It’s been a difficult year for a lot of industries, and the cleaning sector is very much among these. Now, finally, COVID-19 restrictions are lifting across the UK. As domestic and commercial cleaning franchises prepare to return full-force to work, what are the top cleaning trends of 2021?
Trends are shaped by society, and in a world coming out of a global pandemic, cleanliness is a high priority for everyone. But how is that manifesting in terms of cleaning trends? Here are the four hottest topics in the 2021 cleaning landscape.
What is a professional cleaning franchise?
A professional cleaning franchise is a business which focuses, as you might have guessed, on cleaning. Franchises vary greatly in terms of size, specialism and cost of investment. There are two main types of cleaning which these companies undertake:
1. Domestic cleaning. This type of cleaning is completed in a residential environment, like someone’s house or apartment.
2. Commercial cleaning. This type of cleaning is completed in a business environment, like an office or an industrial space.
Some companies will choose to offer a wide range of services, while others will operate in a smaller niche, and success can be found along either route. Thriving cleaning franchise Poppies, for example, offers a comprehensive range of domestic cleaning services, while growing franchise Ovenclean puts its focus solely on cleaning ovens.
The shape of the UK cleaning industry post-COVID
It goes without saying that COVID-19 has impacted the sector negatively. Back in January 2021, just 76% of businesses in the cleaning industry were actively trading, and over the course of the pandemic, 51% of businesses reported a resultant decrease in turnover [Office for National Statistics].
In comparison with other industries, the cleaning sector has come out of the pandemic relatively well. There’s always a demand for cleaning services, and now that restrictions relating to the sector have been lifted, cleaning companies should have a clear path to regaining their losses in the long term.
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The top four cleaning sector trends in 2021
1. Better informed clients and customers
If anything positive has come out of the past year, it’s the fact that consumers are more informed than ever about the value and importance of cleaning. They’ve done their own research, and they’ve seen the difference that a high standard of cleanliness can make. As a result, many businesses are investing more into cleaning services and technologies in order to protect their employees and raise their overall hygiene standards. When you’re running your own business, what better sector to be in than one that’s expanding right at this moment?
Once people started recognizing the value of strong cleaning programs, they began putting their money where their mouth is. Technologies that were deemed too expensive just months earlier were being purchased in bulk. Staffing was reevaluated, along with cleaning frequencies, and funds were reallocated to accommodate the needs.
—Corinne Zudonyi, CleanLink
There’s been a recent uptick in the number of people looking for cleaning products that will make life easier down the line, essentially future-proofing their cleaning. If you can purchase a product that prevents an issue like rust or mould from ever developing, you can save energy, time and even money at a later date.
As the cleaning industry continues along a path of growth and the number of specialist products on offer increases, domestic and commercial cleaning trends are likely to reflect this, with a growing desire for future-proof and protective solutions. If you’re running a cleaning franchise, you’ll need to stay in the loop regarding these kinds of customer demands.
3. The growing prominence of the “cleanfluencer”
There’s a social media influencer for just about every topic, and cleaning is no exception. The popularity of cleaning influencers, or “cleanfluencers” continues to grow. Undeniably, the biggest of the bunch is an Essex woman named Sophie Hinchliffe, stylised on Instagram as “Mrs Hinch”.
Sophie has over four million followers on her home and cleaning account, and fans from around the world are inspired to action by her cleaning tips and product recommendations. In her wake, many other home-focused accounts have branched out into cleaning content.
Instagram has birthed a new generation of cleaning gurus. Mrs Hinch is by far the most popular in the UK, but other “cleanfluencers” include the self-appointed “Queen of Clean” Lynsey Crombie (209,000 followers); Gemma Bray, creator of The Organised Mum Method (204,000 followers) and Nicola Lewis of the home organising service This Girl Can Organise (148,000 followers).
—Gwendolyn Smith, The Guardian
4. Environmentally-friendly products and solutions
Many clients will be looking to work with cleaning companies who can offer environmentally friendly products and solutions. Responsible, sustainable cleaning has become a focus during the pandemic, with 60% of customers reporting that they’ve made more ethical and sustainable purchases since the start of the pandemic [Accenture].
If you’re a cleaning franchise owner, you’ll need to make sure you’re responding to this demand by investing in the right kinds of products. You should also carefully consider your practices and operational tactics – how can your franchise be sure that it’s producing the lowest possible amount of waste, and having the lowest possible environmental impact?
Your clients can see that you’re truly making the effort, in the same way that they’d be able to see if you were just jumping on the bandwagon. Green cleaning may be a trend right now but it also has long-term relevance for the future of your business and the future of the planet.
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Make a profitable investment in the cleaning industry today
If you want to start a cleaning franchise, there’s no better time to put your plan in motion. Things are looking up for the sector, and exciting new cleaning trends are enhancing customer demand. If you’re interested in running a franchise, but you’re not sure a cleaning business is the right fit for you, browse the wide range of available franchising options via Point Franchise’s UK franchise directory.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©