General Cleaning Issues - Floorcare, car valeting, buying and selling businesses, pricing, staffing, market research, etc.
whats the best way to get new customers?
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 28 July 2003Hi folks,whats the best way to obtain a client base.would it be through flyers,knocking at doors,paper ads,shop window ads or other.Im just thinking about starting out in the cleaning game and would like to no all your experiences so as i can get off the ground asap.thanks in advance,steve.
Posted by Lee_Taylor (Lee_Taylor), 28 July 2003Hi steve what sort of cleaning do you plan to do? Carpets, windows, offices etc. What equipment do you have?
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 28 July 2003Hi Lee,
no equipment as yet as its still only an idea.Im thinking of a window cleaning round from scratch and just want to know the best and easiest way to get customers.cheers steve.
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 28 July 2003Anyone
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 28 July 2003Hi Steve
I deal with a lot of contract cleaners and without doubt the 2 most successful ways of getting new business appears to be Yellow Pages and leaflet drops. The key with the leaflets is to make sure whoever is delivering them is reliable - I would suggest you get them distributed with a local paper which, although more expensive, is certainly more reliable than trying to arrange for someone to deliver them on their own.
The great thing about flyers is that you can test, say, 2000 and judge the results without having to wait 12 months before you decide to change anything (as in the case of the Yellow Pages) That said, Yellow Pages tends to be better for cleaning contracts as opposed to one-off window or carpet cleaning. I'm sure knocking at doors and shop window ads also have their place but the most important thing surely has to be getting your name in front of as many potential customers in as short a period of time as possible.
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 29 July 2003thanks for the reply mike.thats how i was going to start out(with the flyers first) and then maybe some paper ads and newsagent windows.very interesting to hear you say flyers are a good method as i thought they would have the least effect.thanks again.
Posted by woodman (woodman), 29 July 2003First things first, what type of cleaning are you intending to carry out?
Lets assume it's carpet cleaning, you will already have plenty of local competition so what will make your potential clients pick you out from the rest.
No 1 make sure you have a free phone number, 0845 or 0800 numbers can now be obtained free of charge (of course you have to pay for the calls) this gives you a geographical advantage over the oppo's who will almost all will have local numbers so you can market further afield.
Make sure you target your future customers, there is absolutely no point in leaflet dropping and paper advertising in areas that have little or no disposoble income you may aswell throw your money down the drain.
YOU will know your local area , find out the demographics (very important), again, you will have a free phone number so market in more affluent areas you have geographical anonymity with your free phone number.
When you are asked to call and estimate turn up on time,clean shaven (male or femail),not smelling of stale fags or last night beer and wear trousers,shirt and tie OR uniform have an ID card available for inspection.
Trainers,jeans and dirty vehicles are a NO NO
From the moment the customer opens the door you have about 20 seconds to make the right impression (FACT) as to whether she wants to CONSIDER you to clean her soft furnishings.Dont blow it here.
Remember your are projecting your company, as a cleaner if you turn up scruffy in a beaten up dirty van why would the customer choose you, I can tell you they won't.
Very important fact to remember here is all the data suggests thats price is NOT the major consideration on a customers mind when making a decision YOU ARE!
With that in mind and all the above in place don't be frightened to price accordingly, too low will scare customers away just as much as too high,strike the right balance and your off and running.
Good Luck in your new venture and remember, keep the training up to date.
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 29 July 2003It`s all sinking in boys,keep em coming
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 29 July 2003hello all,
does canvasing work?anyone got any experience using this method.just a thought....
Posted by Derek (Derek), 3 August 2003My own experience is that you can waste an awful lot of cash and time blanket marketing.
Target your area.
On commercial work visit the business parks where you want to do work and select the Companies that YOU want to work for.
Write to them detailing a full list of your services. You can either follow this up with a call or something that worked for us long term was to hit them with letters every couple of months. One day will have had a dispute with their current cleaners and who are they going to call
Domestic work.... again target the area you wish to work... Why pick up a lot of low pay work where you have to work like hell to make money when you can do a premium job at premium prices.
Hope this helps
Posted by shinnyshinner (shinnyshinner), 5 August 2003Hi Steve_Tyler I have had a advert going with my local rag for a while now 84.00 month and have not had one call from it when I had a look at it to make sure it was still going in I noticed it was not in any borders no presentation just 4 lines only problem is I have committed myself and have to let it run as no refunds if I wanted a border on it it rose to 150.-180. THAT IS A LOT OF WINDOWS . I would go for Yellow pages and regular leaflet drops good idea about sending letters too I liked that one.
All the best Alan (shinnyshinner)
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 5 August 2003Nice 1 shinny,that ad sounds the pits mate and alot of dosh for what youre getting I spoke to someone yesterday who has experience about leaflet drops and he said not to expect more than about one half percent return from them.If you say 5000 leaflets thats 25 calls if my maths are correct and that aint great is it.Also they can work out very expensive and putting them in local papers boosts this even further.all the best.....
Posted by Robert_Olifent (Robert_Olifent), 7 August 2003Hi
I remember when I first started up, it seemed that I was working just to pay for my Newspaper advertising.
My prices were to low, the papers were proving ineffective and extremely costly, it was a nightmare.
I pretty much learned the hard way in the land of hard knocks, and wasted thousands of pounds in advertising and other half cocked tele sales schemes.
That is another point, if you set up in business you will often be approached by telesales people offering you this sceme and that scheme to get you business. A word of advice would be to only persue the advertising and marketing what you have pre set out to do, and politely state this to the callers with an abrupt placing down of the phone.
Personally I have found that going into calenders, brocures, wall plaques, unheard of directories, to be like throwing your money down the drain.
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 9 August 2003Hi Robert,
what are your`e favorite methods now then,i`d be interested to know.
I`m going to do leaflet drops to start with but if this does not prove to be sucsessful i`ll probably try a canvaser.
Posted by Robert_Olifent (Robert_Olifent), 10 August 2003Hi Steve
I am in a different position to yourself as obviously I have a reasonable client base already.
But one good piece of advice I can give to you is to work on your existing clients. Make it easy for them to refer your services, giving them plenty of literature and hand outs with your details on. Provide your clients with useful information which makes them want to, or perhaps need to keep, so next time they want carpet cleaning services they are not struggling to find your details. Simply giving your card and your invoice at the end of the job may not be enough. If a satified client has nothing to physically give out, then it will not be easy for them to give your details out!!!
Yellow pages I always feel is important to be in as a point of reference for your past clients as much as it is for gaining new clients. I personally don't go for big half page ads etc. but I do feel that it is important to have some sort of well presented display advertising. Trying to put to much into an advert can also in my opinion lose the impact of an advert, so it can be a case of striking the right balance of information and presentation.
I would also recommend the use of certain government sponsered organisations such as Business Link which can offer you possibly free courses on marketing or other general business needs.
Hope this helps
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 10 August 2003That certainly has helped Robert,thanks m8.
Posted by shinnyshinner (shinnyshinner), 16 August 2003Hi Steve end of my advert for the month and I have received 4 jods now about £35. worth a month did not really pay off but it seems as people are coming back from holiday the phone is quite hot at the moment as still have to price up a further 7 next week up to you still I dont think you can beat banging on doors with a flyer expanding my company to look into taking someone on and picked up just over 50 new jobs in 3wks.
Good luck mate hows it going with you
Posted by Chas (Chas), 6 September 2003Hi Steve We have been running our cleaning company in Edinburgh for 3 years now and find the three best ways to get customers is 1. Yellow Pages 2. Flyering 3. Cold Calling on the phone. hope this helps you.
Sparkle Cleaning Services
Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 7 September 2003Hi chas,nice one,thanks for that m8.......
Posted by wazzastud (wazzastud), 11 September 2003Hi Guys
I am currently working on a How to Manual about starting a window cleaning business, from getting customers to doing the work itself...now I know you are probably thinking well what does he know, well I am currently door canvassing and generating between £50 - £75 worth of new residential business per hour myself..........want to know how E-Mail me: email@example.com
Posted by admin (Forum Admin), 11 September 2003Hi Wazzastud!?
Why dont you share your ideas here? We have some very experienced window cleaners on this forum and they may be able to offer you some help too!
ps This is a professional forum - people might take you more seriously with a more professional user name (just a suggestion! - you can change it from within the profile link.
Posted by BeeClean (BeeClean), 19 September 2003Has anyone here tried advertising in supermarkets on their card index system?
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Posted by steve_tyler (steve_tyler), 19 September 2003this thread should now ask.....whats the best way to get 2000 new customers
Posted by pristineclean (pristineclean), 22 September 2003I picked up this link from the carpet cleaning forum, and it has a comprehensive section on how to get and retain customers
Posted by luap (luap), 23 September 2003i think this post best illistrates why a board with a seperate slots for different topics is needed.....one thread....three different replys(threads)
Posted by luap (luap), 23 September 2003by the way ....there is a prize for the first one to spot who is not had a pint before they posted.
any posts that have been edited will not be eligible to go into the final draw.
this decision is final and will have no repeal. the committee.
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