Vanguard Cleaning Systems
Hiring a Commercial Cleaning Company
Hiring the best commercial cleaning company or janitorial service for your business, in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area, might seem overwhelming at first. So many choices! However, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears with their three beds and three chairs, not every janitorial service is a good fit for every business.
While commercial cleaning and janitorial services might seem like a commodity, not all service providers are alike. The industry average for customer retention is just one year. However, changing cleaning companies every year is an unnecessary waste of time and money. Asking the right questions before you begin requesting quotes will help ensure you are happy with your choice for years to come.
Building Size and Project Scope
First, consider the size of your business and the complexity of your cleaning needs. A small office environment does not need the same kind of cleaning expertise as a private school, dental clinic or multi-tenant building.
Another factor that will affect the price and reliability of your janitorial service is how many other buildings they clean in your area. Cleaning your space is more cost effective for a company that cleans for several other businesses in your building or industrial park. Having plenty of cleaning teams nearby also makes it easier to provide substitute cleaners if your regular crew is on vacation, out sick or leaving the company.
Small, Medium or Large?
Second, consider whether you want to work with a large janitorial service, a medium-sized commercial cleaning company or a small Mom and Pop office cleaning service.
Small Janitorial Services
Some Mom and Pop cleaning companies have stellar reputations for being reliable and easy to work with. If your building is under 10,000 square feet, a smaller cleaning company could be the perfect fit. Just remember that small companies might not have the resources to provide substitute cleaners when needed, especially when the labor market is tight. Small companies usually don’t provide a full scope of special services such as carpet cleaning, hard floor maintenance, window washing, high dusting and power washing.
Large Commercial Cleaning Companies
Large janitorial service companies are a good fit for multi-site businesses that prefer to use the same vendors for nationwide locations. Most large cleaning companies meet the requirements for businesses and government entities that are required to use unionized labor. Of course, large commercial cleaning companies have higher overhead costs factored into their prices and are usually the best fit for facilities and campuses with more than 1 million square feet.
Mid-Sized Commercial Cleaning Companies
Mid-sized companies, often part of a nationwide or regional commercial cleaning franchise, are the best of both worlds; large enough to handle big projects but small enough to be flexible. A reputable commercial cleaning franchise provides a layer of protection by vetting and mentoring their franchisee business owners.
The master franchise also manages sales, billing, marketing and customer service for many smaller cleaning businesses, providing economies of scale. Hiring a franchised cleaning company allows you to support a small family-owned business while also ensuring professionalism.
Mid-sized companies are also well-positioned to offer a full range of services to keep your building in tip top shape. In addition to weekly cleaning, every building needs regular carpet cleaning, hard floor maintenance, window washing, commercial-grade floor matting and janitorial supply management.
Check Your Existing Cleaning Service Contract
If you’re replacing an existing contract cleaning service, the first step is checking the contract to find out how much notice they require. Depending on your reason for ending the relationship, the agreement might require a period to correct any service issues. Either way, you should begin requesting quotes at least a few weeks before the contract ends. While an experienced commercial cleaning company can probably place a crew within a week, it’s best to allow enough time for a smooth transition.
The new cleaning company will show their crew around your building and provide them with the tools and information to meet your needs and expectations. Details to be covered include door keys or security codes, cleaning schedule, supply inventory, and ordering processes. Be sure to also share information about any surfaces that need special care and other preferences.
If you’re hiring a commercial cleaning company for the first time, you can dive right into requesting a quote from three or more services. An online search for “commercial cleaning companies Minneapolis mn” or “janitorial services St Paul mn” should provide a few leads.
Assess Your Cleaning Needs
Before you walk through your building with potential cleaning service providers, take time to determine your facility’s specific needs. Invite someone from each department or area to help decide what needs cleaning, and how often. Establishing a budget in advance will help prospective vendors tailor a program that maximizes your return on investment. Periodic services, such as floor maintenance and window washing, should also be included in your budgeting process.
Few business partnerships require as much trust as the janitorial industry, where you literally hand over the keys to your building for after-hours access. Be sure to check online reviews and request current customer references before signing a contract with a cleaning company.
Once you have at least three cost estimates, begin comparing their value.
Proper cleaning and maintenance keep your building healthy and safe. A clean, attractive facility helps project a positive image and reputation for your company.
Ask questions about billing practices (such as credits for any missed days due to inclement Minnesota weather), customer service expectations and security precautions (such as employee background checks). Finally, ask your preferred company to provide proof of adequate worker’s compensation and other liability insurance.
For more detailed guidance and checklists to help organize your bidding process, download our 12-page guide: “8 Steps to Hiring a Commercial Cleaning Company.” Once you’ve hired the right cleaning company for your specific needs, you’ll be glad you did.
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