Is the janitorial business even worth it? | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Is the janitorial business even worth it?

ryan81588

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Ive been in the buiness for about 12 years now and I’m just starting to think the janitorial industry is just not profitable anymore. Anyone else feel this way?
 

ryan81588

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Yup!! We’ve had to include that into most of our contracts to keep them over the years. The big guys come in and promise everything even though they can’t deliver on it.
 

The Cleaning Artist

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Janitorial can be very profitable if you can deliver the routine on schedule and excell at the other services they require. If not they will move on. Some expect to pay low prices and those you just move on. Whatever you do make the buildings you take care of clean. Give them nothing to complain about and if they do fix it now! Then start moving your prices up. You will get opposition to the increase and they will leave. After finding worse service through several companies they will come back if you were doing your job. This is when it becomes very profitable but doesn't happen overnight and ALL work must be on a 12 month contract with a breach cost.

The problem around here is everybody does janitorial work and nobody cleans. The price only goes down because the business doesn't want to pay for inadequate work but they continue to repeat the process hoping to find better.
 
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rob allen

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It’s a sad fact that many in today’s world don’t value the cleaning trade. Cleanliness is one main reasons humans live longer in our century.
 

ryan81588

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Janitorial can be very profitable if you can deliver the routine on schedule and excell at the other services they require. If not they will move on. Some expect to pay low prices and those you just move on. Whatever you do make the buildings you take care of clean. Give them nothing to complain about and if they do fix it now! Then start moving your prices up. You will get opposition to the increase and they will leave. After finding worse service through several companies they will come back if you were doing your job. This is when it becomes very profitable but doesn't happen overnight and ALL work must be on a 12 month contract with a breach cost.

The problem around here is everybody does janitorial work and nobody cleans. The price only goes down because the business doesn't want to pay for inadequate work but they continue to repeat the process hoping to find better.
I’ve found they never come back. We did a large school for over 20 years. One of our larger competitors came in and priced the job higher than we were doing it for. 4 years later and countless complaints we still haven’t got a call back though we have tried.
 

ryan81588

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It’s a sad fact that many in today’s world don’t value the cleaning trade. Cleanliness is one main reasons humans live longer in our century.
True! My prices are 16.50 per hour and or .10 a sq foot and that is looked at as high. Most of my jobs want all carpets and VCT tile refining included in that price too.
 

The Cleaning Artist

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Rob, I really feel that customers think all or most service companys perform the same or similar job. They ask the same old question "How much do u charge" because they don't know what else to ask. Then by asking that question subconsciously they are programing their mindset to keep calling in til they find the bottom. Consensus shows they found the bottom so make an appointment. And I say this with somewhat proof because we see it out on the truck often with neighbors. Our clients home always looks good when the neighbor come over and our name is given. (No call to us.) We arrive and the neighbor comes over and asks " How much don't u charge" I avoid the question and offer to walk over when done. I walk in do a quick look around commenting on how much the cleaning is needed in comparison to the house we are doing next door then"Ma'am, when was the last time this was cleaned?" Her answer then " Were you happy with the last cleaning?" I already know she wasn't cuz the neighbor already told me but I want her to say it so she can hear it. I address the concerns with the floors, give a firm price looking at said client and ask for the job. We move the truck across the street and perform the cleaning. She just allowed me to clean her carpets at 3 times what she was paying and is amazed out how good they look compared to what she was getting. AND they remain clients of ours for years.
 

The Cleaning Artist

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Ryan, why on earth would you work for 16.50 per hr? You could make more working at Walmart and have no overhead.
 
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ryan81588

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Tha
Ryan, why on earth would you work for 16.50 per hr? You could make more working at Walmart and have no overhead.
That’s pretty much all you can get. Unless I’m doing something wrong. Technically I’m managing, 20 subs paying $10 per hour so the company makes 6.50 ish before overhead. Some accounts are a little better but I have a 70,000 sq foot school and they won’t pay me a huge amount when they could bring it on staff.
 
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The Cleaning Artist

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There is the problem, subs. You can't expect much from a $10hrs sub. That's not going to cut it. Minimum pay around here is about $15 per hr for someone to show up. More if you expect them to think and work.
We have several schools also and they wouldn't pay our price at first. Now they are some of the best Jobs we do. Their floors have never looked better (their words) and the problems are gone. And yes they do pay our price and we hold up our end delivering the clean.
 
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ryan81588

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There is the problem, subs. You can't expect much from a $10hrs sub. That's not going to cut it. Minimum pay around here is about $15 per hr for someone to show up. More if you expect them to think and work.
Not sure how upping everyone’s pay would help, without getting more from the customer. You can on,y clean so fast effectively so even if I pay more doesn’t mean they will clean faster and more effectively
 
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Common janitor

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True! My prices are 16.50 per hour and or .10 a sq foot and that is looked at as high. Most of my jobs want all carpets and VCT tile refining included in that price too.
That’s a fact . You are high . I have the largest companies in the country within twenty minutes of me that have millions of square feet under contract . At $15 / hr . bids even THEY get shot down . TBH , around here that’s the rate and the workers make $10 / hr. OR LESS .
All the Best , Ed
 
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ryan81588

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May 20, 2010
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Ryan Jordan
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United States
That’s a fact . You are high . I have the largest companies in the country within twenty minutes of me that have millions of square feet under contract . At $15 / hr . bids even THEY get shot down . TBH , around here that’s the rate and the workers make $10 / hr. OR LESS .
All the Best , Ed
Where are you located?
 

Ymetimme

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My wife and I have eight employees for our janitorial business it is full of headaches and busy work and it is considerably less profitable than our other business ventures our carpet cleaning has to employees and clears as much as a janitorial I am definitely pursuing the carpet and more rug washing for sure
Janitorial customers want everything for free and they expect it that way
 

ryan81588

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May 20, 2010
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Ryan Jordan
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My wife and I have eight employees for our janitorial business it is full of headaches and busy work and it is considerably less profitable than our other business ventures our carpet cleaning has to employees and clears as much as a janitorial I am definitely pursuing the carpet and more rug washing for sure
That’s my thoughts. Idk how long it will take to build up the carpet side. How long did it take to build your carpet side ?
 

Ymetimme

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That’s my thoughts. Idk how long it will take to build up the carpet side. How long did it take to build your carpet side ?
The carpet cleaning has been in business much longer than the office cleaning and was actually used to build the office cleaning
During the economic downturn we decided to focus on the office cleaning thinking that it would be more stable in built it larger than the carpet that was a very bad decision!!!
Now we are focusing all of our efforts to build the carpet cleaning back up to its Glory days hopefully I'll be able to have it back to three trucks by the end of the year.

carpet work it is way easier to get carpet work than it is to get office cleaning I think you have to beg barter and steal to get the office work just to have it take months to pay and barely float you through the slow times of carpet work.

half the time we're living on the carpet cleaning and just paying the bills with the office cleaning I'm frankly very sick of it

Shoot during the winter months we had to make payroll with the carpet work explain that to your CPA
 

The Cleaning Artist

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There is a janitorial co here that has a hundred subs and does a lot of buildings. Not one that I have been in are even somewhat clean. They look terrible. The carpets, the hard floors, the dust at the wall/floor transition, under the doors ect. The quality of the workers is substandard just like their work. We have many buildings that we take care of all the floors janitorial just mops or vacuums and they look great even considering only cleaning 1 or 2 times per year.