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Old 28th May 2006, 08:03 PM   #1
draym22
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Default advice needed - Janitorial cleaning business marketing

Hi guys new here first off let me say hi to all!!!

About me. My name is Dray im 22 and i live in the Tampa Bay area. Im planing on opening a Janitorial cleaning business due to my experience and the ppl around me.Im also takeing business classes. My question is besides local newspapers how can i attracket customers?

The two marketing ideas that came to mind were (cold calling)& (writeing out a business proposal and sending them out by means of direct mail) And how would any of you guys go about priceing the customer and staying ahead of the competition? I targeted my market down to offices,Doctor's ect...

Any thought and ideas are much appreciated. thanks Dray M.

P.S. How can I make a fair jugement to see if there is even room for another business like mine in the area besides the phone book?

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Old 28th May 2006, 10:36 PM   #2
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You could conduct telephone interviews although it can be a little bit taxing when people hang up on you b/c they think you're a telemarketer. But if you frame the conversation in a way that is just looking to hear their opinions and insights so that you can learn something (you could even just say you are a student), then it can provide some invaluable information (namely: the level of demand for your service). You might also be able to find some stats on the web regarding your particular industry and how it fares in your geographic region.

As for marketing: You could hand deliver brochures and business cards offering an incentive to sign on with your services (maybe even get them to answer a few questions to help your research!) It's always nice to put a face to the name behind a business.

Just know that you may have to make repeat contact (like 7-9 times) before you elicit the response rate that will bring you a profit.

Re price: I don't like to advise small businesses to attempt to compete on price. A bigger franchise will squash you most of the time. Instead, find a niche, be unique, offer something above and beyond the usual services people would expect from your type of busieness and charge more, not less, than the competition.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 29th May 2006, 10:40 AM   #3
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Definitely play the student card. People will take the time out to hear what you have to say when they know you're a student. It's your most valuable asset right now!

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Old 29th May 2006, 10:48 AM   #4
draym22
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Thank's guy's now im looking at it from a view i otherwise may not have, There's still so much to do befor i place that open for business singh up.. Thanks a bunch!!!

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Old 29th May 2006, 11:49 AM   #5
Denis Schwartz
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here are a few suggestions that may help... you might post a notice in your student union bulletin board. If you have a personal doctor try approaching him first regarding his office or the complex he is in... You could go the the local medical association and talk to them about letting their members know about a 'new cleaning service' that is in town. Basically, touch bases with the businesses YOU usually frequent! Be sure and tell them you are a student trying to work his way thru school (that gets 'em every time). I suggest you find out what the going rate is for the janitorial service in your area ... then consider whether or not you can offer the same service for a little less money. Good luck my man!!!! I've got my fingers crossed for you.

Let me know if I can be of any help. Oh, you might give some thought to water damage cleanup with the hurricaine season coming up...after last year they may be looking for someone with a little more expertise.
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Old 29th May 2006, 12:16 PM   #6
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my wife and i are starting up a janitorial and cleaning service to. i have to say getting business isn't easy. we have 1 massage school we clean and that's due to my wife cousin owns it. 4 houses on top of that. i have called general contractors on the phone and asked about cleaning up after new construction and my wife has passed out fliers and cards door to door. 4000 fliers on doors got us the 4 houses. we have asked our clients to give there friends a business card and they seem reluctant to do so. they say they don't want to loose her as a cleaning lady. my wife is a perfectionist and they love her to death. as for pricing we figure $5 per room and we try to stay under under $75 for 4 to 5 hours of cleaning. here in Toledo Ohio most houses are 1500 to 2500 sq foot. we called every cleaning agency in the area and asked them there rate. its from $29 to $32 per hour and they use 2 or more people. so our price is cheaper and she isn't rushed to run to the next job like the big companies are. we tried our Dr's office but they hire from a large companie and they do the whole building complex. the reason we asked him was due to my daughter and her asthma. the office had so much dust build she would cough when we took her there, but they dont seem to care.
good luck, if you find a way let me know.

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Old 29th May 2006, 12:29 PM   #7
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Welcome aboard draym22

I live in your area, so I'm going to provide a personal contact based on my previous knowledge of your business. In a previous business life, I supplied a similar service to an alternative industry that crossed paths with the one you are interested in.

During a business day, I would go to a supplier of your business service. For example, providing janitorial services ... you are going to need some cleaning supplies. Imo, time to strike up a conversation and start networking with people who would supply you with the materials you need.

I recommend getting in contact w/

American Chemical & Building Maintenance Supply Inc.
1775 5th Ave N St
St Pete
727-822-8181

I can tell you, from personal experiences, they are good folk and have over a decade plus experience supplying the type of business that you are interested in. If you get into business, they maybe a potential contact for you, as based on my experiences they supply many of the competitors you might have on the pinellas side. There are other suppliers in the area as well.

So once you have a rapport with a supplier, they are probably the best to answer some of your questions posed. For example, I know they are familiar with truly the market questions you rightly ask. They will be helpful to assist you i'm sure, because they will be interested in your potential business. You've got to buy cleaning supplies from somewhere, and their wholesale pricing and quality is worth consideration. Ask the tough questions, now is not the time to be shy, and get an honest answer. Is this right for you? Its a tough question, with out the market details you seek.

Thats a long winded precise answer to how I would go about digging into finding out the answers to your questions. Build rapport with an authority. Best of luck!

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Old 29th May 2006, 02:02 PM   #8
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Hey guy's,

First let me say the help and ideas and support here are great!!!

I wanted to say the main reson im doing and planing this is because 1 i have done this my self and 2 my mother is curently working for a lady who runs her own cleaning biz, only reidential but she charges $20.00 an hour and takes half of that for her self so cuts pay to workers by half. What was crossing my mind is why not get clients and get the full payment yourself. As for my part i worked in Chicago fo several years for a man who started his own company as well, he had a account that was worth $5000.00 a month i was only reciveing $1500.00 a month for the job (i found that out thru one of his managers.) None the less all this got me thinking why not me. Thats a lil bit of info how i came to this idea and plus my schooling.

But Cleanfreak i wish you guys the best of luck and if i do find a good way of geting clients i will definetly let you know! Let me know how things are progresing as you go along some of the bumps ups and downs you hit along the way ill kepp in touch with my expireance as well...

LOGAN.. Thanks for advice and i will contact that company and use your advice as well it's great stuff and really makeing things a lil more clear as im going along.Now more than ever I see how other ppl can be a great help to where i want to be..

I went into the CHAMBER OF COMMERCE and found the listings of the potential clients.im trying to deside if i should mail them a brochure,call them,or mail out a well writen business proposal. When the time is right of course.

THANKS GUYS

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Old 2nd June 2006, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleanfreak
...my wife is a perfectionist and they love her to death.
At least for residential cleaning I think you should follow Karri's advice:

Quote:
...find a niche, be unique, offer something above and beyond the usual services people would expect from your type of busieness and charge more, not less, than the competition.
Your wife is a perfectionist when it comes to cleaning. Lots of people will absolutely be willing to pay extra for a perfectionist when it comes to their homes. I'd keep Karri's advice in mind.

Along with the great ideas that have already been suggested I'd like to toss out a couple more marketing ideas.

First, I'd visit every take-out restaurant in the area... pizza, chinese food, chicken, etc. Pay the owner or manager (or barter) to have one of your flyers included with every delivery. I've mentioned before that a tanning salon did this with a pizza restaurant I worked at. The number of flyers that went out glued to the top of pizza boxes was amazing. Oh, and I worked at one of the big national franchise pizza places so you can approach managers with this kind of deal as well.

At my kids' Tae Kwon Do school there is a place for people to leave business cards. The waiting/viewing room always has parents watching or waiting for their kids. To me, grabbing the attention of a busy parent when they are at an activity like this really has potential. Imagine leaving a business card that said "Let us clean your house while you're at Tae Kwon Do!" That's weak ad copy but you get the idea.

So, visit every type of school where parents take their kids for activities. There are tons... Tae Kwon Do, Karate, gymnastics, dance studios, etc. Get the attention of the parent while they wait and let a business card or flyer pitch your services for you.

Go visit every nail salon or day spa you can find. Cut a deal for them to hand your brochure or flyer to every customer. The ladies have time to read them while their toenails are being done. Or, they can pop it in their purse and read it later.

Sponsor a little league team. Pay for their uniforms with your company logo and website address on the back. A great way to grab the attention of busy parents.

For local businesses like yours, the ads that run on that back of the receipts at grociery stores may be worth investigating.

Get a bumper sticker with your website address printed on it.

And be absolutely, positively sure you have a website that answers the questions prospective clients will have.

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Old 12th February 2008, 05:07 PM   #10
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Dray I just joined like 30 sec's ago..ck it out! I have my own cleaning business and have done pretty good. I live in north Idaho the Coeur D'Alene area and we have had a lot of building the last 5 yrs. However it has slowed down and I have started to move on. Let me share with you what I have done to build business. Reliablity and flexability is the key...of course always with a smile..even when you dont feel like it. Marketing....I made myself a flyer explaining why they wanted me, what I could accomplish for them, and a general idea of my prices, remerber you can always go down when bartering your cost...and then back up after a reasonable time of service. So my theior is get them hooked 1st. I advertised in the paper and faxed ...still get calls 4 yrs later,,oh and go to a radio station offer your services in exchange for air time. Another great idea is to join a business group like LeTip,..business owners who will refer you for being part of there group...ok I can go on and on
good luck
prices...ask around ask your competitors..hey why not...I did...sometimes they were even nice about it...LOL
one more thing dont limit your self to janitorial,,,offer home and construction cleaning too
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