Properly Label EVERYTHING in Your Janitorial Business

I wish Tony and I had always followed that rule – but we didn’t. You see, in our first year in business, we were still doing some of the cleaning jobs ourselves -especially the project work like carpet.

Anyway, one night, Tony and I were finishing up a carpet job, late at night, at one of our biggest cleaning accounts, and I went to grab the container of solution we had brought along to ‘protect’ the carpet.

I sprayed the solution to the carpet in each of the executive offices -thinking we were just about done and would be able to call it a night soon – when something went wrong – terribly wrong.

I stood in shook as I watch the carpet change colors from dark blue to well, let’s just say a much lighter color – right before my eyes.

And, not evenly either – but streaked. We could not believe what was happening.

But, as with everything – there’s a reason why things happen the way they do, and this was no exception. You see, we had brought along an unmarked container of solution.

We talked about what it was back at the office when we were loading the truck- and had all agreed it was carpet protectant.

But it wasn’t – it was bleach.  Yeah, bleach!

I won’t bore you with the rest of the story here, other than to say, that it took a lot of time and trouble to resolve this situation. And, embarrassment, of course, too – and ALL because we didn’t make sure we labeled everything – properly.

Some day, maybe I’ll get a chance to tell you how the conversation went when we had to explain to our customer WHY there carpet had gone from solid dark – to striped light color overnight.

Let’s just say, it wasn’t good. But, something good did come from this disaster.

We made it a hard and fast rule from then on to correctly label EVERYTHING we used -no exceptions

And, that rule served our janitorial business well for years.

Hopefully, sharing this embarrassing mistake will give anyone who hasn’t made it a rule to label everything – to do so.

We knew better – but because we were in a rush – we made a poor decision – one that cost us dearly.

I’ll never forget that mistake – never. It’s so true, how painful mistakes can really stay in your mind – years afterwards.

That one certainly did for me.

Please leave your comments below. Thanks, Dan

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