If you are looking for a cleaning service, you are hiring a company to make your life easier. In order for that to happen you need someone that is excellent at their job, reliable and thorough. Hiring the wrong cleaning service can cost you time and money and cause more problems than they solve. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process of hiring a cleaning company.
First and foremost identify your needs
What you need will help dictate who is best equipped to meet those needs. Does your business need nightly cleaning or weekly? Do you have high traffic areas that need specialized cleaning on a regular basis? What are your scheduling needs to avoid disruption of business or interference with customers? What are your expectations; do they include windows, deep cleaning, carpets, etc.? Do you have specialized product needs, such as safety considerations for pets or children? What is your allocated budget? These are all questions you should consider before you pick up the phone to interview your first cleaning company.
Ask about staffing
One of the biggest challenges in hiring a cleaning company is having a consistent and trustworthy staff. Because you are considering outsourcing your cleaning needs, this can be challenging. The cleaning crew will not be a direct hire of yours. This means they need to be carefully vetted by the cleaning service. Background checks should be performed by any company you are interviewing. In addition, you should ask about turnover. It is always preferable to have the same personnel attend to your cleaning needs so that you can establish trust and rapport with that team.
Vet the products
There are a wide range of cleaning products available from gentle and child friendly to highly toxic but will kill almost any germ. If you are running a plastic surgery office, your cleaning needs and types of product will differ from those of an elementary school.
If you run a licensed business, you need to familiarize yourself with chemical restrictions and standards set by any pertinent regulatory agency, such as OSHA, to ensure you follow required guidelines. Your cleaning service will need to do the same. Request a copy of all cleaning products and their ingredients used and review them for any potential issues. You should also request notifications for any new products before they are used at your business site.
Get a written, detailed list of what is included
This is particularly important when you are comparing estimates. If one company quotes you a monthly rate that is higher but includes more services, it may be worth the additional expense. Having a comprehensive list of what is included in your contract also helps you hold the company accountable if there are any items skipped and protects the cleaning services from additional service requests without review for possible additional compensation.
Is there any preparation needed on your part?
Just as a house cleaner may request that you pick up toys or keep pets in a specific spot while they clean; your prospective business cleaning service may have a to do list for you in order to maximize their efforts. If carpet cleaning is part of your needs, furniture may need to be moved at the end of every business day. If you request a monthly deep linoleum cleaning, you may be expected to clear furniture off of the floor. You will want to know about any of these expectations in advance so that you can plan and allocate resources accordingly.
Look for strong communication skills
Communication is important in any relationship and it is especially true for an employer/employee dynamic. To be able to express your expectations as well as any issues that may occur, you need to have an open dialogue with the cleaning company you select. This is why an interview is so important. You will want to select a company that has the same emphasis on communication so that if problems arise, you will already have a foundation in place to discuss them before they get out of hand.
Interview at least three possible companies
Whoever said “time is money” wasn’t wrong, but sometimes spending a little more time on the front end can save you hours or even days on the backend. While you may not feel like you have the spare time to interview multiple companies, selecting the best company for the job is worth the extra effort. Your customers or clients will judge their impressions of your business, in part based on the presentation of it and this includes the level of cleanliness maintained. Taking the time to interview at least three companies also gives you several styles and estimates to choose from.
Reach out for referrals
Ask your neighborhood businesses or friends if they have a cleaning company that they love. You will still want to follow all of the other steps listed here but having a testimonial from someone you know and trust may quickly put you in contact with a company that can meet your needs. Conversely, you may also receive advice on which companies to avoid. If you don’t have any direct referrals available you can also do research on the internet to look for feedback and reviews.
Look carefully at the fine print and avoid long term contracts, at least initially
Be sure to read any proposed contracts carefully and ask for a trial period. By avoiding any long term commitments, you maintain the freedom to discontinue the services if they are not meeting your standards. If you follow all the previously listed tips you will hopefully not run into any issues, but things happen. Make sure you are not stuck in a long term contract that can prevent you from hiring and firing a cleaning company as you deem necessary.
Running a business is a job that requires heart and hard work. The cleanliness of your establishment is important for licensing, sanitation but especially for the image it projects to prospective customers. Take that presentation seriously and use these tips to hire a cleaning service that will take care of your business as if it were their own.