Periodically I like to get back to the basics of cleaning since we all can benefit from reminders along the way for the steps necessary to clean a facility effectively and safely. How we manage our time and how we operate on a day-to-day basis is just as important as correct cleaning procedures. For instance, what do you do within your company and what should you be doing instead?

When most of us started out, we wore all the hats including salesperson, custodian, floor tech, bill collector, networking guru and even equipment maintenance. If something had to be done, we did it while trying to find a balance with our personal and family lives. We put in horrendous hours simply because that was necessary to fulfill all the deliverables and bring in an income from the services provided. We oftentimes would work until four or five in the morning, go home, shower, change clothes, eat a quick breakfast and be out visiting current customers or soliciting new business.

As we added staff (usually part time custodial staff) we focused on the key accounts and tasks such as floor work that included carpet care, strip/recoating and possibly buffing/burnishing hard floors. We personally responded to complaints as well as requests while always on the lookout for new opportunities. When we weren't taking care of the 941 report/payment we were double checking to make sure that there was enough funds in the bank to cover payroll and other obligations. Finally the day arrived when we were able to hire a part time secretary to answer the phone, generate invoices and help with payroll.

If we had only known before the time and effort involved in starting a cleaning business we probably would have hesitated. Isn't it great that we didn't know? 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