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Changes that Can Change Your Business for the Better New!

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By Erin L. Lasch, CAE | December 23, 2021 << Back to Articles Changes that Can Change Your Business for the Better

We all know the story—we see it every day. Residential cleaning company owners are struggling to hire, sometimes turning away business when staffing needs cannot be met. Are you turning away business? Are you still struggling to hire?

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken us on a roller-coaster ride over the last two years, and it appears that we are not getting off just yet. So that means that we may have to change some of our business practices, so that we can take advantage of the current landscape and help our business to succeed.

“Business is exploding, which is awesome. But it’s frustrating because we can’t hire fast enough,” Debbie Sardone, owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service, Speed Cleaning, and Debbie Sardone Consulting LLC, told attendees at ARCSI’s town hall Best Practices for Hiring in a Strained Marketplace in August. “I want to provide you with hope, not excuses.”

Change is necessary

Sardone noted three things about the current business landscape for our residential cleaning company owners, saying that “nothing changes until you change.”

  1. This is not new. We have faced hiring challenges before—it’s just different. Cleaning companies have long been facing staff shortages. Solving the problem starts with not blaming external factors.
  2. It’s not them. It’s you! Most chronic business problems are not external. The pandemic caused a weird spike. You will not solve the problem if you are looking in the wrong direction. It’s your job as the owner to manage capacity and opportunity.
  3. Speed is the new currency. The speed of change seems to be happening at an even faster pace than ever before. The pandemic changed the pace of the problem. Because of ISSA, we are in the middle of a cleaning business economic boom.

Raise your prices, raise your pay

As we compete right now for employees, Sardone offered insight to attendees, explaining how the time may be optimal to not only raise your cleaning prices, but also to raise the pay for your cleaners. “If you haven’t raised your prices in six months, your rates are already outdated. I would say if you haven’t raised the rates in three months, they are outdated,” Sardone explained. “It’s called survival. It’s not personal. It’s business.”

A priority for you as you raise your rates is ensuring your legacy clients understand the need for the increase. Sardone suggested sending a letter to them expressing your refusal to lower your hiring standards despite the hiring crisis.

Sardone also suggested raising the pay for the employees you have as well, not just for new hires.  “Remember, if you raise your prices, you can invest more in your employees.”

Hiring career cleaners

Once you have great employees, you need to keep them. Competitive wages and great benefits are an excellent start.

“You can have career cleaners if you do it right,” Sardone explained. “Think of recruiting as marketing. Shift some of those marketing dollars over to employee recruitment.”

Another way to set your business apart from the competition is benefits. ARCSI members have access to money-saving member benefits, from savings on workers’ comp insurance to cleaning supplies. Visit https://arcsi.org/discounts/ for more details.

Miss the town hall?

In addition to Debbie Sardone, the ARCSI town hall featured:

  • RJ Patel, owner, PCT Clean, moderator.
  • John Nothdurft, ISSA Director of Government Affairs.
  • Yusuf Mehmetoglu, owner, Maid Bright.

If you missed ARCSI’s town hall, visit the Webinar Library at arcsilearning.issa.com.


About the Author.

Erin Lasch is the ARSCI program manager for ISSA. She has worked with ARCSI since 2014 and oversees the residential cleaning programs, services, and events at ISSA. She can be reached at 224-534-5061 or [email protected].