I've always found the holidays to be the best of times to find new customers. Even if it can be hectic, it's a creative and productive time. The year seems to speed up toward New Year's Eve, and the holidays line up one after another. The average person can find it hard to keep up. Most people need a helping hand. Holiday parties and dinners are on everybody's mind, and cleaning is on their to-do list. You're in the best position to market your services, as your customers are already looking for you!
Operating a cleaning business during the holiday season can be super profitable. With a little extra planning you can make this your best season of the year. Here are 4 top tips to help you make the most out of a busy time.
1. Make a list. Generate a list of everyone you know who qualifies as a potential customer. Make it a long list, and don't edit anyone out. You never know who might be looking for a cleaning service. Refer to your address book, your email contacts, your followers on LinkedIn and Facebook. Ask your friends, your family members, and your neighbors for a list of names and contact information.
2. Leave notes. Now put that list to work. Write brief, simple introductory notes to everyone (yes, everyone!) on it. Even Santa gets notes for his trouble (chimney-cleaning, anyone?) Grab their attention and make a favorable first impression. Drop by their home or office to leave your note, and don't forget to add one of your business cards. Handwrite your note – handwriting is becoming a lost art. People will be impressed that you took a moment to think of them.
3. “Do you have some extra business cards? My neighbor wants to know who cleans for us.” When you hear that, it's music to your ears. The very best referrals come directly from your customers. You know, the ones whose homes you just cleaned like a madman. It's never too early to ask for referrals. The very hour you complete your first cleaning job for a new customer, tell them you're committed to expanding your services – ask them for the names of three people they think might be interested in your service. Promote yourself. People respect that. If you're just getting started and do not have much experience yet, you need to get proactive. Ask your friends and family members for testimonials. Post these on your website. Testimonials and reviews are at the heart of social media.
4. Systemize. All of the above takes time, but not much. The trick is to break down each suggestion down into actionable steps. For example, spend 10 - 20 minutes in the morning brainstorming new potential customers to add to your list. Spend one hour per evening writing notes, emailing, or calling your existing customers. Make good use of testimonials. Everyone can be creative and productive, especially if you give yourself the right environment and get into the right mindset to take these steps. For more about systems to maximize your profits, see our suggestions on our blog. Your time will pay off quicker than you can sing jingle bells!