Marketing a Cleaning Service – Joint Ventures

When operating a Carpet Cleaning Service, whether it be a start up or an established business, joint ventures should always form part of your marketing plan. You should have other businesses in the services industry not only referring your carpet cleaning business but actively recommending your products and services. A successful joint venture partnership will have you partnering with other service suppliers who are not competitors but are supplying the same market. You can make an informal agreement to cross-sell each other’s products and services to each other’s customers.

Think of all the non-competing service providers and trades-people that operate in the same market as a Carpet Cleaner. Write a list of people you know that supply services to the customers you market to.

If you have 50 loyal customers and partner with three other service providers with the same number of customers, you automatically have an alliance of 200 customers who will be pre-disposed to using your service because you come recommended by someone they know and trust.

Look for businesses that provide services to a similar market you want to target. A carpet cleaner’s clients will at some point require the services of a plumber, an electrician, a painter and decorator, a landscape gardener. I could go on. Seek out these people and make arrangements with them.

Start with one from each service industry and put the idea to them. Each partner will get their own vouchers printed and hand them out to each other. After every job you complete, give the customer the vouchers as a bonus for using your service! Each voucher will offer the customer 10% off when they use your partners’ services. When you receive a voucher from a customer, you knock the 10% off the price. You then give a further 10% to the service provider that referred you. The marketing costs you 20%, a small price to have gained a client you probably wouldn’t have otherwise gained.

But that’s not the true cost! Remember, you are also handing out vouchers to your clients and when one of your clients uses a service you have referred, you get your 10% commission. The potential is huge, especially if you are using like-minded partners who can see the benefit and huge potential that there is in the campaign.

Used properly and successfully, you have the ability to multiply your customer base in a short space of time and you are earning extra income from commission recommending other service providers to your clients.

Selecting the Right Carpet Cleaning Service

If a person was hiring an electrician or a plumber or any other contractor to work on their home or commercial building they would, if they had any common sense, get references and check the experience of the tradesman in not only the job at hand but for any other work in the future.

Why is it then, that many people trust their carpeting, one of the biggest investments in their home décor, to the cheapest person they find in the local coupon book or the franchise with the catchy jingle on TV?

You have invested thousands of dollars in your carpeting and you want it to look like the day it was installed for as long as possible. Simply having someone run a steam machine over it does not save it from the destructive materials that accumulate deep in the pile and cause it to degrade over time. Heavily soiled areas of high traffic require special care as do spots. We have all had our carpets cleaned only to see those same spots rise up weeks later as if from the spot grave.

So how do you go about choosing the right carpet cleaning service? First of all do not assume that just because the name is cute and well known or you like the pretty yellow trucks that they are the best choice. They may be but realize that they are a franchise operation whose work ethics can vary greatly. Plus they generally perform only one function, steaming.

Check with your friends and neighbors and look on rating services to find an experienced reputable professional who is local to your area. Find out if he provides the following even if you don’t require it now. You may in the future.

• Deep Cleaning. Necessary for high traffic areas and carpets that have been neglected.
• Dry Cleaning. Your having a party in a couple hours and don’t have time to let it dry.
• Spot cleaning. This is critical. A carpet professional is like a good dry cleaner. Able to positively identify the cause of a spot and use one of the many varied methods to deal with it. Blood, mustard, soft drinks, wine, tomato sauce, tar and more. One cleaner I know of removed a spot that had been present for years and was written off by the homeowner as “that orange stain.” The cleaner identified it as dye missing from the pile and quickly mixed up some hot blue dye. Gone was the stain that many before him had failed to remove. The list is endless.
• Heavily soiled. Near the front door or leading out of the kitchen are a couple of likely areas.
• Water Removal. You may not live in a flood zone but your upstairs plumbing is not aware of that. Especially when you are away.
• Soot Removal. Caused not only by house fires but furnace puff back and chimney flues that stick.
• Extras. Some carpet professionals also offer added extras above and beyond there usual service such as tile grout cleaning, porch cleaning and more.

When it comes time, which should be once or twice a year, to have your carpet cleaned remember that you are putting a big investment in the hands of someone with whom you feel confident and can trust. Check around and check them out. You will be grateful you did.

Polished Websites for Cleaning Services

The first professional home cleaning businesses were started in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s to serve the often neglected housekeeping needs of an emerging generation of single businesspeople and dual-income families. These were new professionals and second income families that were increasingly short on the time and energy needed to adequately care for their homes. June Cleaver and Alice Mitchell had finally taken jobs and family life and housekeeping would never be the same again.

The demand has continued to grow as more and more people are outsourcing their house cleaning chores – not because they want to – but, because of quality of life issues that often get in the way.

The luring appeal of high profit margins and relatively low start-up costs, combined with incredible growth potential is attracting many people from all walks of life to give the residential (and commercial) cleaning business a try.

What looks so simple from the “outside looking in” is often very misleading. There is much more to owning and running a professional home cleaning business than just sweeping and mopping floors and dusting off furniture. In fact, to run the business properly and maximize one’s earnings, there are people to be hired; equipment and supplies to be ordered; “books” to be kept; and clients to be gotten and satisfied.
Employee turnover in this business is high. Cleaning equipment, maintenance supplies and insurance premiums are expensive and they are all recurring expenses. Getting new clients requires a significant marketing, sales and retention effort. Maintaining clients calls for strong oversight and excellent customer service, based on relationship building.

Managing a home cleaning service industry is no easy job. It can certainly be a lucrative enterprise when it is supported by informed business research, strategic planning, unwavering dedication and plain hard work.

Those most successful are sure to have carefully studied the intricacies of the residential cleaning business, including the market costs and – especially – the competition. It is most important to learn the different services that you can offer to your target market, as well. What can you offer your customers and what can you charge for these services to remain competitive?

Planning your marketing strategy and assigning it a realistic budget will be an essential part of your near success. Make sure to take your time and figure out the best approach. Lock down all the details in a well thought out business plan. This document will become your how-to guide to and check-list for running a top-notch cleaning business.

There is no Substitute for an Effective Business Website

A professional-looking and effective business website will play a major role in successful business development. Your website is likely the very first place your For Hire recruits and those interested customer prospects will visit to assess whatever your business has to offer.

Websites are useful tools for extending the effectiveness of phone book ads, flyers, door hangers, business cards, mailer’s, post cards, broadcast media, networking and face to face solicitations. By referencing your website address in these traditional advertising media, you can provide the customer with a way of reviewing your services and of communicating their needs to you quickly and easily, at their convenience.
Your website must be specially designed for the needs of your business and your customers. Most often included in the websites of professional cleaning services are:

• Your business logo
• Eye-catching, industry specific graphics and photos
• Easy and logical site navigation
• Industry/Business relevant content
• Clearly spelled out “calls to action”
…and all of the things that go into effective search engine optimization (SEO).

Just as many customers and potential new hires consult the phone book to find cleaning services, increasingly, these customers are searching for services, on-line. A strong SEO infrastructure will help you get found ahead of your local competition. Having a professional-looking website also helps to establish your credibility within the customer community.

Within a website, Special Offers make sense. Most customers love an opportunity to get more for less and to save money. An element of fun that may come in the form of a contest or drawing often adds to the interest and excitement. Keep this in mind if you really want to stand away from your competition.

Traditional and Social Media Marketing Call For an Effective Business Website

Having a great website is – by itself – NOT enough. It represents “taking care of business” in the expected way, but your website needs to be supported by well-planned Social Media Marketing (SMM) activities.
It is important to understand that Social Media is a tool. Nothing more and nothing less. And, if used in conjunction with a strong business philosophy, foundation and plan of action; its awesome power can be unleashed.

The truth is that you need to have a solid small business foundation before your social media marketing efforts will be effective. You need to have a unique selling proposition; a dynamic landing page (on your website), an enticing offer, captivating website and a well-informed blog. That’s when Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn will work best for you. And, these (and many other platforms and tools) are all free or inexpensive to leverage.

Taking advantage of free advertising means using social media to your advantage. You can do this in several ways. You can encourage current customers to post a review of your business on a site like yelp. You might also start a Facebook page and encourage customers to “like” you so they can take advantage of any special deals you offer, or to find out about deals with specialty companies (such as the chimney sweep) that you have partnered with.

The best ways to find clients once you start up your home cleaning business is by being aggressive with a well-blended traditional and Social Media Marketing plan with a professional-looking website where your target audience will land and, hopefully, take the appropriate call to action to either become a new client or to apply for a job with your cleaning service.

If all your Ducks are in a row, it is easy to spiff up your marketing efforts; polish off your competition and leave those competing businesses behind in the dust.