Unless you happen to be of an incredibly rare (and to be frank, weird) personality type, odds are you hate cleaning. In your personal life it is a thankless chore, which no matter how well performed, will still need repeating sooner or later. If it comes up in the workplace, it’s most likely treated with similar disdain, only with the added pleasure of your colleagues not only kicking up a stink if asked to help, but also complaining relentlessly about how the smallest lapse is prevents them from doing their job or violates some pesky health and safety regulation.
Long story short, there’s no good reason not to engage a professional cleaning service for your business. It’s just not worth the pain and suffering. This leaves only the simple matter of how to go about picking the right one.
As luck would have it there are no shortage of commercial cleaning companies, and no matter what your specific needs are, there will be plenty eagerly offering their assistance. But herein lies the problem – less scrupulous operators will happily promise you the world with absolutely no intention of ever delivering on those expectations. You see, it is common knowledge within the industry that businesses don’t often just go searching a new cleaning service; they get rid of the old one because of some long-running problem, which means they are in a rush to appoint a replacement. This emboldens sales reps to tell you whatever it is you want to hear, safe in the knowledge that you don’t really have time to call them out on the details.
Awful, right? Well don’t worry. We’re not going to let that happen to you. Here are a few steps to make sure you end up with the right cleaner, not just the one with the most convincing ‘yes man’.
7 steps to picking the right cleaner
- Make sure they are legit. Check that the people you are dealing with represent a genuine company and are happy to provide a registered business number, which you can then check online quite easily. This may sound paranoid, but new commercial cleaning businesses pop up every day, so it’s easy to be taken in by a dodgy operator.
- Longevity = quality (probably). Consider how long the company has been around. Given the highly competitive nature of the industry, a cleaning service is unlikely to survive for several years unless they are making at least some of their customers happy. You should be able to glean this information via their website, using their registered business number or just asking them directly.
- Get it from the horse’s mouth. Ask for references which you can speak with directly to verify their experiences using the service. By all means use the internet to look for photographs and customer testimonials, but make sure you check at least some of these with the source before taking them for fact. When assessing these references bear in mind how different the cleaning of different types of businesses are – just because they can do a cracking job of a hair salon doesn’t mean they’re the right people to clean your meatworks.
- Check who’s going to be wandering around your business. Make sure that all cleaners engaged by the company you are speaking with have current police checks. These people are going to be in your business unsupervised and after hours, so it’s worth your while making sure they are properly vetted by the company you will be paying money to send them there.
- Shop around. Never go with the first company without getting comparative quotes from a few similar services. This will help you make sure not only that you aren’t being overcharged, but also that you aren’t getting an unsustainably cheap price either – the cost of labour is pretty consistent, so it’s almost certain that a ridiculously cheap price will amount to a sloppy, low-quality service.
- Make sure they are insured. Ask to see valid insurance papers before you appoint a supplier. Cleaners need to be covered for the event of an accident occurring whilst they’re working on your premises. If the cleaning company doesn’t carry their own insurance policy, this could fall on your head.
- Check the contract carefully. Look for:
- Does the amount quoted include GST? That extra 10% will add up to a significant amount over the course of your contract.
- How are unexpected or emergency additions to the cleaning requirement handled? Where possible you should get a quote for such services written into the contract. Make sure there are no other hidden fees associated with this service.
- Is there anything else in the fine print? Before signing anything, make sure every discussed detail is spot on as this may well save you from costly additional fees in the future. It doesn’t matter how much you trust the sales rep, if the conditions aren’t in the contract you have no guarantees. If you aren’t sure what you are reading, seek professional advice.
This might all sound a little foreboding, but by following these steps you can make sure that you end up with a quality, reliable cleaning service which is suited to your business. In summary:
You cleaning = bad.
Someone else doing the cleaning = good.
Picking the right cleaner = essential.