Just like a garden, you can’t grow a cleaning business if you ignore it and hope for the best.
If you want to grow a cleaning business, take a few lessons from growing a garden. If you just want some herbs, you can probably get away with putting some soil in a pot, adding in your seedlings, and watering it every couple of days. If you want an abundant vegetable garden, you’ll need to dig up a section of your yard, lay down some fresh, nutrient-rich soil, and plant your vegetables. You’ll need to weed the garden regularly and water it daily. In both cases, if you neglect either your patio herbs or your backyard garden, the plants will wither and die.
The point is that what you get from your garden is equal to the effort you put in. The same is true for a business. And no matter how much or how little you want out of those efforts, it’s all for nothing if you don’t take care of it.
That’s a problem a lot of people run into when thinking about how to grow a cleaning business (or a garden). You may have the best business plan in the world, and the snappiest marketing. Still, without one critical element, you’ll end up watching your bank account dry up, and your customers slowly disappear.
Make sure your cleaning team has the information they need to complete their job accurately and thoroughly. Implementing a janitorial software like Janitorial Manager can effectively transform your cleaning operation!
The one secret you need to grow a cleaning business that no competition can touch
There are plenty of ways to grow a cleaning business. However, a recent survey by Cleaning & Maintenance Management found that most janitorial companies expect 89 percent of their new business to come from replacing other BSC or janitorial firms. Let’s take a look at what that actually means, though, because it’s not necessarily good.
Read the numbers again. Almost ninety percent of your new business will come by taking over accounts from other companies. It’s not unreasonable to think that some companies will close their doors or that some will do shoddy work and lose clients, which you may then acquire. But is it realistic to think you can grow a cleaning business by very much if the majority of your new accounts come from replacing other firms?
And don’t forget, the flip side of that implies that you’ll be losing business, too, as other cleaning companies try to replace you.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with acquiring new accounts by taking over the work other companies were doing. But there are easier and better ways to grow a cleaning business. Luckily, there’s a very simple common factor that connects all or your growth plans: excellent customer service.
Good customer service is the business version of water for your garden. Don’t believe it’s that big of a deal? American Express conducted a survey and found that “seven in 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.”
Add to that the fact that it’s substantially more expensive to acquire new customers than retain your current customers. Think in terms of advertising, onboarding, and the cost of any additional equipment or supplies you may need. That doesn’t even count the “downtime” you spend looking for new clients.
What does quality customer service look like, though? And how will it help you grow a cleaning business? Here are just a small number of ways to put that into action.
1. Provide accurate, efficient bids.
If you value your customer’s time, they’ll value your service. In fact, two-thirds of adults find that’s one of the most important ways for a company to show appreciation. In other words, don’t make your customers and potential customers wait around for you to give them a bid. And when you do, be sure it’s an accurate proposal. You don’t want to mislead your customers.
2. Show up on time.
Scheduling can be tricky, but with software like Janitorial Manager helping you track your time, it can be much easier to keep up with your schedule.
3. Keep your equipment working properly.
This might not seem like a customer service issue, but when your equipment breaks down, the results of your work suffer either from delays or less thorough cleaning.
4. Maintain your supplies.
Like your equipment, your supplies are an essential aspect of running your business. Your clients expect that you will have the means to do the job you’re contracted to do.
5. Offer contract upgrades.
This isn’t just good customer service, it’s also an excellent way to grow a cleaning business. As long as you frame it correctly, it won’t come across as an upsell, either. For example, “We’d be happy to take care of maintaining light bulbs and basic lawn care if that’s something you’d rather not have to worry about.” vs. “It’s just a small additional fee to add light bulbs and basic lawn care to your contract.”
All of these can help you maintain customers, and they have the bonus effect of setting you up for good word-of-mouth advertising. Of course, there are other ways to grow a cleaning business and attract new customers.
Whether it’s cleaning medical offices or schools or vacant rental units, if you can specialize, you can stand out.
7. Be part of the community.
Sponsor a benefit 5k, underwrite a show on your local non-commercial radio station, or offer your services voluntarily to your favorite non-profit charity (they’re sure to spread your name around at their annual galas and fundraisers if you ask them to).
8. Partner with another business.
Is there another local business you could partner with to boost revenue for both of you? A real estate agent might be a good match (clean homes for people buying or selling a house).
9. Go viral.
Don’t forget about the power of social media marketing. Cleaning businesses have a potentially unique opportunity to get creative, have some fun, and market their services.
10. Go instructional.
Have a YouTube channel? Host instructional episodes for typical cleaning and maintenance issues you come across or go in-depth with tips and tricks that make cleaning easier.
The biggest factor of all, however, is you. It can take time to grow a cleaning business. Don’t get discouraged. Any efforts you make will pay off in small ways and large.
Easily stay in touch with employees and clients, bid on jobs, manage inventory, perform inspections, and more with Janitorial Manager. Check out a free demo to learn about all the great features!