Change is coming to the Janitorial Industry. What's Your Strategy?

Start 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. We encourage you to watch his video here.

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

WHY are you different?

Most businesses, as he describes, start with “WHAT” they do and stop there (Ex: Janitorial Services Philadelphia). Even fewer companies go on to describe HOW they do it (Ex: Quality services dedicated to meeting all client expectations). Most companies, however have yet to communicate WHY their company exists. What Sinek’s approach shows is that this change to the conversation can have very large impacts on customers perceptions.

Using this approach, the “WHAT” you do, simply serves as the proof of what your company believes. So the question becomes… What does your Janitorial company believe in? More importantly, what are you doing to communicate it to your customers.

Happy Cleaners. Happy Customers.

In 2013, Swept was operating as a Residential and Commercial Cleaning Company.  We learned very quickly that the most expensive aspect of our operations had to do with the loss of a great cleaner.  

Over the years we operated as a Janitorial business (before changing to Swept) our experience allowed us to notice a trend. Our most successful and most reliable cleaners felt they had a “Good Job”. Not just because they enjoyed cleaning, but because they felt supported, respected, paid well for their time, and enjoyed a stable schedule.  The more we focused on our people, the less complaints, better attendance, and happier customers we had.

This insight allowed us not only to confidently invest in the development of software (now available as Swept) to provide our cleaners better support, but provided us with a guiding principle that allowed our business to grow over 530% year over year.  Our mantra “We focus on our cleaners, so they can focus on you” 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 recognise our cleaners for the amazing work they do cleaning your business.

WHAT - It’s this focus that allows us to deliver an unparalleled level of quality of service you will experience on a daily basis.

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

The “Good Job” Strategy

Some of you may be reading this thinking, that’s all well and good, but you don’t understand our market. Our way of thinking, turned out to be one that many incredibly successful businesses shared.

Based on a 10 year study, Zeynep Ton, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, identified a strategy that provides companies a framework to invest in people as a means to achieve financial success.

The new face of competition

As many of you may already know, the Janitorial Industry has not changed a whole lot in the last 10 years.  This fact, is allowing companies like Managed by Q to disrupt and change the expectations of customers.  In February, the New York Times wrote an article about how Managed by Q is leveraging the Good Jobs Strategy.

In the article, Dan Teran (CEO) outlines a clear business case for how increased wages, better training, and better support through technology are allowing his company to operate with customer turnover of only 10% and an even lower turnover of his cleaners at 5%Backed by nearly 50 Million dollars in funding, Managed by Q has expanded from one city to 4 in just that last 18 months, with plans to expand globally soon.

Lead or Chase?

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 change?

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.