All business owners know how important first impressions are in getting customers. But what exactly makes that first and best impression? Let us go through a simple scenario…
Imagine you are walking your neighbourhood, planning on getting a quick haircut. You decide to check out the shops at the market….upon nearing a salon you take a peek thru the glass door only to notice crumpled tissue balls, debris and hair littered on the floor. To your dismay the glass door also looks like it hasn’t been cleaned for ages, with sticky fingerprints all over. EEWW!! definitely not going in that shop…you say and move on. That salon just lost a customer.
A few shops away you see another salon. The floor has been swept and recently mopped. You look in to take a peek through the clean glass door and see several customers inside. Immediately, you decide to give this place a try. As you open the door, a waft of essential oils greets you. This salon just gained a customer.
It’s plain obvious that cleanliness of your premise is an important factor in attracting customers especially in the retail industry. Spending thousands of dollars in creating that perfect ambience for your establishment will be of no use if your surrounding area is dirty and unkempt. It is no wonder large companies spend a lot on cleaning services. This however, may be difficult for a small business.
Fret not! No matter which industry your business is in, be it a clinic or tuition centre, we’ll reveal some really effective tips and tricks on cleaning for small offices and businesses.
Challenges Faced by Small Offices & Small Business Premises
Did you know, cleaner offices tend to look bigger? And clean spaces somehow help highlight clutter which can then be removed. However, many small business owners find it difficult to keep their premises clean. We’ll share some commonly cited challenges faced but along with the solutions to overcome them : –
Finding time to Clean
Solution: As with all other tasks, make cleaning as part of the office schedule. Allocating time each day for cleaning and tidying individual workspaces and common areas should be incorporated.
Staying committed, Observing a schedule
Solution: Making a cleaning plan and roster can help to distribute the workload among colleagues. Create a checklist to ensure that the cleaning task has been completed. Send out tips and reminders on how to keep the work area clean. Another way to motivate and keep staff committed to keeping the premises clean is by giving incentives.
Cost of Hiring Cleaners
Solution: Keeping costs low is a high priority for any small business. And hiring professional cleaning services may seem costly but can be beneficial in the long run. For e.g. proper cleaning prevents dirt and dust from accumulating on expensive equipment, keeping them in good condition. This can reduce repair/maintenance costs and do its part in attracting customers.
7 Cleaning Tips for your Small Office or Business
Cleaning an office is no easy feat but it’s not impossible either. Doing a little every day is easier to accomplish then to spend an entire day cleaning. To get you started to a cleaner, tidier office, we have some actionable tips listed below.
1. Be organised
Cleaning and organizing is a process. Files, paperwork and other supplies should be well organised. Eliminate clutter by throwing what you don’t need, Marie Kondo style. Making use of proper storage reduces office chaos and makes cleaning easier.
Action – Make it a habit to put things back where they belong after each use.
2. Maintain Good Hygiene
How long has that coffee cup been sitting on your desk, waiting for a wash? When was the last time you wiped your desk, keyboard or phone? Germs are everywhere and they can be easily spread by objects that are frequently handled.
Action – Keep anti-bacterial wipes handy for that quick swipe and clean.
3. Clean everyday
There are certain areas that need cleaning every day and sometimes even more than once a day. This would also depend on the type of business you have. For example, a clinic should not only be clean but sterile as well. Making sure the dispensary is clean and free from any spillage is a must. On the other hand, a retail shop should have dust free shelves and display spaces.
Action – Give staff an extra 10 mins break dedicated to cleaning.
4. Create a checklist
Having a schedule and following guidelines ensures a certain standard in cleaning. Break down tasks to daily, weekly and monthly in the checklist. A checklist also indicates what has been done, what needs to be done and also other major future cleaning projects.
Action – Hang creative posters on cleaning to remind staff
5. Distribute Cleaning Duties
Once the checklist is created, the tasks can be distributed evenly. Getting all your staff involved in cleaning and keeping the work place tidy will create a sense of ownership. Remind and encourage your staff to clean their own workspace daily so their mess does not affect the overall look of the office. Cleaning together also fosters camaraderie amongst colleagues.
Action – Have a Cleanest Workspace Contest
6. Rearrange your space
Does your space looks cluttered or messy even after you have just cleaned it? Analyze your layout. Sometimes a little rearranging of storage space can make a whole lot of difference. Items used daily should be in close proximity whereas seldom used items can be stored in drawers or shelves.
Action – adding personal touches to your work area creates a happy space.
7. Inventory of cleaning supplies
Keeping an inventory of cleaning supplies ensures that supplies are available at all times. It can be very frustrating just when you are about to clean, to find out that the cleaning detergent is over or some other equipment is faulty. Conducting regular stock checks and replacing key items can prevent cleaning backlogs.
Action – Appoint staff on a weekly rotational basis for stock take.
Keeping the workplace clean is a collective effort. Hopefully with these tips your small office will be clutter free and more productive. Know that a clean office is a healthy office and one that leaves a good impression on potential customers. If your budget allows it, you can also consider hiring professional cleaners on a part time or ad hoc basis for a deep cleaning.