Posted by Pamela Swift in Starting Up
Article Contributed by Ian Pearson
According to a study conduct by Scott-Macon, the cleaning and janitorial industry is expected to grow at a rapid pace by 2020, and as a result, the market sector will surpass $60 billion in 2017. There are more than 800,000 cleaning services companies operating in the U.S. alone, and this number is expected to grow 1.7% on an annual basis. Taking all of this into consideration, it is evident the cleaning industry is highly competitive. For this reason, we have listed 7 most essential aspects of running a cleaning business you should cover in order to stay ahead of everyone else on the market and ensure your business achieves stellar success.
1. Define what differentiates you from the competitors
In this jam-packed marketplace, it is essential to highlight unique characteristics of your business to ensure it stands out from the crowd. When choosing cleaning services, customers will want to know what you can offer that others cannot.
First step is to assess your main competitors: determine what their unique sales proposal is, not only regarding the message they are sending, but also their actions. Is there anything they haven’t already covered? Are there services they have overlooked? Take into consideration flexible cleaning schedule, offering services in the evening and on the weekends, including more eco-friendly cleaning products, and similar.
Furthermore, it’s good to incorporate yourself into one niche, instead of offering everything to everyone, scattering your resources. Pick one market to serve, focus on excelling at it, thus building consistency in the services you provide.
2. Take your business online
Setting up a business website for your cleaning company might seem like a trivial advice, but since almost 50% of SMBs still don’t have a website, we believe it is essential to emphasise the importance of this business aspect.
When establishing an online presence, you should not stop at designing a responsive website. Consider writing a blog and publishing valuable content and current industry news, sending out newsletters providing cleaning tips, ultimately establishing yourself as a field expert. You should also provide information about your team with their bios and images, as well as pictures of your work as a proof of the quality, like SBHI Office Cleaning Sydney experts did.
3. Put the focus on the customer every step of the marketing process
With many companies getting so involved in running their business seamlessly, they often forget to take a step back and define a marketing strategy that could boost their business efforts.
First off, define your company’s buying cycle, as you are likely to have customers at every stage of it. From raising awareness of your business, through discovery and the stage where they attempt to learn more about it, to referral status, when you provide satisfactory services and they recommend you to others.
4. Go through the back door
Over the years, door-to-door sales proved to be a highly effective strategy for both commercial and residential cleaning services. Sometimes, this will mean literally, other times you will sit behind the desk making phone calls. However, cold calls are not the only way of expanding your customer base. We recommend contacting real estate agents and homebuilders, as well as investing time and money into building mailing lists in order to send direct marketing pieces to higher income residents on a monthly basis.
5. Never stop networking
Especially when your cleaning business is still in a development stage, it is of prime importance to join local communities, networking groups and/or local Chamber of Commerce. In their regular meetings, you will get the opportunity to share information about your business, as well as to get to people who may be in need of your services. We advise you to offer a special discount to the first month’s billing to a person who gave you a lead that ultimately became a sale.
6. Remember that employees are your top priority
A happy employee is an integral part of a successful cleaning business, as it is the quality of their work that affects the customer satisfaction. Invest in their continual education, treat them with respect and make sure you offer them bonuses and incentives.
7. Invest in Customer Service
Almost 60% of Americans claim they would try a new company for a better service experience – that is more than half of your customers. A quality customer service can help build strong and long-lasting relationships with your customers. Although the quality of your work is extremely important, you cannot stop at that; even if your performance is satisfactory, upon finishing the job, we recommend following up on your customers to ensure everything is still in good order.
One final tip: remember there are times when you should not take the job you are offered. If you realise you cannot earn profit or that the work is for any reason undesirable, it is better to turn it down. Focusing your and your employees’ time on a more lucrative work will prove to be a smart decision in the long run.