It’s Time to Grow Your Business!
Every year presents its own challenges for cleaning businesses. Nearly every cleaning business owner we spoke to in 2019 mentioned hiring quality staff as a top challenge as the economy boomed and the talent pool seemed to continue to shrink. There is no need to list all of the challenges the cleaning industry has faced in 2020, but one seemingly dark cloud truly does have a silver lining:
A down economy is a great opportunity to grow your business.
What? But my business is down 30% in 2020 because of COVID-19! Almost without exception, most cleaning businesses lost 40-60% of their existing recurring cleaning clients in mid-March when the first of the lockdowns began and uncertainty ruled the headlines. And, yes, many of those clients have yet to return and many may never come back. And that’s ok.
We now know more about COVID-19. Our fears have been mitigated a bit as we have been able to find ways to safely and responsibly continue to deliver services. As much as we’ve learned as business owners, so have our clients. And new prospects certainly have accepted the new way of doing business or else they wouldn’t be calling in the first place.
Your cleaning business likely has only a fraction of the market share in your area. It’s just the nature of small business. We mention this to illustrate that even in a down economy, you always have room to grow. Established businesses who are able to market and advertise even when things are tough stand to substantially grow their market share.
None of us wants to see a business fail, but the fact of the matter is that when there is a downtown in the economy, your weakest competition is likely to struggle even more than your established business. When a competitor closes, their clients will still need cleaning services – yet another opportunity for you to grow.
It’s time to get into growth mode.
It all starts with your mindset. Trust in yourself. Trust that all of the work you’ve done to create a successful cleaning business will carry you through the tough times. Trust that you will not only survive but you can thrive because your business is built on a solid foundation. Be smart and try to maintain the ability to be flexible as things can quickly change in uncertain economic times. Be nimble, but be aggressive.
It’s also a great time to review everything within your operation to potentially reduce inefficiencies. Trim the fat, so to speak.
Review your supply chain to make sure you are getting the best deals possible. In a down economy, even your vendors are feeling the impact. Leverage your buying power whenever possible.
Review your current advertising efforts to ensure you are getting a return on your investment. If you’re not sure whether something is working, it likely isn’t. Consider growing your marketing and advertising in channels that can easily be measured and provide you the ability to adjust your expenditures quickly as needed. (Google Ads is a great example!) Do not commit to long term contracts.
Review your hiring and training systems and do what you can to get them firing on all cylinders. One of the biggest silver linings of an economic downturn is that the quality of your new hires will dramatically increase. Build your dream team!
Have a vision and realize that vision.
You’ve heard the old adage “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.” Similarly, you must have the mindset that your business is going to continue to grow regardless of external forces beyond your control. It is important to remember that there are still customers out there and if you’re positioned to earn their business, you truly can grow your business even under the toughest of circumstances. And once things improve, you’ll feel like your business is a rocket ship just waiting to launch into the stratosphere!
Known as The Maid Coach, Debbie Sardone is America’s top cleaning business consultant. Debbie helps owners of residential cleaning companies build a 7-figure dream business, with a 6-figure income and the freedom in their lives that they deserve.