In this article we will address ways to advertise your business with minimal expense. When you start your cleaning service it is imperative to get new clients fast and based on our experience, there are several ways to do that without breaking the bank. Options such as door knocking, lead platforms, and flier distribution will be explained in this article.
Door knocking is an old-fashioned approach that still works. Most importantly, it works on commercial accounts, which tend to be steadier once you get them. Before this approach can be successful, you really have to address several things including ensuring professional appearance, professionally made business cards, professionally made fliers, a notebook, and a well-practiced introduction. Once all this is in line, you are ready to enter your first target business.
The businesses that star-up companies should target include apartment complexes, churches, local restaurants, dental offices, doctor’s offices, car dealerships, realtor offices, and any newly built business. The focus of the conversation is three-fold. Once you introduce yourself, please do not start selling right away. Your goal at this point should be to find answers to following questions:
1. Does the potential client have an in-house or vendor cleaning service?
2. Are they happy with it?
3. Email address or phone of the decision maker for the business?
Once you collect the answers above, you will already have a conversation going in the direction of your service without being annoying and pushy. As an added benefit, you will know which approach to take with each client – do you send them a letter outlining why they should have outside vendor service vs. in-house service or do you send one that outlines why you are better than the competition??? In addition, please be very friendly to secretaries and other gatekeepers. Very often, your access to the person who makes decisions and signs checks will depend on them, so treat them nice. A box of donuts will generally get you in any door.
Flier distribution works great for residential accounts. However before you begin walking entire neighborhoods, some homework has to be done. It is very beneficial to get online and find out which neighborhoods have the most income and which neighborhoods have most children per household. You do not want to waste your time in areas where people cannot afford your service or do not need your service. You will find out that most of your clients will hire you because they are very successful and do not have time to clean or because the family is large and mom can not keep up with it all. Those are demographics you want to target.
Second piece of homework is the quality of your materials. You want a clear call to action on your flier and a message that will resonate with the potential client. Nobody wants to know how great your business is – everyone wants to know what you can do for them, so please create flyers that outline benefits of working with you and you will see work come in steady.
Third form of inexpensive marketing that we will discuss is a third-party lead provider Thumbtack. There are a lot of these providers, but we will focus on one only as this platform provided us with a great experience and proved a goldmine in terms of new jobs.
Thumbtack basically offers a matching service. Their platform is advertised nationally and had a very strong presence on the Internet. Customers trust it and post their jobs. Thumbtack then matches customer needs to various providers and allows those providers to bid on the job. Each bid costs only a few dollars, which makes the process very affordable. In addition, once you create your profile, Thumbtack will give you some free credits – enough to land a job or two if you bid smartly.
The key to successfully bidding on this platform is three-fold. First, you need a really good profile. Write it professionally and provide good pictures of your work. Also, pay $7 and have Thumbtack complete a background check on you. This great feature makes you stand out right away.
In addition to a strong profile you also need reviews. They help and always will help. Thumbtack has a great feature that lets you invite your previous clients to write a review there. You can do that with up to ten clients and that will make you significantly more likely to be hired. As you get more jobs, please make sure your clients leave their reviews so that your profile strength is increased.
Last key to being successful on Thumbtack is bidding. There is no magic price that will get you any job. You have to write politely, sell your service and quality of work in the message and see what happens. While you have no control of the outcome, you do have some ways to increase your odds. They key to this is knowing following – most people who let you clean once, will let you increase your rate if you do a good job. So what does this mean? This means you should always have a profile and reviews that are over the top but bid on the lower end of the range. Once people invite you in their home, you can ask for a fairer price at that time and you will get it vast majority of the time. However, your work and service need to be over the top – no point in being in a service business if you cannot do that anyway.