As workers return to full-capacity office life across the country, some uncertainties still lay ahead for strategically tackling cleaning and safety precautions. The pandemic made us take cleaning more seriously and that trend continues. With coronavirus variants spreading across the U.S., the COVID-19 conversation is far from over.
On the commercial cleaning side, the mentality has shifted from cleaning for the sake of appearance to cleaning for health. During the pandemic, office space aesthetics were sidelined while germ neutralization became essential. Businesses will continue to closely monitor the cleanliness of their buildings with this focus on cleaning for health for the foreseeable future.
This presents an opportunity for commercial cleaning franchises to inform and educate their clients on the value of cleaning services to keep their employees safe and healthy and to grow and sustain their business.
Here are three opportunities for commercial cleaning franchises as we move past the pandemic.
1. Educate your clients on cleaning for health
Commercial cleaning franchises are in a unique position to educate communities about the changing standards and expectations for health and hygiene.
Marketing messages on how a professional cleaning service helps companies maintain a clean, vibrant office may not be enough in the current climate. You will need to show how this service plays a crucial role in infection control and how it can help people feel more confident about the safety of their workplace.
One lesson that comes to mind is how the NBA changed its health and cleaning precautions after basketball player Magic Johnson announced he was HIV-positive in the early 1990s. These precautions are still in place today. If there is a trace of blood on a player, they stop play. If it is on the court, they use bleach disinfectant to clean it. Now, organizations like the NBA have learned to be much more proactive. Cleaning organizations should be too.
When it comes to our industry, think about the additional cleaning precautions, such as electrostatic spraying, that have gained popularity during the pandemic. It is likely many of these new services will endure.
Cleaning for health is now a mantra for organizations, and franchises would do well to embrace it and figure out how to ensure their system is on the-cutting edge of this shift toward health-first cleaning solutions.
2. Share the positives of a thriving industry
According to Business Formation Statistics tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau, monthly business applications (high-propensity and otherwise) have doubled on average since March 2020. Many people turned to entrepreneurial work during the pandemic when they were either laid off or quit their jobs.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic shook up the job market and occupational stability to a great extent, many people were and still are looking for recession-resistant business models. Commercial cleaning franchises are a perfect example of this, especially during a pandemic.
Working in a health-related industry is also desirable, which is why the commercial cleaning industry has done well over the past year.
People have also come to trust franchising because it allows franchisees a great amount of business freedom while still allowing for a certain degree of safety within the larger business.
Franchises allow business owners to avoid the headaches that come with starting a business from scratch. When franchise systems have a proven track record of serving customers or accounts—and strong reviews and great reputations to back that up—it makes the job of a new owner opening a franchise in a given market easier than if they were starting a brand on their own. It’s a lot less intimidating to walk into a sales meeting with a potential client when you can point to the company’s years of experience, the number of franchise locations it has, and the clients the brand has serviced.
3. Expand reach and grow territories to meet demand
There has already been (and will continue to be) an uptick from owners of small cleaning businesses inquiring about best practices and keeping up with demand for facility cleaning. The reason is simple. Business owners themselves are asking how they can best serve their customers and employees to make everyone feel safe. As times are changing, commercial cleaning franchise systems that embrace cleaning for health and encourage businesses and organizations to do the same will be positioned for expansion.
COVID-19 disrupted a lot of businesses and jobs, which ultimately may present an opportunity for commercial cleaning franchises to award units to former managers or business leaders who were laid off, or those who are currently employed but realize that they want more flexibility and freedom when it comes to how they make a living.
The franchise model fits well in commercial cleaning because it allows for expansion into new communities run by local professionals who know their community yet have the support of a home office that knows the ins and outs of commercial cleaning.
In our franchise, we’re witnessing an increase in inquiries from people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. I suspect others in the industry are experiencing this too and are encouraged by the fact that people are viewing commercial cleaning services as a strong option to advance their professional and business ownership dreams.