5 Reasons Janitorial Companies Struggle to Grow
November 17, 2020
November 17, 2020
There are a few reasons that janitorial companies struggle to grow.
Scaling any kind of company is challenging, but there are a few issues janitorial firms experience that make growth harder on team members. Company leaders can prevent setbacks and guarantee growth when they avoid the common hurdles that janitorial teams might run into.
1. Communication Setbacks
If you’re overseeing a larger firm, most of your team members work at multiple locations in one day.
When your people work remotely, they need a way to stay in touch when they’re out on the job. But some barriers might make communication difficult for teams that need to stay coordinated. Also, “as your business grows, you’re more likely to recruit a diverse workforce,” says Cathy Habas for the Houston Chronicle. “As such, you’ll meet people who are fluent in more than one language, who were raised in cultures different from your own or who need a little more time to comprehend written communications.” But that’s not up to your team members to navigate. “You’ll need to support them and take away any language barriers that might be there. Breaking down culture and language barriers requires the company itself to make an effort.”
If your communication policies are lacking in diversity, your team will need ways to communicate more effectively with you and between each other. “Fortunately, language barriers can be accommodated and overcome,” says Cathy.
You can help by establishing guidelines for team communication: make an effort to consistently check in on your team and support them with software or other tools to help with translating multiple languages.
2. Employee Turnover
Many cleaning companies struggle to grow, even though they’re getting more business these days. According to reports from Research and Markets, “[t]he cleaning and sanitizing of public buildings has taken on a new importance with the Covid-19 crisis. In fact, many contractors are now seeing a boom in business.” But while new clientele brings in more cash flow, that doesn’t change existing issues in the janitorial services industry. “Worker turnover is still high, franchising is still popular, and ‘green cleaning’ and OSHA and ISO certification have become more important.”
Janitorial services firms can retain their employees by engaging with them in consistent ways. That does mean having better communication policies, but you should also consider better employee benefits. Talk to your team directly about what they actually need, to help guarantee that they stick around.
3. Company Not Set Up to Be Scalable
With the surge in business in the janitorial industry, many companies just can’t keep up. That’s usually because a solid structure was never in place to begin with.
But being organized as a business isn’t about having a hierarchy, and “managers should not simply rely on organizational charts to explain work flow and reporting structures,” says Mark Tarallo for the Society for Human Resource Management.
The janitorial services industry has its own nuances, and your team needs to understand what’s expected of them to keep things operating smoothly. Instead of giving out orders to their employees, Mark recommends that managers take a hands-on approach: “They should try to explain the unwritten rules and process quirks regarding how things work.” This can be done in a few ways:
- Take time to set up onboarding processes and training videos for your employees.
- Make your plan for growth transparent to your team.
- Invest in technology to make training and communication easier on everyone, so you have the tools in place to keep your growth going.
4. Missing Out on Client Referrals
Businesses across all industries miss out on referrals, but it’s a great method for securing more clients, especially in the janitorial industry. “Once you prioritize getting referrals and teach your salespeople how to make it happen, you’ll see big results,” says Steli Efti for Forbes.
Often, your clients just don’t think of sharing about their experience, but you can set yourself up for success by making referrals a priority in your sales process. Ask new clients if they can think of others who might need janitorial services. Engage with them through client messaging apps that encourage open communication. You can also encourage referrals by offering discounts on your services.
“Build strong habits, and it will revolutionize your company,” says Steli.
5. Lack of Tools to Support Team
Keeping your team on the same page is crucial for scaling your firm. But janitorial companies struggle to grow because they can’t do that: from supply tracking to scheduling, there are many moving parts in janitorial services.
“One of the primary benefits of effective communication is that it helps identify problems early so that they can be fixed with minimal disruption,” according to HubSpot. “This only happens if employees feel like they can truly share their feedback. Otherwise, the problems are simply going to fester.”
There are tools created just for the janitorial services industry that will help your team communicate about projects (or problems) that might come up. Giving your team and clients a way to reach out can address issues more immediately, instead of letting them “fester.”
Guarantee Your Company Growth
Planning for growth (before you start to scale) pays off big.
For janitorial services teams, solutions for company growth often boil down to solutions for communication. Many janitorial companies struggle to grow, and Swept was created as a platform for these companies. It supports your team members in a few ways:
- Giving your janitorial team tools to help them communicate more clearly
- Helping them manage projects and communication on the job
- Empowering your team to make decisions instead of letting issues build up
See how the right tools can make growing your company easier. Take a test run of Swept to see how we can support you while you scale!
Swept’s janitorial software helps janitorial company owners build trust with clients and get ahead of the competition by giving them the tools they need to spend more time managing their business and less time working in it.
To see how Swept can help your janitorial company grow, schedule a free demonstration with one of our experts today!