For most businesses, Covid 19 has presented the most demanding times yet.
In your effort to make sense of it all, hygiene in your business is probably the last thing on your list of priorities.
But maybe it should top that list.
When you first set up your retail outlet, your priority was to make money in terms of profits.
More sales? A more significant customer base?
You are right; those will catapult your profits, but not with those glaring dusty counters, dirty bathrooms, missing lightbulbs, dirty markings on the walls, name it.
Cleanliness and hygiene in your business may seem a trivial matter to you. When your budget gets tight, there is a high chance it’s the cleaning that will get compromised.
For your customers, however, cleanliness is the cover by which they will judge your store. How well your janitor delivers may be the only reason they will stay longer at your facility and keep coming back.
You know what that means for your bottom line, right?
If you want to retain most of the money your business makes, there is no magic. You have to start paying attention to the customer experience that you offer to your customers. Cleanliness is a big part of that.
But keeping your retail store clean goes further than just chasing repeat customers. It will also help you
- Build or maintain your good PR
- Avoid unnecessary litigations
What You Need to Know About Cleaning Your Retail Store
Not any random cleaning will do for your store. You have to do it right.
But don’t start cleaning yet. Not until you can see your store through the eyes of your customers. That will help you understand where to pay attention.
Cleanliness won’t only keep your customers happy but your retail employees too. When your workers are happy, you know they will be more productive and add more weight to your bottom line.
Your bottom line does not only suffer from lost sales when your retail cleaning is not up to standard, but also due to worker absence, lost productivity, high worker compensation claims, and higher insurance premiums.
So how do you ensure your retail store cleaning meets the required standards to avoid all the money leakages a dirty store can expose your business?
Here are four areas you need to direct your cleaning efforts to avoid losing your money:
Dirt on your store floor is a perfect recipe for slips and falls. And that can happen to either your customers or an employee. Such incidences could cost your business.
They say prevention is better than cure. Putting up measures to reduce the risk of such slips and falls is much cheaper than dealing with actual injuries.
Apart from observing hygiene at your store, what other measures can you put in place to protect your bottom line as far as your floor is concerned?
- Create a prevention plan for injury and illness
- Use non-slip finishes on your floors
The Food Area
The focus here is not only on retail businesses that sell food items. Today, every company has an area where people and food meet. It could be a kitchen, food court, a bar, or a restaurant. Here, hygiene is paramount.
Surfaces that come into contact with food need regular cleaning with soap and water. But they also need to be sanitized consistently to get rid of disease-causing pathogens.
When it comes to food contact surfaces, use sanitizers and leave disinfectants for high-touch and other surfaces.
For three reasons:
- Disinfectants are highly concentrated compared to sanitizers
- Disinfectants require longer contact time than sanitizers to work optimally
- After using disinfectants, you should rinse the surface with clean water. That is not necessary when you use sanitizers.
Before picking a disinfectant or sanitizer to use for cleaning your food-contact surfaces, confirm that they are fit for use at food premises. Don’t forget to check if they are also effective against Covid 19.
Customers don’t want to be associated with dirty washrooms and will choose a retail outlet with a clean one any day.
With the rise of social media and online reviews today, your business will not stand a chance if you don’t pay the necessary attention to your washroom hygiene.
Surprisingly, your customers will equate the cleanliness of your washroom to that of the food area in your store. 75% will not set foot in your store again if they classify yours to be dirty.
Here are some quick tips to keeping your restroom from repelling your would-be customers:
- Create a program that details the restroom cleaning task as well as the frequency
- Assign someone specific to manage the cleaning of the restrooms
- Ensure your cleaning staff have the appropriate tools for effective cleaning
- Apart from the daily cleaning, deep-clean regularly
The Office Area
If not properly cleaned, your office harbors more germs than your toilet seat.
It turns out that we, humans, are the most significant source of bacteria.
That’s why phones, pens, keyboards, and all the high-touch points in your office will not only require cleaning but disinfecting too to avoid the risk of spreading germs to other people.
When staff gets exposed to Covid 19, allow sick days for the employee to recover at home and avoid the risk of getting more people, including your customers, catching the virus.
Provide hand sanitizers to both your employees and your customers, especially at the entrance to your facility.
Your retail facility is a public area and therefore accessible to all kinds of people. Return business is also your lifeline. If cleaning is what it will take to get that extra dollar coming in, then go all the way out and give that to your customers. After all, it will come back in folds because customers will prefer to spend more time at your facility than at your competitors’.
The more they like your facility, the easier it is for them to buy your products, and the bigger your bottom line will grow.