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Using outside cleaning services:

So your office needs to be cleaned and your secretary's not willing to do it, what do you do? You could ask your spouse? Or my personal favorite, the person you're dating is always a little more willing to please right now. Are any of these options going to work for you? If not then it's probably a good idea to hire a cleaning service.

The first thing you need to think about is who can you trust? You can never know perfectly without establishing your own relationship with someone, but there are a few questions you can ask that will help.

Question 1: How long has this cleaning service been in business? Knowing how long a cleaning service has been in business can tell you how well established they are. A business that has been operating for five to ten years, should have gained a pretty good relationship by this point in time.

Question 2: Who do they hire to do the cleaning? How does the cleaning service find its cleaners? Do they accept anyone or do they do any type of background check or criminal record check to know whether they can trust these cleaners alone in offices? Do they check the references of the cleaners to know how their past relationships have been with employers? Will the same employees be cleaning every time, or do they rotate employees constantly.

Question 3: Do they have references that they have been established with for a number of years that they would be willing for you to talk to? It is important for a working relationship to know how the people they have worked with in the past have felt about their work. You may want to ask for some negative references as well so that you can know whether they were let go because of inappropriate behavior, or just because the company found something that would work better for them.

Question 4: Are they bonded? If not, why not? And do they maintain proper liability insurance. If they do not, move on, you want the cleaning company to be able to fix their own mistakes rather than turn and run out on a small last pay check.

Once you have done some research on the cleaning company and found one that you feel you can try, and then it is time to start building a relationship with them. A cleaning relationship is very much a two way relationship. You cannot expect them to come in to your office and know exactly what needs to be done, just because they have cleaned other offices before. You must state your needs clearly and decidedly. If your needs aren't known things may be missed or things may be moved and cleaned that didn't need to be.

You also need to let them know how often you expect your office to be cleaned. Do you need it to be cleaned every week, or once a day? You may need certain things done every day (taking out the trash, vacuuming), and other jobs done weekly or maybe even monthly. It will be your responsibility to communicate these needs clearly to your cleaning service.

Once you have chosen your cleaning service, and communicated your needs, then you need to simply watch the company. Be there the first time they come, watch things like how do the cleaners present themselves? Are they courteous and professional? Did they arrive on time? Do they seem to understand and are they willing to follow through with your companies needs.

By following these simple instructions for picking a cleaning service you should be able to find someone who will do a good job for you.

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