Category Archives: Office Cleaning Services
Holidays mean food, family and fun. But they also mean clutter, cleaning and chaos!
Although Image One Facilities is a commercial cleaning company, we are often asked about tips on how to clean up after a holiday or a party at home.
So we decided to come up with five simple holiday cleaning tips that will allow you to enjoy your festivities without getting frustrated about the post-holiday cleanup:
- Use Disposable Cutlery: Why take on more mess when you can eliminate nearly half the clutter using disposable cutlery?! Washing your cooking utensils is enough of a headache. Do not stress yourself some more by scrubbing those spoons, forks, plates and knives. If plastic is not for you, there are other options like disposable wooden-ware that can help you out immensely. An additional tip is to cover your tables with a protector sheet. You could then easily wipe off the grime using a spray and a rag or just toss the sheet into the bin.
- Soak Grimy Pots and Pans: Do not let your grimy pots and pans sit outside for too long. The grunge will harden and it will become much harder to scrub them later. Instead, soak them immediately in warm water and add a dollop of dishwater detergent. This will soften the stains, making it much easier to clean them later.
- Take Out the Trash Periodically: With the gift-wrappings and ribbons and other trash, chances are your bins will fill up quickly! Don’t wait to take them out. Instead, dump your trash in your outside receptacle immediately. This will not only make your home look beautiful, you will also FEEL better without all the dirty trash lying around. We would also encourage to spray some gentle room fresheners every once in a while to keep your home smelling fresh and clean all day.
- Wipe Spills and Other Easy Stains Immediately: We are not asking you to run around with a spray and rag the whole day! But you would have to give your home a good dusting once the party dies down and the guests leave. So why not make this process easier by taking care of the simpler stains – like spills on your coffee table – immediately?! Cakey stains can be quite irritating and depressing. Hence, it is also psychologically better to get rid of them as soon as possible. The less you have to do, the better you will feel about the cleaning process.
- Ask for Help: Don’t try to be a superhero and do everything yourself! You deserve to enjoy your party too. Hence, it is OKAY to ask your guests to pitch in with some simple duties, like wiping the dishes or taking out the trash. Eliciting their help will also allow you to spend more time with your family and friends, instead of you being holed up in a kitchen while the others have fun.
Holidays are supposed to be restful, happy times. We hope our five simple cleaning tips help you enjoy these merry moments.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a fantastic year ahead – love deeply, live simply and laugh wholeheartedly.
Happy Holidays, friends!
Learning was FUN at ISSA 2013: Las Vegas
Industry trade shows and conventions are melting pots of ideas that spark innovation, collaboration and growth within a community. They are especially useful for small business owners like me to communicate and connect with the best in our industry.
I – along with Steve and Michael from Team Image One – had the incredible opportunity to attend the ISSA Trade Show and Convention held in Las Vegas last week, from November 18 to November 21
ISSA – a Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association – is committed to ‘advancing clean and driving innovation’ through sponsored events, such as educational seminars and interactive annual global conferences.
The ISSA Show is a great opportunity to see what new and innovative ideas and equipment are emerging in our industry. It’s the one show that brings all the manufacturers, distributors, building service contractors and “in house” facility service teams to one place each year.
Each year, I come with an open mind and learn something new about our industry. Be it innovations in equipment, new software, advancements in cleaning techniques or systems to improve operations, there is something for everyone to learn.
This year too, the show was replete with motivating keynote speeches and engaging colloquiums that offered invaluable tips and strategies on operations development, customer service, cleaning best practices, sales and marketing guidance, leadership empowerment and brand growth.
Click on this link to gather more information about ISSA 2013: http://www.issa.com/?id=tshow_issa_interclean_las_vegas_2013&lg=
I would definitely recommend that you watch the embedded keynote speech by the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, who shares some valuable ‘secrets’ about how to build a respected, long-lasting brand based on a strong focus on quality customer service and interactive company culture.
Aside from these scheduled events, I enjoy attending such trade shows to get closer to and communicate with fellow entrepreneurs. It’s very humbling to learn from and share with like-minded individuals who are experiencing similar challenges. Finally, participating in conferences is a fun way to generate goodwill for your company and strengthen your brand image within your industry.
To sum up, I had a wonderful time interacting with my peers and other industry mavens at this year’s ISSA Trade Show Convention.
ISSA Orlando 2014, here I come!
What about you? Do you enjoy attending trade shows and conventions?
Effective cleaning in the workplace can reduce office hazards. It helps you accomplish tasks easily and safely. With regular office cleaning, you can increase your business’ productivity and efficiency. Poor housekeeping is often one of the reasons for accidents and injuries. Your employees will get sick frequently, which can cost you money.
Business cleaning is an investment. It can help improve your bottom line, the environment, and the health of your workforce. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on office cleaning. Allotting a reasonable amount of your budget for commercial cleaning, however, can do a lot for your business and give you sizable returns.
Cost of Absences
Each employee takes an average of 7.7 sick days per year. This translates to about $225.8 billion annually. Common reasons for not going to work are flu symptoms and exposure to allergens or dust. Performance in the workplace decreases by three to eight percent when employees develop flu symptoms. Exposure to dust or allergens can affect your employees’ cognitive skills by as much as six percent. Furthermore, unplanned absences can reduce your company’s productivity by more than half, which may reduce your customer service or sales by 39%.
Having a well-planned injury and illness prevention program in the office can help you maximize your workforce, reduce unexpected expenses, and increase efficiency. Identifying hazards and controlling risks are essential parts of this program. Knowing the equipment or areas in your workplace with high levels of contamination helps you determine the right course of action to take. Once you know these areas, think about hiring Chicago cleaning services for your office.
Reasons You Should Invest in Office Cleaning
The Real Value of Cleanliness
The secret to a safe and efficient office is to keep it clean and minimize dangers in the workplace. Having a clean facility can help increase profits and improve customer loyalty, especially when clients always visit your office or store. Don’t put your employees and customers at risks of diseases and accidents by not managing your office properly. Regular cleaning can go a long way.
The best way to keep your office clean is to hire a professional staff to manage your workplace. Outsourcing your office cleaning needs is a convenient way of preventing diseases in the office. As you’re not using your in-house resources, you won’t have to worry about decreased productivity. Your employees can focus better on their primary office roles. With a dependable and professional commercial cleaning service, you can improve safety in the office without sacrificing productivity.
With clean surroundings, you can increase employee morale, reduce stress, and create a positive ambiance in the workplace. All these can lead to a higher return of investment in a short time.
Take the first step to a safer and healthier workplace. Look for a commercial cleaning service that you can trust. The right company must know how to respond to your needs and must care about your employees as much as you do. In Chicago, you don’t have to look too far. Image One Facility Solutions offers professional janitorial services to businesses of all types and sizes. Contact us for more information about our company and services.
Outsourcing your cleaning to a responsible janitorial company will make your business more productive, cost-effective and efficient. By delegating cleaning services to an outside firm, you will automatically free up more time to focus on your core competency (or Unique Service Proposition), thereby giving you a competitive edge and improving the bottom line of your business. Below are three main reasons to outsource your cleaning services:
(a) Ensures Professional-Grade Quality of Cleaning
Would you allow your Financial Manager to undertake the duties of an HR Consultant?! No! Because you recognize that their expertise lies in different areas and, therefore, your company will be better off harnessing their respective talents.
Similarly, commercial janitorial businesses have an expertise in cleaning. They are well-appraised with the current technologies – such as green cleaning techniques – have a wonderful training and communication system in place and promise consistently high-quality cleaning in a cost-effective manner. Image One Facility Solutions, for instance, has a proven training and support system for its employees and franchisees, ensuring that they are well-qualified and well-trained to deliver high-quality cleaning services.
Check out the video below where Tim Conn, Image One’s founder, talk about why outsourcing is a good idea:
In-house resources would find it very hard to replicate the professional-grade quality of cleaning offered by companies with an expertise in this field. Also, remember that commercial janitorial businesses are accountable for their level of service, as specified by the contract. Hence, you can rest assured that they will do their best to make your company look aesthetically beautiful and functionally efficient!
(b) Saves Tangible and Intangible Costs
You might wonder how employing another company to clean your business can save money! Sounds counter-productive, right?! Not really. Think about it.
If you do not outsource your cleaning services then you have one of two options:
- You employ people specifically for this purpose, which means you are responsible for their salary, leave package, retirement plans and any other operational costs, much like a normal company. However, by outsourcing your services, the cleaning company will now be responsible for all these costs. You would have a specified contract with the cleaning company wherein you agree to pay for their services, either periodically or on an as-needed basis. In other words, you save money because the cleaning company would have absorbed most of these tangible costs
- You utilize existing employees for cleaning, which implies that their responsibilities will be spread thin, thereby lowering their morale, increasing their stress levels and decreasing their productivity. These are intangible costs you can live without! Outsourcing your janitorial services will not only allow your employees to focus on their originally assigned tasks, but will also result in a much cleaner (and healthier) environment where you, your employees and your company can thrive and prosper.
(c) Allows for Flexibility and Scalability
As mentioned above, utilizing in-house resources to clean can lead to tangible and intangible losses, along with diminished productivity.
One of the primary reasons in-house resources don’t work is because of their rigidity. When you employ a few employees just for cleaning purposes, it’s possible that there will be down-times when their services seem either unwanted or too expensive. Unfortunately, you are still stuck with paying the same salary and perks. It’s like having a ‘permanent’ albatross around your neck!
On the other hand, outsourcing your cleaning services brings in flexibility and scalability to your operation. A good janitorial company will adapt their services to suit your budgetary and operational needs. You can either contract these services periodically or schedule them on an as-needed basis, ensuring that every penny you spent has been utilized efficiently. In other words, you get your bang for your buck!
So, you see, outsourcing your cleaning services does help! However, keep in mind that choosing the right cleaning company is very important. A less-than-efficient janitorial business will offer you none of the aforementioned advantages, instead hurting you in the long run.
Hence, choose a commercial cleaning service that is responsive to your needs, and watch your productivity and efficiency grow!
Image One Facility Cleaning Solutions offers its janitorial services for offices around Chicago. Call us at 630.616.1010 or submit our online form on the left to obtain a FREE Quote today
3 Things to Look for when Choosing a Commercial Cleaning Service
The cleanliness and quality of maintenance of your facility is an indicator of your credibility and professionalism. There are multiple benefits of hiring a commercial office cleaning service, such as saving your company time and money, improving the health and efficiency of your workforce and presenting a professionally appealing office to your clients.
However, the ‘wrong’ cleaning company might actually prove detrimental in many ways. For instance, poor quality of service could lead to premature suspension of contracts and an unnecessary loss of time, manpower and money to find a new commercial janitorial business, thereby creating a dent in your overall profits and production.
It, therefore, becomes paramount to choose among the various cleaning companies after carefully evaluating their services on certain significant criteria to determine whether it has the potential to form a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with you. Most businesses evaluate commercial cleaning companies based on their experience, price and customer service, which is understandable, given that they are the most basic selection criteria.
However, following are three other important, but often ignored, features that you should look for while selecting a commercial cleaning service. These will give your company a competitive advantage (and save costs) in today’s technologically-advanced, customer-driven and environmentally-conscious world.
a. Training and Monitoring of Employees
It is easy to discount the importance of training while selecting your janitorial service by believing that anyone can pick up a scrub and brush to become a cleaner! But this kind of thinking isn’t smart. Like in any other career, a trained janitor is a more efficient employee. With new products and techniques arriving in the market at a high pace, it becomes extremely desirable to choose a commercial cleaning company that offers periodic and up-to-date training to keep its employees knowledgeable and effective.
In addition, a commercial janitorial service that keeps track of its employees is a company that is willing to be accountable for their actions, which is a definite plus. Technological advances have made it possible for companies to effectively monitor performance and other benchmarks. Hence, a cleaning service that goes this extra mile to offer you the highest quality of service is unquestionably a good candidate!
b. Customization of Offerings
Cleaning a medical office isn’t the same as cleaning a school or an auto dealership, right?! Every client (and facility) has their specific requirements, and a ‘one-‘broom’-fits-all’ policy, therefore, does not work! Choose a commercial cleaning service that understands your needs and tailors its offerings to satisfy them. A janitorial business that works WITH you is vital to develop a trustworthy relationship that boosts your profitability AND productivity. In other words, a flexible commercial cleaning company is a favorable choice.
c. Green Cleaning Services
The world is ‘going green.’ As more people embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle, choosing a commercial cleaning company that utilizes ‘green’ products and practices offers myriad advantages, such as:
- Safer and healthier employees, which automatically implies a more positive mindset and better performance.
- Delivering a much higher value (than by using cleaning companies that use regular products), especially because cleaning companies who adopt environmentally-sustainable methods to clean offices are often also cognizant about conserving water and electricity – thereby saving your operational costs – and propagate recycling and eco-friendly dispensing techniques.
- Improving YOUR overall brand image: your customers will be proud to be associated with someone who makes such responsible choices.
We believe that professional cleaning and maintenance not only protects a facility’s value but strengthens work productivity and the organization’s professional image. Therefore, a commercial office cleaning company that is the most responsive to your needs, accountable for its services and willing to make environmentally-safe choices must surely be considered before making your final selection.
Image One Facility Cleaning Solutions offers its janitorial services for offices around Chicago. Call us at 630.616.1010 or submit our online form to obtain a FREE Quote today
Choosing the right Price – which is one of the 4 Ps of the Marketing Mix - determines your profitability, client satisfaction AND employee satisfaction. When it comes to the amount you should charge for your services, two questions need to be answered: (a) How much is too much? (b) How less is too less?
You shouldn’t price your services so high that your clients get antagonized; at the same time, it shouldn’t be priced too low to suggest poor quality. In effect, your pricing should be carefully chosen after researching the various influencing factors, such as:
(a) Marketing Objective: Everything you do must serve to fulfill your marketing objective. Your rates might change depending on whether you want to penetrate an existing market, enter a new market or create your own niche in an existing market.
(b) Supply and Demand: If supply > demand, it’s a ‘customer’s industry’, implying that you cannot charge very high rates and HAVE to take into account your competitor’s rates. If supply < demand, you have more leeway to set your own rates since your service becomes ‘unique’. In the janitorial service industry, supply IS greater than demand, and hence you must rely more on service differentiation than price differentiation to attract and retain customers. That is, you should differentiate yourself with the type, level and quality of service than the price
(c) Competition Pricing: This is closely related to the aforementioned factor of supply and demand. The amount you charge should take into account your competitor’s pricing, unless you have a very good reason to charge a higher price. (A unique service – for instance – might definitely call for a higher price.)
(d) Frequency of Services: The amount you charge also depends on whether it’s a contract or one-time job. A contract job generally involves periodic cleaning and such clients should be charged a lower price or a ‘price package’ compared to jobs that only require one-time cleaning.
(e) Type of Job: The pricing also depends on the type of job – such as whether you are cleaning a big building or small building; a medical office or a library! Certain jobs demand higher quality than others, and these can be priced higher.
Click on the link to learn more about the various factors influencing how much you should charge: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/charge-janitorial-services-12231.html
Make the right choice for a profitable business!
Unless you are a non-profit organization, we imagine you want to own a profitable business! Profits can be defined as the mathematical difference between revenue and costs. In other words, as long as your revenue (money earned) is higher than your cost (money spent), you will reap some profit.
The janitorial industry is, unfortunately, cost-heavy. Cleaning products and equipment – the cornerstones of your business – cost money. Hence, it becomes harder for cleaning businesses to increase profits. But, despair not, for there are ways to make profits and keep your business alive, while continuing to satisfy your clients. Some useful techniques include: (a) ‘Cleaning’ up your business to ensure that only profitable services are offered – unprofitable services should be removed in order to reduce unnecessary cost and avoid losses; (b) improving productivity by using effective equipment and well-trained employees; (c) managing your prices and expenses intelligently – for instance, unrealistically low prices will not only lead to losses, but might also lower your brand equity
Click on the link to watch a video that outlines six useful techniques to improve profits: http://www.cleaningbiz.tv/2013/06/63-6-ways-increase-profits-cleaning-business/
How may times have we heard about a over-hyped merger or a partnership between two companies, only to have it deemed a failure within a year or two?! Forget the world of business, how many couples have you come across in your personal life who seem ‘meant to be’ at first glance, but separate soon, citing irreconcilable differences?!
Why does a ‘supposedly perfect’ partnership fail? The simple answer is that they just don’t ‘fit’. And they don’t fit because the respective parties don’t take the time to evaluate whether the partnership is viable.
Much like in our personal lives, companies too need to take a good, hard, long look at a prospective partner to determine whether a long-term relationship is possible.
The same concept holds true for the relationship between your cleaning business and your cleaning prospects. It’s important to thoroughly evaluate your prospects before making the decision of whether or not to acquire them. And the best way to assess a client’s requirements is to – ummm – read their minds?! NO! :-)
The best way is to ask them questions. This might not be the most romantic technique to form partnerships, but it is certainly the most efficient technique. So now the question becomes: what sort of questions to ask?
The wrong questions might actually drive away a perfectly suitable client, while attracting the unsuitable ones. The types of questions that fail usually fall into one of the following categories: (a) presumptuous (b) condescending (c) ‘fishing’ (d) desperate (e) intrusive
You should only ask questions that try to understand the prospect’s needs - and subtly, please – so your company can decide whether it is possible to customize your services to suit their needs or whether the relationship is just not possible.
Important Tip: Focus on forging a long-term relationship from the very beginning. Do not think about only acquiring a ONE-TIME account – that’s like choosing to marry a partner only for a year!!!! From Day 1, you should be thinking about whether this client can become a repeat customer; only then will both of you enjoy a happy, profitable, long-term relationship.
Click on the following link to read about some specific questions that you should avoid while meeting with a prospective client: http://www.thejanitorialstore.com/public/Are-You-Asking-The-Wrong-Questions-Of-Your-Cleaning-Prospects.cfm
At the tender age of 14, when most boys try to avoid any kind of housework, one boy set out to voluntarily clean an entire commercial building owned by his parents.
That boy was Tim Conn, the founder of Image One Facility Solutions, a premier commercial cleaning service company based just outside Chicago, a maverick, a visionary and much-loved frontrunner who leads by example.
After displaying thoroughness and diligence in his first project, Mr. Conn soon had over six projects under his sleeve. His passion for and seriousness about this job became apparent when he began networking in professional circles immediately after receiving his driver’s license – he was just 16. A chance meeting with an AT &T representative transformed his vocation into a career when he was hired to clean one of their facilities. It was clear he had arrived.
In college, when his worried career counselor asked him why he wasn’t attending any job fairs, he matter-of-factly stated that he already had a job he was good at and loved! Now how many teenagers can claim that?!
In his early twenties, he was already earning $30, 000 (in billing) per month. “Pretty good, right,” he says with a self-deprecating laugh. “Pretty” good? Mind-boggling is more like it!
As his contacts widened, he entered into a 10-year franchise agreement with a national franchise company. Their association ended in 2011, the same year Image One began operating. Mr. Conn’s penchant for helping people led the company to offer . His view has always been that if he could build his small business to the level he did in his early 20’s he could certainly teach other people to duplicate that success!
Mr. Conn’s down-to-earth personality permeates his entire organization, including his franchise owners. When asked to describe his brand’s culture, he shrugged and said, “Have you seen the video testimonials of our franchise owners? They describe what we stand for the best. We are real and laidback”
It’s evident he takes pride in his ‘family.’ Mr. Conn’s commitment towards helping people has created several confident business owners from all walks of life and all skill levels. Image One differentiates itself by being open-minded and offering guidance borne out of years of experience. The company is amply rewarded through the passion and commitment of its employees who are just as invested in it as its charismatic founder.
With a positive attitude, determined mindset, creative strategies and committed employees, Image One is poised to grow into a much-loved commercial cleaning operation.
And Tim Conn’s perseverance will continue to pay off.
Marketing: In a Snapshot
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation” - Milan Kundera
In today’s customer-centric world, no business can succeed without the big M: Marketing
Simply put, marketing is the process of responding to the needs of your customers while forging a mutually beneficial and long-lasting ‘exchange’ or relationship. Of course, there are exceptions in that sometimes a customer is unaware of a need.
For instance, who would have thought that one could read a book ‘on the move’ without actually holding a book? But that’s exactly what your Kindle read or Google Nexus allows you to do. Who would have thought that one could hold over 1000 songs (sometimes over 3000!) in a music player? But that’s exactly what an IPOD allows you to do. Who would have thought that one could burn (or record) movies without utilizing bulky tapes? But that’s exactly what a DVD allows you to do. And we love all these inventions - commonly known as disruptive technologies because they ‘disrupt’ existing technologies – because they have made our lives simpler and more efficient.
In all these cases, an innovative company swooped in to remind us of a previously unknown – but highly beneficial – need, thereby creating instant satisfaction. But although a breakthrough product or service often sells itself during the Introduction phase of the Product Life Cycle – solely because of its ingenuity – marketing is still crucial to the long-term sustenance of the product. Why? Because once your product is introduced, it is no longer new! Other players will quickly enter a profitable market to grab their own pieces of the pie, and the only way you can continue to attract and retain customers is through marketing tactics.
Now, a commercial cleaning service is not an innovative service. There are lots of players in this field, making it that much harder to stand out (from the crowd). Hence, the only way to differentiate yourself from your competitor is through creative marketing techniques.
SWOT Analysis: First step of any Marketing Plan
The first step of any marketing plan or strategy is known as SWOT analysis, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (S-W-O-T). Strengths and Weaknesses are internal attributes, while Opportunities and Threats are external attributes. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is key to realizing what you can or cannot do. For instance, if your biggest strength is your ‘response time’, then you shall promote this strength as your Unique Selling Proposition or USP in your marketing efforts. Similarly, if one of your weaknesses is that you have only 5 employees, you can obviously not aim for something unrealistic – like offering cleaning service for an entire city! In other words, analyzing your core strengths and weaknesses will help you choose a Target Market – the type of consumers – based on demographics or industry genre or size – that you wish to serve.
Understanding the opportunities and threats requires a careful study of your market AND your competitors, and is very important because you are not the sole player in your market. Your competitors represent the other ‘choices’ for your potential customers – the ‘threats’. Unless you study your competitors and the cleaning service market, you cannot create implementable marketing plans. Remember: Differentiation is the key. How are you going to differentiate yourself if you don’t know what your competitor is doing or what’s going on in the market? And if you cannot or don’t differentiate yourself, you might as well shut down your business! No one is going to pick a business that offers nothing new!
Hence, research your competitor thoroughly – without illegal methods, of course – and learn what kind of trends exist in your market. For instance, what kind of prices and promotional techniques are working or not working for your competitor(s)? Or if a new green cleaning product comes out and is generating a good buzz, your company should be on top of this story and figure out if this ‘opportunity’ can be turned into a ‘strength’ for your company.
Cornerstone of a Marketing Strategy: 4 Ps
Once you complete the SWOT analysis, you are in a better position to create a marketing strategy, which is popularly known as the 4 Ps : Product, Price, Place, Promotion. <Some marketing mavens include another P – for People - because while you might own your business, your customers own you. The only way to grow is to quickly understand, respond to and satisfy your customer or client’s needs. Selling is no longer the norm; interacting is the norm>
Product (your cleaning service) and Price (how much do you charge a customer) are self-explanatory. When it comes to a PRODUCT, Place refers to the place of distribution – for e.g., online vs. retail stores. In the cleaning service industry, Place could refer to the region that you choose to serve. For example, if your company is located in Schaumburg, and your Place can be all office buildings within a 20 mile radius of your company. Promotion refers to your mode or vehicle of communication with your potential and current customers – that is, how do you educate your ‘leads’ about your service in a way that turns them into your customers. Some techniques includes Websites, Advertising, Direct Mail, Sales Promotion (even Cold Calling!), Social Media etc.
The following link offers 7 proven techniques to market a cleaning business: http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/259/business_and_finance/7_proven_tips_to_market_your_cleaning_business.html
Implement these techniques to create a successful business that grows itself