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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

Marketing your business with flyers

Posted by Novice (Novice), 28 August 2003
I have read this site with some interest as I am looking to start a carpet cleaning bussiness.I was pleased to read about the training courses being offered as like most pople I do want to offer a quality service and any more info will be greatly appreciated.
My main concen though is generating custom I have read about a guy called Joe Polish who if you belive everthything he says is the capet cleaners messiah,The main questions I woul like to ask is what †marketing statergies have been sucesfull for you guys and have any of you bought any marketing packs from Joe Polish and what your thoughts are regarding him.
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 29 August 2003
The best way to build a good successful bussiness from day one is to put out 5000 leaflets a week.

it's that simple!

if you do this every week you will succeed.

I know lots of carpet cleaners who do this and all of them make money, the carpet cleaners who say leaflets don't work have put out a 1000 leaflets just once and then say leaflets don't work,

the key is to PUT OUT 5,000 A WEEK, EVERY WEEK!!!!

Posted by Novice (Novice), 29 August 2003
Thanks Mike  , how do get the leaflets delivered.I know that I would deliver them myself at the beginning but hopefully I will find myself cleaning carpets most of the week.
Also I have read in the franchise adverts that being cheap is not the way to go whats your thoughts on this subject.Do I start cheap just to get some customers or do I start as I mean to go on "quality carpet cleaning at an affordable price".
While we are on the subject on franchises whats your thought on them , they make the carpet cleaning bussiness sound so easy to establish yourself in and a very lucrative bussiness ?
I am sure there must be a little more to it than they are suggesting.
Posted by Northerclean (Northerclean), 29 August 2003
I'd also recommend picking up the phone and contacting businesses direct with your services, I know some people donít like this as they donít feel confident in selling but itís your own business so you should make it as successful as possible. I found making that first call really hard; however, you get a bit of a buzz when customers start to say yes. Iíll the best fella
Posted by woodman (woodman), 29 August 2003
Hi Mike

Do you really send out over 250,000 leaflets are year? this must be costing you at the very minimum £20,000 a year.

Id be interested to know what percentage response you have over a monthly period and what market do you target them at.

I have never heard of any one sending out so many.

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 29 August 2003
A quick reply ( I'll reply more fully over the weekend).

Now I only have 4000 a week because I've been going sometime so I have a lot of repeat bussiness.

cost: printing £99 for 20,000 (A5 one colour). delivery @ £16 a 1,000

cost per week  £84. this brings in directly £300-£350 a week.

don't forget these customer will in a years time use me again (hopefully) and will recomend me to their family & friends.

most carpet cleaners think that leaflets only work for cheap companies, but I'm not cheap I work at approx £55 an hour

I'll answer More when I've got time.


Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 29 August 2003
I think a lot of people dont realise how cheap printing can be. Over the years I've discovered that print quantity makes very little difference to the overall value to a printers bill once the total value reaches a couple of hundred pounds. Their costs are in setting the job up (doing the design, making plates etc) and once those are covered then the material costs are minimal.
If a new customer went to Mikes printers and wanted a quote for just 1000 leaflets I suspect it would cost £30 - £40. Although that seems expensive its just the same as a carpet cleaner pricing a small job - you have to take into account travelling time, setting up time, moving furniture etc. It doesnt matter if you're cleaning 1 sq m or 100 you have to cover that initial cost and thats what makes smaller quantities seem expensive.
I guess Mike sticks to the same design and uses the same printer so the only cost to the printer is materials. There are loads of small printers out there who value regular £99 orders where they dont have any hassle.
Next time anyone gets printing done just compare the price of the quantity you'd planned to get done with a quote for 20 times as much - you'll be surprised at how little difference it makes Shocked
Posted by Novice (Novice), 29 August 2003
who do you get to deliver your flyers is a national company or local aper kids ?
Posted by Northerclean (Northerclean), 30 August 2003
find the local free paper boy/girl and get them to post them for an extra few quid
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 30 August 2003
Trade Print Warehouse 01482 222471 (A5 20,000 1 colour) £99 plus free artwork & †delivery

you need 2 things for leaflets to work, a good leaflet & reliable delivery. The hardest thing to find is a reliable company to deliver them.

It takes 6 hours to put out 1,000 leaflets to houses with driveways, it is too time comsuming to put them out yourself ( plus its mega boring )

if you want to do it yourself go into newsagents and ask if you can put your leaflet inside the sunday papers. by doing this you can pick the type of customer you want to clean for ( don't put them in the sunday sport Grin †chose the Sundays Times or other quality papers)

You will have to find a company to put them out for you , but don't take any crap from them! let them know that you chose the area and the day they go out. Tell them you will go out and knock on doors to make sure the leaflet went out and was posted carfully.

how to make leaflets work:

put your name & address on the leaflet and only have them delivered within 8 miles of you home ( people like to use local people)

use a 4-5 week Rotation, so every 4-5 weeks they get a leaflet

offer 10% retired person discount, †even rich old foggies like a special offer

fill the leaflet with information if they want are thinking of having their carpets cleaning the will read every word on the leaflet . include information on:
drying times,
moving furniture,
stain $ odour removal,
evenings & weekend at no extra cost
being a local family company.

use white paper with dark green ink ( I think this is the nicest colour, if you use black ink it just looks like a photocopy)

this information works for me, others might have different ideas


Posted by Novice (Novice), 30 August 2003
What about advertising your local paper what type of advert works best there and what response would you expect ?
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 31 August 2003
Our local paper has 5 companies advertising. they are all cheap, £40 a suite and £16 a livingroom . I find by advertising in the paper you are just joining a price war.

2 of my mates advertise in the local paper they get about twice thier money back. Which means all the work you get from the paper you are doing for half price!

Posted by woodman (woodman), 1 September 2003
Hi Mike

Iv'e read with interest you post on flyers ,can I assume that you live in a densly populated area to carry out the amount that you do on rotation.
This obviously works for you and I am glad that you are not one of those fly by night leaflet droppers,you know  the sort 'In your Area for 2 Weeks Only' I have on numerous occasions had to follow on from these after they have ruined some ones suite or carpet.
It amazes me that people ring them when in their own ad's it says that after two weeks you won't see them again and they will never recall to a dissapointed customer.The usual line is, that cleaner has now left ,he was self employed.
I do not how ever carry out leaflet drops at all ,most of my marketing is targeted at the higher end of the market ie the ABC bracket, the idea being less work for more pay.
It's good to hear your method is working well at very low cost, I could never in my neck of the woods get any quality printing done at the prices you quote, the variations across the country are amazing.
I have made a note of your printers.

Happy Cleaning.

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 1 September 2003
Woodie', you would think that i lived in a big city but beverley is actually small, it has a population of about 24,000. (Have a look at a road map) I said I only post leaflets in a 8 mile radias but its more like 4 miles.

85% of my work is in this area, this works really great for me because often when someone wants a quote I can drive passed them during my working day ( I'd hate to drive miles to give a quote and then not get the job)

I thinks its a good idea to concentrate all your work in a small area, if you do a good job your name soon gets a round. plus the only other carpet cleaners  in town are 2 Chemdrys & 1 servicemaster.

Posted by Novice (Novice), 4 September 2003
Mike do you have a template which works best for you or do you keep redesigning your flyers.

If you do have a template what do you focus mostly on ?
Posted by Derek (Derek), 4 September 2003
Hi Guys

I remember some years ago listening to a talk by a rep. from either Thomsons or Yellow Pages at one of the shows.

They said that most people shop within a four to six mile radius of their home and as an assessment it is pretty much right.
Most of my work is that local and any jobs outside are more than likely customers who have moved or referrals.

Like Woodman my work is with the higher payers and I don't really get asked to clean dirty carpets or furniture.

I leave the dirty carpets etc. to the 'bait and switch' operators.

Kind regards
Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 4 September 2003
Novice, My leaflet has basically stayed the same for 6 years.

it is crampacked with information, rather than list it all email me your address and I'll send you one.

Although some of the things on it are;  testimonials from local well known companies, (saying how great we are Grin)  And a personal message from my Dad ( Henry Halliday Snr) who started the company .

it's not like all the cowboy leaflets you usually get through the door

Posted by Novice (Novice), 7 September 2003
Thanks Mike I've sent you a message but if you did not get it let me know via a post and I'll let you know my mail address.

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