For example, First Responders and Paramedics require up to 2 years of training. For the purposes of this article, let's call them level 1 medical specialists. Nurses require up to 4 years of training, so let's call them level 2 specialists. Physician Assistants require up to 6 and nurse practitioners up to 8 years. They are level 3. I've already mentioned that medical doctors require up to 15 years. Surgeons can extend even beyond that. Let's put doctors and surgeons into level 4.
There are tons of Google doctors out there (me included). Whenever one our my kids gets a bump, rash, or fever, we search the internet for the answers. I am not even a level 1 medical specialist, but I act like it! In reality, I'm a level 0! Sometimes I can figure out what to do, but I usually need to schedule an appointment with a level 1, 2, or 3 medical professional.
Let me be clear! I do not want you to think I am comparing what I do as a cleaning professional to doctors. They are so vital in our society. However, I do want you to keep the hierarchial structure of the "Specialist" in your mind as you read this next part.
Cleaning has levels and specialists too!
Just like I research the basics on Google, many of you possess the basic skill set to clean your own home or office. Therefore, you assume that all cleaning professionals are level 1. This is why you don't think cleaning should cost much as "I could do it myself."
But can you really?
Let's break down the 3 levels of specialization in cleaning and see where you truly are. If there are any other cleaning professionals out there, I challenge you to assess as well. Let's have fun with this! Let's go!
Level 0 Cleaner - This cleaner can spray, scrub, wipe, vacuum, dust, and mop. They know the basics and start their own cleaning business from this knowledge. They use their own equipment and take cash. They are uninsured and unregistered. The professional cleaning industry refers to these cleaners as amateurs. If you hire one, you take a big risk in so many areas.
Level 1 Cleaning Specialist - This cleaner first becomes a professional by seeking the basic requirements to legitimize their business. They obtain $2 million in general liability insurance, a federal EIN, and sales tax identification number. Many file as a sole proprietor with a DBA and others incorporate, but ALL remit required taxes. Many apply and invest in business licenses where it's required. These cleaning specialists get mentorship through their industry and add some basic cleaning certifications. They are professionals and act with integrity and accountability. If you hire one, you reduce your liability risks and gain peace of mind. How much is this worth to you?
Level 2 Cleaning Specialist - This cleaner understands the Science of Cleaning and how to disinfect properly. Do you know that 90% of people are disinfecting incorrectly? Yup, that includes other cleaners too! I challenge you to watch my Chamber of Commerce presentation on the "9 Mistakes in Disinfecting" and honestly assess your knowledge on proper disinfecting. The level 2 cleaning specialist has a working knowledge of how to clean with science. You can rest assured that they will disinfect and protect your home or office from COVID and other pathogens. They understand and implement a COVID or cross-contamination protocol. Since they know basic chemistry, this professional will not damage your granite, marble, or surface finishes as they know which cleaning solution to use on which surfaces! Furthermore, they are fully aware which cleaning solutions to use in sensitive areas such as food-contact and where children crawl. If you hire a level 2 cleaner, you further reduce your liability and gain peace of mind. How much is this worth to you?
Level 3 Cleaning Specialist - Do you know that clutter causes stress and anxiety? Did you believe that first impressions make or break business decisions? Of course you do! These are human emotional responses. The level 3 cleaning specialist understands the Art of Cleaning. This is a difficult concept to understand and not everyone needs this level of cleaner. Let me give you a few examples of customers Carfagno Cleaning serves as a Level 3 Cleaning Specialist.
Emily is a hard-working mom with twin girls and a corporate job. She gets stressed when things pile up in her home. She hired my company to clean her home. Prior to every cleaning visit, Emily invests 30 minutes decluttering her home for a more complete cleaning. This regular biweekly cleaning schedule keeps Emily accountable to a decluttered home. She has shared with me how much this has helped her emotionally around the house, with her kids, and in her work. When I walk out of the home, Emily knows the house is clean and disinfected in the critical areas. This gives her tremendous peace of mind. When she either walks around the house or enters if she wasn't home during the cleaning, she immediately sees and smells the presentation quality of the cleaning. She takes a deep breath, smiles, and knows it was money well-spent.
Chris runs a high-end computer IT company and wants to impress his staff and clients with a high standard of excellence. When his employees and potential clients walk through the front door, the first impression they get is actually from the landscaper and cleaner. Did you realize that?! They see the grass cut, sidewalk swept, and front entrance & reception sparkling and smelling great. This creates an emotional response that this company is first-rate. If they take care of this level of detail in the presentation of their office, how excellent is their IT service?
My hope is that you have a different appreciation for the various levels of cleaning speciality as a result of this article. Do you see why a level 1 cleaner costs more than a level 0 or why a level 3 has the highest prices, similar to medical professionals?
If you answered yes, I've accomplished my goal here!
Ken Carfagno is a presentation cleaning specialist serving the Indian Valley, PA.