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36 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2010 9:17 PM by GlobalCITS RSS

I need advertising help for a cleaning business

TheCleanQueen Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
Hi!

I recently started a cleaning business. Currently I have not had a problem getting residential clients. I want to focus more on commercial businesses. I was thinking about sending out postcards to businesses to inform them about my company, service, and to get them to call me for a free estimate. The hard part for me is that I could spend hours trying to word everything! I need help finding the best words to say and something that will get their attention. I'm pretty sure that these companies already have cleaners, and I want to say something that will spark their interest to call me, like 'are you happy w. your current service?' 'looking for a cleaning service that strives to go the extra mile? or 'who does not cut corners or rush through the cleaning process' I would love to get another's opinion! Thanks for reading my post:)

Jess
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    KelaFunds Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    TheCleanQueen,

    Whats the name of your cleaning business?

     

     


    • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
      TheCleanQueen Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hello,

      The name of my business is The Clean Queen.

      Jess
      • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
        aacl2009 Novice
        Currently Being Moderated
        I also own a cleaning company. We have been running for about six months and we also offer exterior services (such as pressure washing) in addition to routine interior cleaning. I have not found much return on postcards or any mailers for that matter. I don't know who does the cleaning for your company but we use legal workers that speak english clearly. We found that a lot of commercial clients were frustrated with their current provided simply because they could not communicate with the workers. So when they had complaints they were not being heard and they did not want to call in small complaints, thus they were getting increasingly more angry. Once we came in we eliminated this frustration.

        I agree that the internet is your best resource, craigslist will provide you a handful of residential clients. If you are pursuing commercial (like we did) I recomend contacting apartment complexes because they have frequent turn over and need one time clean outs 2-3 times per month. I would also get in touch with your local chamber of commerce, you can meet lots of other business owners there that may need your services. Lastly I suggest you start introducing yourself to local property manager groups. Mailers may be the only way to get something in their hands right away but we found a personal visit never hurts, the worst response we get is that they have had the same cleaners for 10 years and are fully satisfied. No one gets mad and if they let us talk with them we keep it brief. Good luck to you!
        • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
          TheCleanQueen Newbie
          Currently Being Moderated
          aacl2009,

          What a helpful response! Right now I am the only one doing cleaning for my company. If business picks up, I have two sisters who have helped me in the past and both are interested in working for me. If I need to hire workers in the future I will make sure that they are legal, I don't want to run into any problems and my company's image is very important to me. I can see why they would get frustrated with the language barrier, among other things. I will look into contacting apartment complexes. How much do you charge for apartment turns? I will check out the Chamber of Commerce, they could probably help alot. Thank you for your response. I'm interested in visiting local property management groups, maybe I could bring them some muffins or coffee to leave a bit of an impression as well. Thank you!!:) :) :) Jess
          • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
            aacl2009 Novice
            Currently Being Moderated
            For a one bedroom apartment we charge anywhere from $80-$150 depending on the square footage and the "class" of the establishment. Higher end companies are prepared to pay you for every little thing, smaller (50 or less units) only want the place clean enough to pass new tenant inspections. We also have a sub-contractors license which allows us to present services to our clients that we may not do directly. For instance we do not perform deep carpet cleaning so we give that work to a different company. Our client can still cut on check and get all the services at once. I look forward to communicating with you some more later.
          • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
            GlobalCITS Newbie
            Currently Being Moderated
            With a tight budget, digital technology is the way to go. You can start a basic website with your own domain for as little as $14.95. The next step would be to join Google and list your location, and add a coupon for free.

            Usually their is a local Business Journal that offers 100 free leads of new business owners in the area, and you can also obtain listing of residential customers in your area via Small Business Development (SBDC) in your local area. There services are free. They will help you to ensure your business is set up correctly as well.

            For additional information regarding using digital technology as a marketing tool, feel free to visit our website, and request a free consultation.

            Sincerely

            Donna

            www.globalcovenantits.com
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    LUCKIEST Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    I need advertising help, Welcome Jess

    This is just my opinion, BUT the best postcards with the best wording will still go into the circular file.
    Better Suggestions: Start a Marketing Program to pick up 2, 5, XX new clients per month.
    Hire a marketing person who will get you these new clients.
    Offer something FREE. First cleaning, first week. first month (part of the marketing plan)
    Start a contest and award free cleaning to the winner.
    Do something good for the town (I personally sponsored a local baseball team and all the children wore my
    company name all summer long and the local newspaper ran a story). GREAT FREE PUBLICITY.

    Think outside the box, LUCKIEST

     

    • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
      TheCleanQueen Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      Hi Luckiest,

      Thank you for your response. I don't have alot of start up money right now, so I'm kind of on a budget. I won't be able to hire anyone for marketing, at least for now. I was thinking about offering 10% off the current cleaning companies rate & free estimates. With the economy, businesses are looking to cut corners. And, with my quality of work, they will cut the cost, but not the service! I like the idea of town sponsorship! I will definately look into that, and other things like that. Think outside the box-I will remember that!:) :) :) Thank you!!:D
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    Prophet Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    The old one liners don't work like they use too...
    Being someone who has been in the b2b business all my life , let me first state while direct marketing has been the way I have done business for years, people are more put off by it then ever before.

    What most small business owners fail to realize is that google has taken over, and thats because the consumer has moved away from yellow page and print media as well as TV advertising which general speaking is out side of most business models reach in the first place.

    What I have found the facts to be is 85% of the public does internet searches for the products and service they need first before looking else where, this inlies the problem for most businesses today , even long standing business are failing, mainly because they one don't understand how it works, two don't know who to trust in helping them .

    Quite frankly consumers today don't want to be found, they want to find you and if you can not be found in a search of which 90% of web searchers use google first , than new customers can not find you !

    Check out this site for more help...
    http://www.avtglobal.com
    • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
      TheCleanQueen Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      Hi Prophet,

      I appreciate you taking time to respond to my post. I totally get where you are coming from about direct marketing. I, myself, do just about EVERYTHING online! I will work on getting more publicity through the internet. I'm still going to try the postcards, I'm just going to order 100 at a small price and send them out and see if it works. Worth the try. I will take a look at that link you sent as well! Thanks!! :) Jess
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    BizSavings Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hello,

    Congratulations on starting your new company. I think that postcards get great results and will help you relay your marketing message. To answer your question about wording, use something that's catchy but also from the heart and embodies your company's culture. Such as:

    " Are you unsatisfied with subpar maintenance results*.....The Clean Queen is on the Scene."*

    You want a bold, yet truthful message that reveals what you will do for the customer.

    For free postcards, business cards, websites and marketing tips visit: http://www.discountbusinessassociation.com

    Update this forum on your results. Best of Luck!!!
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    MissMayes03 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I have been in marketing for about 2 years now and we have experimented with everything from mailers, to the web, to print advertising.

    Anything online definitely is the most cost effective with the highest return rate. Have you tried starting small (posting to Craigslist, Google PPC locally, adding your business to Google's local director (which is free), etc.) Mailers can get expensive to create, print, stamp. Just a thought!
    • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
      TheCleanQueen Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      Miss Mayes,

      You are right about online advertising. I was going to post on craigslist, but after seeing 5+ different cleaning companies posting on there per day, I decided not to. Some of which, offer their services for just about anything! I may just decide to post on there and just see if anything happens. I will definately look into your other suggestions and I appreciate your help!!! Thanks so much-Jess
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    PVGuestCheck Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    First I hope you will ignore the person below who keeps posting his video as the answer to everything.

    I got into web design after owning a window cleaning business. Turkeys would not tell me how much stuff costs.

    I never had much of a budget so the way I grew my business was to go out and meet folks. As you probably know commercial cleaning is a rough business. The best way to kick it up is to develop a list. Get involved with small local chambers of commerce. You will meet all the office folk and you can hang out with them.

    I have had many clients do BNI Groups. LOL, I refuse because they meet at 7am and I hate that, but they let you visit for free and you end up with lots of folks promoting you. PLUS, many of them may be willing to drop their current services for you.

    I am a web guy and I will be the first to tell you that face to face works best. It is the scariest, but it is hard to turn someone down you who is right there with you.

    Good luck!
    rob
    • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
      Prophet Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      PV, take this how ever you want but don't expect me to take someone's serous who's business address leads to a pic of a motor home on google earth.
      When you take the risk off employing people and covering pay rolls for as long as I have then maybe your little childish insults might stick...
      • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
        PVGuestCheck Novice
        Currently Being Moderated
        Prophet, I am not sure who you are talking about, we are discussing general practices for working with people. Somehow I doubt Google Earth is going to be a big help to most people because in most cases you will not be looking at a motor home.

        I would note Google mobile is not live, so what is parked on a particular property is really kind of irrelevant. By your own standards, you may miss the motor home because it was not there the day the image was added to Google Earth.

        The point I was making, is making a couple of calls on clients is probably the better way. See how the person actually works. This is real information in real time that can really give you an idea of what the person is about.

        Conducting investigations as you suggest simply misses even finding out what the person is about.

        I am sorry you take that as insulting, I just don't agree your way is effective. Really it would seem to be an overreaction to your own negative experience. I am sorry you had that experience, but in the end I am not sure it is helpful to spread your ideas to others.

        Find out who they do work for and call them.
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    idesign Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Jess
    Congrats on a thriving business!
    For your commercial services, how about concentrating on one niche at a time, instead of trying for everyone, start with a small group first

    Example: Doctors offices, you can then pinpoint specific things that would be bothersome for them and that 'common' cleaning services often miss. Use words like OSHA standards,clean patient rooms, bathrooms. I worked in orthopaedics for years and what would drive me NUTS was the globs of stuff on the soap dispensers, little things like that, perhaps their current service is missing.
    Maybe offer a free night of cleaning or a site evaluation. This may sound gross, but after the free night, save all the cleaning fluids and runoff, all cleaning towels,sponges and things, show them what has been missed.
    for the site evaluation, bring a digital camera, take photos and show what could be changed.

    beauty salons,chiros,dentists,day care.
    try not to be overwhelmed with a huge task, take it in chunks and you will find it easier to get those words you need.
    • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
      butler Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jess,

      I was fascinated, and some even disappointed me, on the different replies you recieved. Some of the advice was excellent, find what is best and leave the rest.
      The advice to develop your niche is in my opinion the very best thing you can do, and the example on how to wow the Dr.s office is excellent. Focus your efforts very narrow and be the BEST at it, and explain why people should do business with YOU, regardless of price. Very few people are able to make a comfortable living by being the cheapest, that is a game to be played by gamblers. Tell me, do you want the cheapest, or the best value for your money? Most of us want the best value for our money. If you try to differentiate yourself based on price alone then the logical choice is the cheapest. But if you show you are the best value you can move away from "price wars" and into a real discussion on why your the best value.

      A word on post cards to businesses, do not spend a dime on them at this time. Take that money and make yourself and your image the only logical choice for a business to trust you for this very important work. They are trusting you to make thier place of business presentable so they can feed thier children, pay the mortgage, take a family vacation, take care of thier loved ones.

      Make them an offer they can not refuse, one that is based on value, not price. Know your prospect, know who they are trying to impress, know what problems they have and how you will fix them, know what they want, and then show how you will give it to them. When you have a new client look them in the eye and ask for a referral, ask them to call them on your behalf. Do not leave until your client until you have an appointment with the referral. This is the hardest thing to do, but it is the best way to grow your business.

      Good luck, and be tenacious.
      • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
        PVGuestCheck Novice
        Currently Being Moderated
        LOL, I tried to figure out a model that works for a cleaning business. Hard to make it work dollar wise without having really low paid people and really wild turnover.
        • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
          zolacat999 Novice
          Currently Being Moderated
          One of the key parts to any business is a website because if you got a advertising slip though your front door and it says call me on 347939 most people will just bin it because they carn't be bothered but if on the card there is also a website then people will just think oh well i may as well have a quick look at the website and a good website is normally all it takes to draw some body in and it is a very cost effective way of advertising. If anyone is interested in having a website designed then please visit www.xenondesign.co.uk or email l.scott@xenondesign.co.uk
          • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
            PVGuestCheck Novice
            Currently Being Moderated
            Oh come on, can you do this without being so self serving.

            Of course websites are important, but as web designer who owned a window cleaning business let me tell you putting yourself in front of the decision maker is far more successful.

            I tell clients all the time, NEVER abandon the good old proven techniques. Have a great website, but get yourself in the office of the decision maker. The website backs you up, it is not the primary sales tool.

            Everyone looks for an easy way out. Look for what your competitors are not doing.
            • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
              zolacat999 Novice
              Currently Being Moderated
              I completely agree with you that there is nothing better than being able to directly talk to a client or potential customer but surely you'll agree that you will not be able to do that with everyone and if someone see's your website and like it they are alot more likely to ring up giving you the chance to talk to them and then link back to what you said. So sort of a bit of both and i realize that yes a website does not replace the traditional methords
              • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
                PVGuestCheck Novice
                Currently Being Moderated
                BizConsultant is right and says it so much better than I did!

                I am a web designer and I always say that the website backs up what you do. It is far better to do the cold calling, make great offers and use your time wisely.

                What Biz says will generate sales because people will meet you, they will see you do good work, they will admire the gumption to come out there and show yourself off.

                I love websites and we sell a lot for our customers, but if you are a service, like a cleaning service Biz is exactly right for many reasons.

                Great stuff!
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    bizconsultant Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    As a one person operation you have several options:

    a) Do calling to these businesses and offer a cost comparison quote or a unique selling proposition that will set you apart from what they are currently using (if they are using anyone)

    b) Joint venture with someone that has relationships with the types of businesses you want as clients. Make sure its a related joint venture so that it makes since why you are contacting the prospect

    c) Do free one day cleaning samples. Time is money, but if you are on a budget then you have to use your time as your marketing currency. Offer a free one day cleaning so that they see the quality of your work and offer them some sort of special to sign you up immediately. Create momentum.

    d) Hire a performance based business development company that can help you with marketing and business strategies on a "pay for results" billing basis. This will cut down on your out of pocket expenses and gives you access to expertise and resources that can help you in ALL areas of your business. Contact us for details on our performance based program at jaones@abcsolutions.cjb.net
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    FCPainter Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    QueenClean (great name, BTW),

    From my experience, you might want to invest some time to sit down with some people who choose the cleaner for their business and learn more about how they chose their current cleaner, how happy they are with them etc. For one, this type of investment can better inform how you market and sell in the future. Secondly, it sounds like you don't have much personal experience with this type of customer and so it would help you think through what you need to do to win.

    As with many things, this is a good way to leverage your network. I think people are often willing to go out of their ways to help people understand how to crack a market. See if you can use your contacts to get some time with potential decision-makers. Maybe ask some of your residential customers if they know anyone. You could also ask around at your church, health club, doctors' offices, or at other places you frequent or are a customer.

    I think this is the kind of step we sometimes miss when we want to go fast.
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    8acompany Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Two suggestions: 1. building referrals by using cards is a great way to build your business. Go to www.heartfeltcards.com and take a look at the individualized cards you can create.

    2. google search Joe Polish -- this guy is a genius on marketing cleaning businesses. I saw him at a conference called The Big Seminar a couple years ago

    Good luck

    Postcards are good for mass mailings - check out www.vistaprint.com for high quality cards at low prices.
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    dreams2realty Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
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    TheCleanQueen

     


    Nice Name, which itself will help you brand your Business. There
    were several wonderful ideas people in this forum have mentioned. What I would
    do:

     


    I will not rely on just one source, if you want your phone
    to ring on a consistent basis you have to create some process in place.

     


    For ex.

    1. Lead \\ Generation
    2. Marketing
    3. Sales
    4. A/R \\ and A/P

     

    For our discussion let us just focus on your question about
    how /where to advertise to gain visibility in the Market.

     


    My Exp and from my mentors what I learnt was Pain is more
    motivational to Buyers or Clients. For example if you can tell them the
    negatives or problems that can happen if they are not keeping their place clean
    with Factual Information from sources like EPA or OSHA.

     


    There are lots of things you can do for FREE to advertise
    your business.

     


    Talk to fellow business owners in your network and conduct
    free seminar where in you teach something FREE about cleaning which will be of
    help to them.

     


    Go to the Networking groups, you don't have to become a member.
    Exchange Business cards and create a powerful Email campaign. (Use Constant
    contact or icontact for mass mailing).

     


    If you can provide value and add some testimonials from real
    people who have used your service in your marketing campaign that will give
    some credibility rather than you blowing your own trumpet.

     


    Advertise in Craigslist.

     


    Google Adwords if your budget supports it.

     

    MOST IMPORTANT THING HAVE A FOLLOW UP MECANISM TO CAPTURE ALL THE LEADS AND
    EFFECTIVELY TRACK IT. EITHER USING A SOFTWARE PROGRAM OR ATLEAST MAINTAIN AN
    EXCEL SHEET OF PEOPLE CALLING YOU, ASK FOR THEIR PHONE AND EMAIL. SO THAT YOU
    CAN BE IN TOUCH WITH THEM SO THAT WHEN THEY ARE READY TO USE YOUR SERVICE YOU
    WILL BE THEIR FIRST CHOICE.

     

  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    prova.fm Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi CleanQueen,

    You said, "The hard part for me is that I could spend hours trying to word everything! I need help finding the best words to say and something that will get their attention."

    Ironically I used to spend days designing postcards for a lawn business I managed. It would drive my wife nuts, & in the end, I still had an ad that wasn't designed well. As a result, I've created a design communitiy where small businesses can get professional quality advertisements (post cards, door hangers, flyers, web sites...) at a price they pick. I invite you to check out our website: http://www.prova.fm/advertising/ We just created it & it's in pre-launch, so you can try it for free. We're offering this service for free so we can attract our first 50 business customers. You don't pay anything unless you get an advertisement you like. I think it would really help you out. If you check out our site, I'd love any feedback you might have on how we could tailor it to be exactly what you need (You can email me feedback).

    Hope this helps,
    -David
  • Advertise your business free in kanelplace.com
    toplayer Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    New internet marketing for business owners who need to advertise their business globally, quickly & Free

    Go to: www.kanelplace.com
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    chion302 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    What you need is FREE Advertising....the best with the highest traffic ratings,meaning more people get to your advertisement/site. Visit http://freeadvertisingforall.weebly.com
    This site has a high traffic rating and maybe you can do a link exchange.....See what it has to offer...It never hurts.
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    prova.fm Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Jess,

    I was wondering if you figured out what you're going to do. I don't know if you had a chance to look at prova.fm, but I'd like to help you out. We're a new business, & we've got several talented freelance advertisers lined up who'd like to design a postcard for you. I've mailed postcards in the past & they've been successful. If you're interested in getting a professionally designed postcard created, I'll give you a $50 OFF coupon. With prova, you get to set your own price, so if you offer to pay $99 for a professional postcard advertisement, your $50 OFF coupon would bring your cost down to $49. Plus, we can waive the $39 listing fee. We're offering these savings to anyone who's interested in trying our services while we pre-launch our site. You don't pay anything unless you get a design you like. If you're interested, the steps would be:
    1. Post your need
    2. Professional designers will design postcards & upload them to your contest page
    3. Review all the designs you get
    4. If you like one, you can pay for it & download it at that time.
    5. If you don't find one you like, you do nothing.

    I think if you had a postcard designed that showed a beautiful office, with a catchy title, & mailed it out to businesses in your city, you would get a good response. I know a place where you can get 1,000 postcards printed for $37.99. This would get you 1,000 postcards professionally designed & printed for $86.99. It can't hurt to try.

    Let me know what you think.
    Good luck,
    -David
    http://www.prova.fm/advertising/
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    sheafer7 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    To whom this may concern i work for a business called McKinley Inc. In West Des Moines,IA . We specialize in corporate apparel, client gifts, promotional products, graphic design etc..... If this strikes your interest My number is 641-203-0888 maybe we can set up a meeting i can introduce myself and explore any upcoming projects that i may be able to atleast present some ideas.
  • Re: I need advertising help for a cleaning business
    MOGfise Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi,

    I think my company can help you. We provide lead generation services to small to midsize service oriented businesses. We outline our services in six steps (assuming you have a website)

    1. Purchase sales leads.
    2. Send post cards.
    3. Follow up with our telemarketing service.
    4. Make appointments for you to meet with potential clients.
    5. Store information in database for future marketing.
    6. Stay connected with your clients and potential customers thru email, mobile and social marketing.

    We also provide free tools to help you grow your business.

    Please visit us www.mogfise.com or call 1-866-610-6508

    If you need a website we can assist with that too.

    Good luck

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