08 May Brexit & How Businesses In The Cleaning Industry Can Adjust For These Interesting Times
I recently saw an interesting article posted in a LinkedIn group. It was a letter from Numatic to their clients making them aware of a 9% price increase on their products due to take affect from 1st of July 2017.
It seems that Numatic have been hit hard by the exchange rate fluctuation from the uncertainty of Brexit and I am sure they are not the only business to have suffered from this.
One of the other more obvious areas that Brexit will influence is of course the workforce that supports so many cleaning businesses, which is one of the UK’s largest employers with at least 700,000 people.
In an article written by fm-world.co.uk, “The survey also shows that the number of foreign-born people working in the industry is larger than the national average – 23 per cent compared with a national average of 17 per cent.”
Of course, we don’t know if the triggering of Article 50 is going to restrict the freedom of movement between the UK and the EU, but if it does, we can expect the margins of cleaning companies to be squeezed even further.
On the other hand, we have some interesting facts from the latest “New Industry Trends” released by the British Cleaning Council (BCC) in March 2017 :
- The industry is expected to have 467,000 job openings between 2014 and 2024 (84,000 through industry growth and 383,000 through replacement demand)
- The Cleaning Industry contributes over £24 Billion to the UK Economy
- The latest Working Future Projections shows that there will be a shift towards more people holding higher qualifications
- By 2024, 50% of people employed in the industry are expected to be qualified at level 4 and above, whilst the proportion of people with no formal qualifications is expected to fall to 4%.
Dianna Steinbach, director EMEA Services at ISSA said that “Our industry is global and necessarily it has found ways to weather many economic situations in the past. It will prevail in this one as well, once the dust settles and the impact has been made clear.”
So how do cleaning businesses adjust for these uncertainties, aside from just rising the price of their products or services?
From where we are standing, the focus for Cleaning Businesses must then be on education and growth in line with the BCC’s highlighted trend for Cleaning Businesses to gain higher qualifications overall. I appreciate this is not rocket science and seems obvious to most, but I am still surprised by the amount of business owners we speak to who say there’s “not enough time in the day” to get involved in learning about using technology and marketing strategies to grow their businesses.
There is a lot of noise in the market about Industry 4.0 and how smart machines are changing the game. The pressure to learn more about the world of technology and how it can be leveraged has certainly increased without a doubt. However, to date there seems to be very little information and training available for Cleaning Businesses to learn more about marketing and what technology can be used to help weather this uncertainty.
When we carried out a piece of research at the end of 2016, we spent time talking to businesses in the Cleaning Industry and it became very evident that this sector needs a lot of help when it comes to understanding how to market online, what technology to use, what channels to engage on and what strategies work best.
Our research also looked at Cleaning Company websites, where we found that as much as 20% of them did not have a fully functional website enabling buyers to find out how these Cleaning Businesses could solve their problem. Instead, we found a lot of one page websites containing basic information that at times looked like they were built 20 years ago. In some cases, companies did not even have a website, when it’s widely accepted as the digital business card of today’s world.
This is fascinating considering that 87% of purchasing decisions start with a search online. This is where the game is being played and yet so many businesses are just not on the pitch.
This is why we have decided to host an event on the 24th of May called “Growing Your Business Through Proven Strategies & Technology”. It’s taking place in Milton Keynes from 09:30 – 12:30 and tickets are £79 +VAT (if you use the promo code “MAYCRAZY”). Full details of the day can be found here.
When we compare the businesses we have worked with in our combined 25 years experience – many of which lie outside of the Cleaning Industry – and the businesses we’re talking to in the Cleaning Industry today, we can see a massive opportunity for Cleaning Businesses to get involved in understanding how to play the online game…and win.
We are committed to helping the industry change. So committed in fact, that we’ve made the tickets fully refundable for anyone who feels that they don’t get the value they’re expecting from the event. All attendees will also be entered into our competition to win our marketing services for 6 months, worth £7500.
If you’d like to register for the event, click here, and remember to use the promo code “MAYCRAZY” whilst ‘Crazy Bird’ pricing is still available. Once these are sold out, standard pricing is £147 + VAT, so make sure you get involved now.
To answer the initial question, “How to adjust for the uncertainty of Brexit?”, the easiest way is to get educated on how to grow and market your business more effectively. So come along to our event on the 24th of May and get involved. We’d love to see you there.