— By Amanda Anderson —
When is the last time you looked up?
The day starts early with management opening the doors to prepare for incoming customers, following a routine checklist to ensure a successful day. There are drawers to fill, schedules to make, questions to be answered by associates and patrons. But when is the last time you looked up? Or down for that matter? In the blur of day-to-day operations, little details that can have a huge impact are often overlooked when it comes to interior cleaning and maintenance.
Countless hours are spent keeping the shelves and counters of your establishment tidy and presentable. Every evening your janitorial crew takes time clearing aisles and walkways, making restrooms shine, and ensuring the front end is presentable and safe for all customers and employees. It is vital for a business to have a secure janitorial program in place. However, when is the last time you took account of your ceilings, the walls surrounding you, and the floors beneath your feet?
Services often overlooked until they become an eyesore include:
- High Dusting
- Cleaning RTUs
- Light Fixture Cleaning
- Interior Windows (eye level and above)
- Paint Refresh
- Floor Strip and Waxing
Take a moment to look up: are your ceilings free from cobwebs, dust and debris? Let’s not forget about the RTUs and hanging light fixtures! They are not merely a space to collect dust, but vital parts of your day-to-day operation that demand much needed attention. Don’t forget about windows — they can collect dust; eye level windows also have a way of collecting fingerprints and smudges, all of which can become apparent as light filters through them.
There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint that will have both customers and associates turning their heads, thinking, “This place looks great!” The same response can come from floors that are polished, reflecting the lights above and framing the products in a way that allows customers to focus on what’s on the shelves or the services offered, rather than making mental notes that the place appears worn or dirty.
Studies show consumers formulate their initial impressions of an establishment within 7 seconds of observing the exterior when they get out of their vehicle, and the impact doesn’t stop at first glances. Customers, as well as associates, are continuously observing businesses to formulate an opinion that can determine if they will become a loyal, repeat customer.
Do you have a team in place that can ensure these little details aren’t missed?
What about larger projects? There’s no avoiding the mess that a new construction or remodel imposes on a location. Contractors surge through the doors, bringing with them materials and equipment as they create a space that represents your company. During this time, a thin coat of debris can cover any available surface including new or pre-existing shelving, counters and even products. It will cling to the walls and settle to the floors. This light dusting of drywall, insulation and plaster, if not removed, can cause delays in openings.
It is important to have a team in place that can work with the general contractors and store management to help you get your space ready for customers and associates. Also, having the right cleaning crew in place can prevent costly repairs.
- Ensuring all shelving is cleared and any product dusted for debris allows the associates to maintain the shelving for customers to shop with ease.
- Prior to the doors opening, new paint can give a location a fresh look; however, if the dust of insulation and drywall is not removed prior to painting, this will cause bubbles and divots, which can result in the need to strip the walls and repaint.
- Freshly waxed floors are often more porous than you think, as it takes nearly 12 to 24 hours for the sealant to set. In that time, any debris coating the floor has the potential to sink into the sealant and become a permanent fixture which would require re-stripping and then rewaxing the floors.
As a reminder, there is an order of operations to providing cleanup during new construction or a remodel. Do you have a team of experts you can call to coordinate working hand-in-hand with your general contracting crew, as well as expert advice on when cleanup is needed in the construction process to prevent costly repairs down the line?
Daily, specialty and construction cleaning are all vital components to maintaining a store. Do you have a crew that can provide sanitary cleanups, whether it be spot cleaning on all touchpoints or cleanup of sewage or standing water. Your store should have teams in place that can react to a sanitation cleanup if a toilet overflows or the mainline gets clogged. If the sprinklers get activated or a flood sweeps through the store, having the right emergency response team for water mitigation, extraction and sanitization is vital to getting your doors reopened as quickly as possible.
The longer water sits or sewage remains, the more timely and costly it is to clean up. These aren’t the daily spills a janitorial member or store associate mop up. These specialty services require trained professionals with the proper cleaners and safety gear to guarantee a speedy turnaround time if disaster strikes.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to interior cleaning and maintaining a store’s appearance. You must stop and ask yourself: what are my customers seeing when they walk into my establishment? Are the products covered with dust and debris from a recent renovation? Are they looking up and noticing how the cobwebs cling to the rafters and light fixtures, covered in layers of dust? Are they looking down at the streak marks and stains on the floors?
Daily operations are time consuming and often demand attention, but while you are focused on operating your store, what little details are meeting the eyes of your patrons and harboring their focus? Don’t forget to look up, down and all around, then call your team of experts to assist in your interior cleaning needs. Your associates and customers will thank you!
— Amanda Anderson is production manager – Superior Facility Service Group, Inc., a family owned and operated company specializing in commercial maintenance and repair, bird control and prevention, and disaster restoration. For more information, visit www.superiorfacilityservice.com.