Have today the answers to a question that I get asked an awful lot by people who want to know not only what are the best types of commercial accounts to go after, but what are the ones that they should avoid. I have a list of 7 Commercial Cleaning Accounts to Avoid that over my 23 years and counting working in the commercial cleaning industry I have found are ones that you want to avoid like the plague.
First step on my list of 7 Commercial Cleaning Accounts to Avoid is doctors and dentists. I have found doctors and dentists to be, how shall I say, some what of a sort of a know-it-all type of personality. They are hard to please. They tend to be cheap, particularly doctors. I think maybe it’s not really their fault. I think that doctors are singled out by a lot of different types of salespeople as easy marks. So doctors have become really, very weary. They just try really hard to try to strike a bargain, to try to negotiate with you. Try to cut corners, and as a result of that it’s just made them really difficult as clients to deal with. So in my experience I have found them to be cheap, to be hard to deal with.
The other thing is that when you’re looking at doctors and doctors offices, doctors and dental offices. They tend to have a lot more hard floor as opposed to carpeting, and of course hard floor takes more time. Carpeting is a one-step process which vacuuming, a hard floor is a two-step process of both sweeping and mopping. So you know a 20,000 square feet of a doctor or dentist is going to take longer than 20,000 square feet of white collar office space. So for all those reasons I have found over the years that doctors and dentists are not the kind of people that I typically go after for commercial accounts.
Next up on my list is retail of any sort.
So that would include you know grocery stores, department stores, drugstores, any kind of a retail store where they have merchandise for sale I have found to be a type of account that I want to avoid. One of the main reasons is that because they have merchandise for sale, and they are interested in avoiding shrink/theft. You know their merchandise walking out the door. So they’re not going to want to give you a key to get in and out of there. It’s going to make accessing it a nightmare for you. So retailers are out.
Also call centers are out.
Call centers tend to be run 24/7. So it may be a nice piece of square footage, but when you take into the account the fact that they are running two or three shifts of people as opposed to one eight-hour shift, it’s going to be two or three times as dirty as a comparable amount of square footage. For that reason I have found them to be hard to keep clean satisfactorily, and typically the managers there don’t want to pay what it’s really going to cost to keep them clean the way they want.
Next up on the list are salons.
By salons I mean nail salons, beauty salons, hair salons, tanning salons, any of those. The margins in that industry are super tight. Hair salons are a particular nightmare because no matter how hard you try you will never get up all of the hair out of the floor. If you’re also doing the waxing and stripping in that job, it becomes an absolute nightmare. So salons are out.
Next up is restaurants.
Restaurants tend to have a lot of grease and food sort of dirt. Which is more difficult to clean than white collar type of dirt. The other issue that you’re going to have with restaurants is that they will typically have a person already on staff, some low paid employee working at or around minimum wage like a dishwasher that they’ve been paying to do the janitorial work. That person doesn’t want to do it because they don’t really want to be in the cleaning industry, they want to be in the food service industry. But the restaurant owner is used to paying a very low wage to get the cleaning done. So when you come in wanting you know wanting twenty seven, twenty eight, or even thirty dollars an hour for your workers, whether you say that or not, they are going to be really hard to convince to pay the kind of rates that you need to make it profitable. We have two more to go.
Bars and clubs are another of the 7 Commercial Cleaning Accounts to Avoid.
One of the reasons is because they typically want you to come in super late at night, at like two, three, four o’clock in the morning, so it’s hard to staff. The other reason is that they don’t typically want to have the kind of regular service that I want. They tend to want two or three days of service per week, and to me that’s not ideal. I prefer a client that is five to seven days per week. Then the lighting in bars and clubs tends to be bad. Even when all the lights are on it is difficult to get it clean. You’re likely to be dealing with some biohazard especially around the restroom and bar areas. Again you’re going to have difficulty accessing them because of the retail value of the liquor that’s their on-site so they’re is going to be access issues. Then last but not least, they are just really really grubby. They get really dirty, you’re going to be having people vomiting, blood, urine. It’s not going to be a nice clean.
Then last 7 Commercial Cleaning Accounts on my list to Avoid is super large square footage spaces that are being offered for rent by either a property manager or a landlord.
Those seem to be very appealing because it’s a hundred thousand square feet, 500,000 square feet, a million square feet. But when the person that is paying the bill is actually really sort of throwing in the janitorial service as a freebie to the tenants, they tend to really squeeze you for every penny. Because the tenants are more motivated by things like location and amenities in the building, than they are by the quality of the janitorial services. So because of that the property manager or the landlord is going to want to pay as little as they can get away with for janitorial services. They’re not going to really be as interested in getting a high quality job done as somebody who is paying for the cleaning of the office that they actually are occupying. So giant square footage complexes or high-rises that are being managed by property managers and landlords are also a no-no.
That is it for the 7 commercial cleaning accounts that you would want to avoid like the plague that I know from my 23 years and counting of experience offering commercial office cleaning here in Las Vegas Nevada.