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Make Money with Microfiber! Turn an Expense into a Profit Generator

Make Money with Microfiber! Turn an Expense into a Profit Generator

When looking for ways to make more money, all entrepreneurs, but especially those in the cleaning industry, have an unhealthy obsession with the allure of newness! New services, new upsells, and new add-ons all sing out to business owners like a siren song, promising the titillating excitement of creativity, adventure, and untold riches to be plundered in the untapped blue ocean. It's all so thrilling in the brainstorming stage, but there's a secret the sirens are hiding!

As a professional cleaning expert and business consultant with over 20 years of experience advising some of the largest cleaning companies in the industry, I can tell you confidently that the most lucrative opportunities already lie within your grasp, hiding within your existing business operations. In the world of cleaning, there is no faster or cheaper way to boost profits than optimizing the efficiency and performance of what you already do and what you do it with, as these changes rapidly drive cash to the bottom line without the need for significant investments in marketing or sales.

Take microfiber, for example. This miracle fabric is usually cast aside as just another expense. A line item in your budget. A necessary evil to be acquired as cheaply as possible, right?! But what if I told you that this mindset is holding your business back from its full profit potential and costing you thousands in take-home profits each year? Keep an open mind and prepare to have it blown as I break down for you the microfiber money maker that’s been hiding in plain sight in your laundry bin!

Step 1: Break Free of Cleaning Business Owner Cynicism

If you’ve allowed yourself to become jaded and see your staff’s cleaning performance as immovable, even by the supplies you give them, then you'll look at every supply as a luxury, not an opportunity. If you’ve become so cynical that you see even your customer and employee loss rates as locked in stone, then improving anything begins to feel like a waste of time.

If being a business owner has gotten to you, consider this article your long-overdue intervention. That “locked in stone” mentality is a weight that will drag your whole business down and drown it before the sirens even get a chance. As the captain of your ship, it’s your job to cut your business free of the dead weight of your own doubt and steer your crew towards open waters again.

The truth is that the cleaning tools you select significantly impact everyone’s performance, even your cleaners, and the right tools will drastically change anyone’s speed, exertion, and quality, especially when it comes to microfiber. What’s that, you say? A towel is a towel, and they just wipe up dirt, no matter which one you choose?!  

OK, then ditch your team’s backpack vacuums and help them clean a high-rise office building with Dust Busters for the next week, then come back and tell me that switching cleaning tools don’t matter so long as they do the same basic thing! Yes, this is a totally fair comparison because there is absolutely a range of Dust Buster to Industrial Backpack level cleaning cloths out there.

Compared to traditional cotton rags and string mops, microfiber is an absolute game-changer. Cotton only picks up about 67% of dirt and germs and redeposits over 30% as you clean with them. Microfiber's tiny strands capture up to 99.5% of dirt and germs without releasing any of it until the laundry cycle. This means cleaners can remove the same amount of dirt with one-third fewer passes, saving them huge amounts of time.

But let's be clear: not all microfiber is created equal. Bargain microfiber, usually around 200 gsm (grams per square meter), won't yield these impressive results. You need the higher grade, like Microfiber Wholesale's 330 gsm all-purpose towel, which offers 40% more microfiber per towel, to see these increases in soil removal and reduction in labor.

Step 2: Boost Performance to Increase Profits

Now, I know reducing labor by one-third sounds too good to be true, so for the sake of keeping your cynicism from distracting you, let's assume microfiber can only reduce labor by 10%. Even with this reduced ultra-conservative estimate, the savings are still substantial. Most cleaning business owners are under the false impression that reducing labor only saves money if they can send their cleaners home 10% sooner and charge their customers the same full amount, but this is simple-minded thinking. The key to increasing profits with microfiber isn’t trimming payroll; it’s elevating performance.

That 10% "extra time" you give your staff when they use premium microfiber is the gust of wind in your sails, your business needs to get back on course. It allows your staff to work at a safer, more careful pace, reducing damage claims and workers' comp cases. It gives them time to notice and correct mistakes, enhancing the quality of their work and client satisfaction. It allows them the time and headspace to go the extra mile and leave their job sites looking not just clean but beautifully presented back to the client with the special touches consumers go nuts for. Even disenchanted employees can help but perform better when no longer under the pressure of the merciless time clock.

With this 10% efficiency boost, your team will break less, get hurt less, and make fewer cleaning mistakes, all while producing a higher-quality result. This all translates directly into measurable decreases in some of the largest expenses of running a cleaning business, including reduced damage claims, worker's compensation claims, insurance premiums, recleans due to poor service, and client attrition. When workers make mistakes, one of the biggest reasons they cite is rushing to finish on time. When customers leave, the biggest reason they cite is inconsistent service that feels rushed. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out what injecting 10% more time into a situation like this could do for the bottom line.

Step 3: Focus on Ownership Savings, Not Price Savings

Most cleaning business owners, even the cynical ones, know deep down that better supplies create better results but refuse even to consider upgrading for fear of the expense. It is as if the sticker shock of premium microfiber shortcircuits their brains from thinking clearly. This is honestly a tragedy, as while premium microfiber products do cost more upfront, they actually save businesses money over time. Bargain microfiber is cheap to buy, but premium microfiber is cheap to own!

For example, a Microfiber Wholesale all-purpose towel without volume discounts costs $1.33, but that towel lasts over 300 washes, so it is only $0.004 per clean. Bargain towels might be as little as $0.50 a towel, but when they last over 100 fewer washes, their savings almost completely disappear ($0.004 - $0.0025 = $0.0015), and when you factor in how much they damage your staff’s cleaning performance, bargain towels become incredibly expensive.

Cleaning companies spend hundreds per new client in marketing and sales if you factor in all the failed leads it took to close a real customer. This expense has to be paid for in small installments from the remaining revenues of that client’s cleans after the wages, insurance and other expenses are covered. This means that the longer you keep a customer, especially past the point that their acquisition cost has been paid off, monumentally changes your profitability. Conversely, losing customers to poor service before their acquisition cost is covered AND paying even more acquisition $$$ to replace them is murder to the bottom line.

If you use 30 towels per clean, upgrading microfiber is only a nickel ($0.05) but can improve your staff’s performance enough to keep that client months, sometimes even years longer. Spending a few nickels a month to eliminate hundreds in acquisition costs and keep thousands in revenues on the books is math anyone can appreciate.

 

Step 4: Make Employee Retention Your Profit Center

Let’s say the quiet part out loud, post-pandemic, is employee recruitment, pay, and retention, which are the biggest challenge in cleaning business profitability. Every cleaning business employer, from healthcare to home cleaners, is scrambling to find workers and pay them enough to keep them on board. Unfortunately for most of these companies, they don’t realize that one of the biggest leaks in their employee pipeline is sitting in their janitor’s closet. One of the most overlooked factors impacting employee turnover rates is the quality of the supplies which cleaners receive!

Outside of pay, there is no more tangible proof to cleaning employees about how much they are valued and respected than the quality of their supplies. Most cleaners use microfiber towels and mop over 6 hours a day, so if it is bargain basement garbage, it’s a constant daily reminder of just how little their employer thinks of them. Cleaners work for many companies over time, experiencing a range of microfiber, so they know when they’ve been handed junk.

Supplying poor-performing microfiber to cleaners is the equivalent of saying to their face every morning, "I know I could make your job easier and send you home less exhausted, but I just don't think your misery is worth the nickel to fix it.” “I am fully aware this same product could make your work look better too, but I don't believe you have enough work ethic or pride in your work to care."

The uncomfortable truth for cleaning company owners is that their supply caddy says more about how they really feel about their workers than their paycheck! High-quality supplies not only make cleaners more effective, but they also increase job satisfaction, reduce exhaustion, and ultimately improve employee retention. The stress relief alone of no longer feeling under the gun to meet job times and having confidence that their cleaning tools are actually up to the task can transform professional cleaning from a pit-stop job on the way to better things to a career your workers can be proud of.

When given the right supplies, cleaners feel empowered to succeed and know their bosses have their back. Cleaning supplies communicate more about corporate culture than any pizza party! Even when their employer can’t afford to raise their pay, cleaners can look to their supplies as tangible proof that their boss really cares and is doing everything in their power to make the job as enjoyable as possible, which matters more than money more times than you think!

Even when cleaners do eventually leave, the impact of the supplies they were given can still be felt months after they exit. Workers that felt respected while on the job have nicer things to say in their community about their employer after the fact. How well you treated them drives their decision to be your biggest promotor or blast you on GlassDoor. In this job market, the last thing you need is an ex-employee telling everyone you’re cheap and that they felt disrespected at every turn, even down to the crappy cleaning supplies.

Step 5: Reading Doesn’t Make Money. Action Does!

Let's summarize: premium microfiber makes your employees clean better and faster with less effort, so they can be more careful and make fewer mistakes. The happier clients they create, as a result, stick around longer, so you spend less time and money finding replacement customers. Your team will feel more appreciated and stay with you longer, so you spend less time and money finding and training replacement cleaners. Each of these changes directly contributes to your bottom line with only a modest change to your expense budget.

If all of this hasn’t convinced you, as a final thought, consider this: raw wages make up about 33% of every dollar a cleaning company earns, while all supplies combined only represent around 2.5%. A minor increase in expense of only one supply that dramatically boosts the efficiency and job satisfaction of all your cleaners, who happen to be your most expensive budget line item, is not only smart—it's a no-brainer!

By turning an overlooked expense into a profit generator, your cleaning business will not only save money now but also improve the quality of service and employee retention long term, ultimately leading to faster, more sustainable growth over time. Remember, as business owners; it's not always about looking for the next big thing. Sometimes, the secret to success lies within what you're already doing. In this case, that secret is hiding in plain sight, woven into the miraculous strands of a premium microfiber towel.

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