While the leveraging of digital platforms can open the doors to new customers, keeping them past one job is often challenging. Through different experiences, each of these leaders came to the conclusion that diversifying services is key to surviving in the industry.

For Kilgore, it was the loss of his biggest client just months into taking over Simply Right that shaped his perspective on expanding services and clientele. Although the loss of the customer came at the hands of a company merger and going in-house to no fault of their own, Kilgore was left to fill a revenue gap of $6 million, annually.

"Fortunately, we had been pivoting into other avenues prior to losing them, but it was that moment that truly made me realize that having one main client can be a death nail," he says.

When diversifying, Kilgore says it's important to take note of company strengths and familiarities to see what sectors are easiest to adopt. For Simply Right, a previous emphasis on movie theatre cleaning easily shifted to a focus on construction and other larger scale projects amid the pandemic.

“We realized if we could clean something as filthy as a movie theatre, we could clean anything,” he says. “Our non-janitorial division of special projects, which is everything from window cleaning, electrostatic spraying and carpet cleaning, has really taken off since the pandemic. Construction cleaning in particular has secured us several big contracts, because construction never stops.”

Weg and MSNW have experienced similar success pivoting services during the pandemic due to their previous experience with clients in the healthcare and information technology (IT) sectors. By having similar protocols already on the BSC's resume prior to the rise in commercial disinfection, Weg says it gave them a huge leg up in convincing customers to introduce or expand services in a competitive landscape.

She also credits her partnership with the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) for helping MSNW stay ahead of the curve on disinfection training and protocols. Through collaboration with other BSCs and disinfection experts, the organization helped to develop a thorough COVID-19 training and disinfection program that became a valuable differential when securing new customers.

The program, which MSNW has implemented since September, provides officially licensed and mandatory training for all employees.

"It helped us provide comfort for our clients because we know the proper chemicals, dwell time and personal protective equipment," says Weg. "It was comforting for our customer base to know that we've been doing a variation of these processes for decades."

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