How UK cleaning industry trends could redefine business practices in 2021
By: Claire, redwigwam
The oft-overlooked Cleaning Industry in the UK is facing new challenges as we move into 2021. Changes could include environmental responsibilities, new consumer priorities, technology, niche services, digital requirements, and using social media. Add to this the remaining obstacles related to Brexit and COVID-19, and cleaning companies must change their practices to keep fluid.
New research by the British Cleaning Council’s most recent study (2019), shows 129,000 cleaners are working in London, and well over half were born outside of the UK. The city’s cleaning sector relies heavily on overseas workers. When this supply of labour is cut off in 2021, it will undoubtedly have a significant impact.
The cleaning industry can be influenced by trends. These identified trends can be prime motivators for growth and success, even if some don’t come true. Those in the commercial cleaning industry should make note of these trends and determine how they are used to achieve needed business strategies.
Paul Thrupp, BCC Chairman, commented that the cleaning industry is significantly understated in official statistics, and the BCC’s recent report on this industry is a valuable contribution to the UK labour force.
Here are some of these trends facing the cleaning industry as we move into a new era where companies must transform their methods of business to stay viable in the UK.
Consumers are becoming more cognizant about environmental issues. They look for brands that manufacture products defined as ethical, responsible, and sustainable. However, using the word “organic” in the label is not enough to convince consumers. Companies must be transparent about what goes into their products and what gets removed. Consumers can’t be fooled.
Sustainability in the cleaning industry is more than just eco-friendly products. It also includes eco-friendly practices, like using less water and lower temperatures. Cleaning companies must also think about minimising waste, like paper towels, and using a holistic approach. If they don’t, customers will perceive them as riding a trend for the sake of it.
Consumer Needs and Priorities
Consumers love and appreciate a clean home and office. However, customer surveys show many millennials are willing to pay a premium, so they don’t have to clean as often. There are many reasons behind this desire, including convenience, time management, and value-added savings. This aligns with the desire to make choices that are more environmentally aware.
In return, products that clean and protect the environment will be popular in coming years. For example, there are products that prevent rust and mold. There are also products that make surfaces waterproof. If you’re planning on making and using these products, keep in mind they must be safe and eco-friendly.
Technology and Automation
Automation is inevitable in an environment where technology evolves rapidly. But there are still aspects of cleaning that can’t be handled by machines only. As time evolves, more tools and equipment will employ new technologies that make cleaning easier.
There are several automation tools that commercial cleaning services can access. These include online booking, task schedulers, and accounting software. These were first developed for large corporations, but now they are available and affordable for small firms as well. These tools help reduce costs and improve efficiency while minimizing customer pain points.
Specific Niche Market Services
Commercial cleaning services can be all-inclusive or limited. Companies that offer a variety of services is advantageous to widen a business’s reach. Benefits for ultra-niche services can include unique opportunities and affordability. This is true for start-ups that offer one or two cleaning services. Proper staff training and recent technologies are critical whether targeting a broad customer base or a niche market.
Going digital is something all businesses must do. Thankfully, tech companies like Google continue to offer user-friendly ad tools that help promote cleaning services. One example is Local Services, which allows customers to book directly from Google’s search results.
Facebook continues to be a powerful driver of global business revenue, despite security and privacy concerns. The social media giant has overtaken Google when it comes to mobile advertising. The main advantage of Facebook is businesses can be hyper-local with targeting ads.
Commercial cleaning businesses must be prepared to spend more on digital. Along with ad spend, businesses should invest in enhancing their digital presence. This includes developing a streamlined website and improving digital customer service. Consider built-in website chat, along with messaging applications.
Social Media and Influencer Marketing Roles
Google is the world’s leading search engine, but Google’s own YouTube is in second place. The YouTube streaming platform has 2 billion logged-in users each month. It is critical to capitalize on this enormous audience that is already looking for content. This includes creating your own how-to videos. Most of the audience on Google is looking for facts, while the YouTube audience is looking for solutions. Providing users with content solutions can help push you to the top of search results, both on YouTube and Google.
Another approach is influencer marketing or content creator marketing. The strategy is smart, but you shouldn’t work with influencers just because. Consumers are smart, and they look for authenticity. They can easily recognize an influencer that is used only to promote a reputation and clout.
Please note, you are not obliged to follow all business trends, but you should be what they are, and identify those that offer advantages for your business. Some can help you stay solvent in a hypercompetitive industry.