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Cleaning Service, Advice on Getting Customers

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by astral_stardust, Jul 6, 2010.

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  1. astral_stardust

    astral_stardust Newbie

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    I've been doing badly lately with internet business and decided to try and make some extra money on the side by cleaning. It's something I have experience in and enjoy doing, and it's definitely a way better option than getting a temporary 9-5 job to get through the rough financial time.

    Other than Craigslist and word of mouth, does anyone have any advice on creative ways I can get more jobs? I thought about just putting fliers around the neighborhood or around college campuses, but maybe someone else would have better ideas.
     
  2. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    In the late 80's I owned a commercial cleaning business that did around 9K monthly. Getting business was just a matter of printing out business cards and going to commercial areas and walking in and try and get an opportunity to bid on their cleaning needs.

    If you are thinking residential, I doubt that college campuses would be good because most college kids don't have a lot of money to pay for a service like that.

    I would suggest ads in your local free paper (think pennysaver), flyers hand delivered to homes (there are people that offer this service on CL), flyers in your local supermarkets and if you have a retirement community in your area, flyers on their bulletin boards.
     
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  3. astral_stardust

    astral_stardust Newbie

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    I was thinking residential because most commercial places won't give an individual a chance if they can get an established cleaning business to do it instead.

    The only reason I thought about college campuses was that maybe it would be a good place to advertise cleaning up after parties or at the end of the terms when people are moving out of dorms.

    I'll look into the Pennysaver and local newspapers to see what it would take to put in an ad.
     
  4. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I started as a one man show and grew it from there. You might be surprised how easy it is to get business because a lot of commercial cleaning outfits are just not reliable.

    If you do go residential, don't discount the retirement areas... I own a condo in a 55+ community and there is a lot of discretionary income in those types of communities.

    Every day there are various cleaning people coming and going and almost all of them are one person shows. Get in there and your business could take off by word of mouth as the retired people do an awful lot of sitting around and chatting.
     
  5. MarketerMac

    MarketerMac Regular Member

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    Seriously avoid colleges.
    I started IM in college, had a way above average income, and still cleaned up my own shit. Not only was I too cheap to hire someone, but most of my money went into electronics and while I'll trust drunken chicks not to steal my shit, I'd have issues with some random guy cleaning up after me while I was still probobly drunk.

    If you show up to a commercial business to get a job they probobly won't know you are a one man show until after they've hired you (and even then, I can't remember the last time I saw the crew that cleaned the offices, for all I know it could be one guy who shows up now). All I do know is that the floors get vaccumed and the tables cleaned up and all that good stuff. The bigger problem you might run into with commercial gigs is insurance and references, you'd need both to clean my office.

    The residential stuff would be easier to tackle. I'd imagine most of the time it's woman who hire them for the house (correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm a guy and don't handle that stuff on my own, I assume others don't). So anywhere you'll find woman with disposable income - upscale daycares (if they'll let you put up a flier?), salons, upscale grocery stores, etc.

    Good luck!
     
  6. PlatinumPi4u

    PlatinumPi4u Junior Member

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    There is a whole entrepreneurial system to go with the cleaning deal. It goes something like this:

    1. Create a cleaning service (licensed and bonded)
    2. Duplicate service a handful of times - 3 or 5 copies of the same business.
    3. Start selling copies of said business and....
    4. ...create wholesale cleaning products business & marketing / advertising business
    5. In the franchise agreement, they agree to buy cleaning supplies from you....
    6. ...They also agree to pay for all marketing supplies and services from you
    7. Once a cleaning company you sold (franchised) gets large enough, offer them to create their own wholesale cleaning supply company and show them how to franchise, while you create a distributor company which distributes cleaning stuff to wholesalers...

    ..and on, and on, and on...

    Study this image below, and use it as the model that your business follows:

    [​IMG]


    :D

    You can apply this system to anything from franchising McDonalds, to carpet cleaning, to mobile detailing, to anything...

    Don't forget to click thanks!


    @BassTracker, what ever happened with your cleaning biz? Did you ever try and sell copies of it?
     
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  7. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I sold the business after a bit... it was over 20 years ago and I can't remember what I sold it for... I just remember that the day of the closing
    it was freezing cold and me and a buddy hopped in my car and kept driving until the weather was warm.

    We originated from the Jersey shore and ended up in Jacksonville FL.

    Played golf for 2 solid weeks.
     
  8. Sleinad

    Sleinad Senior Member

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    You were making 108k a year, and you sold the business. Why do people do this? I would carry on with the business, then you will have a constant income. With all the money you make, you can easily grow the business even more. Hire some foreigners for hardly anything, and then you have 2x as much money.

    Btw, how much did you sell for?
     
  9. OnlineGodfather

    OnlineGodfather Senior Member

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    I like what you guys did back then :)
     
  10. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I was grossing 108K, the net was in the 60K range. I started another business after I got back from my 2 week hiatus... built that up and sold it as well. I've done that at least a dozen times.

    That is what I was doing for a while... starting low cost businesses, building them up, making a decent living in the process and selling them. The most I ever sold one for was 350K... it was a bottled water company and I sold that in 1996.

    It's not an uncommon business strategy and it suits me fairly well. I currently own 2 brick and mortar businesses and will probably sell one of them off beginning of next year.
     
  11. eljeffe77

    eljeffe77 Junior Member

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    Well, being that you're in California - it helps if you're here illegally from Mexico and will work for $5.00 an hour- otherwise, don't get your hopes up - LOL. :D
     
  12. yuyo

    yuyo Regular Member

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    You guys are great, i live in sanford florida, i am currently out of job as well, do you know were to a get an alredy made flyer, i would like to make some and hand them myself, but i have not clue how to attract customers...

    can you point me to the right dirtection?
    thanks
     
  13. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    If you are in Sanford, you may want to target Lake Mary... isn't that a fairly wealthy area?

    Just make some flyers using word on your computer.
     
  14. yuyo

    yuyo Regular Member

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    Yes I was thinking to make some flyers, i just can create one, i was thinking maybe you knew were to see one already made..

    thanks
     
  15. chocolatemonkey

    chocolatemonkey Junior Member

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    If I may ask, why wouldn't you just keep starting low cost businesses and never selling them? This way your monthly cash flow would grow and grown and grow since you wouldn't lose it when you sold the business. Any reason why you picked the strategy you've chosen?

    Always enjoy reading your posts btw.
     
  16. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    The startup suits my personality pretty well and getting one nice check makes it easy to put a large chunk of change away. On several of my businesses, I held paper and got monthly payments which went right into a retirement plan.

    The idea of holding a business over a long term is uninteresting to me but let me come up with an idea for a new business gets my juices going.

    I currently own a financial services firm as well as an advertising company. The advertising company does business in 27 states and started as a little micky mouse local operation. It's big enough that I can sell it and put some real nice change in the bank.

    The financial service firm serves 4 counties in Florida and will probably not ever be huge but I will probably own that for a long time as one of my sones runs it for me.

    I don't like to run businesses... I find that uninteresting and boring.... I like to start them up and see them grow.

    I guess it's ADD or something to that effect in essence.
     
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  17. chocolatemonkey

    chocolatemonkey Junior Member

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    You don't have ADD. You're just a true entrepreneur. :)

    I guess my issue is growing businesses. I'm somewhat young so it could be an age discrimination issue, perhaps that's why I deal online mainly at the moment, but I'd hate to use that as an excuse.

    Great stuff as usual from BTB...
     
  18. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    My first business was an upholstery business... I was 20. I would call on prospects and they would say, "you're just a kid".

    My response was "Give me the job, if you have any issue with it at all, it is free". What an easy way to grow a business.

    In 1977, I was making 450 a week (pretty good money for the era) fixing upholstery in automobiles, living in my parents home rent free and growing my bank account.
     
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  19. 1stargeneral

    1stargeneral Regular Member

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    i suggest you make samples of product and give to special clients. if its gud you will keep workin with them. a cleaning service means cleaning and disinfecting the premises. i make my own cleaners and sometimes i supply to clinics and hospitals. if you are interestd i have my formulae manual i can give to you at a price. i average 100k per month.pm me if you are interested
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  20. gsr702

    gsr702 Newbie

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    My wife runs a cleaning service. She's been in business for 8 years and I'm trying to help her expand, IM skills come in handy with this. Create a simple 3-4 page site and use PPC to get some traffic, being careful of the keywords you're bidding on. Bid on keywords like "miami cleaning service" or whatever city you want clients. Also don't forget other relating terms "maid service, residential cleaning". People searching with these exact terms are hot prospects and are looking for someone immediately. You just have to answer the phone and schedule the quote asap.

    Door hangers is another good way of getting clients. Where I live we can't put anything in mailboxes. Put on the door hanger "we are servicing clients in your neighborhood and have 3 available slots to add new clients".

    If you have some money to spend you can do direct marketing with coupon books and such or valpak. This is the shotgun affect and expensive, but you should get a few customers. Also alot of people still use the old phonebook, so get a listing in there.

    The most important thing is being dependable and doing a good job. 70% of my wife customers is from word of mouth.
     
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