Find out how to build clientele for a cleaning business startup and get your company moving.
It’s one of the biggest obstacles in opening your doors: determining how to build clientele for a cleaning business startup. While most of the other aspects are at least somewhat in your control, your client base is an unknown.
For example, you can price out mops, carts, buckets, vacuums, cleaning solutions, and so on. You can estimate how much you’ll need to make to meet your monthly overhead. You can even set your marketing budget. What you can’t know, however, is how many people will hire you, how long it will take to build a full roster, and how much client turnover you can expect.
I don’t have to tell you that without clients, it will be awfully hard to cover your expenses. That’s why knowing how to build clientele for a cleaning business is vital. And yet, you also have to be patient. It will take some time for word to spread about your superb customer service and fantastic work. In other words, what we’re hoping to accomplish is to quickly bring in enough work to sustain the business, and simultaneously take steps toward a full roster of long-term clients.
Ready to strengthen employee and customer relationships? Let’s start the conversation! Reach out today for more info.
How to build clientele for a cleaning business startup: 5 ideas for success
Let’s assume you have everything in place already. You have your supplies and equipment, business insurance, any business licenses you need, and maybe even an office and a few employees. The next step is determining how to build clientele for a cleaning business that’s just getting started.
1. Get active on at least one social media channel. Your website can tell your potential customers a lot about how you do business, your qualifications, and so on. But it’s your social media channel where they learn about your personality. That’s where clients go to see that you’re active in the community, what you say about other customers (only say good things!), and what your business “vibe” is.
2. Start asking for referrals right away. Even if you only have one client, ask them if they know another business that could use your services. And follow up! I know the idea of cold-calling probably isn’t your favorite, but it makes so much difference when you can say, “Hey, I’ve been working for XYZ Restaurant, and they thought you might be looking for a cleaning service and suggested getting in touch.” You might be surprised how well cold calling works when you can drop a name or two.
3. Build strategic business relationships. There are a lot of potential referral sources in the business world outside of your current customers. For example, commercial real estate agents, developers, and association presidents may all be able to refer you to their clients and members.
4. Ask for online reviews. If you let satisfied clients know that you’re just starting out and would love to ask them for an online review to help you grow your business, most will be happy to oblige. Of course, be aware that you can’t buy good reviews, and it’s probably best to only ask people you feel sure would write positive comments.
5. Dress professionally. One underutilized tool for how to build clientele for a cleaning business startup is your uniform. Obviously, you aren’t going to wear a suit and tie or your Sunday dress. However, there’s something reassuring to clients when you and your team arrive in matching polo shirts with the company logo on them. For that matter, even company tee shirts and some nice pants can work. The point is that you want to project an image of organization and cleanliness, which is an easy and familiar way to do it.
What about discounts?
There’s a lot, both good and bad, that could be said about discounts. If you’re in a bind and you need to pick up some jobs quickly, discounts can be a good way to do it.
At the same time, many customers who are looking for discounts are shopping primarily on price. They’ll always go where the cost is lowest. Certainly, that’s not true of everyone. You may even find some fabulous clients through an initial discount offering. But it can be the proverbial slippery slope. Once you start offering discounted services, your prospects won’t feel as inclined to pay full price.
There are some workarounds here. You could offer services to a limited number of nonprofit organizations for a percentage off your regular prices. You could offer a percentage discount for longer-term contracts or clients who pay in advance. For example, pay in advance for a six-month contract and get 15% off. Or sign a three-month contract and get one week free.
These are deals or discounts, but they also encourage ongoing loyalty. And they give you time to showcase the quality of your work and your excellent customer service.
If you’re ready to increase the professionalism of your cleaning operation through better organization, easy access to important data, unparalleled tracking, and more, schedule a call with JM today!