“When you have a skilled, knowledgeable

and engaged workforce, you ensure they’re as productive as possible.”

What we learned during COVID

Rune Sovndahl, Co-Founder of Fantastic Services, explains what the pandemic has taught them about running a cleaning business.

It goes without saying that the pandemic was a tough time for businesses, and the professional cleaning industry was no exception.

Whether you’re a cleaning business with over 2000 teams or a two-person operation, everyone felt the same uncertainty. We were all looking at a storm that could erase everything we’ve been working for – but for us it didn’t, and in the face of adversity, we found opportunity.

When lockdowns were imposed and offices closed, the first thought that came to our minds was ‘how will our industry survive’ before the thought started to creep in – could we even thrive? Instead of placing staff on furlough, we pivoted operations and developed new services, retraining and upskilling our workforce.

Thankfully, because of the passionate and devoted people we work with, we managed to go through the pandemic more smoothly than most of our competitors and come through the other side growing faster than ever.

When restrictions came into force, we had no choice but to change and update our processes. It was something that we’ve done before, but never at such speed. Within a week of the Government announcements, we launched a new cleaning service in antiviral sanitisation.

To put it in perspective, in five days we had to find new suppliers, the right product, train over 2000 professionals and over 530 of our franchise partners, as well as launch the service in two different continents, whilst arranging for personal protective equipment for cleaning professionals working on-site. No mean feat.

When the pandemic hit, something that proved to be extremely valuable is that we already had a contactless service in place for our clients; offering the choice for our clients to drop off their keys, whilst our team would handle the cleaning or any other job on their premises without meeting in person.


Another key factor is how we adapted to the ever-changing circumstances through customisation – streamlining our booking process for both our customers and professional cleaners, making professional cleaning bookings bespoke to them.

Instead of relying on explaining what you need to a customer service representative and counting on them to disseminate the information correctly to the professionals, we allowed the customer to completely customise the service online. It’s faster, easier, and more accurate that way. Furthermore, it gives our professionals peace of mind as they’re sure they have the right instruction for each job.

Whilst adaptability is vitally important, realising that business is a marathon and not a sprint is also a key part of strapping yourself in for the long run and being able to handle the unexpected.

Running a professional cleaning business sounds simple, but it’s so far from it. In fact, it’s quite the delicate process. From finding the right clients, to building a relationship and having people book you again, it’s nothing short of a complicated operation.

I often think when it comes to a cleaning company, it’s more about responding to what’s needed rather than what you want as a business owner. Always innovating to respond to client demands – where our online systems and booking platforms have never been put to the test more than over the past 12 months.

I guess ultimately any business is all about innovations, change, and keeping track of the trends and requests.

You need to be focused because sometimes you lose direction when thinking out of the box. Know what you’re after, and if anything new is not for you, don’t be afraid not to follow it. Do things one at a time, perfect them, and in the end, you’ll have the whole picture the way you want it.


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