are starting a new cleaning business and you are anxious to get going
and making an excellent living cleaning homes. Maybe you have a
cleaning service that is stagnating, you are in a rut and you need
more clients, but you are too busy dealing with existing clients, how
do you get more clients while working? How do you find the energy?
How do you find the time?
First off, it is best to pre-qualify any leads that you want to convert into clients. You do not want to just get every low paying job out there. You want top-notch reputable clients by offering the highest quality cleaning services. Otherwise, it quickly becomes a race to the bottom and you are competing with the volume based lowest common denominator pay scale. You will be battling it out with every $10 per hour fly by night enterprise out there.
When I first started my cleaning service I researched every neighborhood in town. I took maps and made notes and marks with highlighter pens before I put out a single flyer. It was old school, it was the 90s, today you can use Zillow app to find the highest paying neighborhoods. You can use your smartphone to make notes and map out a route and track your canvassing with a tracker app.
Residential Cleaning services
With residential cleaning gigs, it is best to go direct right from the start. You will need to flyer and do direct mailings. You will want to leverage the power of referrals. There are many tricks to increase referrals and we have written about that elsewhere. Make a list of everyone you know that lives in the area and contact them directly and tell them about your business and that you will give them a free cleaning if they refer you to 3 other people. You get cleaning practice and this can build your business quickly. You may think it bonkers to offer free cleanings, but two things happen. You get quality referrals (for cheap!) and the person getting the free cleaning will hire you 95% of the time because they do not want to feel guilty or shameful for taking advantage of you. If they do want to take advantage without supporting your business, then you do not want them as a client and you saved yourself months of frustration and disappointment.
Office cleaning services
Office cleaning is trickier to get, it is harder to get in front of the decision maker. It is a business, and there is usually a hierarchy of access and you are usually dealing with a receptionist that is likely to just throw your brochure into a pile or worse, the trash bin. How do you get in front of the decision maker?
There are many tactics to do this and we cover all of them in the Clean Up Now system. One tactic is to do some online research and get their full name. Then see if you can contact them directly via social media or an official website. Then arrange an in-person meeting.
Commercial cleaning services
The larger scale jobs take some time to work your way up to. It is not likely you are going to start your cleaning venture cleaning big business spaces. It takes some heavy equipment and typically you work your way up to that level of complexity and in-house resources. Most larger commercial companies will want you to have at least two years of experience and at least 3 referrals. If your end goal is to grow your business to clean on a larger scale for commercial enterprises, then you will need to start out in residential/small office cleaning and get the years of experience necessary and invest in new cleaning equipment over a period of time. That will allow you to break into the commercial cleaning sector in a sustainable way.
Short term working goals
Your short term goal is to get enough clients to become a sustainable business. There is no way around the fact you are going to have to get out in the world 8 hours a day, 7 days a week in the beginning. You need to build momentum, you need to create a sense of abundance, the impression that you are busy busy busy. People like that, they want to be in on it, take advantage of it. The best way to get busy is to BE busy. Network, Network, Network! Get in front of as many people as you can and let them know what you do and how good you are at it.
Keep your expectations in check when networking. It is hard to know how you will benefit from your actions, it can take years to gain a benefit. Have faith that being out there in the world doing good will result in rewards. Don't get down with the day to day disappointments. Keep at it and you will see results.
Common missteps with the initial marketing can be very detrimental to your startup momentum.
These tactics are less than optimal.
Social media makes it feel like you are getting a lot done very quickly and it certainly is more captivating than hitting the pavement. Social media is designed to cater to your innate tendency to want to procrastinate and get distracted and that is most likely what WILL happen. It is much more effective to spend an hour flyering homes and offices than on social media. Statistically speaking, you will get 1 client from that hour of flyering. You will get zero clients form playing around on social media.
Long term branding goals
Social media is important for long term branding purposes. As you establish a reputation over the first 5 years, social media will play an important role in creating the impression that you are a top notch highly thought of local business. The biggest mistake new cleaning services make is to post a lot in the beginning and then after a month or two, they stop posting entirely. This is bad. It looks like you went out of business! From day one and for all time, post once per week, no more, no less! Post about what you are doing with your business. Post about your clients and how well your business is doing. Show the world that you are working hard and that you are reputable.
The Clean Up Now System has over 150 tools and tactics to help you get new cleaning business clients and even better, how to keep them for the long term.