s covered in the corresponding blog posts.

 

Q: Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I sign up?

A: Right here! Click here to sign up for the challenge »