How Do I Choose the Right Cleaning Service?

How Do I Choose the Right Cleaning Service?

I’ve been in the cleaning business for many years and I know people can be confused about the various options for finding a cleaner. So what are the pros and cons and how do you choose the cleaning service that is right for you and your home?

I’ve been in the cleaning business for many years and I know people can be confused about the various options for finding a cleaner. So what are the pros and cons and how do you choose the cleaning service that is right for you and your home?

Is your Cleaning Service a Sole Trader?

Normally these are individuals that work alone and have self-employed status, paying their own taxes and national insurance contributions and business insurances.

There is a lot of flexibility in using a sole trader and prices can be low. However the relationship between client and cleaner can sometimes be more personal which brings its own problems. For example, if you are unhappy with your clean, you have to confront your cleaner directly to resolve the issues.

Another thing to consider is if the cleaner has the right level of insurance or what happens when he or she goes on holiday?  Whilst many people are happy with ‘cash in hand’, there are implications with the HMRC. This could put the homeowner in a difficult position as they could be seen as an employer and investigated for the correct legal trading status, tax and PAYE contributions.

What is a Cleaning Agency?

A cleaning agency is very similar to a recruitment agency – the agent finds and vets the workers and then “sells” the worker’s to people that need a cleaner. Agencies are an ever increasing trend in the cleaning sector, you may have heard of Maid2Clean, BellaCasa or Dolly Char.

Like a franchise, an individual can buy the licensed rights to use the brand name of the agency, market the service through leaflet drops then place ads in jobs centres to find the cleaners who will be self-employed individuals. The homeowner has to pay the cleaner, buy the cleaning products and pay the agency fee.

There is normally a minimum contract but a homeowner does not have to worry about employing (or replacing) a cleaner and can tailor make their own cleaning rota for their home. However agencies often aren’t locally based and may not meet the cleaners so you will still need to vet the cleaner to make sure you are happy. You will also have to check insurances.

Agencies typically offer no training, no quality control of cleans, no back office support and no structure. With little or no benefit for the cleaner, staff turnover is high and I, personally, do not feel agencies give a value added service to either the homeowners or the cleaners involved. The only party that seems to benefit is the agent!

What are the features of a Cleaning Franchise?

A franchise is a way of building a business by buying the name, brand and proven business model from a successful business, with on-going fees for the franchisee. Cleaning services are very popular within franchising and many cleaning brands already exist such as Molly Maid, Time for You, Bright and Beautiful and Daily Poppins.

With a cleaning franchise you will get brands that are perceived as trusted and reliable as they have stood the test of time. A franchise will provide replace cleaners for holidays or sickness and training for staff should mean consistent standards across the UK. Although that is not always the case and can be down to the franchisee and how rigorously the standards are enforced or checked.

Costs also tend to be higher and less flexible and you will be tied into a contract.

How do I pick a local Cleaning Business?

A cleaning business is normally owned/run by an individual operating in their own local area employing a number of cleaners. The business can be run as a sole trader or a limited company as the business grows.

This is the model I have chosen to run Mrs Mopp Cleaning Services.

The pricing tends to be similar to sole traders with an average rate of £8.50 – £12.50 per hour (depending on if the business is subject to VAT, provides the cleaning materials etc.). There are usually several ways for clients to pay when using such as online, by card, direct debit etc.

You also have the added security of an uninterrupted cleaning service, although there is sometimes a high turnover of staff within the cleaning industry so you may not always get the same cleaner.

With a cleaning business you will get higher insurance cover including fidelity bonding on staff as well as spot checks and training to ensure standards are met and kept. And there will be a manager you can talk to who can either have a word with your cleaner or even replace your cleaner if necessary.

A cleaning business may have a contract or, at the very least,Terms of Service which may impose charges on a client for cancellations and lock outs. This is because the cleaning business will have an obligation to pay its staff.

Checklist for a Choosing a Cleaning Service

So, if you are considering a cleaning service, there are a number of very important things to check before you leave your home and all your possessions in the hands of a cleaner:

  1. Does the business/individual have insurance and can they provide you with a copy of their insurances? Companies need employers’ liability insurance and public liability insurance of at least £1 million and they should have fidelity bonding against their staff.
  2. Does the business/individual have references/testimonials from clients for service, reliability and standards
  3. What is the retention rate of their clients?
  4. Can the business show you how they recruit, train and monitor their staff?
  5. How does the business/franchise keep in touch with its clients so as not to lose that “personal touch”?
  6. Does the business have good/bad reviews? Check online, what does their customer service levels come across like?
  7. Do they have visibility on the web? Could you connect with your Cleaning business through multiple channels?
  8. Can your cleaner supply proof of self-employed status?
  9. Does the cleaner sub contract out work when they are on holiday or ill?

If you want a no obligation quote for a home in Telford or Shrewsbury please look at our website. Or give us a ring on Tel: (01952) 250236 – you will find all our staff friendly and helpful.

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