Over the next several installments in our home cleaning franchise series, we’ll explore four big differentiators — technology, marketing, training, and sales — that can make all the difference between a home cleaning business YOU run versus one that runs you!
House cleaning should be easy, right? You hire a few people, line up some accounts, and you’re off to the races. But what happens when a staff of three becomes 20 or 30? When five accounts grow to 50 or 100?
Now you’ve got significant complexity. Scheduling people and jobs gets hard. Unexpected things happen. People call in sick. Cars break down. Customers cancel. Or, they forget their appointments and lock out your crews. They still want you to clean, so — to hang on to their business — you juggle and struggle to re-fit them into an already-packed schedule.
You take credit cards, so you’ve got things like PCI Compliance, data privacy, and security to worry about. And your customers want convenient ways to either complain or offer positive feedback on your services.
Even if you’ve upgraded your business bookkeeping from spreadsheets to a dedicated accounting app, that app can only tell you standard financial things about your business — such as how much profit or loss you’ve earned and what’s in your bank accounts. What your standard bookkeeping app won’t tell you is all the things you really need to know as a cleaning-business operator — such as: Are you adding new customers more rapidly than you’re losing old ones? Which customers and employees are making (or costing) you the most? What margins do you earn on different types of accounts (weekly, biweekly, monthly, one-time, and so forth)? And what’s the optimum account mix for a thriving home-cleaning business that grows sustainably over time?
Time away is another thing that’s super hard when you’re not using state-of-the-art technology to run your cleaning business. And how much fun do you think it’s going to be installing frequent tech updates and troubleshooting problems on your own without a handy Help Desk?
At least one home-cleaning franchise company (ahem, yours truly) offers not only cutting-edge technology built specifically to support virtually all aspects of operating a home cleaning business, but delivers that technology to franchisees through a fully-supported Cloud platform that can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.
That frees our owners to travel far and wide without ever losing touch with their businesses. It gives them valuable metrics that help them to grow, and liberates them from unpleasant responsibilities such as troubleshooting tech difficulties and worrying about privacy and security of personal data.
If we’ve convinced you that cutting-edge, Cloud-based technology matters a great deal in home cleaning, here are six important questions to ask any potential cleaning franchise partner:
- What technology do you offer in support of franchisees and what makes it state-of-the-art?
- How has the technology been tailored specifically for cleaning service businesses?
- Am I required to use the technology and are there added/ongoing costs for accessing it?
- Will I be required to install, host, maintain, upgrade/update and protect the technology on my own hardware or is it available via the Cloud?
- How is the technology supported?
- What plans are there to evolve the technology in the future?
Stay tuned for Part 4 in our series in which we’ll explore the importance of comprehensive, unique, and contemporary marketing capabilities.