8 Surefire Ways to Grow Your Cleaning Business
With a low-cost of entry and low concentration of big firms in key markets, the commercial and residential cleaning industry is a lucrative endeavor for small businesses. Although the industry is relatively recession-proof, successful entrepreneurs know that smart marketing and continued growth is critical to the success and survival of any cleaning service
Whether you’re thinking of starting a cleaning service, or just need an injection of fresh ideas, here are eight ways to grow your cleaning business, as recommended by some of the cleaning industry’s top marketers and small business experts.
- Picture the Kind of cleaning service You Want
We all start businesses with a goal in mind, but as days roll into months and months into years, we often lose sight of our goals and dreams. So as you think about growing your cleaning service, step back and think about what your dream business looks like and feels like and what’s involved in getting to that point. As Dan Liebrecht, Co-Founder of CleanGuru and marketing coach to the cleaning industry explains in this quick tip, your dream might be happy customers, employees and happy owners – the kind of set-up that provides stability and satisfaction for all.
But how do you make this dream a reality? It starts with defining your ideal customer.
- Be Human, and Share What Makes You Different
In a crowded market, differentiating yourself is essential. Customers want to know what it is you can do for them that other cleaning firms can’t. Start by assessing your competition – what do they do that’s unique, not only in their messaging but in their actions? Use Facebook, online reviews, and word of mouth to listen to what the market is saying about your competitor’s services. What needs aren’t being served? From a service delivery standpoint, it might involve a greater emphasis on green cleaning products, flexible cleaning schedules (evenings and weekends), and so on.
Communicate clearly to your customers how you are different by building more intimate relationships through your marketing. Start a blog, or send out newsletters offering cleaning tips (you want to show yourself as an expert in your field) or to introduce your team (bios or videos are great), so that your customers know who they are dealing with. Offering that information can help prospects connect with you, leading to loyal customers later on.
What makes you different?
- Focus on Customers in Each Step of the Marketing Cycle
Many small businesses are so involved in the day-to-day running of their company that they rarely step back and think about how marketing can help them grow their business. “What you need is a marketing action plan so you can lay out a path to follow,” says small business expert Rieva Lesonsky.
To do this, you need to define your company’s buying cycle. It’s likely you have prospects and clients at every stage of the cycle – from awareness (customers know about your business but aren’t sure what you have to offer) through discovery and engagement (where they try to learn more about you and take action that may or may not lead to a sale), and all the way to referral status (when they are so happy with you, they want to tell everyone about you).
Of course, there are other steps in between, but the point is that you should have a plan that focuses on customers in each step of the buying cycle. While some of the tools may be the same, the messages and call to actions might be different – you might want to use a direct marketing campaign to steer prospects to your website so they can learn more about you while for customers in the engagement phase you might offer a coupon as an incentive for them to hire you.
- Earn More Business with Email
Email marketing isn’t new anymore…businesses of all kinds have been doing it for years. You may be doing it already, but chances are, there are ways to get more mileage out of your campaigns. If you’re still sending a single newsletter to all of your customers instead of segmenting them and customizing those campaigns by segment, that’s one place to start.
If you haven’t set up automated email campaigns yet, why not make that your next marketing and customer retention initiative? Email automation is easier than you might think, and it’s an extremely effective way to convert a prospect into a customer, or to engage a part customer for repeat business.
Interested? Read our step by step guide to using email to get more business, including some word for word examples to try.