Cars. Food. CPU cycles. Almost everything today can be ordered on-demand. As long as there is a market for it, many services now can be booked through the use of an app. This enables service providers to give you the best possible rate at your best time of availability.
Southeast Asia is considered to be the bastion of on-demand services. While Uber left the region a couple years back, there is no lack of services here, from basic needs like groceries, to niche and luxury items like helicopter rides.
Cleaning services are no different. Yes, such chores can be basic enough for anyone to accomplish. However, the reality of life is that not everyone has the time nor energy to clean one’s own premises. In some cases, the job might not just involve basic cleaning but other miscellany as well – minor repairs, deep-cleaning jobs, and the like.
In Singapore, one company has learned to adjust with the market’s demands. “We clean everything – except money,” says Ben Xavier, Founder of Clean on-Demand. The Singapore-based company caters to a wide array of customers, from individuals to businesses in need of cleaning and related services.
“Most of our customers are professional expats who are renting apartments,” he says. “As part of their tenancy agreement contract, tenants are supposed to return the apartment in good standing order, which includes professional cleaning.”
Xavier shares that this particular service is the one most ordered by customers. “The most popular is our end of tenancy cleaning service, and it is profitable.”
A one-stop shop
Clean on Demand’s services go beyond cleaning only. The team discovered that there is value in providing additional household services related to cleaning the premises, and here is where their competitive advantage lies.
“Most cleaning companies focus only on one cleaning category, which is end of tenancy or general cleaning,” Xavier shares with e27. “However, the feedback from most of our customers is that they have to search more than one company to get the job done, such as air conditioner cleaning, marble polishing, etc.”
By engaging Clean on Demand, the customer is able to get everything solved in a matter of a few clicks on the mobile app: marble, mattress, and upholstery cleaning are available. Basic handyman tasks, such as fixing loose or broken handles, and lighting, are also done by its capable staff. The company also services air conditioning units. “Users are able to track their cleaners and chat with our admins via app,” says Xavier.
Engaging the ecosystem
An on-demand service will not work without suppliers, after all. Thus, aside from customers, this is another area where Clean on-Demand is putting focus on. The company assures customers of top-quality service by being hiring only competent cleaners. “We are very selective in getting them on board, and we ensure they are competent enough,” says Xavier.
The company also partners with other professionals, such as licensed property agents. They earn a 15 per cent referral fee for clients’ end-of-tenancy cleaning services.
The future of on-demand includes automation
While cleaning services are a highly-localised affair, there is benefit to market expansion, especially when deep tech is involved. According to Xavier, the company has plans to grow beyond Singapore and possibly expand across Southeast Asia.
An even bigger plan is to go deeper into the technology aspects of household cleaning. “We will be going toward commercial and robotics, with advanced technology,” says the founder.
As a parting word, Xavier shares something that fellow entrepreneurs might find useful in their journey: “Never, ever procrastinate. It’s just suicide on instalment plan.”