Valley Cleaning Services cleans up a stable market – Business Journal Daily

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – As the pandemic rocked many industries, one emerged virtually flawless.

Local cleaning companies are finding that their services have been in demand in the past 18 months with some booked for the foreseeable future.

The industry was forced to shut down for six weeks in the spring of 2020, but that did not have a lasting impact on results, according to the owners of the company.

“We were far from our goals, but not terribly,” says Katie Burkey, franchise owner Molly Maid of Mahoning / Trumbull County. “We ended up doing well.”

Burkey, the franchise owner for 28 years, credits the company’s “proven and proven” methods and products for keeping things going through tough times.

“It helps perpetuate the system, even in a pandemic,” she says.

Another cleaning franchise that has weathered the storm is Boardman’s Fish Window Cleaning.

At first, heading for the pandemic was “difficult,” says Keith Stabi, owner of the franchise.

There was a struggle in the first six weeks of the shutdowns as the business focuses primarily on commercial windows, three stories and below, and many of those customers were shutting down.

But where one window closes, another opens.

“That’s when we started getting more residential customers,” Stabi says. “But we mainly cleaned on the outside only the windows of the owners. “

Molly Maid also made a brief change, switching to periodic commercial cleanings to help businesses sanitize themselves.

Burkey says Molly Maid started getting more business from industrial sites, which she and her staff accepted because “we were ready to help the cause.”

Tre Alexander, Operations Manager for Fish Window Cleaning-Youngstown, cleans the windows of the Southern Park Mall in Boardman.

However, she decided not to deal with the long term commercial sector as it is not Molly Maid’s area of ​​expertise.

Boardman’s Brilliant Cleaning Services has also diversified.

The company, which is not a franchise, is owned and operated by Theresa Viviano and her partner, Paul Wilson.

Focusing on commercial cleaning during stay-at-home mandates, Brilliant Cleaning has added disinfection services for business offices.

“We had to work according to individual needs,” says Viviano.

The company has also worked on changing schedules for its clients.

By figuring out how to support its customers, Brilliant Cleaning began to offer personalized services.

“We let our clients choose the services that are best for them. We can do our best the way we do. Just tell us what you need, ”says Viviano.

By approaching the process this way, whether residential or commercial, “shows customers that we are interested in their needs,” she says.

Burkey has noticed a change in the industry: the terminology has changed from “spring cleaning” and “fall cleaning” to “deep cleaning”. The services are the same, she said.

Business is leveling off, Burkey says, although the hot housing market has fueled an increase in cleaning requests.

As home sales exploded, Burkey and his team were unable to adjust to the fast turnaround time, reserving three to six weeks in advance, and sometimes six to eight weeks. This has since been reduced to two weeks in advance.

Stabi said that throughout the pandemic in 2020, he and his employees have done more residential cleaning outside, as many customers have chosen to stick to distancing protocols.

“We offer free contactless quotes, which means we’ll come on site and leave quotes at the front door,” Stabi said.

A request for an estimate can also be completed online, and a sales representative will contact the owner.

Molly Maid staff have helped the franchise succeed through pandemic shutdowns.

Burkey brought his employees back on a staggered schedule.

Sometimes his team would work twice and three times and get “big cash bonuses,” which helped inspire their employees to work.

Plus, employees want to work because they love their industry, says Burkey. Most importantly, she says her employees are “gracious” and make a great team.

To retain current employees and recruit new staff, Viviano granted a 30% salary increase at all levels.

Stabi says Fish Windown Cleaning feels the need to recruit.

“We get a lot of applicants, but getting those applicants to answer calls or come for interviews is the toughest struggle,” he says.

“We can’t let understaffing be an excuse, but rather a motivator to keep up with demand. “

He participated in the cleaning tasks.

“The way to ensure the success of this business is to meet the needs of our customers,” he says. “The job has to be done no matter what.”

Pictured: Jim Clark of Fish Window Cleaning cleans windows at Southern Park Mall.

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