Covering open shifts
I run a small commercial cleaning business that I started a year ago. We have 15 clients (mostly offices) and have recently started cleaning a couple of restaurants 7 days per week. I hire people to do all of the cleaning. I still work a full time day job and am trying to put some structure in place so that when someone calls in sick, quits, etc., I have a person that can fill in. My wife and I have been doing it, but we are working crazy hours and would rather not keep doing so.
I am not at the point where I can hire an account manager to take ownership of the accounts and cover open shifts so I am often stuck doing the work myself. I am to the point where I would pay well above average just so that I’m not having to get out of bed at 4am to clean.
What are other people doing to cover open shifts?
You discovered the reality of cleaning restaurants 7 x per week. They are always open and usually pay low prices for cleaning services. We now know that we do not want to clean restaurants any longer. With offices you don't have that small window of time each night to clean as with restaurants and can typically clean over weekends instead of Friday evenings which gives lots of flexibility. In my opinion the worst overall commercial accounts are:
2. Fitness Centers (for much of the same reasons as restaurants)
3. Daycare Centers (expected low pricing)
Total Maintenance Services
Thanks so much for your response Peter! I’ve literally read through all of your posts on this forum as they contain so much useful information. You have been a huge help in me getting started. I’d really like to pick your brain some day.
As far as the restaurants – I completely understand where you are coming from. Although the way these restaurants are grouped together they are actually quite profitable but of course my small office accounts are more profitable and flexible as they can be done on the weekends. To be honest I was really starting to think I would give up the restaurants.
I just met with a small local maid company that is going to cover open shifts for me. I will actually lose a few dollars any time they cover a shift as I am paying their standard fee (less than I charge the customer) but they are extremely flexible as they can work early mornings and weekends and seem eager for my business. I figure it would be a very small chunk of the profit I earn over the course of a year.
As I get a bigger I’m thinking of hiring a head cleaner that can clean part of the time and inspect/cover open shifts. I was thinking I’d provide the person with a car and a higher than average wage to make sure they stick with me and are willing to go above and beyond. Peter, do you do anything like that? I’d be interested to hear about how you structure things to cover open shifts.
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