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O K to get more clients, WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN AND A MARKETING PLAN.
The marketing plan should explain the service offered.
It should identify the customers demands for your services.
It should also identify your market and explain pricing strategy.
Since you really have not told us your area where you work or how long you have
been in business nor how large an increase in clients, my answer is very general.
Give us more info. LUCKIEST
Word of mouth is a great way. Give your current customers a discount or gift for referrals.
Fliers in common places that people go to (like the supermarket and the gym). You might also want to post on the bulletin boards of any nearby businesses (ask the receptionist to do this). Business people often don't have the time to clean their houses and have the money to get someone else to do it. Make sure your flier gets the point across quickly and stands out. If you can come up with a clever title, that will help.
Have you thought about posting an ad at the Chamber of Commerce and target professional working women?
How about contacting people whose homes are for sale? Let me tell you about how my last house cleaner was hired to explain what I mean: She saw the "For Sale" sign in my yard, knocked on the door, introduced herself, handed me a sheet with her name and references, and asked me to give her a try. I turned her down (I do my own house cleaning), but after a couple of weeks of trying to keep the place "show ready" all the time, I decided her services would be well worth it. I found the sheet she left, verified her references, and called her. She did a great job, and I hired her to come in twice a week to clean for the remaining time my house was on the market. When it sold, I referred her to friends four blocks over. Their house still hasn't sold (8 months), so she has been cleaning for them this whole time. I think she has a dozen or so jobs like that going on that she got just by knocking on a door -- and at least one family who moved to another place in the same town kept her on to clean their new home on a regular basis.
Hopes this helps you. Best of luck!
Lighthouse...that is a great idea.... also.....contact builders. They employ people to clean houses during construction as well.
My sister has a cleaning business and she runs referral promotions, given her great results. One of the promotions she runs it during the holidays, she prints out $50 coupons and gives it to her clients. When a customer refers a client and this client is booked, she gives then a discount of $50 - sometimes $10 per cleaning for 5 times.
You could try contacting different landlords and seeing if they would want a monthly cleaning service for their rental properties. This is essentially a win-win-win for everyone. You get your business, the tenant gets a monthly house/apartment cleaning, and the landlord gets the piece of mind that his investment will be kept clean throughout it occupancy. Plus, it will be great for word of mouth business and if the landlord buys more properties. One thing to be careful of is tenant privacy however. I don't know the laws all that well, but I would assume that you cannot go to the landlord and say "Joe is not taking very good care of the place, you should go yell at him." You would want to make sure about that.
The way to present this idea to a landlord is that they will get that piece of mind their property is being maintaned well. They can build your fee into the rent, but a tenant will still view it as more of a "free" service since it is built into the rent. Hopefully this helps some.
Dan that is a great idea - as a property manager I hire a professional cleaning service to clean my homes. Even my long term tenants have a scheduled professional home cleanning quarterly that includes floors, windows, carpet, baths, and kitchen. You are so right to the property owner it is extremely important to keep rental properties in top shape, not only for the current renter but future renters as well.
Following are my suggestions:
- Distribut flyers in the neighbourhood once a month.
- Join Chamber of Commerce and introduce your business to all.
- Join women association meeting and inform them your work.
- Distribute Flyer in multiunit appartments.
Little story - many, many years ago, when I was just out of school, I needed work fast, so I decided to do house painting. However, I didn't know anybody in this new city.
So first I had business cards made up. I'm not much of an artist, but I spent about three hours drawing a friendly little painter guy - drawing it over and over till I got what I wanted - and had that as the logo image on the cards.
Then I took 12 of the cards, pasted them on an 8.5 x 11 page and had an instant printer turn out 100 sheets. I asked him to cut the sheets into business card size and put them into pads of 50, which gave me a bunch of pads of lightweight business cards. I pasted each pad onto a 3 x 5 index card and hand lettered on the index card "Take One."
Next, I posted the cards on bulletin boards in food stores in my service area.
Within 4 weeks I was booked up with painting and wallpapering work six weeks out. People who buy your services ALL go to the grocery store.
One of the main reasons this worked, I think, was my tagline, which was
The Careful Painter
I focused on the one biggest worry of homeowners when they hire someone new, and made one strong, simple promise.
Hope this helps.
Cheers from sunny Japan,
What a great story BullsEye! I like your suggestion. Something else that works is "referrals" so if you get a job for one house/apartment - - soon, you may start getting business from the entire street. That's how we found our cleaner - is via neighbor referral. So, always do a great job, and word will start spreading about your services. Our cleaner does 5 houses on our street!
Marzipan is absolutely right. Sooner or later every service business lives or dies by its reputation. And if you've got a good one, it's imperative that you learn to use it as one of your assets. You'll need to acquire the skill of asking for referrals, recommendations and pass-alongs, although this doesn't usually come naturally to most people. So expect to spend a little time and energy getting good at it. For more information, just do a search on the Internet for "referral system" and you'll find plenty of material.
I'd offer you a couple of links to check out, but I'm not sure of the rules about that on this forum. Instead, you can do a search on the names Robert Middleton and David Frey. Both of those gentlemen have affordable (and proven) material for service professionals. But don't just take my - or anybody's - word for it. Do your own checking and due diligence.
Cheers from sunny Japan,
Find the pricier hair and nail salons in your area, especially those that cater to professional women by offering evening and weekend appointments. Or, if you don't like their clientele, find other salons that cater to the type of people you want to clean for.
Make a presentable flyer or postcard and mail or drop them off at the salons. Look for other businesses that cater to the home & recreation interests of the clients you want, and leave your card or flyers there as well.
While you're at it, find a shop and established stylist you like, and start going to them. If you can't afford regular haircuts at their prices, choose a service you can do every few months--highlighting, etc. Become a regular client. Your stylist will get to know you, and if you are honest, reliable and conscientious, you will be on an excellent referral list in a few months. Lots of people start cleaning houses but drop out quickly, so don't expect referrals on the first visit.
If you need home-related services, ask for referrals from your stylist or barber. That way you will meet other business people working for the same community, and they are also likely to refer you if they trust you to do a good job for their customers.
There are some great answers here, and I'll see if I can add a few.
First, determine who your customers are. Is it individuals, property management, contractors and the like, or all of them. My suggestion would be to pick the one -- two at the most -- that is most viable and profitable and concentrate on that market. You usually get better results from concentrated efforts.
Say for instance you decide its individuals with a particular income and lifestyle and you learn that a majority of those people drop off their kids at daycare. Then some of your efforts can be directed at marketing thru the local daycare operations. You may also learn that these people order a great deal of take-out because they are often rushed, then establish cross-promotions with the more popular take-out restaurants in your area. The same can be done for other places where those people frequent -- perhaps children's dance studios, etc.
When marketing, remember to sell the benefits you provide, and that goes for both the end user and those who you cross-promote with. For instance, the benefit to the end user may be to have time to do the more important and/or enjoyable things in life. Another benefit may be, that because the end user is so rushed, your service offers them the satisfaction of knowing that their home is clean and presentable. However, when approaching a company for a cross-promotion, the benefit to the company may be that their customers appreciate the connection and that they also get added exposure from your efforts.
Peter George, The Marketing Coach