Tuesday, March 6, 2012


As you start to build your business, managing your time and the time of your staff becomes more and more critical. Many people are pulling you in many different directions and your day can become one of frustration. Your time management is one thing you will struggle with constantly.

One area that requires your tight control is the actual cleaning budgets in each building. Let me emphasize that you need to be monitoring these at all times and doing every 6 month account retuning audits. We will discuss the audits in a future blog. You will find as your crews get more familiar with cleaning a facility they learn where to reduce time and in most cases are not forthcoming in telling you to reduce the budgeted time in the building.

One of my pet peeves has always been one of wasted time when we clean facilities. We live in a competitive environment and try to budget the time as accurately as possible and when we are wasting time in the building, chances are something is not being cleaned to the level we committed to the customer.

Let me give you a wasted time example that happened to me.

We had a 7 story office building that we were cleaning with a crew of 4 people, 4 hours per night for a total of 16 hours per night, 5 times per week. The customer would call quite regularly and complain that we were missing the little things like gum wrappers in the staircases or a trash can in a suite here and there. I could tell she was becoming quite agitated about these issues and I was constantly in communication with my crew to correct the issues.

The crew was adamant in the fact that they just didn't have enough time to do all the work that was required in the allotted time. If they just had 15 minutes more each per night , 1 hour total, the cleaning problems would be solved. I told them I would see what I could do. I worked up a new pricing model and was finally able to secure a 4 PM appointment with my customer and rushed up to see her and sweat blood as we negotiated for 2 hours and finally she agreed to my modest increase and explained she expected no more problems.

I left her office at 6:15 and decided I would go to the basement break area and have a soft drink, relax, and then find the crew to give them the good news. Well, as I got off the elevator and walked in to the break room, lo and behold there sat my entire crew visiting and enjoying their own soft drink. Do the math---4 people, wasting 15 minutes each equals 1 hour---the hour I had just worked so hard selling to a reluctant client. I counted to 10 (maybe 20) before I asked them when they planned on going to work and explained the difficult time I had just had getting more time for them to make their live easier.

It came as no comfort to me when they explained that, "This is the first time we have ever done this". I left the building without a soft drink. In the weeks to come, they became former employees.

What I have just explained is an example of other people controlling time and eroding profit dollars for the company. When incidents like this occur, they are controlling your destiny, you are not. Be alert to the time wasters that can devastate an organization.

Did you know that if you have 10 employees that waste 5 minutes per day and you pay them $10 per hour that equates to lost dollars of $2,520 per year? That assumes they only waste 5 minutes a day. I am guessing you have some employees that waste more than that. What will $2500+ buy for your organization (or for your spouse).

If you go to my web site at www.consultantsincleaning.com and click on the DVD icon and then click on the support material section entitled "It's only 5 minutes", on the left hand side, you will be able to download a free complete chart of what 5 minutes of wasted time equates to at different employee levels and different pay scales. It will amaze you.

I remember showing the chart to a contractor at a BSCAI convention and it made him physically ill. You see, he had 3,000 employees with an average wage of $15 per hour. That equates to $1,134,000 per year.

So the next time you or someone in your organization says "It's only 5 minutes", remember this article and what 5 minutes can really mean.

Thanks for reading and MAKE IT A GREAT DAY.

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