This is the one hundredth posting and requires a time for reflection.  My goal has been to share information relevant to the end user but then I realized that there are so many different types who may read these articles. 

Questions have come from individuals wanting to start a cleaning service, employees of large companies, chemical and equipment distributors, consultants and many others involved in the cleaning industry.  Each had different needs and different questions. 

Following are some suggestions that summarize what I attempted to say in past articles:

• Love what you do and do what you love.

• Know your numbers since you must make a profit to stay in business.

• Know your productivity rates and always ask “Can I do better?”

• Have high standards for yourself and for your company even if it means losing a bid on the first try.

• Read the contract carefully and then read it again since an assumption can be financially fatal.

• Treat your workers as the highly regarded team members they are since they have more contact with tenants and customers than you do.

• Go green and don’t look back.  It is the right thing to do.

• Think safety first, second and last.  It will pay back in so many ways.

• Invest in yourself and your company by reading, attending trade shows, asking questions and finding a mentor who can show you the ropes.

• Find someone you can mentor either in business or simply in life’s challenges.

• Find ways of exceeding expectations whenever possible without regard to immediate reward.

• Remember that if you take care of the (right) customer, the money will take care of itself.

• Find a first rate distributor/partner and make sure they earn your business every day.

• Invest in good, dependable equipment that will last and make your workers more productive.

• Invest in training of your workers so that they know the XYZ Company’s way of cleaning which sets you apart from the crowd.

• Read the One Minute Manage and practice one minute praises and one minute reprimands.

• Invest in training your supervisory staff so that they can do a better job that you.

• Realize you cannot do everything so practice delegation and remember where the buck stops as to accountability.  

• Remember that your number one cost is custodial services is labor (with benefits) so find ways of making each worker more productive.

• Periodically review all your contracts, retune where possible and fire the ones that are a drain on time, energy and other resources.  The best way to fire them is by asking for an increase that will make them worth keeping if they accept and a relief if they don’t.

• You will never know until you try.

• Eat right, exercise and stay healthy since all the wealth in the world is no substitute for a long, healthy life with friends and family.

I thank everyone for taking the time to read the last one hundred articles and wish you every success in the days ahead.  These are exciting times with opportunities and challenges every day.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.  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