Cleaning Business Owner Warning: Don’t Kid Yourself!

‘Oh, we’ll be able to ‘bang out’ the cleaning in no time, probably an hour! No problem.’

‘Oh, I know this building is really dirty and hard to get to – but I’m sure we’ll be able to hire someone locally to clean it. No problem.’

‘Oh, I see the specs call for us to provide an auto scrubber. I don’t know how much they are new, or if I can even find a decent used one, but I’m sure I can get my hands on something, from somewhere, pretty cheap. No problem.

I once had a boss who gave me these words of advice – and I never forgot them..

Nothing’s a problem, until it’s a problem and then it’s a problem.

The point, of course, is when we ‘kid ourselves’ into believing everything will simply,effortlessly, almost magically work out without much work on our part, well, we’re setting ourselves up for, yes you guessed right – a PROBLEM.

By the way, it reminds me of interviewing….

Have you ever been interviewing someone that answers quickly, automatically and seemingly without thinking, ‘No Problem!’ to every question you throw at ‘em?

I don’t know about you, but when I hear someone automatically anwer thoughtlessly like that, I begin to think… this guy or gal is most likely – yep,a problem!

I mean are you kidding me? How can everything be ‘No Problem!’.

Heck, my whole day is finding problems, and then learning how to fix them and keep them fixed.

And, bottom line, you just have a heck of a lot more credibility when you, at least, think for a minute first, and then give some degree of thoughtful and meaningful answer to a question.

Sorry, I got off on that rant... but it makes me crazy!

Anyway, let’s get back to the real point of today’s message, which is, when you quickly dismiss problems as being ‘no big deal’ without investigating, and thinking them through, you can be setting yourself up for trouble.

Let’s go back to the examples I described in the beginning:

In the first one, where we boasted we could ‘bang the cleaning out in an hour’

Really? Don’t kid yourself….

Did you remember to factor in travel time to and from, the account?

Did you remember, it will take X amount of time to just get in, set up, then when you’re done, put things away, turn of the lights, and lock up?

In the second example, we proclaimed we shouldn’t have much trouble hiring someone to clean that hard to get to and super filthy account.

Really? Don’t kid yourself…

During times like this, when it’s hard to find, qualified and reliable employees, will you really be able to find and keep someone in the job, or will it more likely be the case, that you can’t fill the job the spot, and even if you – the next tough job is keeping it filled?

In the 3rd example, we tossed aside any concerns about finding or paying for an auto scrubber, telling ourselves that ‘I’m sure we’ll find something, from somewhere, pretty cheap?!’

Really? Don’t kid yourself….

Buying new equipment isn’t cheap, and finding used equipment at a good price isn’t always easy or sometimes – even possible.

So, what am I saying?

Well, first, let me tell you what I’m not saying.

I’m not saying to pass on a possible new account because there may be problems. (Heck, there’s always going to be some problems to overcome.)

What I am saying, however, is think first. Go in with your eyes wide open. Be realistic.

Do your homework.

The message is this -’don’t kid yourself” and end up getting stuck in a situation where you’re losing money, and ALL because you didn’t think realistically about how long things would take or how much things would cost.

You know I’m a big believer in making sure every account ‘stands on its own’, you know, pull its own weight profit wise.

If you go into the bidding process with realistic estimates for things, such as ‘time needed to clean’ and ‘other expenses’ you’ll stand a better chance of it being a winner rather than a dud – if you do get awarded the business!

And that’s a good thing!

Discover the Guru in YOU,


4 Responses to “Cleaning Business Owner Warning: Don’t Kid Yourself!”

  1. Star says:

    I tend to agree with every word; You must consider time for travel, time for cleaning, time for putting the equipment back up then locking up the premises. Suggesting you can get someone else to do the dirty work shows the prospective client that you are incapable! It also show then you are unreliable and do not deserve their business. Never tell a customer or client that you can find cheap equipment even if you do! Secondly never under estimate yourself or the client, you want them to think your the best at what you do. I personally do a lot of the tough task myself because I am selling myself and that first impression is a lasting impression. What I show my clients will either prove to make me or break me. I like to reap the fruits of my labor; meaning a well pleased client will send more business my way or call me back in the future.


  2. DLiebrecht says:

    Star, thanks for sharing – and wishing you much success in your cleaning business! Dan

  3. CINDY L WOOD says:

    Do you have a contract we can have that forbids our employees from stealing accounts behind our backs?

  4. CleanGuru says:

    Hi Cindy, thanks for your note! While many cleaning business report having developed detailed legal documents to address the issue you’ve described – currently we simply have a section of the proposal called ‘ Employee Status’ that basically explains, ‘ Personnel supplied by ((cleaning business name would be inserted here)) are deemed employees of ((cleaning business name would be inserted here)) and will not for any purpose be considered employees or agents of the customer. You can, however, delete, add or edit the existing language. Hope that helps, Matt, CleanGuru Support

Leave a Reply


"What real users say..."

© 2007 - 2018 Clean Guru LLC, all rights reserved
CleanBid is a registered trademark of CGDL, LLC
Privacy Policy | User Agreement | Sitemap
Hide me
Sign up below to join my eNewsletter
Name * Email *
Show me