Make your janitorial business more profitable and easier to run with proper tracking and timekeeping
Today we have a special guest, Cheryl from Chronotek. Cheryl and Mike have a value packed conversation about running your janitorial business. This episode was so jam packed, we broke it up into TWO blogs & two podcasts.
Chronotek helps janitorial business owners get their dream back. They do this by giving janitorial businesses a tool to effectively manage their offsite employees, job costing and time tracking.
In the janitorial business, we have employees that typically don’t come in and punch a clock. You still need to be able to track where they are, what they are doing and be able to pay them properly. All this while having the data you need to make sure each job is profitable as well as your janitorial business as a whole.
KEY POINT: It’s not JUST about tracking and profit. It’s about getting back control over your janitorial business and your life
One of the first things Mike does with his coaching clients is to get a baseline profitability for the company. Before this can happen, the owner needs a reliable set of books. It is shocking what percentage of janitorial business owners don’t have basic data. At a minimum, you need to know yourCost of Goods Sold (COGS), overhead and revenue.
BONUS LOVIN: Check out this FREE blog/ podcast for more info on Knowing Your Numbers
COGS is the what it costs you to provide the product or service you sell. Overhead is all of your other costs (not associated with providing your service). For most janitorial business COGS is just the labor cost of your cleaners. It is nearly impossible to run a profitable janitorial business if you don’t know your key numbers.
In the not too distant past, we had to rely on the data that employees provided which could be easily manipulated. Now we have the tools to properly track (and report) labor hours and costs. It is ridiculous for any janitorial business owner NOT to have that information!
In his twenty years of business ownership, Mike has found that just by tracking employee times properly his Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) goes DOWN. This means profitability goes up! Keep in mind, this is with ZERO changes in policy, pay, or disciplinary measures. Just by tracking, profitability improves.
PRO TIP: When you hold your employees accountable, your best and worst cleaners tend to react in very different ways.
Honest, hard working employees tend to embrace proper tracking. They finally get recognized for their efforts. Dishonest employees that have been cheating the system nearly always complain. Often they will even refuse to comply with proper tracking.
Tracking will have multiple benefits for both groups of people. Often top performers get demotivated when their hard work goes unnoticed. They want your company to succeed. Good employees feel like “giving up” when lazy or dishonest employees get treated the same as hard working employees. Proper tracking will encourage your top performers. Let them know you and your company DO care. Take this opportunity to identify, honor and acknowledge your top performers.
FUN FACT: Cheryl has had the opportunity to see companies grow from 2 or 3 employees to hundreds when implementing a good tracking system
In addition to wanting to get big picture data, you will want to get specific data. Cost by customer, location, time, employee. Data can help you really understand what your costs are and how to improve.
You know how devastating missing a cleaning can be to a janitorial company or maid service. With the right tool, you can get a reminder if no one has checked into an account. This gives you the chance to get it fixed in real time without your customer ever knowing there was a problem!
Cheryl explains that Chronotek does both scheduling and timekeeping. You want a tool that can handle what employee should be where and for how long. Plus give you the data to know what employees are cleaning on schedule and which need some help.
KEY POINT: If your janitorial business has lost a customer over a missed cleaning- it is time to make a change!
But how do I actually KNOW where my employees are?? Great question! Chronotek offers the ability for employees to check in multiple ways.
The best way is for the employee to use the customers phone to call in and out of the job (to a toll free number). This way you KNOW they were where they said they were when they said. This can be an excellent value add for the customer to know that you track your employees coming and going from their site!
BONUS LOVIN: Chronotek offers brochures for janitorial business owners to give to prospects to help you communicate the value you bring
Mike is all about upping your game instead of lowering your price and using good tracking software is an excellent way to do this!
On rare occasions, your customer won’t have a phone you can use. Mike and Cheryl discuss the pros and cons of having employees use their smart phones to check in. There are some legalities involved with having your employees use their phones for work. Cheryl explains that if the employees download the free app, you can track everything without violating any laws.
NOTE: You can still track with “dumb” phones, but it isn’t as good
Because of all of the amazing content Mike and Cheryl created for you, we broke this blog and podcasts into two parts, but if you are fired up NOW and can’t wait, go to Chronotek now or check out some amazing blog posts on how to build your janitorial business.
As always, the value is in the community! Make sure to join the conversation by leaving your questions, comments and experiences in the comment section below. Mike personally responds to every one!