One of the best things about starting a cleaning company is the ability to get what I like to call SECOND money. Second money can come in many different ways. Earlier I talked about launching a window cleaning company. I could get second money multiple ways. The first way is to take that one time client and set them up with a discounted maintenance plan. This can help stabilize my monthly income and provide a fuller calendar. I teach all of my staff when performing a job to look for additional add ons that they can recommend. It is important to use discretion and to maintain trust and at the same time provide value driven recommendations. This can add a 20% increase to any single job. Turn it into a on going maintenance plan, and you can have a significant impact on the lifetime value of a customer. That is the first way to create SECOND money.
The next way to create second money is to begin offering supplemental services to your same clients. For example we were already cleaning the windows on a beautiful home with large sliding doors and massive windows. On multiple occasions the owner asked me for a referral for other cleaners, maids, carpet cleaners, etc. At the time we were still building our clientele, and I didn’t have a huge network of people to refer to that I trusted. In that moment I realized I was leaving money on the table. A solid established referral could provide me a kick back fee.
The best option that we eventually got to was starting our own tile and carpet cleaning company. The growth of this business took off. I reached out to existing clients where we had already cleaned their windows and offered a sister company discount. On day one, I already had a new carpet cleaning crew busy serving our clients. Instead of settling for a small kick back fee, I was able to leverage more current brand and customer book to easily expand into another cleaning niche for my clients. I become more valuable for my clients and I saw my revenue per contact go through the roof.
By providing multiple services, both window cleaning and carpet cleaning, it made it easy to stay in contact and reach out to my clients and a regular basis. My advice today is that if you are running a cleaning company and looking to expand review your business and ask yourself where and how you can began adding second money from your current clientele. More often that not there is additional value for your clients and revenue for your bank account already sitting right in front of you.
Your current staff have contacts who need your cleaning services. One of the greatest ways to grow your company is to expand your network by incentivizing your current staff. Way too many local businesses make the mistake in thinking they are already paying their staff . and providing them a job so of course they will bring in referral business. Most of the time this simply is not true. We know this because when we started offering our staff a share of the profit or a specific commission on new deals, projects, or customers that they bring in the referrals increased.
Initially our staff was just leveraging their friends and family and having them use our services, but we realized as time went on that our staff was actually selling our services to people they just met in order to get that additional financial incentive. This can also be a great way to learn if any of your current staff members would make good full time sales reps for your company. If there is a particular employee that stands out and consistently brings in new business maybe look at having more of their time spent bringing in new customers.
Your business is only as good as the people you hire. If your hire unreliable people then it will be hard to build your business. I have cut corners on hiring and it has cost me both in the short terms and the long term. Bad hires create extra stress, generate unhappy customers which lead to negative reviews, and mean you have to repeat the hiring process all over again. Here we will provide some practical but powerful hiring strategies to support our hiring objectives and allow your business to generate a great reputation in your local community.
- Advertise your open positions.
- If people do not know you have an open position they will not apply. It is hard to find quality talent.
- Inform your network that you have an open position and to let them now if they have a referral they are willing to recommend.
- One powerful way to leverage your professional network is to offer a hiring bonus for anyone who sticks for longer than 90 days. Tell your network and your current employees that if they send a referral and that person stays for 90 days that you will pay them a referral fee. A $500 referral fee can help encourage employees to be on the look out for quality talent. Also when your current employee make a referral they will more than likely recommend their more qualified friends because hey do not want to put their own reputation on the line by suggesting a bad hire.
- Leverage Tech platforms to maximize resumes.
- Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Monster are all huge platforms that will distribute your job posting to hundreds and even thousands of candidates. Many of these platforms ever have initial screening questions that you can use to filter out the initial candidates, so that the ones you meet with are only the highest quality candidates.
- Multiple Interviews:
- One of the most important suggestions I can make is to interview multiple people. I cannot tell you how many times I would have hired the first person and missed out on the 4th interview who was a much more qualified candidate. Keep in mind that the person you hire is going to represent your company directly with your customers. This person will also have an impact on your overall team culture. This makes it incredibly important to hire quality candidates. A great hire can add massive fuel to the fire for your growing company. But the wrong hire can throw water on the coals and bring your growth to a screeching halt.
Yesterday we provided 3 low cost but high time ways to get the word out on your new window cleaning company. Today we are going to share the opposite. High cost low time involvement for building your business. Some of these will depend on the cash you have available and the growth of your business. Most the the time higher cost lower time strategies were ideas we grew into after build a larger recurring customer base and knew we already had a specific amount of revenue coming into our business.
- Radio Ads
- Radio ads are expensive but you can select your desired target audience. Once you write the radio ad and hand over the copy to the radio talent, then you can return to running and growing your business while your radio ads continue to run through out your city. Radio ads can be great for business branding within your local city. Run your radios ads and after a bit of time when you meet people and tell them what you do they will recall your radio ad. High quality radio ads have a memorable and catchy line or offer. They also run for a while to ensure they saturate and had maximum exposure to the desired audience over and over.
- A well placed billboard can become an everyday item located along the commute of thousands of potential customers. But once again they are high cost low time marketing ideas to help build your business. When using a billboard we often recommend using a tracking number so you can see what calls are generated from this billboard.
- Hire Staff
- Hire a sales person to hustle daily and help build your company. This will allow you to focus on other elements of building your company. Just as you may hire other actual cleaners hiring a good sales person will more than pay for itself. If after 90 days they are not bringing in more revenue than you are paying them then you have the wrong person. Fire them so they can get another job and so you can find the right person to help build your company.
- Pay your team hefty referral bonuses.
- In the beginning offer a percentage deal to your team for any cleaning clients they bring to the table. This way your entire staff is encouraged to land deals and help the company grow. They will get paid their normal rate plus a cut of the job they brought in. This lowers profit on projects early in the business but it can help create exponential growth when the entire staff experiences the benefit of cleaning projects coming into the business.
Window Cleaning Marketing:
It does not matter how great your business services are if no one knows about them. When starting a window cleaning company you better be ready to get your hands dirty. See what we did there. If you have not learned yet you will. We love to have fun. Building a company comes down to who is able to hustle and make things happen. A well run company will build massive amounts of referrals, but you have to hustle in order to get there. Todays post we focus on several ideas that relate to starting your marketing and letting people know you are in business.
Not all ideas are equal an not all ideas require the same amount of time or money. I will start with ideas that are heavy in time but low on cost and I will also share some ideas that are more expensive but leverage the time of other individuals. A well run marketing plan will rely on various ideas and stages to ensure that different opportunities and maximized.
Low Cost High Time:
- Flyers posted all over town:
- Print out and copy hundreds of flyers. Make sure you have a catchy phrase and over deliver on value. When Marcus first started he cleaned windows for 80% off. He printed out flyers plastered them all over town and provided a huge discount to first time customers. It helped quickly get word of mouth out, generated a growing clientele list and generated regular paying referral clients. Lots of time but little money went into this marketing effort.
- Visit Local Businesses
- If your planning on doing commercial window cleaning in addition to residential window cleaning then visit your local business district and begin meeting other business owners. Walk into various store front thats have large street facing windows introduce yourself and leave a flyer with a discount for their first clean. These commercial clients will become repeat customers much faster than residential customers. This strategy takes time but cost nothing other than getting over your own fear of rejection. But hey get used to it. Building a thriving business takes courage so you may as well get practice early on.
- Send Email offers
- Email is a super low threshold. The rejection is either a deleted email or a replied email saying no. Get your hands on an email list, create a template and you can knock out hundreds or even thousands of emails quickly. This takes time and has its limitations because many emails are not read so it becomes a numbers game. I prefer more face to face opportunities or fliers but emails can work as well.
Tomorrow we will tackle three more marketing ideas that flip the script as they are not as time consuming but cost more money.
A successful window cleaning company comes down to a couple key areas. They are simple, but don let their simplicity fool you into thinking you can cut corners. Cutting corners will cost you thousands of dollars in the life of your business. It isn’t worth it. Take the time to do things the right way and treat your customers the right way and your business will explode.
The first key to building your window cleaning company is marketing. You have to generate interest in your services. Without marketing it is difficult to get the word out and have people actually calling you for your window cleaning services. When I first started my marketing was good old fashion hustle. I went door to door offering a 50% off service of local retail shops on the streets of New York. If they said yes, I made should to provide them with the best window cleaning job they had ever received.
This leads me into my second key for building a window cleaning company. Over deliver. In the beginning, I charged my clients half of what I wanted my on going fee’s to be but I provided them double the service. I would clean extra areas or extra parts of the window even if they didn’t ask me. I wanted my customers to feel like the significantly under paid me. This would cause them to call me back and it led to a bunch of referrals.
The more you focus in on the second key of providing great service the more your customers will do all the marketing for you.
My third key is to reinvest your profits back into your business. When I first started I barely had the tools needed to perform a window cleaning job. I had no ladder, an old squeegee and rags to dry with. But as money started coming into my business I reinvested into better tools that would make more more productive, with better results, and open up new opportunities for business like taller building and ultimately high rises.
You can start a window cleaning company with very little money down, but don’t allow that to limit the bigger vision you have for building your company.