The contract cleaning industry is lucky...only about half the companies fail in five years. This is a whole lot better than restaurants. It is estimated that 80 percent of restaurants are long gone in five years.
However, the reasons a restaurant fails and why a cleaning company closes can be totally different.   Complicating issues, some of the reasons a contract cleaning company fails are essentially secret...the owner is unaware of these issues until it's too late.
Because of this, this month's Business of the Business Advisory from Tornado, manufacturers of professional cleaning equipment, offers the following "Top Five 'Secret' Reasons Cleaning Companies Fail" and how to possibly avoid them.
No marketing. Marketing is part of doing business; it is conducted when you need new accounts and even when you have all that you can handle. Set aside a specific number of hours for marketing every week.
Outdated SEO. Many contractors update their website every two, three, or more years and then forget about it; however, Google and other search engines are updating their search engine algorithms every few months. Have an SEO expert update your site at least once per year.
No customer retention policy. It is not uncommon for customers to say they have neither seen nor heard from their cleaning contractor since the day he was hired. This invisibility makes it easy for customers to fire you. Make a regular date with your clients and let them know you care about their business and their cleaning needs.
Slow collections. Don't be embarrassed to contact slow-paying clients. When a customer does not pay you promptly, they are costing you money. Send out a polite but straightforward second notice request if a payment is 30 days past due.
Poor staff training: This is probably the number one killer of contract cleaning companies. Poorly trained workers typically results in a revolving door cleaning one new customer is retained, two leave. Training and ongoing training are crucial in order for a cleaning company to survive and thrive.