House Cleaning Indsutry
First off, disintermediation in business is when the “middleman” gets cut off and business dealings are conducted “directly” between the worker and the paying client. We use the word middleman because the situation can apply to different scenarios. It could take the place of a variety of business relationships such as:
Employer | Employee
Employer | Contractor
Contractor | Sub Contractor
Marketplace owner | Participating Marketplace Service Provider
Franchisor | Franchisee
Master Franchisor | Franchisee
What’s wrong with that picture? Depending on what side of the fence you are, you’ll have a different opinion. Now, if the sole purpose of a client is to “save” money and the “sole” purpose of the worker is to maximize earnings, then what can possibly be wrong with the activity?
This activity, disintermediation, is a clear violation of the trust between the company and the client, and the contractor and the company. Furthermore, from the perspective of a business, not only is it unethical, but this is a toxic activity that happens all too often and “may be responsible” for shutting down some major national and state level franchised companies. The reason we say may be responsible is because disintermediation usually happens behind closed doors and is nearly impossible to prove. However, after many years dealing with clients and an enormous amount of house cleaners, we will testify that disintermediation is real and it happens at every level of business, from mom and pop operations all the way up to nationally recognized brands.
So what is wrong with disintermediation?
In our opinion, people engaged in this activity lack good ethics, violate fair business practice policies, and lack the full knowledge of the expense, difficulty, and expertise necessary to establish a legal entity. Not to mention the time necessary to develop and implement an effective marketing plan, and the amount of time and money involved in recruiting the people with the best house cleaning experience. From a business perspective, at least from our organization, any house cleaner that’s caught making a backroom deal with a client, will be charged a fee that we see reasonable for each and every client that we lose to this. This is perfectly fair, especially considering the possible monetary loss from lost future service as well as potential referrals from the lost client. Other companies usually seek criminal and legal remedies when a house cleaner is caught doing this.
What can be done to minimize disintermediation form happening?
First of all we have identified the two main factors that contribute to this type of business dealings. They are usually related to cleaners feeling they are not paid enough. We are constantly in the process of researching the cleaning industry to ensure that all cleaning associates are well compensated according to current market conditions. In addition, if we have a job that is too difficult by most standards, and it requires an exaggerated work pace to get the job done within the time frame allotted by the client, we'll usually meet with the client to see if we can make an adjustment. In this situation the work load will need to be reduced, or the service fee slightly increased to allow just enough extra time to complete the job without excessive effort on the part of the house cleaner.
On the other hand, from time to time we get a client that wants to get the best deal possible. We are also very proactive in researching local and distant rates in the house cleaning industry to be certain that prices offered through our business are very competitive. In addition we always offer every client the option to better manage their spending budget by allowing them to select what needs to get done in order of priority. Furthermore, we'll advise clients if we notice the cleaning frequency is too close and offer cleanings at longer intervals. This will also better assist every client in keeping control of the overall cost of the service.
We certainly strive to be transparent at every part of our business when dealing with associates and with the public. This will ensure that we do what's within our power to be fair, competitive, and reduce the chance of disintermediation.