Orig Post cleaningbusinesstoday.com | Re-Post System4 Indy 2/23/2016
Following years of challenge and change, the cleaning industry prepares for a promising future. But there’s a catch: those who wish to capitalize on emerging opportunities must learn new skills and prepare to take on competitive challenges with creativity and a heightened sense of professionalism and business acumen.
Crystal balls might only be found on movie sets, but at Cleaning Business Today we keep an eye on the future so we can prepare our readers for what’s ahead. In lieu of magic, we think the best way to see into the future is to talk directly with those thought leaders who are focused on the horizon.
With a still-sluggish economy, it’s clear that there are challenges ahead. However, our contributing experts tell us that there are also many opportunities. New, affordable technologies, they point out, will empower several sectors of the cleaning marketplace, enabling them to expand in exciting new directions. In addition, a growing emphasis on measurement, training, standards, tools and systems will compel a heightened level of professionalism in the cleaning industry. As one expert expresses it, these efforts have the potential to improve health outcomes, show the industry’s value to consumers, and ultimately improve the reputation and bottom-line of the cleaning industry. Other experts remind us that the basics of good business and cleaning processes will always be important no matter what the future brings. We’ve identified six major themes and reached out to a select group of experts both from within and outside the cleaning industry to bring you this in-depth look at the future.
The future of the cleaning industry will be impacted by two major macroeconomic forces. On the one hand, the US will see a slow but steady economic recovery, according to the Congressional Budget Office. On the other hand, the US Department of Labor reports that the country will see a modest reduction in the overall growth of the workforce in the coming years. To thrive in a cleaning marketplace shaped by both constrained spending and an altered labor pool, residential and commercial cleaning companies will have to stand out in the minds of their clients and their employees.
“All Labor Problems Are Geographic”
Labor trends will impact this industry to a degree. In reality, though, all labor problems are geographic. If you live in a place where there are many homeowners and businesses that can afford cleaning services, finding people to clean those places will be difficult. If you live in an area with a large cleaning labor pool, it’s unlikely that the population will have enough income to afford your services. This isn’t going to change in the future. More importantly, the biggest challenge companies will continue to have is not finding people to hire, but rather finding great people to hire. Mediocrity kills businesses. What this means is that cleaning companies must be constantly recruiting for the best people. Owners can’t just wait until they need someone and then take a “pay and pray” approach by placing an ad. Recruiting and retaining great employees must become a core business competency for companies in this industry. You might think you’re running a cleaning business, but you’re really running a staffing company. Your people ARE your business. Luckily, cleaning can’t be outsourced to China and we haven’t found a way to fully automate it, so owners won’t have those labor challenges to contend with in the near future. Rather, becoming a cleaning company that can recruit and retain exceptional people is and always will be the biggest challenge.