What Are The Biggest Opportunities For Cleaning and Security Contractors Now?

TEAM Software by WorkWave was excited to participate in the 2023 Beyond Service User Conference in Orlando, Florida.

We took key themes from the conference and distilled them down to the cleaning and security industries. 

The result? 

A list of five actionable opportunities your company can review, adjust and implement for stronger performance this year and into the future. 

1. Invest in hiring. 

Labor shortages remain a big challenge for cleaning and security contractors. When we say “invest in hiring” – we don’t necessarily mean only in a financial sense. Invest in your hiring strategies the same way you invest in your sales and marketing efforts. 

Build awareness and make a conscious effort to position yourself as an employer of choice. Build separate recruiting websites that focus on company culture, employee benefits and work experiences. Tell a clear story about how any potential hire adds value to your company’s vision. Communicate clearly what success looks like and the value you are bringing to that employee, too. It could vary based on the applicant and could mean emphasizing wages, flexible scheduling and shifts, type of contract assignments or benefits. 

Rethink recruitment using marketing. Take a look at how to do it in this on-demand webinar

Be strategic with how you are targeting “leads” (applicants). The same tools you use to generate leads in your sales funnel – SEO, PPC, social media campaigns, emails – can be tweaked to add value to your hiring process. Don’t forget about the potential of a rehire market, too. Some employees who may have churned over the past few years in hopes of higher wages may be looking to reenter the market after meeting less favorable working conditions or expectations in other industries. 

Ensure your hiring process goes smoothly by using an applicant tracking and onboarding system to streamline your newhire’s experience. The right software solution can help companies find qualified, prospective applicants and onboards them in a way that sets them up for retention from day one. 

Read more about labor trends and applications for hiring and retention in TEAM Software by WorkWave’s recent data report

2. Rethink retention. 

We’ve all heard it before: the best solution to hiring challenges is strong retention. Yet in industries with 100-400% annual churn rates, that’s easier said than done. Add the potential of short-term economic issues into the mix and some solutions – like raising wages – will seem out of reach. 

One option to quickly add value to employee benefits – without impacting cash flow or reserves – is through earned wage access. 

Earned wage access provides a way for employees to receive payment for hours worked, without having to wait for the next pay cycle to process. At TEAM Software by WorkWave, we have earned wage access integrations with select workforce management software solutions, which also means your existing payroll processes can continue as usual – even as your employees are paid on demand. 

In an economy impacted by rising inflation, fuel and energy costs, access to wages on demand can mean the difference between an employee being able to secure transportation (whether that’s public transportation, or fuel for their own vehicle) to get them to their job location on time. Companies are experiencing the ripple effects this reliability has on contract coverage

This kind of reliability directly impacts customer satisfaction, too. When it boils down to it, this kind of strategy could have positive ripple effects on both employee and customer retention. 

3. Maximize profits. 

Many cleaning and security contractors are experiencing clients who are scaling back on the scope of work included in their contracts, especially as some types of service locations (like Class A office buildings) are operating at lessened capacity. 

Knowing there’s a possibility of loss of revenue off of those contracts scaling down, take the time to see if there are opportunities to broaden service scope. For a cleaning company, for example, proactively market add-on services like high dusting or stripping and waxing floors. In the security industry, you can increase specialty services or expand geo-parameters on jobs based on events or anticipated traffic.

Broadening the scope of services you can provide can equal incremental revenue streams to widen your bottom line. 

4. Find niche markets. 

While recessions are a hot topic, the economy will naturally flux in the years to come. 

Look at your revenue opportunity year-over-year, identifying any niche, “recession-proof” markets as you go. This could include areas like healthcare cleaning, where demands remain strong even in a recession. Or, government or educational institutions may have ongoing needs, regardless of market conditions.

This doesn’t necessarily equal breaking into a new market (although it can). Start by having transparent conversations with your current customers. Chances are, their needs have changed since your initial contract negotiations. 

By proactively discussing these needs, you can address changing priorities before scaledown services occur. Through this process, you could discover adjacent service opportunities to add to your existing delivery model when the economy drives short-term revenue down. 

5. Create efficiencies. 

In the software industry, we often talk about how implementing the right tool can create efficiencies, maximize profits and drive growth. 

That’s 100% true. For example, a software that connects scheduling, time and attendance, and payroll can save administrative time, improve employee engagement and satisfaction, and ultimately save money on a company’s bottom line. It breaks down data silos and ensures your entire company is working from the same source information. It improves operational efficiency, which directly links to your customer retention

But efficiencies aren’t only driven internally. From an external standpoint, explore ways to create efficiencies with your customer portfolio. 

Streamline work requests and payment options. Provide clear reporting and proof of service initiatives. Create a strong online presence for potential customers, and an incredibly reliable support and customer service team who can become advocates for your customers and their needs. 

By streamlining and improving internal and external processes, your company will be able to retain business, build long-term relationships and earn more word of mouth referrals as the market improves.