Quick question – “Who is your most profitable client?”
Now, before you answer, realize that your most profitable client may not be the one with the highest bill rate. Although the size of the check that arrives each month may seem like the best way to gauge their value, it may not actually be the case at all.
What Makes a Client, Profitable?
If you are like most commercial cleaning service business owners, you are probably well aware of how profitable your business is overall, but you simply don’t have time to get a good grasp on which specific clients are profiting you the most.
I remember early on being blinded by a cleaning services RFQ for a local company that came in at $120K a month! I thought that if I could land a contract like that, I would be set! Fortunately I did some research first and found that the start costs were enormous, the management requirements overwhelming, the margins razor thin and historically they rebid the contract every two years. I submitted a no-bid and stuck with my small to average size, but highly profitable accounts, and was so glad I did.
Fiona Humberstone, founder of The Brand Stylist, says, “Profitable clients are the ones who value what you do and are prepared to spend what you want to charge. They pay on time, they are happy to fit into the way that you work best and they love what you do. They recommend your business to equally wonderful people and they don’t make unreasonable demands of you or your time.”
They require the least amount of negotiation, special requests, and additional time, and result in more money-making potential for you! Simply put, profitable clients are the kinds that you want more of!
Identify Your Profitable Clients by Discovering Your Niche Industry
As the old adage goes, “Birds of a feather flock together,” and similarly, it is often true that clients who are the most profitable for you will often found within the same niche industry (i.e. the financial industry, hospitality industry, realty business offices, etc.). By identifying the niche that best suits your business model and capacity, you set yourself up for more long-term success.
Rather than getting lured away by the huge contracts, be sure to also consider these important factors that affect your actual bottom line:
- What is the amount of time that each client requires?
- What are the start up cost (supplies & equipment)
- What is your labor burden to service each client?
- How many trips do you have to make to each location each month?
- What are the amounts (and values!) of the cleaning products you go through in providing your contracted services?
- Who are the difficult clients to deal with? (impossible to please? demanding? rude?)
- Do they all pay their invoices on time, every time?
- How many discounts and how much negotiation went into settling on each contract amount?
- How often do they renegotiate their service contracts?
Knowing these “details” are key for analyzing the actual value of each of your client contracts.
How Do I Find This Information?
In an ideal world, you would already be using a commercial cleaning software that offers a way for you to easily input, access and organize the answers to the above questions.
Your software would be able to sort your clients by what services they’ve bought and how much they’ve spent, and also track your consistent inputs of what you are investing into each client in man-hours and cleaning products. It would take into consideration all of the different applicable variables in real-time and tell you just who your most (and least!) profitable clients are at the click of a button!
Your commercial cleaning software then becomes more than just a piece of technology. It becomes a way for you to specifically identify how your business is making money and help you discover the niche area where you can be the most profitable and make the most money!
However, if you’re still trying to manually
- Track each of the products/services you offer
- Calculate the profit each generates
- Note the average amount of time spent to market and deliver each offer (because time is simply another form of money!)
- Project all this information for each product/service across a year’s time, and then
- Figure out the results that could save or make you more money…
… Then NOW is a good time to seriously consider leveraging a commercial cleaning software that can free up your valuable time and money spent with less-profitable clients.
Let us help you set your sights on pursuing the customers in a niche that will suit your unique business. Connect with us today for a free software demo.