A reader writes: “We have a lot of small accounts (under 55,000 square feet) across several states. It is difficult to manage these accounts and we are having difficulties finding local help. Any suggestions?”

You must be a large operation if you consider 55,000 SF “small” but I understand the challenges you are facing in this particular situation. First of all, your base is in another state and you will need to invest in setting up a state office or sub-contracting the distant accounts to a local cleaning service. Each of these options have challenges and you will have to conduct and ROI (Return on Investment) study to determine which will work in your situation. If you set up a local office you will need to staff it and fund it with the goal of adding more business to support the initial investment. Your local person should have set goals of adding new business close to current accounts so they can manage them better. At first, the one or two accounts you have will also have to cover his/her expenses which may severely eat into your margins. The second alternative is to identify a small “Mom and Pop” cleaning service that you can sub-contract to perform the custodial services. One major benefit is if they are dependable you can simply check on the occasionally and cut a check each month. Of course, the challenge will be to pay them good enough to keep them on board. You will need to have your legal people generate a no-compete and confidentiality agreement with them to protect your interests.

We will continue this discussion in a future article.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net