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5 Cleaning Industry Trends, Predictions, and Statistics for 2018

When it comes to the cleaning industry, one thing is clear heading into 2018: cleaning is no longer an out-of-reach service for many homeowners. It’s now a need, more often than it’s a want.

So how will you separate yourself from the competition to secure business from these strapped-for-time homeowners? Our panel of business owners and industry experts share their thoughts on what it will take to compete in 2018. Here’s what’s on their minds:

1. You are now selling a necessity, not a luxury

“With millennials now, this isn’t 20 years ago where there were stay at home moms. Today’s 30 year old is going to run their house like a business. They’re not spending their weekends cleaning. They’re booking snow removal, they’re outsourcing their laundry. Their thinking is: My time is better spent elsewhere. There are dual incomes, so it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Almost everyone I talk to has a cleaner.

You are no longer selling a luxury to people. People already want a cleaner, they’re already sold, so why should they pick you?”
– Katie Pearse, President, The Maid Mentor

“For the longest time, paying for services was something that many people thought was only for wealthy (especially cleaning), but it seems this belief is quickly vanishing. In these busy times, people value the time they can spend with friends and family. When you hire a service professional what you are really buying is more time.”
– Dave Ferris, Product Manager, Jobber

Quote

Today's 30 year old is going to run their house like a business. They're not spending their weekends cleaning. Their thinking is: My time is better spent elsewhere. There are dual incomes, so it's not a luxury, it's a necessity. Almost everyone I talk to has a cleaner.

Katie Pearse, President, The Maid Mentor Quote

2. Make things easier for your clients or your competition will

“We have found that especially in the last year, most people want to pay via credit card or e-transfer. So having those options readily available is definitely an asset. Cash payment is about 1% of our total monthly transactions.

Processing with Jobber directly has also been a huge time saver on our end, easier for our clients, and definitely better to keep everything under one profile.”
– Monica Doyle, Owner, Monica Maid

“Getting pre-authorized payment methods on file is a great way to speed up your accounts receivable collections in 2018.”
– Julie Babcock-Hyde, President, Spark Accounting Solutions

“The janitorial industry is difficult enough. The trend is moving towards technology. Companies will begin to take advantage of the multitude of useful management apps and software that’s available to the industry. This will allow companies to become stronger, more efficient, and streamlined. Utilizing this technology will allow for better communications between employees and clients while staying informed in all aspects of the account.

In turn, this builds on lasting relationships to reduce turnover by both employees and clients. Engaging feedback will help to identify issues and be able to communicate with all employees about information pertaining to their servicing of the account. So if management cannot be at an account it will feel like they are to the employees servicing that account.

In the Janitorial Industry today, I predict that if you’re not making strides to move your company forward, your competition will have an advantage over you and over time, you won’t be able to compete anymore. The small investment that you make to optimize your operations now is a valid reason to make the switch, to working smarter, not harder.”
– Ron Schmidt, Owner, L&R Cleaning Services, LLC

“I’ve noticed that businesses are using technology in innovative ways; finding ways to use something that wasn’t built specifically for their industry or for the way in which they are using it. This is the type of business that will get people talking. The ones that say, “There has to be a better way”, and then find it. We don’t have to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done. Especially in industries that have been virtually unchanged for decades. This is where the change will be noticed the most if we can find ways to be more efficient and give the client a better experience.”
– Dawne Leaney Davidson, Owner, Freelife Accounting and Bookkeeping

3. Social media is a must-have, not a nice-to-have, in order to compete

“53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly. What do we do? Let everyone know that we are available and active on messenger! If you have a Facebook page your business is already on messenger! When you’re ready to start receiving and responding to messages, enable messaging on your Page so customers can start
conversations with you.

Let the folks in your community know that they can message you directly on Facebook. Create local awareness ads and let everyone know that you can now receive service requests, questions, etc. right on Facebook messenger. When creating a Facebook post be sure to include the “send message” call to action and make it simple for people to reach you!”
– Kevin Reynolds, Owner, Handmaid Cleaning

“I think Instagram is the #1 tool for selling current and new customers. Facebook is too cluttered. With all the algorithm changes that’ve happened over the last couple of years…it’s not effective. Visually, Instagram provides that structure and guidelines for good graphic design.

The real winners in 2018 are going to be those who learn how to use Instagram—how to edit, post professional photos. It’s amazing the amount of marketing you can do within your city through Instagram using hashtags, stories, and location tags.”
– Katie Pearse, President, The Maid Mentor

“You need to have a Facebook business page. If you’re having a sale or running a promotion, post it across your website and on all your social media channels. Google grabs all of it.That way if someone is searching for a service in your area on Google, the sale will show up in results on Google and will likely incentivize them to go with your business.”
– Rafael Valdez, PPC Analyst, Jobber

Quote

Customer service interactions will never go away, but how it happens and how we engage with our clients and prospects is changing. New studies show that 56% of people would rather message than call a business for customer service. That’s HUGE!

Kevin Reynolds, Owner, Handmaid Cleaning Quote

4. More clients want to type, not talk

“When I started my company in 2008, there were lots of phone calls and in-house estimates. Now clients expect online estimates, and texting. Any business that really wants to succeed in 2018 will have that available.”
– Katie Pearse, President, The Maid Mentor

“Our online leads from our website generate almost 80-90% of our business, having our phone ring less and less each month. I believe people need the convenient and quick response options for all areas of the booking: confirmation, finalizing, and following up. This also means sending an email for a quote after business hours is what works for them, communicating via text and email, and limiting actual phone calls and voicemails.”
– Monica Doyle, Owner, Monica Maid

“Customer service interactions will never go away, but how it happens and how we engage with our clients and prospects is changing. New studies show that 56% of people would rather message than call a business for customer service. That’s HUGE!

As professional cleaning service owners we need to make sure that we are set up and equipped to receive messages from multiple platforms—namely SMS and Facebook Messenger. If more than one out of every two people prefer messaging, and we fail to offer this convenience, we’ll lose prospects to a competitor that does.

It can be frustrating to be present on so many platforms— answering the phones, text
messages, snail mail and e-mail correspondences, SMS, and now Facebook messages, etc., but we simply cannot balk at the numbers and refuse to engage in these ways or we will certainly be left behind!”
– Kevin Reynolds, Owner, Handmaid Cleaning

“Verbal communication is dying out. More and more I myself prefer to have written communication.”
– Judith Virag, Owner, Harding’s Cleaning

5. Your employees expect more, and you need to expect more of your employees

“Our staff are asking for the customers to be more communicative, just so we know how we are doing.”
– Judith Virag, Owner, Harding’s Cleaning

“We have always believed that the cleaning industry does not need to have high turnover. When I started the business 8 years ago, I read this in every article or blog post when I was researching the industry. When anyone hears anything about the cleaning industry, that’s what you learn: high turnover.

I strongly believe that my cleaners deserve a respectable wage reflective of their hard work and dedication to our company. We pay on average $3.00 to $7.00 more per hour for our trained cleaners. Does this come with time? Yes. Is a top wage impossible to achieve in our company? Definitely not.

Most of our employees that are with us over seven months are earning the higher end of our cleaning wage. I have more than one employee who has been with us for over 2.5-3 years, this is unheard of in the industry!

I am 100% open and honest with all of our cleaners and all future hires. Yes, I will pay them more, but only if they deserve it. If you are unreliable and do not fit in and believe in the qualities, mission and vision of our company it just will not work.”
– Monica Doyle, Owner, Monica Maid

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