We get it. You don’t want any unnecessary expenses in your business.
Between accounts cancelling unexpectedly and price competition in the janitorial industry becoming more intense than ever, every penny spent has to directly contribute to your bottom line.
So while janitorial software might have lots of doodads and bells and whistles that are nice to have, if it doesn’t put money in the bank and cleaners on the payroll, it’s not in the budget.
After all, you reeeally only need a time tracking tool, right? Everything else can be done with pen and paper. (And blood, sweat and tears…but that’s beside the point.)
And even if money wasn’t a question, choosing a software can be overwhelming enough, let alone getting your whole team on board with using it.
At the end of the day, you’ve been getting by without janitorial software until now, so is it really worth buying for your business?
We might be a little biased, but not because we build janitorial software. We’re biased because at one time we were a commercial cleaning company like yours who worked really hard to keep clients happy and retain great cleaners.
And as we grew and expanded into our second, and then third city, we quickly discovered that it wasn’t so easy to keep track of attendance, inspections, customer satisfaction, and everything else that needs to be tracked using just pen and paper.
Or even spreadsheets, phone calls and text messages, for that matter.
Our owner, who to this day admits that he is “non-technical”, eventually admitted that he needed technology.
If you’re beginning to think maybe, just maaaybe, you’re getting to the point in your business where saving time and gaining back control of your day is a priority…
You’re just starting out and want to develop good habits now rather than replacing bad ones later…
Here are 5 signs that suggest you could really benefit from janitorial software:
1) You don’t have time to get everything done in a day
Multitasking, wearing many hats, and working long days is common as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re new to the business.
Until you grow your company enough that you can begin to hire people to focus on specific areas of the business, like office administration, HR, and sales, you will likely have to juggle all of these responsibilities yourself.
But that shouldn’t mean being chained to your phone, on call 24/7, or constantly playing catch-up.
Using janitorial software can give you insights into what areas of your business need attention (which supplies are low at each location? Which cleaners reported issues the night before?) so that you can prioritize and plan your day accordingly.
Example: Troy says that his management team at Maintenance One used to drive from one location to another checking on cleaners without knowing whether or not there was anyone on site at that time. He says that with five managers, they are now saving $10,000 a year plus fuel cost by using Swept.
2) You spend more time putting out fires than growing the business
If you answered yes to the last question, chances are this one is true too.
Having run a janitorial company ourselves, we know how easy it is to come into work in the morning with the best of intentions — plans to update your website or social media channels, plans to request reviews from happy customers, plans to brainstorm opportunities for growth or expansion.
But when you sit down at your desk and you already have 3 missed customer calls, an inbox full of emails, and the phone is ringing with someone requesting a quote… those plans can go out the window pretty quickly.
A great example of how janitorial software can help you get ahead of these things rather than playing catch up each day is by storing all communication from cleaners and clients in one place, according to location. It also allows you to filter your messages to only show those that are urgent, or by another criteria you select such as “problems reported.”
3) You feel your cleaner turnover rate is too high
When asked about their biggest challenges, many cleaning company owners say finding reliable cleaners is more of an issue than retaining the ones they have.
And while hiring certainly can definitely be a frustrating process, we have a sneaky suspicion that retaining cleaners is at the root of the problem. After all, the more cleaners you retain, the fewer you need to hire!
We’ve written a lot of great content about retaining more cleaners, but the biggest lesson to come out of all of it is this:
Cleaners need to feel:
1) recognized and known as a person,
2) like know how to measure their own success at work,
3) that their work matters/impacts the lives of others.
Janitorial software that aims to support the cleaner, improve communication, and help them do their best work can do wonders for your cleaner retention rates.
4) You feel you need to lower your bid to win contracts
If you feel you sometimes need to lower your bid in order to win a contract, you’re not alone. Our research shows that 73% of cleaning company owners say they have felt the need to lower their bid to win a new cleaning contract.
So how can janitorial software help you win more bids without lowering your rates?
The key is to use the mobile app to demonstrate during a walk through how the technology allows you to be a better-managed company than your competitors.
When Swept CEO Michael Brown was still running his janitorial company, this is how he would use Swept software to close more deals:
Step 1: He would enter the prospective clients business into the Swept app as if they had already hired him and he was going to clean their location.
Step 2: He would begin by showing them their name and address in the app, and then he would ask them to take him to the spot in their office that their previous cleaning company had continuously let them down.
Step 3: He would use the app to take a photo of that spot, and then begin to add notes around the photo explaining what was expected of the cleaner in that area.
Prospective clients would be blown away by this level of communication and would admit that it Michael’s team was likely to do a much better job with a tool like that.
5) A client has told you about an issue on site that you felt your cleaner should have communicated to you first
Another common challenge faced by cleaning companies, we call this one the iceberg of ignorance.
(Okay, we didn’t make that up, but it’s pretty clever.)
There are many ways for cleaners to communicate onsite problems to you / your management team.
But often what happens when companies use traditional methods like texting and calling (or spreadsheets — ugh.) is that information gets lost, urgent messages don’t float to the top, cleaners report problems (“hey boss, we’re out of toilet paper!”) but managers have no way of knowing what location they’re at or if someone else has already reported it.
Enter: janitorial software.
Tools like Swept allow you to organize your messages based on the types of problems you’d like to see (ie. urgent, late cleaner, low supplies, etc.) and group them by location via a unique message board for each site that you clean.
How cool is that?
Some Final Thoughts…
At the end of the day, you know your business better than we do! But we’ve also learned over the past few years of building software and talking to cleaning company owners, that it’s easy to see software as something other companies need.
But the more people who use Swept for a specific feature like time tracking, the more who are embracing the bigger, more meaningful change they are seeing in their business, and begin using all the features Swept has to offer.
If you’re among the many who see software as a nice to have but not a need to have, we highly recommend taking Swept for a spin. We would LOVE to help you grow your business too 🙂