I have never met a professional cleaner who was not interested in making his job easier and earning more money in less time. Let’s see if we can discover ways to make this happen.
Just about everyone has gone through some tough times as we battle through the recession, high fuel prices, and tough competition. Faced with the need to cut back and watch our expenses, we may find ourselves “penny wise and pound foolish,” holding back on targeted spending that could otherwise, save us time and efficiency on the job.
I would suggest that just about any money you can spend to reduce time and effort during the cleaning process will be money very well spent. Let me suggest some simple steps that can make you more efficient.
The use of an in-line filter has gained wide acceptance. The filter serves to keep the lint and gunk out of your waste tank filter, saving you the nasty job of climbing into your van every day to dig out the yuck. However, the filter of the in-line also needs cleaning.
Here is the simple and inexpensive efficiency plan – carry one or two extra filter inserts with you. You will be more efficient cleaning them all together at the end of the day when the jobs are finished. Bonus: if your filter is see through, be sure to place it in sight of your customer. She will be very impressed with the dirt coming out of her carpet.
“It’s time to block up the furniture – I’ll run to the van and get the foam blocks.”
“I need a towel to wipe off the baseboard – I’ll run to the van and get it.”
“Here is a stubborn stain that needs something extra – I’ll run to the van and get it some spotter…” and the list goes on.
Consider using a simple belt pack that can hold a towel, some spotter, knapping shears, your tabs and blocks, a bone scrapper or spotting brush. It is one of those things that you just don’t know how much time it can save you until you have it and use it. The belt pack is worn around your waist or clipped to your existing belt and carries the items that you need now. It will cut minutes of wasted time on each job, which translates into hours each month.
Just about everyone uses one brand or another of injection sprayer. I have two suggestions to make this tool even more valuable to you. While some of the newer models have nice wide fill ports, it still takes time to refill the sprayer in the middle of a job. In fact that is something you don’t want to do in the customers home so outside you go, taking time from the job at hand.
The simple solution to increase your efficiency is to have multiple bottles of solution ready to go in your van. It may be pre-spray, deodorizer, or protector. Whatever you may be spraying that day, it can be ready and waiting in the bottle.
My second suggestion? Consider an adjustable injection sprayer. Assuming you are cleaning a medium-soiled carpet and you are pre-spraying along then suddenly come to carpet in front of the recliner. This is the favorite chair of the man of the house and the carpet in front shows it. With the regular injection sprayer the only way to fight this extra soil is blast it extra heavy. This may work in the initial cleaning, but bad things can happen as you blast soil and water to the backing. With an adjustable injections sprayer, turn the knob from 1-16 to a 1-8 dilution just for that small area. You get an extra concentrate shot of pre-spray without over wetting.
When the chair area is sprayed, you simply dial your sprayer back to 1-16 and you are ready to move on. As an added bonus, with dilution ratios at your finger tips, you can adjust the sprayer to a 1-4 and apply protector at the end of the job. All of this will save you time, reduce call backs and substantially increase your income.
Let me suggest just one more inexpensive time saver – the hose hook. Whether cleaning up stairs or down, handling the hose can get messy. When you have to pull the hose up over a railing or clean stairs heading down, the hose needs to be secured out of the way. The hose hook is the perfect tool so you can stop wrestling with your hose. When cleaning from the top down on stairs, simply attach the hose hook to your hose and then to the hand railing. If you are headed up – secure your hose onto the railing and stop fighting to keep the hose in place.
You’ve heard it said that “it takes money to make money.” In the case of the gadgets mentioned here, it takes just a little money to make your life more enjoyable and more profitable.
Gordon Hanks is the CEO of Bridgepoint Systems. For more information call (800) 658-5314.