As a janitorial contractor, I love the months of November and December. Sure, I love the holidays, what they represent, and spending time with family and friends. But I also love that November and December have fewer working days than most other months of the year. In a business where the largest expense is labor, this means greater profitability during the holiday season. But what if I told you that you could increase that profit margin even more with a very specific holiday labor savings plan? Trust me, this is something you can do with ease, and the savings can be big.
During the winter holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, most people have one thing on their mind, and it’s not work. The day before a holiday is typically a very light day in most places of business. Many will take off work, some businesses will close down early, and traffic will generally be light. However, we often clean using the same amount of man hours.
Instead of treating holiday eves with a business-as-usual mentality, why not approach the customer and ask them if you can have a light cleaning night as well? The conversation could go something like this:
“Ms. Customer, I know that tomorrow is Thanksgiving and everyone around your office is probably getting ready for the weekend or already taking off work. Given the holidays, we are running a little lean as well. In order to let our folks get home early for the holiday weekend, we are going to do a light cleaning tonight instead of the usual full cleaning. You likely won’t see any difference in the quality, but I just wanted to give you a heads up.”
In this short conversation, or some variation, you are basically getting permission to “trash and dash.” Some customers will not want this, and hopefully you know your customers well enough to not ask the more rigid ones. But many customers are very understanding and would be delighted to participate in making it an easy night for the cleaning crew.
If you have a company that runs about 1000 man-hours per night, and you are able to cut labor by 30% in one evening, this could be an approximate savings of $3600.
So if you haven’t considered a holiday labor savings plan, let me encourage you to try it out.