1. Being woken up in the middle of the night
We put this one first because when we ran our own cleaning business it drove us to build the software we now offer to other janitorial companies:
Getting calls from cleaners with questions / problems in the middle of the night wasn’t just annoying — the disruption to my sleep affected my productivity and performance in other areas of the business (and in my life!)
If this is an issue in your business, I encourage you to try out our app!
2. Dropping off supplies only to find out that something else was missing too
You receive a text from a cleaner saying they are out of garbage bags at a particular location, so you re-arrange your day in order to drop some off ASAP.
When you arrive, you discover they are also out of floor cleaner. But did you bring floor cleaner with you?
Nope! Looks like you’ll be making a second trip!
3. Feeling on edge every morning
Everyone has their time. For some, it’s 10:00am. Others endure the anxiety until 10:30, maybe even 11:00.
But every janitorial business owner knows that when the clock strikes that magic number, you can let out a sigh of relief. It’s safe to assume you won’t be receiving any phone calls from a client with a complaint for the rest of the day.
If a cleaner didn’t show up the night before or missed something while they were there, you would have heard about it by now!
4. Waiting for a cleaner to (maybe) show up for their first shift
If you’ve been in the janitorial industry long enough to have hired new cleaners you’ve likely noticed a trend: new cleaners not showing up for their first shift.
On the one hand, since you’re there to train them, at least you can do the cleaning… But seriously, why does this happen?!
We’ve learned that hiring the right person for the job can save you tons of headaches down the road.
5. Always being interrupted
It’s Monday morning and you have high hopes for the week. Your to-do list is a mile long, but you’re determined to conquer it. This might even be the week you get ahead!
You sit down to work on the first task on your list: hiring. You begin writing a job description for a new contract you’ve just closed…
When the phone rings.
It’s a potential client, and they are wondering if you can come do a walk-through right away.
You look back at your unfinished job description, sigh and grab your keys. You’ll have to finish it later.
6. Spending too much time on hiring (instead of growing your biz)
When we ask a group of janitorial business owners what their biggest challenge is, the answer is almost always employee retention.
What most don’t realize is that the trick to keeping employees is hiring the right ones!
If you feel like you’re spending too much time hiring (instead of quoting new contracts and finding new ways to grow your business) check out these two great hiring resources:
The Ultimate Guide to Hiring for Your Janitorial Company — includes a sample job posting, scripts for phone and in-person interviews, and step-by-step instructions for creating an employee referral program.
CleaningJobs.co — our free tool that sorts applications based on who is the best match for a job — saving you hours on shifting through job applications and money on hiring the wrong cleaner. Plus, it stores applications so you always have a database of cleaners to hire from for future jobs.
7. Finding the janitor’s closet a TOTAL MESS
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but oh so true.
A messy supply closet is not only a giant headache for manager responsible for inventory / restocking, it can also looks terrible to a client who might someday open the closet and begin to wonder how clean their office really is.
8. DOING Payroll when you don’t have the cleaners’ proper hours
If there’s a day of the week every janitorial business owner dreads, it’s the day payroll is due. Submitting payroll when the cleaner hasn’t filled out their timesheet properly (or at all) is never fun!
9. Last minute schedule changes
When we ran our commercial cleaning companies, it wasn’t uncommon for me (the CEO) to be found cleaning toilets at 3 a.m. when a shift needed to be filled — often because I received word last minute that a cleaner wasn’t able to make it.
While being your own boss has it’s perks, no one said it was glamorous!
10. Clients changing the scope of work
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with a client changing the scope of work In fact it’s a great thing when they are willing to add additional services to their contract….
…if they’re willing to pay for it.
Unfortunately it’s all too common for clients to expect additional services without paying more, which can put a strain on what was previously a positive relationship.
11. pressure to lower your bid
Similarly, many potential clients often insist on receiving discounted pricing, and can pressure you to compete with other companies on price.
We get it. Everyone wants to pay less.
But if you’re taking on contracts that aren’t profitable, you won’t be in business for long!
For tips and tricks on how to win new contracts without lowering your price join our free 21 Day Sales Challenge.
12. Wearing (too) many hats
In case this wasn’t made clear by the rest of the items on this list, small business owners often end up wearing many hats.
And in the janitorial industry, where a cleaner not showing up can mean you putting on a pair of gloves and going to work, it may sometimes feel like you wear ALL the hats.
What other challenges do you face in your janitorial company? Leave us a comment below — we’d love to hear from you!