Do you value your cleaner? This blog post is going to be a little bit different. Let’s pull off the sales veneer and tell it like it is.
I’m not a cleaner. I do some admin and accounts work for a cleaning company, including writing their monthly blog. It doesn’t make sense for the cleaner to take time and focus out of what they do best to write up blogs. They are focusing on the cleaning side of things. That means they can get that done well. I, in turn, focus on the backend and admin side of things. It works well for most businesses who understand the importance of not spreading oneself too thin.
Being on the admin side of a cleaning business has opened my eyes to what it’s like for a cleaner trying to make a living through their cleaning business. I’ve worked, and still work, for many different kinds of businesses. This means I get to see a perspective that is bigger than just the view from within one company. It’s interesting to see how differently clients treat and approach different businesses, depending on how much value they place on the service they are recieving. Let’s look at it this way…
The value of quality products & materials
Have you ever tried to paint your own home?
If you did, did you go for the cheapest product you could find, only to discover that it is really is worth putting in a little extra?
That 90c brush that fell apart while you painted was just a waste of 90c. The $15 brush made life easier.
That $2 roller that left bits of lint over the wall wasn’t just a waste, it added hassle, time, and frustration to the job. That $50 roller held more paint, made the job run more efficiently, and took away the headache.
The cheap paint that you thought was such a good deal didn’t turn out so great in the long run did it? You ended up having to do three times as many coats just to get it to look ok on the wall, and you can tell that a repaint is needed already.
Perhaps you just realised it was all too hard and paid the big bucks to get a professional out there and make sure the job was really done right.
When it comes to quality materials for cleaning your home, do you value your cleaner?
The value of a bit of skill and focus
Have you ever paid for a decent hair trim?
A $30 trim takes up a lot of your time and hardly any of the hairdressers. You have to leave your home, figure out what to do with the kids, drive to the store, find a park, wait your turn. It takes them about 10 minutes. That’s $30-$50 for maybe several minutes of their time to snip along your hair, and maybe along the fringe too.
Maybe you only go in for a longer style, colour or full treatment. This, of course, costs you more, maybe even hundreds of dollars more. It would be much cheaper and quicker to just take a pair of scissors and snip your own hair. Though we can’t guarantee that the outcome would be pleasant… At least hair grows back… I guess.
When it comes to needing some skill and focus, do you value your cleaner?
The value of professional training and focus
What about a tax return? Ever paid to get your tax return lodged?
You could lodge yourself you know. It’s free to do that. Those are the sort of returns that end up with people getting fined for claiming ineligible costs such as the costs of parking at their usual place of work (sorry that’s not tax deductible), or missing out on rebates and offsets that you just didn’t know about (you have to include that remote zone offset if you want it applied against your taxable income).
Tax accountants spend years studying and gaining work experience before they qualify. They are required to maintain minimum annual education (since the system is constantly changing) and it’s what they focus on. That’s why you pay them to prepare your return for you. Plus, it’s a tax deductible cost, so win win right?
When it comes to getting a professional clean, do you value your cleaner?
The value of a cleaner
Why are some people so reluctant to pay for cleaners?
Cleaning your home is something everyone does. Yet it’s not something everyone has the skills to do well, nor is it something everyone has the time to do.
Yet we don’t learn from the times we’ve gone for the cheaper options only to realise that actually ends up costing us more, especially in time and hassle.
We’ll happily pay $35 for a ten minute haircut and complain if someone wants to charge us $35 for a physically demanding hour of cleaning.
We recognise the value of getting in a professional to assist with our finances, yet we often don’t see that a decent cleaner, one who really knows what they are doing, can provide value beyond what you can do on your own.
I am not a cleaner. I do admin work for a cleaning company and I’ve gained some insight into the issues that cleaners regularly face with quoting jobs. We regularly see potential clients quickly become angry when they see the rates and make claims such as:
No other cleaning company charges as high as you do, can’t you do it cheaper?
My last cleaner only charged $20 an hour, why can’t you charge $20 an hour? It only takes 2 people 2 and a half hours to clean my home, I was expecting it to only cost under $100.
The cost of employees
Let me put it to you straight.
A good cleaning company knows what they are doing and what products to ensure the job is done well. Behind the scenes they are investing in quality product and cleaning material, as well as focusing themselves on continual improvements through ongoing training and education. They are professionals.
When you hire a cleaning company you are not hiring a young Mum who is just looking to earn a few dollars on the side. There are laws in Australia that require staff to be paid not just for the hours they work. They must also be paid for travel time, training time, downtime, and even holidays. On top of that there is insurance, superannuation, allowances for extra icky or tricky jobs (like cleaning your toilet or working on roofs), bonuses, uniforms, staff amenities, and vehicles.
For the 2020 financial year the legal minimum wage for a fulltime cleaning employee is $20.82-$22.70 per hours for normal hours of work, depending on their skill and authority level (higher for evenings, public holidays, weekends, and overtime). If someone works on a Sunday then their minimum wage will be between $41.64 and $45.40 an hour. If they work overtime on a public holiday their base minimum wage will be $56.75. Part time workers have higher minimum hourly rates of pay starting at $23.94. Casual workers are higher again (although this is at least partially offset by not having the requirements to pay them for leave time).
Undervaluing has an onflow effect
If you expect a cleaning company to charge only $20 an hour then you are expecting to be charged rates that are lower than the lowest possible minimum hourly rate before even factoring in superannuation, allowances, leave, training, uniform, travel etc. If a cleaning company is charging you this low they are either not a cleaning company (they’re an individual just looking for some extra cash on the side and willing to work under minimum wage requirements to get it) or they are not paying their staff properly.
As a rough guide it costs a company almost twice as much as the base minimum wage rate for their productive hours of employment. (Although this can vary depending on how much down time, travel time, additional allowances, training, uniforms, additional hours etc are appropriate for the situation). When you realise that you realise that most cleaning companies make a living by working in the business themselves.
Not to mention the actual value of a good clean
That’s just the cost side of things.
The real value of hiring a cleaner is in the value that you get from a proper cleaning job. Do you have a cleaner who doesn’t miss those nooks and crannies? Someone who uses high quality material? A company whose cleaners work efficiently and effectively? If so you are getting genuine professional value. That’s not the same thing as paying someone who basically knows how to tidy up and run a wipe over the most visible surfaces. It’s worth a whole lot more.
It saves you time and energy. Plus your home is in better shape than you could realistically keep it.
If you want a professional service then expect a professional fee to be charged. If you’re lucky enough to get a cheap rate with a quality cleaner then be grateful while you’ve got it. These cleaners are working hard to make a living for themselves. You are reaping the benefits of quality job.
Thank your cleaner today!
Do you value your cleaner? If you’re someone who values the exceptional service that is provided by your cleaning then thank you! I know we’d love your kind over at www.cleaningbest.com.au
Don’t forget to let your cleaner know how much you appreciate them. I wonder if there’s a cleaner appreciation day….
10 Ways to Tell If Your Expert Cleaner a Gourmet Chef or a BBQ mate
Do you know how to choose an expert cleaner? When choosing the best Perth cleaning services for your needs, make sure you pick someone you can rely. A decent cleaner and a professional cleaning business is like the difference between hiring a gourmet chef for your function, or just tossing some bucks to a mate who’s putting on a BBQ.
Of course, there’s something to be said about having a mate who can cook a BBQ. A BBQ is a cheap meal, half decent grub, friendship and some jokes about cremated meat. Hiring a basic cleaner is kind of the same. A cheap clean that gets the basics of the job done, is friendly, and shows a lack of finesse that you can laugh about.
A gourmet chef kicks it up a notch. They know just the right spices to mix in when you’re after pure flavour. This means the food is cooked perfectly, the right components are soft, or crunchy, rich, or subtle… The result is a carefully crafted blend that boosts your palate and enhances any function. Hiring a quality professional cleaning company is kind of the same. A premium clean, friendly, reliable quality, and a focus on finesse.
Premium Quality Work from an Expert Cleaner
While you may chuck 20 bucks or pitch in with a salad for your BBQ mate, you’d pay the gourmet chef a premium fee for premium food. The funny thing is that, when it comes to choosing your cleaning company, many people expect to treat the professional like they would their mate.
This is nuts!
They’re not just saving you time and doing an undesirable job for you. They are putting their experience and training into giving you superior results. These results genuinely benefit your home,office or cleanroom. A professional cleaning company has spent the time needed to provide you with an expert cleaner. They have devoted their energy to selecting quality tools and equipment. In addition, they undertake ongoing training and continually improve their services. There is a high level of quality and assurance from a professional relationship.
Let’s take a deeper look at some typical differences between a basic cleaner (the BBQ mate), and the expert cleaner who works in an expert cleaning business (the gourmet chef)…
1- The little things matter to an expert cleaner
When it comes to eating, a BBQ is a pretty casual affair. Toss a salad here, slop on some sauce there, and hope more gets into your mouth than on the floor. When it comes to cleaning, it’s even more important that things are not that sloppy. When you do a quick tidy up you don’t need to worry about the little things. When you hire a cleaner, the little things matter.
The expert cleaner pays attention to those little things. They will clean behind the doors, not just forget to look because a door is closed. You won’t have to run every little thing past them because they actually know what they are doing. The small stuff isn’t ignored on the premise that it doesn’t matter. Rather, the little things are given attention. The professional cleaner knows that it’s the attention paid to the little things that makes a big difference.
A basic cleaner will miss things. They may get the big picture, but in their hurry to get through they forget to check the little things, or don’t even realise they matter.
2- The results from an expert clean are good for you
A good meal is filling, delicious, and nutritious. There’s an actual benefit that forms part of the yum factor. A deep clean from a quality cleaner is about more than just looking pretty. It clears away dirt, bugs, germs, mould, and other nasty surprises that could be making your home sick. While a superficial clean from a basic cleaner may help your house feel a bit more tidy, the professional clean improves the health of your home.
3- Your senses are heightened by the experience of having an expert cleaner through your home
A good meal is something that enthralls and tingles all of your senses. An expert cleaning job does the same.
When you clean your house thoroughly, you feel the difference. While you may not be able to put your finger on it, your senses pick up on it. It’s not just something you see and smell. Although there is that, of course. A really good clean lifts your mood and clears your head.
4- Presentation matters
When a BBQ mate cooks, the food is typically just thrown on the plate. Charcoal, sauce, salad, whatever works. A gourmet chef makes presentation a big part of the meal experience. From the way the food is set on the plate, to the extra garnishes that give a finishing touch. It’s the same with a quality clean.
You might think that this doesn’t make sense. After all cleaning is pretty much all about presentation. However there is a difference. A basic cleaner will clean. But they may not put things back properly. They won’t worry about spots, or tweak the edges. Your rubbish bin may even highlight the evidence of their clean. A professional cleaner is all about presentation. Their rubbish won’t be left behind for you to take out. If they move things around, they’ll fix it up again. The cleaning job is finished off with just the right touches that fill out the overall presentation.
5- The expert cleaner has the right tools & materials
A professional cleaner doesn’t just know how to clean, they know what cleaning materials and tools work for each type of clean. This means they also know what they can and can’t clean. An expert cleaner is not going to spend time on a job that they just aren’t equipped for. That’s because they understand both their own level of experience and the proper supplies and equipment needed for specialised cleans.
Cleaning products can cause damage if they are used in the wrong way or on the wrong surface. A basic cleaner will only have a limited understanding of what to use, and is at a higher risk of causing damage by failing to understand their materials properly.
6- The expert cleaner is experienced and proactive
A gourmet chef knows how to make a great meal because they’ve done it a thousand times. They don’t need you to list all the ingredients or instruct them on how the plate should look. An expert cleaner is the same.
Their experience means they can anticipate the needs of a clean. While they will work to your specifications, you should never have to give a professional cleaner a play by play on what you expect from them.
7- They have the right accreditations, insurances, and certificates
Just like a professional chef, your professional cleaning company will be backed by the right accreditations, insurances, and certificates. They’ve proven themselves and have their contingencies in place.
8- It’s not just about the cleaner
When you hire a cleaner from a professional cleaning company, it’s not just about the cleaner. In a professional food services environment there is a head chef, a sous chef, waitstaff, dishwasher, the host, and more. It is a team effort. While the head chef may be the one who is credited with the good meal, there is really a lot more going on.
A basic cleaner may just be working for themselves. They don’t have a team of focused experts supporting them to improve the overall results. Nor do they have a team of people to train and provide for. A quality cleaning business will have a professional cleaner who fronts the work for you. However there will be a team of experts supporting them. Their work, although central to the job, is the outcome of a number of hands that help the overall flow of the business. This means each worker concentrates on the expertise they bring to the overall experience.
9- The expert cleaner takes responsibility
A professional cleaning company will guarantee their work. Since things can go wrong, no matter how experienced people are, they will take responsibility for mistakes. This includes having insurance, redoing work when necessary, increasing training for new staff, improving tools, and taking on board criticism. Solid criticism can be extremely useful for the expert cleaner. Someone who isn’t a professional is less likely to take responsibility for issues or understand how to utilise criticism to make improvements.
If you want a premium clean, then be prepared to pay premium rates.
10- The expert cleaner isn’t charging mates rates
You don’t have to worry about paying your mate to put on a BBQ for you. When you hire a gourmet chef to cater for your function, well, that’s an entirely different story.
While you want to minimise your cleaning costs, a professional cleaning company is not just an individual cleaner earning some extra cash on the side. There are legal, ethical, and practical considerations that need to be taken into account. An individual cleaner may offer rates that equate to less than minimum wages. A cleaning company simply cannot do that, nor should they be expected to. When quality matters this means there is additional cost. Training, hiring processes, quality supplies, taking care of staff, client relations… everything adds to the picture.
You’ve probably heard the old adage, that “you get what you pay for”. The same is true with your cleaner. If you want a premium clean, then be prepared to pay premium rates.
There are cleaners, and then there are cleaners. A professional cleaning business will offer expert cleaners for residential, commercial, cleaning room, or other specialised cleaning services. They will pay attention to the little details and give a thorough clean that genuinely improves your home or office. This can actually have a tangible impact on your health. You will sense the difference with a final presentation that has been meticulously cared for. With the right tools and materials, backed by experience, accreditations, and insurance, they are a reliable team of experts. The expert cleaner is part of a expert cleaning business. They deserve the respect and consideration that matches the efforts they put into doing an exceptional cleaning job.
When you find a cleaning business that provides you with this premium service, don’t think of them like they’re just a mate putting on a BBQ for you. After all, they’re creating a gourmet meal for you. Choose them for the professionals that they are.
Whether you’re looking for a Perth cleaner to clean your home or your office, finding the right cleaner can be a daunting task. After all, this is your space that you are asking someone to come into. Space that sends a message about how you are and the image you want to represent. Your cleaner will be airing out your dirty laundry (although only figuratively unless you pay extra for them to do a load of washing as well). You need to feel comfortable with them, and be able to trust and rely on them. Here’s ten tips to ensure you make the right choice
1- Plan ahead.
Most cleaning companies are booked well in advance for both one off and regular clients. Not only will it be hard to find a company who can complete a rush job, you won’t give yourself enough time to do the required research if you wait until you really need the cleaning job to be completed.
2- Ask for Recommendations.
There are plenty of places to ask for recommendations. While personal friends and business associates can be the most useful source of recommendations, you can also ask in local groups and online community pages.
3- Do online research.
Find out if the company has positive or negative reviews. While one or two bad reviews may be explainable, a barrage of negative reviews is a pretty big red flag. Even checking the company’s website can tell you a lot about them. While a badly done website may not be an accurate reflect of the company’s quality of work, a well done website does usually reflect a commitment to professionalism.
4- Hire a cleaning company who is properly registered and insured
In Australia all businesses must have an ABN. If you can’t find this on their website, ask for it. This ensures they are registered as a business with the ATO. If they are specialised, make sure they have any necessary registrations and permits.
Since even the most highly trained and experienced cleaner can encounter unexpected problems, it is important that your cleaner has full and comprehensive insurance. While an uninsured cleaner may do a good job, it will be a disaster if things go awry.
5- Ensure they are the experts that you need.
Cleaning, whether residential, commercial, or industrial, can vary greatly in what is included. Each cleaner will have their own specialisations and different types of experience. Make sure the cleaner you are looking at is willing and able to clean all the items and areas that you want cleaned. Many cleaners won’t clean the external areas of your property for example, as this often requires additional specialised knowledge and equipment. Don’t expect a “cleaning firm” to be able to cover all bases. This may mean you need to be prepared to hire a specialised window cleaner and a gardener as well as an office cleaner.
6- Be prepared to pay for quality.
While a business looking for an office cleaner will typically have a better understanding of this point, it is common for families looking for a residential cleaner to undervalue the cleaning service. Since cleaning is an industry that can be tempting to get into as cash on the side jobs or helping out friends, it is vulnerable to offerings from less experience, poorly trained, or inadequately insured workers. If you want professional quality work, you should be prepared to pay for professional quality work.
If you need to understand this point more, consider that the minimum wage for a cleaner is $20.21, plus superannuation. A good rule of thumb is that for every chargeable hour worked an employee actually costs a company roughly one and a half to double their base hourly wage. This is especially true if the company is paying their staff ethically and investing in ongoing training- two factors you want in a good cleaner. Keep in mind that the income a cleaning company generates has to cover all of their employee’s work hours, not just their billable hours. This includes their leave time, training, travel time and administrative tasks. On top of that a company has penalty rates, allowances, insurance, education, equipment, materials, and other overheads to cover. Be suspicious of any cleaning company that doesn’t charge enough to cover employee costs, insurance, training, and cleaning supplies. If the rate seems too low then ask for an explanation. It may mean you are hiring a sole trader, or it may mean you are hiring a company who doesn’t ensure their staff are adequately trained and insured.
After all, remember that you are asking other people to clean your toilets….
7- Ensure you can align your expectations.
To ensure they can cover their costs different companies will have different policies on minimum charges, where they are able to travel to, and the level of work they will do. You may only want a 15 minute clean, but find that cleaning companies have a two hour minimum charge. Conversely you may be wanting a deep clean, only to find you’ve hired a company that only does general cleaning. Know what you want and ensure that the company you choose can work with the same expectations.
When it comes to cleaners one of the key points that need to be aligned is who is responsible for supplying the cleaning materials and equipment. Imagine the fuss if you hire a cleaner with the expectation that they provide their own cleaning materials, only for them to show up expecting you to provide them. Some cleaners prefer to use their client’s supplies so that they can ensure they are working with cleaning products that the client likes to use. Other cleaners prefer to work with their own products so that they can ensure they are working with cleaning products that they know and trust. Just make sure you are both on the same page before they show up to clean.
8- Make sure the cleaning firm is good with communication.
Sometimes things happen that are outside our control. This can mean that even the most organised and reliable cleaning company will have to reschedule. You do not want to be stuck with a cleaner who leaves you in the lurch without a word. Nor do you want one who just shows up two weeks later with a lame apology (and yes this has actually been known to happen). Clear, proactive, communication is an essential for any quality cleaning company. This will ensure you aren’t left frustrated, or wondering if they will ever show up.
9- Check That They Service Your Area
Perth is a large region. Most Perth cleaning companies will not clean every single location around Perth. A Balga cleaning company, for example, is more likely to service the North Perth suburbs than the south Perth suburbs. Since companies must pay their staff travel time, it is also possible that a cleaning firm will ask to charge a travel fee if you want them to clean outside their immediate service area. While this is an option you may want to take if you are set on a particular cleaning company, it may be an additional charge that you want to avoid.
10– Ask the right questions.
Utilise the above tips to ensure you have a clear, direct line of questioning.
Other than asking if they are reliable, trustworthy, and good with communication, you want to ensure that the cleaning company:
Ensures they have properly trained staff
Typically uses the same cleaner for your property every time
Is adequately insured
Services your area. Perth is a large expanse. Most cleaning companies will only service selected Perth suburbs.
Has comparable rates for their inclusions (for example do they provide their own cleaning equipment and materials or are you expected to supply these).
Are people that you personally feel comfortable working with
Make sure you know what you need and what it is you want, so that you ask the right questions.