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owner operated vs. the larger companies

Why should I go with a cleaning company that is owner operated vs. the larger companies?

For any business looking for a commercial cleaning company to service their facility, there are a huge number of factors to be considered. Price, experience and training are obvious factors, but one of the most important and often overlooked thing to bear in mind is the management team and how it is structured. It is easy to confuse the size of a company with professionalism. However, it is the opposite that is true, particularly when it comes to cleaning companies. Smaller, owner managed commercial cleaning companies consistently outperform their larger rivals in every area. So what exactly gives an owner operated business an advantage over a large corporation?

Proximity

In an owner operated cleaning company, the owner is the operations manager. He or she is by necessity much closer to the business and its customers than a corporation. They are involved in the day to day workings of their business and know their customers personally. That closeness to the customer and the business means they can see problems before they happen, see potential opportunities as they arise and can react much faster to both.

In management speak, their organization is much flatter. The chain of command is much shorter so communication is much easier.

Knowledge

An owner operated company’s concern is generally a business that has been built up from the ground by the owner.

The owner will know every single facet of that business and will understand the challenges of each role in that business. In a commercial cleaning company, the owner will be able to do every job in that company, and will have done while building their business. He or she will eat, sleep and breathe this business and that kind of dedication is what leads to true professionalism. A commercial cleaning company owner will be the ultimate expert on facility management and janitorial services. They will be able to answer any question a customer has and provide a solution for even the toughest problem.

Flexibility

Because they are so attuned to their business, owner-operators of commercial cleaning companies are much more responsive to changes and problems with their clients. A smaller company doesn’t have the layers of bureaucracy that a big corporation does. It can make small or large changes to its work practices, its customer service and its contracts very quickly.

A good analogy is the difference between the time taken to turn an oil tanker and a speedboat. An oil tanker takes miles of ocean, a lot of time and serious planning to make a turn. A speedboat can turn on a dime, instantly, whenever the pilot decides. The owner managed company is the speedboat, they can react that fast, scale up or down as needed and fix whatever is required of them.

Accessibility

Mangers of owner operated businesses don’t work 9 to 5. Entrepreneurs never do. They are much more accessible to their customers, especially at short notice. As fellow entrepreneurs, they understand how their customers feel about their business. Great customer service flows from this.

When you need to reach your janitorial services provider, if it’s a large corporation you will end up speaking to a voicemail. If it’s a smaller owner managed company, you’ll get straight through to the boss and have your issue resolved immediately.

Better cost management

By knowing their business inside out, owner-operators run a very tight ship, with no unnecessary costs that have to be passed on to customers. Every entrepreneur remembers their early days when money was tight and never forget the lessons it teaches them.

Corporations don’t have that and that is the cause of the excessive bureaucracy and duplication that drives their costs up. Smaller owner managed commercial cleaning companies are the true lean enterprises. That kind of cost management is taught in the trenches with the crew, not in business school.

Business relationships

Your business means more to them. You aren’t just an account or an income figure on a profit and loss statement. An owner-operator wants to build a long term, mutually beneficial relationship. That means delivering what is best for the customer at all times, never overselling them services they don’t need or cutting corners just to hit targets this year. A smaller owner managed company knows the value of goodwill translates into sustainable sales for years to come and that is worth far more.

Real control of their business

The buck stops with an owner-operator. An account manager or salesman with a large corporation doesn’t have any real control over the business. They have to operate within fairly restrictive guidelines and anything outside the ordinary has to be cleared by someone else. An owner-operator can make real decisions when you need them and as such, are 100% accountable. This means they have to make sure everything is done right, every time.


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