|It’s important to consider how you’re
going to market your new house cleaning business.
You can have excellent employees who are well-trained
and have excellent administrative back-office
systems in place, but if no one knows about
you you’re not going to get any business.
|I’ve found in working with a variety
of residential cleaning businesses that frequently
marketing doesn’t get enough attention
and business suffers as a result. Therefore,
make sure you have allocated enough money
in your initial budget (which is part of your
business plan) to launch your marketing initiatives.
|You’ll probably want to consider all
or some of the following advertising media:
|Yellow Pages Listings
|Although the Yellow Pages is not as important
a source as it once was, it still remains
a basic source of advertising – letting
people know that you’re there and open
|Nowadays more and more people search for
services and products on the internet. In
my experience, people under 30 rarely, if
ever, use the Yellow Pages and this also just
happens to be the latest generation of young
professionals, just the type of people that
need a cleaning service! They grew up with
the internet and are familiar and comfortable
with it. So make sure you have a web site
where people can find you.
|There are many web designers out there who
can design a web site for you. Getting your
personalized web page for your house cleaning
business launched involves several steps,
from conception to implementation.
|If you want to save money initially, you
can consider buying a “web page in a
box”. There are various companies that
will provide you with a generic web page.
They’ll offer to change the name and
a address shown on the main page, and perhaps
a few other details, to customize the site
for your residential cleaning business. This
may be sufficient for a start, but if you
can, you’ll probably want to get your
own web site specially designed for you.
|I have met many people over the years who
tell me they don’t need a web page designer
to create their web site – their brother,
or son, or brother-in-law knows how to create
web ages easily, and it’s going to save
money. So why bother with a professional designer?
Well, I don’t know your brother, son,
daughter, or brother-in-law, so I may be wrong.
But … in my experience, I have never
seen a web site designed for free by a relative
who’s an amateur that looks well-done
and professional. Your web site is going to
present you and your business to thousands
of prospective customers. Make sure it looks
good, and don’t try to cut corners.
|Some web pages for house cleaning businesses
have a section where visitors to the site
can enter their details and request a quote.
Some even have software included in the web
site which generates a quote for the prospective
customer. I personally don’t recommend
this unless your prime approach to getting
customers is based on having the lowest price.
|Once you have selected a web designer whose
previous work you like, you’re almost
done. Once the web page is completed, you’re
going to register a URL for the web site,
and arrange for the site to be hosted at a
server somewhere. Many web designers can help
you in arranging to get your URL registered,
and your hosting account set up. Inquire from
them before you sign your contract. Are these
services included? If not, what is the cost
for each service?
|Search Engine Optimization
|It's not enough just to have a web site.
After all, what's the point of having
a site if no one can find it online?
The first thing you’ll need to
do is submit your site to all the major
search engines – Google, Yahoo,
MSN, ASK, etc. This can be time-consuming
to do yourself. You might want to arrange
to have your web designer do this for
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a new
field of endeavor related to the web that
is becoming a specialized industry in itself.
Once your web page has been created and is
now sitting on the web, along with a billion
others, you may want to consider finding ways
to have your listing do better in the search
engines. An SEO specialist can help you do
|Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns
|Most people searching the web with a search
engine, Google for example, which will read
through only the first ten or twenty listings
that appear in response to the search term
they entered. Fortunately, you can pay Google
a certain amount to arrange to have your listing/s
appear in the “Paid listings”
section of their site. How do you think Google
makes those enormous annual sales figures
and why do their stocks keep soaring upwards?
PPC is a huge multi-million dollar business!
|Costs for this will vary. First you need
to sign up with Google and then you’ll
need to decide how much you want to bid for
individual search terms. You can also set
a daily limit, defining how much you’re
prepared to spend a day for clicks.
|It can be much easier and more economical
in the long run to pay an SEO expert
to assist you with raising your natural
(free) listings in the search engines.
There are various techniques with regards
to improving the content of your site
to improve its natural listings. This
is a largely an untapped resource when
it comes to cleaning businesses. Cleaning
businesses have not, traditionally,
been the most up-to-date with the latest
technologies and have been slow to adapt
to new marketing techniques. This means
that you can take advantage of this
|Flyers, Mailers and Door Hangers
|Leaflets are an old standard for marketing
any service business. Many maid services around
the country use leaflets from time to time
to advertise their services. One of our clients
spent between $30,000 and $50,000 on leaflets
and door hangers in the first few months after
opening his doors, to attract new customers.
He was successful in giving his maid service
business a good, quick kick start. However,
this was before the days of the internet,
when internet advertising wasn’t available.
This doesn’t mean, however, that leaflets
and door hangers won’t continue to be
effective in this day and age!
|It is a great idea to have your company
name and contact information placed on your
car and your employees' cars. This is a great
way to advertize as you take your car out
and about throughout the day people will see
you and come to recognize you as the
house cleaning company.
|It's also a great way to get interest from
neighbors, which is great as it means you're
in the area anyway.
|Referrals and Word-of-Mouth
|You should do what you can to encourage
referrals and word-of-mouth. A great way to
do this is to award discounts and coupons
to your clients who refer a friend. You can
send a mailing or an e-mailing to your present
customers telling them about your incentive
|Thoughtful Systems' Scheduling Manager can
assist you bulk emailings to your customers.
They provide you with several attractive templates
to choose from, or you can create your own.
here to read more about the Scheduling Manager.