We love talking to our members about what they do and how they’ve overcome challenges in business. Plus, we also like to find out why they love North Tyneside as a place to do business. We’ve been chatting to Helen at Bright & Beautiful, North Tyneside.

Tell us a little more about the business

We are an award-winning professional cleaning and housekeeping business serving North Tyneside and surrounding areas. We provide both domestic and commercial cleaning services on a weekly, fortnightly or one-off basis.

What challenges has the business overcome to become Covid-Secure?

When lockdown came into force in March, we had already made the decision a few days beforehand that it was no longer becoming feasible or safe to continue to operate and clean in people’s homes when the virus was on the rise.

Thankfully as a business that employs all our own staff we were able to take advantage of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme and furlough all staff until it was safe to resume service.

During that lockdown period I spent my time trailing through 100s of pages of Government guidance and developing new processes and procedures to ensure that when the time was right we could relaunch our business.

The biggest challenge for us has been the protection of our staff and customers while working in people’s homes. Luckily for us we are a cleaning company so my staff are already fully trained on cleaning and disinfection processes but to become Covid-secure we have had to introduce some additional procedures for everyone’s peace of mind and safety.

How has the business adapted the operation or workplace?

We have developed a new 5 step process for working in this different world. The first thing is of course social distancing, as a business we have always tried to maintain consistent teams, now this is more important than ever.

Our teams work together in the same team all week and do not mix with other teams, we have therefore also staggered start times to ensure this. While this is tough for the teams as they used to like the social aspect of chatting in the morning before work, it is something that we can no longer do in the short term.

We have also increased our client communication, we now call our customers the day before to check they are symptom free and advise on our approximate time of arrival so they can social distance themselves from us by either going out or remaining in one room that we don’t clean.

Thirdly, we have introduced additional cleaning procedures, including disinfecting all kit and equipment after each household and also adding a hospital-grade disinfectant to use on high touch point areas such as door handles, light switches etc.

Our fourth measure, is the supply of PPE to staff, we always provided gloves for staff to clean in and we continue to do so but we have also provided soap and hand sanitiser and trained them on new hygiene measures when working. In addition, all staff have been provided with face masks to wear when travelling together in cars.

Finally, we understand that things are constantly changing and we need to be agile and adjust as we adapt to these new ways of working, taking on board staff and customer feedback to continually improve.

How has North Tyneside Business Forum helped your business?

The North Tyneside Business Forum is a great resource for North Tyneside businesses, providing advice and support that has allowed my business to grow. During lockdown their updates on the latest Government guidance or explanations on what it means for us businesses was really helpful.

One thing that makes your business different from the rest

As a business our key differentiator, is that you don’t just get a “cleaner” you get a professional service with fully trained and employed staff, which is unusual within the cleaning sector. As a consequence our customers enjoy a high quality service and the gift of time back to do what they want to do.

To read more about the Restarting Business in North Tyneside Campaign and to find tips on how your business can return to work safely

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