Positioning Your Business for Success Going Forward
As the initial crisis moves behind us and you look ahead, you might be wondering what comes next for your cleaning or security business.
Some things for you haven’t changed lately, like tight overhead, high labor costs and intense competition. But on top of the familiar challenges, now there are additional ones. How do you bring in income when your customers’ businesses are still closed or operating at a reduced capacity? How do you prevent laying off your office staff, guards and cleaners? How do you keep your business relevant and essential right now? Here’s a roundup of answers from conversations with our cleaning and security customers.
Back-to-work best practices
Positioning your business for success going forward means being adaptable to changing circumstances. New back-to-work best practices are being discussed for cleaning and security businesses alike. Here’s we’ve heard:
- Phasing people back into sites, limiting group sizes and having policies in place for visitors.
- Improving safety by providing masks and hand sanitation stations, and having stock of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) before phasing people back in.
- Verifying health with screening surveys and new plans for if an employee gets sick.
- Increasing cleaning schedules in high-touch areas and more frequent deep cleans.
- Maintaining distance by using technology solutions like video conferencing when possible and removing tables and chairs in common areas.
- Instituting processes when employees arrive at work like hand washing and sanitizing of workspaces.
- Reworking office spaces by remapping physical layouts and rerouting foot traffic.
Shifting work to bridge the gap
Shifting focus on the types of jobs and repeatable work your company offers can help you bridge the gap until things “return to normal.”
Cleaning companies are reducing the number of hours spent on basic cleaning (like stripping and waxing floors) and instead are focusing on offering more opportunities to deep clean and sanitize high touch-point areas. They’re also adding more technology to clean like electrostatic sprayers, ozone generators and UV lights, and are providing additional training and certifications to handle such equipment. They’re also learning new ways of disinfection using new types of chemicals, dwell times, application methods, and safety and cross contamination procedures.
Security companies are also working to help their clients navigate through the unknowns and secure their businesses in different ways than they used to. They’re increasingly responsible for conducting health screenings as visitors and employees enter workplaces, educating and training on new equipment like thermal screening technologies and enforcing social distancing.
Emerging coalitions and risk mitigation groups
In addition to new procedures and offerings, we’re also seeing groups forming within the cleaning and security industries aimed at increasing employee safety.
The Cleaning Coalition of America was created to ensure professional cleaners have priority access to PPE including disinfectants, gloves, masks, hand sanitizers and other materials needed to combat the spread of coronavirus. The coalition provides well-defined regulatory guidance and clear oversight around liability for companies and organizations involved in the front-line fight against coronavirus and expand healthcare coverage for workers to ensure they have access to healthcare and protection from COVID-19 related illness at no cost to them. It also provides additional funds in the form of grants or tax credits to keep professional cleaners on the payroll so cleaning companies can get public places cleaned and ready for everyday use before the economy reopens.
Many security businesses are starting risk mitigation groups within their companies and consulting with clients on addressing real-time security risks. We’re also seeing an uptick in hospitality security and an increase in preparedness and differing compliance requirements when it comes to acts of violence being committed against organizations and security guards themselves as they care for the community.
Hiring, Recruiting and Retention
Cleaners and security guards are essential workers. Because of that, the cleaning and security industries are currently seeing a rise in employment. When other businesses are closed or struggling to keep employees, cleaning companies are hiring and need more people to handle the rise in basic and deep cleaning needs. And in the security industry, there’s a rise in the need for security management and help enforcing COVID-19 social distancing and screening requirements. Early on, these positions in both industries were seen as temporary. But now these newly created positions will be long-term and full-time since their services will be required for the foreseeable future as states begin to open back up and new routines are established.
Normal might still be a long way off and likely won’t look like what you’re used to. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find success in the new normal. The future world will rely on adaptable cleaning and janitorial business like yours to provide the services it needs to stay healthy, clean and secure.
For more information on what comes next for your cleaning or security business, read the rest of the posts in our COVID-19 blog series:
- How Assessing Your Business Now Can Help You in the Future
- Essential Tools for Essential Services
- Five Essential COVID-19 Forms for Cleaning Contractors to Use Right Now
- Six Essential COVID-19 Forms for Security Contractors to Use Right Now
- Mobile Tools for Essential Services like Cleaning and Security
- Three Tips for Engaging your Workforce Through Technology
- The Essentials of COVID-19 Paid Leave Changes for Your Workforce
- Why Technology for Cleaning and Security Contractors Matters Now
- Reporting During and After COVID-19