Since Covid-19 hit South Africa, there seems to be a rise in the number of businesses supplying cleaning services. Owner of Resolve Cleaning Services Shybon George-Isaacs talks healthy competition, the power of word of mouth, and more.
After leaving the corporate world, Shybon spent most of her days driving her mom to and from work sites. Her mom worked in the cleaning industry, which led to Shybon enquiring about this sector. In 2004, she founded Resolve Cleaning Services.
Over the years, competition was minimal, but then 2020 arrived and with it a virus that places great emphasis on hygiene. This saw a rise in businesses offering the same service... cleaning. “What used to be 100 companies within the industry is now 1 000, and everyone is an ‘expert’. This isn’t something new and many such companies don’t survive,” says Shybon.
To stay ahead of the competition, Resolve is in the processes of updating its branding with a fresher look and focusing on the company's strengths, while also educating staff on the virus and clients’ needs during this time. She explains, “Our reality was that we have always disinfected, and we make use of biodegradable products. All we needed to understand was the difference, if any, of Covid-19 requirements from what we were already doing. We have levelled up on education and training to understand changes, such as working during a pandemic. As a service provider, you need to be up to speed with clients' needs, but fortunately we have relationships with other cleaning companies. I don’t view them as competition but rather business associates. There’s more than enough clientele to go around.”
Word of mouth
Marketing has evolved with most businesses thriving to be number one online but for Resolve, good old-fashioned word of mouth has proven to be as relevant 16 years later. “We’ve had a Facebook page, which is only one-year old. Word of mouth has built our clientele through recommendations from clients and suppliers. However, we now have a LinkedIn page [information populated from August] and a website Resolve Cleaning Services," she adds.
Resolve is currently seeing growth with its dry and environmentally-friendly carpet cleaning service and, according to Shybon, this is becoming a business unit of its own. “We’re excited about the development we have been seeing from the dry and environmentally-friendly carpet cleaning service. We also offer dry foam upholstery and, as previously mentioned, we use biodegradable products that aren’t harmful to the environment. Our focus has always been the corporate, healthcare and hospitality industries, although we’re not limited to these sectors,” she says.
It’s no secret that the cleaning lady at your office probably knows you better than you know yourself and Shybon agrees to this, jokingly saying: “They're like your hairdresser.”
“Some of the personal traits one needs to have in this industry are passion, empathy, humility, honesty and integrity. You need to know and understand why you’re providing this service, understand that you’re working with people from different backgrounds, and build trust because we spend a great deal of time with clients. It’s important to have good values and ethics.”
Author: Yonga Balfour