Simon Brooks is the founder of Squiffy Clean, a six-month-old Palo Alto startup he created after cleaning up company spaces while living in his car. The company services commercial spaces in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and nearby areas.
Squiffy Clean is a new office cleaning company born out of the frustration of the lack of transparency of industry pricing along with the far too common lack of attention to detail service. Our founder, Simon, while working on his educational gaming company, started out volunteering to clean the restroom and kitchen area of the Hacker Dojo every day. Hacker Dojo is a community of startups in the heart of Silicon Valley, where companies such as Pinterest, Pebble Watch, and Homejoy had early roots.
Hacker Dojo already had a cleaning company come in each evening to clean but due to the high traffic in the building needed a second daily clean. Over time, several members told Simon his cleaning was so much better and he should start his own cleaning business. His focus was elsewhere at the time, but eventually he took a look at the marketplace to see if there was opportunity. He was shocked that he couldn’t get pricing from any of the local cleaning company websites without them sending in a silver tongued salesperson first. How could he start a business in this space if he didn’t know what the going rate is? He realized that the lack of pricing availability must be frustrating for consumers too, so he set about his research on how to fix that. Squiffy Clean was born.
With our fine attention to detail in cleaning, and knowing what your price is before even speaking to us, we do hope that you’re ready to give us a chance to adopt your building as our own and keep it Squiffy Clean.
What types of buildings do we service?
Currently we only service commercial office cleanings.
Do you offer service to retail, schools, high security buildings like banks, or companies with hazardous waste?
Not yet, but we do plan to expand into this area next.
Do you service industrial and/or manufacturing buildings?
Not yet but it’s in our roadmap.
Do we offer residential cleaning services?
Sorry but at this time we’re focusing on commercial cleaning only.
Do you offer other services than office cleaning?
We’re currently forming alliances with other qualified local service providers and will be offering more services soon.
Do we use green friendly products?
Yes we do. We have a commitment to staying green and really mean it. Wherever we possibly can we use bio-based products that are made from things that grow.
We believe all cleaning companies should be green friendly as a given and shouldn’t use it as a token selling tool. Cleaning supplies should all be non-toxic and biodegradable, and good for the environment.
What cleaning supplies do we use?
We only source the best products. We do not use cheaper generic brands as used by most cleaning companies which aren’t effective and can be harmful to your surfaces too. The products we use are often used in five star hotels. Have you noticed five star hotels smell nicer than other hotels? It’s not just odor control products causing that, but odor control used in conjunction with the right cleaning products.
What equipment do we use?
Again we don’t use cheap ineffective equipment. For mopping we use a double bucket system that separates the clean and dirty water. This ensures dirty water isn’t smeared across your floor and called clean. We also use flat microfiber mop heads that get washed after each use. Our backpack vacuums are LEED and HEPA compliant and all our cleaning cloths are color coded and of the highest quality microfiber available.
Do we offer supplies to your business?
Yes we do. We find out what your preferred hand towels, toilet rolls, coffee cups, and other supplies you use are then we put together a package for your perusal. We keep the pricing competitive and include a free stock inventory, and staff area replenishment service. This means we’ll let you know when you’re running low, and will fill your staff area with enough product for the day. If you prefer to carry on using your current suppliers, well that’s fine by us too.
Color Coded Cleaning
Color-coded cleaning eliminates cross contamination. Some cleaning companies do not color code at all which means one day they might use a cloth in the restroom and another day use it on your kitchen table or desk. Is that happening in your office?
How is Squiffy Clean priced?
We use our own data driven pricing engine. It includes several layers of data to help us accurately price your building. We time all of our cleanings and keep records of building sizes, number of rooms, types of rooms, how many sinks, how many toilets, how much open floor space, and many other data points related to cleaning buildings. This helps us achieve a median one price fits all model.
How does that compare to other companies?
The current standard is time consuming and ineffective. Other companies are very often protective of their pricing. Try getting priced at other office cleaning company websites and you’ll see what we mean. Typically if a business is looking for office cleaners they search something like ‘office cleaners’ in their browser. Next the customer makes contact and schedules an appointment with the cleaning company to bid for their job. A few days later they have their price. This process usually takes at least one week. If you’ve invited 3, 4, or 5 cleaning businesses to bid for your contract this can take 2 weeks just to get your price.
Does our pricing change?
Yes, but not for you. From the moment you’ve confirmed your order with us your uninterrupted service comes with a 12-month fixed price guarantee. As we feed more data into our pricing engine the pricing for new potential customers could change. However they would also get our 12-month fixed price guarantee based on the pricing on the day they confirmed their order.
Why is this better than standard tendered bids?
Very often cleaning companies deliberately underbid your contract to win your business. A few months into service typically one of two things happens. The cleaning company advise you they mistakenly underbid and the new price will be x amount. Most businesses accept the new higher price rather than go through the slow process of finding another company although they may feel they’ve been price gouged. Alternatively the cleaning company will take a cleaner off the job to save on their overhead cost. This leads to a lesser service. Either way you’re left not happy.
Is Square Foot pricing more expensive?
Not at all, but it is more accurate. This means you won’t get the dreaded price gouge and/or loss in service that tendered bid estimates often lead to. Your Squiffy Clean pricing is fair market rate and guaranteed for twelve months.
Are there contracts?
Yes, the contract price reflects 12 months of uninterrupted service however it’s really a month-to-month rolling contract with a seven-day cancellation notice period. If a customer cancels a contract, then later decides to come back to us, they start with the pricing available on our pricing engine at that time.
Who are our cleaners?
All our cleaners are employed directly by Squiffy Clean. They’ve passed background and screening checks and have completed our training program. They receive pay stubs on payday with taxes withheld and we carry workers compensation. We prefer direct employees to sub-contractors as it helps create a better company culture, more loyalty, and pride in their work. It also allows us to promote from within.
Yes they are. We believe in a professional image that allows our customers to identify us easily when we’re in your building.
Will you have the same cleaners every time?
Mostly you will, but you will see new faces among your team. The old ineffective way of choosing a cleaning team is the cleaning company puts the first four cleaners they hired into team one, the next four into team 2, and so on. At Squiffy Clean, because all our cleanings are timed, and we have the data on individual cleaners, our algorithm picks the most optimized teams each week. This helps us ensure all our customers are getting the service they’re expecting. Additionally it helps avoid cliques forming when one team believes they’re better than the others. We treat all our cleaners as one family that eats together, watches training videos, and play games like ping-pong before we start each shift.
What’s that great clean scent you leave in our office?
That’s part of our secret sauce, and one of the many advantages we have over other office cleaning companies. Sorry, but we’ll have to keep that to ourselves for now 😉
Why are your wet floor caution signs shaped like a Banana?
Too often caution signs get missed. People are so used to seeing them that they ignore them… Who are we kidding? We use Banana shaped caution signs because they’re more fun!
Each building is different but typically if your building has nobody to let us in at nights during the initial onboarding process we’ll ask for three sets of keys. One for the service cleaning team, one for the shift supervisor, and one for the office. We color code your keys so they won’t get mixed up with other customers and never write your address down on the key fob.
Do we need an initial walk through of your building?
Yes, every customer is different and has their own specific needs. We work with you to ensure your individual requirements are met on top of our exceptional service standards.
Do we offer iPad communication tablets?
No, we believe we should just do a great job quietly in the background without needing you to have to communicate with us. Some other cleaning companies insist you accept their iPad fixed to your wall and that you use it daily (including daily written reviews) to communicate with them. To us that sounds like they’re making you do work and that it will soon get old. We believe you’re busy enough without us making demands on your time too.
For customers who require a daily clean we do offer a ‘Happy or Not’ customer feedback machine. It’s a floor standing device so won’t make holes in your wall, doesn’t need any wifi, and is battery powered. Simply let us know how we’re doing without any effort by just pressing one of four buttons.
What if you want to communicate with us?
We make ourselves available 24/7 via telephone, email, and Slack messaging system.