Newlife Cleaning Systems, needs you!

Marketing throughout a recession can generate enquiries for the weird and wonderful, but also the far and wide. Through mileage and other associated expenses, it can be hard to maintain that competitive edge. No matter your specialism.

Many use subcontractors, we have tried this in the past, but unfortunately we’ve ended up with our fingers burnt once too often. We’ve always been keen to give as much as we can to the industry. Be it through technical advice, referrals or free documents. That’s why we’ve come up with the following.

Newlife are looking for contractors throughout UK to partner with and pass enquiries to directly. A single one off fixed cost to cover our CPA (cost per acquisition) per enquiry is all we ask. Invoiced monthly on a PAYG basis. If you get two enquiries in any one month, you’ll be billed for two enquiries etc. Once the enquiry details are passed across from ourselves, it will be your sole property to deal with as you wish.

We are looking for one contractor per service, per region. All leads will go to that one contractor in that region and no other. All leads will be warm enquiries that have come into our business via our own marketing channels, that logistically we just can’t service.

For us as a company, there is nothing more disappointing that telling a customer “no we can’t help you”. With this system, we hope to remedy that to the benefit of all, and establish a network of likeminded partners across the country.

All we are asking of you as a cleaning company is complete a short PQQ to check your suitability and that’s it. If you can answer yes to the following “do you have current employers and public liability insurance? Do you have ISO 9001, CHAS, Construction Line or other quality accreditations?” If so we want to talk to you.

If you’re interested in being part of this project, have any questions or would like to discuss this further please email me at shaun.causer@newlifecleaning.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Cleaning’s Race to the Bottom

“Race to the bottom – The situation in which companies and countries try to compete with each other by cutting wages and living standards for workers, and the production of goods is moved to the place where the wages are lowest and the workers have the fewest rights” Source – ft.com

I’ll start by putting an example to you, no doubt it’ll be all too familiar to most.

….You finally get that enquiry you’re had in your pipeline for months. You go to site to survey, maybe you bring a couple of specialist subcontractors along with you for window cleaning or access equipment. You undertake a full site walk around; with your 30 years experience you know it’s essential. You strike up a rapport with the customer, discuss your previous skills with similar jobs perhaps. You leave the site happy in the knowledge you’ve got a good chance of winning the work. You set about working on the quotation and send it off to the customer in a timely manner. You get the call, with anticipation you answer the phone. What do you learn? You’re 300% more expensive than the other 2 quotes!

Their can be legitimate reasons for this, don’t get me wrong. Maybe you’re over estimated on labour, maybe your subcontractor costs are too high, or maybe you were just plain greedy. Let me illuminate on the above though for a second. 1) 30 years experience in pricing that type of work daily 2) Specialist access and window cleaning companies attended the survey with you to provide an accurate quote (which you have put no mark up on 3) Finally your labour cost on the job is 70%. Lets get down to brass tacks though shall we? The job above was priced at 68k. Our profit on the job 4k.

Now we’re not the cheapest, with a medium sized businesses overheads we can’t be, but we certainly aren’t the most expensive. How can someone be operating? Why race to the bottom?

Let’s not race to the bottom.

Since the recession started around late 2008 cleaning has been sacrificed. It’s easy to do right? It’s low skilled, any one can do it, it’s not important. Well if that’s the case, let’s all stop now shall we? Some customers now see it cheeky to be making any profit at all!

If your business plan since then has been to win work whatever the cost, you are the problem and to that end guess what? Someone will always find a way to be cheaper and more brutal than you. It’s just a matter of time.

How did we get here? Cleaning is core to any business. It affects staff morale, health and safety, absenteeism, maintenance, branding, need I go on. Let’s not race to bottom.

Efficiency savings can be made of course. Training methods improved, consumables costs reduced. Hey, even a little less profit can be made. All sensible ways to remain competitive in a low skill, low margin business environment. Corner cutting though, is something altogether more alarming and becoming far too commonplace.

EU Migration has been a great asset to our industry. It has provided some of our hardest working, most loyal staff. So integral in fact, that we are looking to provide all our staff literature in a range of languages to better serve our multi-cultural workforce. Others have seen it an opportunity of a different type. An ability to pay cash in hand, to avoid NI, PPE and all other important health and safety guidelines. Not just for migrant workers, but also British nationals desperate to work and provide for their families in times of austerity.

Cleaning is not the only industry suffering from this problem, lets look at construction.

“Nearly 90% of contractors are facing tender competition from rival firms who are bidding below cost in a desperate attempt to fill order books.”

“According to ONS data, the construction workforce has dipped to its lowest level since 2001, losing many skilled and trained workers as a result.” – Source – constructionenquirer.com

Let’s not race to the bottom. Our industry has become one of acquisition of companies, not contracts. People suicidally winning work, at cost. With the hopes of a multi national coming along and acquiring their business for the contracts they hold. Amongst the fire fighting for survival we’ve forgotten the quality of service our industry provides. Effective cleaning can be the difference between failing an audit and being shut down, or winning a new production contract worth millions. Let’s stop fighting for the scrapes and take a stand.

For those of you that don’t read Seth Godin (you should) I think he puts it better than I could.

“The race to the top makes more sense to me. The race to the top is focused on design and respect and dignity and guts and innovation and sustainability and yes, generosity when it might be easier to be selfish. It’s also risky, filled with difficult technical and emotional hurdles, and requires patience and effort and insight. The race to the top is the long-term path with the desirable outcome.”

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New Appointment at Newlife Cleaning Systems

Due to the increase in business and turnover since the start of the year. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Olugbode to our business development team. A graduate in International Business Management, Craig joins us from previously being Managing Director for a web based copyright facilitation business.

Craig Olugbode

New Sales & Marketing Executive Craig Olugbode

Craig has vast skills and experience in sales and business development within the service sector and will be tasked with helping to further grow and develop the business with current and new customers.

Marketing Manager, Shaun Causer commented “We are really pleased to be bringing a colleague like Craig, into the business. Given his track history and skill set, it is an appointment we make with great excitement for the future to aid the further positive developments in the company”. “Craig, is the first of what we hope will be a series of new appointments as business continues to grow over the next 12 months”

Craig, will be operating from the company’s head office in South Shields, handling business development throughout the north east region.

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Exposure Sunderland at The Stadium of Light

Forgiving the early start, the cold and the fog, Exposure Sunderland, was a great days networking. There was plenty of buzz about the place and on social media. Something that in the last few years of austerity has been lacking from more than its share of local business events. Since the turn of the year though, optimism seems to be finding its way back into the marketplace. Everyone that We spoke to was talking about new recruitment, better local sales and increased interest. For those that were following the #exposure hashtag on the day via Twitter, there was plenty to entertain. From PacMan, Lego, confectionery galore and the slightly creepy magician.

Here is a spreadsheet download of all the Tweeters using the hashtag sorted by number of followers, as well as Storify documenting the day.

Fell free to use either as you wish. Be it catching up on what you missed, or connecting with someone you really wanted to speak to.

Exposure Sunderland – Twitter Users Spreadsheet (.xls)

Thanks all and see you at the next Expo in Newcastle next month!

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Free Cleaning Company Employee Handbook

Here at Newlife, we’re always looking to support the industry where we can. Particularly the small cleaning company entrepreneurs around the country. After all that’s how Newlife started some thirty years ago.  Since the huge interest we had after releasing some free cleaning method statements to download. We thought we’d do another free document give away to offer something back to the industry.

Since the distribution of our new cleaning staff company handbook last year, we thought we’d make our previous edition absolutely free of charge to download, here on our blog.

For ease of use we’ve made two copies of our cleaning company handbook available. One .pdf, one .doc. All you have to do is click either of the links below, right click – Save As and it’s yours, free.

The handbook has been formatted to remove all company names, all you need to do is do a ‘find and replace’ on the words ‘your company’, substitute it for your own company name and your done.

Aside from updating the company name and address, that’s it! And yes, you can add your own logo if you wish. Its totally free to use as you wish.

What are we asking for this? Absolutely nothing. However, should you be willing, please tweet, post to Facebook and share however you see fit. The links are at the bottom, its easy and after all sharing is caring.

Cleaning Company Employee Handbook.pdf

Cleaning Company Employee Handbook.doc

NB – Please remember this is a generic document that has been formatted for universal use. Take the time to read it through thoroughly as not all clauses, appendixes etc will apply to you.

Disclaimer – Newlife Cleaning Systems accepts no responsibility or liability for any issues that arise from the use of this document. It is the responsibility of you, the user, to edit as you require and tailor to the requirements of your business.

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