Wondering how to get commercial cleaning contracts with your neighborhood shops? Here’s your quick start guide.
There can be a lot of mystery around how to get commercial cleaning contracts with your smaller local retail shops. Many of these shops do their own cleaning, have limited budgets, or the business owners simply don’t have the time to think about hiring a commercial cleaning company. But in a world where #ShopLocal trends on social media, local news, and even shows up on commercials for major credit card companies, you’re in a prime position to benefit from that trend.
With so many retail chains, mega-shopping centers, and the like, it’s easy to forget that small retail shops, personal service establishments like barbershops and salons, and small restaurants and cafes make up so much of our economic fabric. Small towns have antique shops and bookstores. Rural areas have gardening centers and art stores. Large cities have streets full of boutiques. You can find small retail shops everywhere, and if you know how to get commercial cleaning contracts with these shops, we can pretty much promise they’ll spread the word about your great work and customer service.
So, where to begin? Let’s start by examining what the landscape looks like.
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Why small business is good business for your cleaning business
First, let’s look at why it’s worth looking to small retailers for work. The fact is, many of these businesses are in physically small spaces, at least compared to big office buildings, schools, or medical offices. That has some positives (you can complete jobs more quickly) and some negatives (more time loading your equipment in and out and traveling to a new location).
However, you can find many of these small retailers: in shopping plazas, in retail corridors, and even in shared retail spaces. What this means is that you could potentially contract with multiple businesses while eliminating travel time. It’s a simple way to work much more efficiently.
Furthermore, retail business owners often have close working relationships with other businesses, suppliers, and, of course, their customers. This is where word of mouth can really help you expand your business, so don’t be afraid to ask for these referrals. These business owners know as well as anyone how much work you do in keeping your business alive. If they love your work, they’ll probably be more than happy to share your praises with their colleagues.
How to get commercial cleaning contracts with shop owners who love you
Okay, so let’s get into the details of how to get commercial cleaning contracts with these businesses. There’s a lot of information out there about marketing your business. For that matter, we have our share of that information here, here, and here.
You can’t ignore some basics, like having a good website, keeping up with your social media, responding to online reviews (both the good ones and the bad ones), and knowing your audience. But there are a few important things to focus on that so often get either overlooked entirely or just skimmed over.
If there’s one key thing, one industry secret in how to get commercial cleaning contracts with businesses who appreciate your work, it’s customer service. This has to be a priority. Anyone can walk into a shop with a vacuum and a dust rag. But to thrive as a business and win contract after contract, your customer service has to be unbeatable.
What does that mean? At a minimum, it means showing up to the worksite on time. It means being polite to the owners, employees, and customers of a business. Excellent customer service means being honest and transparent with your customers. It means fixing mistakes as soon as possible, and it means checking in with your clients to make sure they’re happy.
In short, good customer service means helping your clients understand they made the right choice in working with you. You want them to feel comfortable with you or your team. And you want them to feel like your commercial cleaning business is easy to work with.
It’s the “easy to work with,” that brings us to the second point. This goes beyond the basics of providing reliable, worry-free service. It’s helpful when you can be somewhat flexible with your clients when it comes to changing a schedule or adding an extra cleaning to help them prepare for a special event (or after a special event).
That doesn’t mean you have to let a client dictate how you run your business. And you can’t inconvenience other clients to accommodate a special request. But consider the client’s request and, as long as it’s reasonable, do what you can to make it work.
Another tip in how to get commercial cleaning contracts is to not only be easy to work with, but make sure it’s easy for clients to get in touch with you. Especially when you’re working with small retail businesses, you never know what could come up. An emergency could shut down the building. A water leak could mean you have to avoid the back door. Or they might want to just let you know your team did a blockbuster job last time they were in, and you should be proud.
The point is, there is any number of reasons a client might need to get in touch, and you want to make it as easy as possible for them. You can give them your number to text if you so desire, but a very simple way is to use a communications app. Janitorial Manager comes with one – JM Connect – that offers location-based messaging, so your client can easily reach you or anyone on your team in that location.
Again, as you’re learning how to get commercial cleaning contracts, don’t overlook the importance of these three areas. And be sure to read some of these other tips. You’ll be in a good place to start boosting your business.
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