Is there really a difference between domestic and commercial cleaning? In short the answer is yes; but there are various factors that make it so.
With commercial cleaning the work is considered a necessity for running the business so becomes a business expense. Business expenses are part of a budget therefore the cost of having the premises cleaned needs to fit into the allocated amount. This is not the case with domestic cleaning as it is purely a decision of the homeowner to clean their property themselves or pay to have it done.
There are certain expectations of cleaning by property owners, but the kind carried out with commercial property does depend on the business. Any business handling food is meticulous about keeping the place hygienically clean. Health requirements are such that if they do not keep the properties as clean as the set Health Standards they could lose their licence to sell food. This is a great incentive for people to work hard at keeping up the standards. Usually the cleaning is done by the employed staff. It is part of the closing down ritual so they know when they arrive the following day there will be no contamination.
Should a building contain offices for professional consultants or financial institutions the requirements are not so strict. A thorough vacuum and the hygienic cleaning of all the bathrooms are usually sufficient. Because offices house many desks with computers most cleaners are not required to dust. They are expected to empty the rubbish bins, but vacuuming the floor is the main prerequisite.
Many commercial buildings, especially large city skyscrapers leased by various organisations, tender out their cleaning. This helps them cope with the annual cost and it is budgeted into their expenses. Sometimes the cheapest tender is chosen but this does not guarantee a thorough job.
For a commercial cleaning company to make a profit they must ensure that the number of worked hours they pay for are less than the money they receive for the work. Should they have underquoted to get the job, less time is spent cleaning on each floor making the quality of the clean not as diligent as it probably should be.
There are thousands of commercial buildings and many areas that need to be cleaned and kept in pristine condition. Floors and bathrooms inside the buildings are a must for daily cleaning but the windows of the buildings also need a regular removal of dust both inside and out, especially if it is a shop front used for promotion of sales. Wooden or vinyl floors must be regularly polished to keep up the shine. All these jobs need to be carried out by professionals in those fields.
Because commercial cleaning is usually done by Cleaning Organisations the owners of the building will not meet the cleaners. If the job is not done well the lessees of the space will complain to the owner. This is unless the lessee has arranged the cleaning themselves. As cleaning in commercial property is usually done outside of business hours the cleaner is very rarely seen and in some cases it is not the same person doing the job each day.
To ensure the cleaning is kept up to standard, owners of commercial properties take out Contracts with Cleaning Companies. This is where the tendering becomes an advantage. The Contract is signed for a certain period of time, and at the end of that Contract the owners of the buildings can renegotiate their cleaning costs and requirements. If they are not happy with the kind of cleaning they are receiving they look elsewhere.
Commercial cleaning can be a lucrative business, but matching the quality with the charge is the difficult part and many commercial cleaners charge less than they should just to obtain the jobs. Once they have the Contract they sometimes ‘on sell’ these Contracts and make money from the new arrangement. Depending on how much the contract is worth, determines the amount of time that can be spent cleaning. Each cleaner is allocated a specific number of minutes to clean an area or floor and the work has to be finished in that time. Speed does not always combine with efficiency and quality is not always received.
The reduction of spending for cleaning, and the small profits to be made can cause many commercial cleaning jobs to be rushed and poorly administered.
Cleaning a home is different. To the homeowner their property is their castle. They will be much more fastidious about the results. They are paying for the cleaning out of their own pocket and they want to see some value in return for that expenditure. The work is more demanding than cleaning a commercial property.
The requirements of most homeowners are such that a reasonable cleaning job is not good enough. Expectations are high and on top of that they have all their personal things throughout the dwelling and allowing someone into their home to clean has security implications. The home owner needs to feel comfortable with the person doing the work and be sure the place will look as neat, clean and tidy as they expect after each clean.
Where do home owners go to find a cleaner? They don’t put out tenders as in the commercial world so who do they get to clean? Many people advertise for cleaners in their local papers, or they hire people who promote themselves as cleaners, also there are Cleaning Agencies who will charge a fee for finding the cleaner for them.
Homes are very rarely cleaned on a daily basis. If the home owner has a regular cleaner the dwelling is usually cleaned either weekly or fortnightly. Some home owners require their cleaner to do housework as well, so the time spent on the property can be quite long.
Just vacuuming the floors and cleaning the bathrooms is usually not enough when cleaning a home; especially as bathrooms are more than the toilets, urinals and basins. There is the shower and bath as well as the toilet and sink. Kitchens are larger with many cupboards and a stove top and probably a range hood, whereas in a commercial situation the kitchen is usually a small set of cupboards with a sink and microwave. Because the home is not cleaned daily there is also a build up of dust and dirt, and all horizontal surfaces need to be wiped.
In both cases Time is what the commercial property owner and the homeowner are paying for. With the Commercial situation a certain amount of money is allocated indicating the time allowed for the clean. In the Domestic world this situation is reversed. The homeowner pays for the Time it takes to clean their property. The size of the property and the area to be cleaned governs the Time it takes. The larger the building the more Time required. The smaller the property the Time will be less. Less Time spent, costs less, but if the property is large and the correct Time is not allocated the poorer the job.
For most commercial property owners as long as the basics are done they are happy, but with a home owner, the less work carried out means more cleaning for them to do themselves. This somewhat negates the whole idea of having a cleaner. They want their home to be pristine and clean when they return home after a long days work. To see areas that have been missed or not cleaned properly can make an expensive exercise.
So the biggest difference between commercial and domestic cleaning is the payment. The commercial world pays for their cleaning because it is a necessity. Whether the cleaning is done well or not is not really the issue, it is a cost that has to be paid and therefore an expense for the business. With the domestic situation the cost is a discretionary outlay. If people have the spare money they can afford it, if not they clean themselves and that is why they expect perfection.
Yes there is a difference between cleaning commercial property and domestic dwellings, but the kind of cleaning received is dependent on how much each is willing to pay.
I hope you found this article interesting. My name is Julie Finch-Scally and I am the franchisor and founder of The Duster Dollies. The Duster Dollies is a cleaning business with a difference. We are booking agencies for domestic cleaning. This means you don’t actually do the cleaning.
I have written a Cleaning Business Guide which might help you further with your investigations into the Cleaning Industry and what to purchase. You can get your free eBook of The Guide from [http://www.franchisecleaning.com.au]. All you have to do is ask.
Julie Finch-Scally has been working in the cleaning industry since 1992. During that time she has grown a small home based business into a franchised organisation that arranges cleaning for houses across Australia.
Julie has written several articles about cleaning, an ebook guide about the cleaning industry and a book called The Third Oldest Profession – the A-Z of home cleaning. This book is great for those starting up their own home and requiring knowledge on how to keep their home pristine.
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