frustrated woman is overwhelmed trying to keep her business clean.

How to Avoid Getting Caught in Cleaning Quicksand

After the Covid pandemic many businesses developed a new appreciation for cleanliness.  With the added attention placed upon janitorial services many companies have come to realize that their business falls woefully short of expectations.  Two common reasons for this include self-performed janitorial and cut-rate commercial cleaning contracts.  These scenarios can sometimes lead to ‘cleaning quicksand’; a situation in which cleaning conditions get so bad that it can be difficult to correct course and as such, business is negatively affected.  This can be frustrating if repeated complaints are received or urgent help is needed with restorative cleaning.  In this post we’ll explore how to avoid getting caught in cleaning quicksand.

How Self-performed Janitorial can Create Cleaning Quicksand.

Many small companies choose to clean their own place of business.  And justifiably so, as this can keep operating costs down and employees busy during downtime. However, problems can arise when larger sized companies or facilities with more complex cleaning needs try to self-perform the cleaning.  Why is scale of operation an issue?  In short: more people, more problems.

Having a larger sized staff or a business that’s bustling with customer activity comes with a host of cleaning challenges.  Some common refrains we hear include employees leaving dirty dishes for somebody else (some people’s children!) Coffee dribbled onto the carpet (shoulder shrug)?  Customers tracking leaves into the lobby (…I’d take care it, but I’ve got a deadline!)  Eventually you can write your name in the dust and those carpet spots will have your hallways looking like cheetah print.  This is never a good look, and in a post Covid world people will notice.

To fix the situation you might ask Al or Peggy to work overtime in order to get things looking good again.  An added expense.  And how do you prevent this situation from happening again? 

Frustrated woman asks for help in keeping the office clean.  She is caught in 'cleaning quicksand.'

Commercial cleaning is not as easy as it seems. A trip to the dollar store and a few extra hours of elbow grease will not be successful in the long term.  Professional cleaners utilize specific tools and techniques that will get the job done easier and quicker.  Quality commercial cleaning tools are ergonomic, efficient, and durable.  Additionally, much of cleaning is seeing.  Successful commercial cleaning takes a trained eye.  On top of everything else, the cleaning must be periodically inspected for quality control.  Collectively,  maintaining quality, consistent cleaning requires motivated cleaners. Staying on top of these things can be difficult for a small business owner. 

When considering cleaning service quotes, keep in mind that service options are nearly endless. Professional cleaning as little as one time per week is enough to keep some businesses looking just fine.  

Avoid cleaning quicksand by hiring a professional cleaner.

How Cut-Rate Service Contracts can Create Cleaning Quicksand.

Cut-rate commercial cleaning companies may underbid a job just to get your business. Some will do this by underestimating how long it will actually take to get a business properly cleaned. 

If the cut-rate contract doesn’t allow for a big enough budget, then labor is simply reduced.  As such, you’ll receive poor-quality cleaning. 

In some cases low bidders will go in and immediately look to cut corners on the cleaning in order to maximize profitability.  They’ll do this in an effort to keep their labor costs down.  And they’ll do this at your expense.   If the service provider doesn’t have enough time to get the job done right, then you’ll eventually be caught in cleaning quicksand.  This is because you’ll be getting nothing more than a quick and easy ‘trash ‘n dash’ cleaning service.

As an example, a trash ‘n dash cleaning might consist of nothing more than walking around and taking care of the basics like emptying trash and filling dispensers.  They might forego vacuuming and dusting altogether.  In the long-run, this is not a sustainable situation.  Dust will build up.  Corners and edges of the floors will get greasy and grimy.  Cobwebs on the ceiling will lead to an increase in insect activity.  These problems will only get worse with time. Before you know it you’ll be hearing cleaning complaints from customers, or you’ll read about them online.  

When considering cleaning service bids, it might be tempting to award the contract to the low bidder. After all, it’s cheaper! But beware, when comparing apples to apples the substantially cheaper cleaning contract can be a red flag.  That company might promise the world, but in some cases they will deliver a bare-minimum service.  

To combat this, come prepared with questions when vetting service providers.  Ask how much time they think it will take to get your business clean each service.  Ask if they have the ability to help with carpet, window, or floor cleaning needs if needed. Do your homework and take a look at their digital clout.  What are their online reviews saying? Do they have a website? Are they licensed, bonded and insured?

Taking time up front to ensure that a business is adequately qualified will pay dividends in the long run.  And it will help you avoid the conundrum of falling into cleaning quick sand!

If you have question on how to avoid getting caught in cleaning quicksand, contact one of our service consultants today.