The Holidays can get pretty busy with parties and events in schools, offices, and other types of facilities. And this often means the typical cleaning routine – and along with it, the cleaning solutions, supplies, equipment, and facility cleaning procedures customarily used – can be in for some significant changes.
What cleaning contractors should do right now is contact their customers and ask them if they have a Holiday party planned. If so, find out what day; what time; in what area of the facility the party will be held; and about how many people are expected.
Also, ask them if they want any particular cleaning tasks performed before the event (floors polished, carpets cleaned, etc.) and at what time the party area can be cleaned up after the party is over.
Also, don’t be shy about discussing a special “party cleanup” service charge. Celebrations can be a lot of fun, but when they are over, the place can be a mess. It is always best to discuss special party cleanup charges before the event.
Here are some more party planning tips cleaning contractors should take into account:
Perform a supply check
Conduct a cleaning supply inventory as soon as you know a customer is planning a party to make sure you have all the products needed for cleanup operations. Here’s the critical reason. When supplies must be purchased in a “rush,” there is invariably an added cost with it. Often ready-to-use products must be purchased, which are invariably costly. Plus, it takes time away from cleanup operations if staff must rush out to make a supply purchase.
Related to this, try to select multi-purpose cleaning products that can be used for many different cleaning tasks. This helps reduce supply inventory, product costs, and cleaning time.
Keep in touch with the client
Party plans can change. The time may change; the number of people expected may change; the party may be moved from an area that has carpet to one that has hard-surface flooring, etc. This can turn your entire cleaning plan upside down. As much as they need your services, unless you keep in touch with the client, you may not be aware of these changes until your crew shows up for work.
Larger cleaning contractors should appoint a “holiday event coordinator” to stay on top of all upcoming customer holiday events. This person should also make sure all the cleaning tools, solutions, and equipment are on hand where needed.
Develop a “party preventive maintenance program.” A party preventive maintenance program is designed to prevent soil build-up. For instance, placing mats around and behind a bar or food area helps protect the floor, promotes safety, and helps make the area easier to cleanup afterward.
Unless the customer has requested carpet to be cleaned/extracted, or floors refinished before the party, it is usually best to delay these projects until holiday events have concluded. Hard- and soft-surface floors can take a real beating after a holiday event.
One thing more
For a larger party, the customer may want one or more of your staff to be on hand to attend to cleanup operations during the party. The biggest concern in such cases will be cleaning up spills to help prevent any slips or falls.
In such cases, do not use mops. Instead, have a battery-powered “SUV” system up and ready to go. Walking the machine over the area will collect the spill, clean the floor, and dry the area all in one pass. It makes sure everyone stays safe while having a good time.
Robert Kravitz is a former building service contractor, having owned, operated, and then sold three contract cleaning companies in Northern California.
He is the author of two books about the industry and continues to be a frequent writer for the industry.
Robert is now president of AlturaSolutions Communications, which provides communications and marketing services for organizations in the professional cleaning and building industries.