1. Hire part-time workers vs. full-time workers. This can save money on benefits, higher wages, and paid breaks.
2. If you have full-time employees, consider combining two 15-minute breaks into one half-hour break. Studies show that this will save approximately 20 minutes of productive time. Why? The national average for a 15 minute break is actually 27 minutes!
3. Take control of absenteeism. For example, develop a perfect attendance bonus per pay period, or don't pay sick leave for the first day of absence. Be sure to check with your state laws on attendance policies first.
4. Hire “floaters" or “project teams". Floaters will fill in for absent employees and handle any special projects and detail cleaning.
5. Only use overtime for emergencies and unplanned events.
6. Avoid lawsuits by documenting disciplinary action and accurate performance evaluations. Avoid using phrases like “he has a bad attitude". Bad attitudes are difficult to prove. Rather, give examples of specific poor performance.
7. Do not hire borderline probationary employees. If you have a typical 90-day probationary period before hiring an employee as a regular employee, be sure to give constructive feedback throughout the probationary period so that if you need to let them go, it won't be a surprise.
8. Provide the proper tools for the job: wide-path vacuums for large hallways and open areas; back-pack vacuums with attachments for detail work; auto-scrubbers for large-area hard floor care.
9. Use a three and one system for carpet care. Use a surface brightening system like bonnet cleaning the first three times, and on the fourth time, extract the carpet.
10. Save chemical costs by using dilution control stations.
11. Save on restroom paper costs by using double-roll tissue dispensers and roll towel paper dispensers.
12. Remove obsolete products such as ammonia, bleach, scouring powder, and aerosols.
13. Make it your company policy to dust only cleared desktops, and include this in your bid.
14. Consider route cleaning for smaller buildings. Have a supervisor or group leader drive a group of 3 or 4 people to each building.
15. Provide three types of training: orientation, on-the-job, and classroom. Hold regular meetings with employees and cover training and safety topics.
Steve Hanson is co-founding member of The Janitorial Store (TM), an online community for owners and managers of cleaning companies who want to build a more profitable and successful cleaning business. Sign up for Trash Talk: Tip of the Week at http://www.TheJanitorialStore.com and receive a Free Gift!