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Old 31st August 2009, 04:27 AM   #1

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Flowery Branch, GA
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Default Brand New Company Needs Customers!! How?

Our business opened about 2 months ago. We're struggling to find the most effective way to get customers. We do hard surface floor cleaning for commercial and residential accounts.

My husband is the sales force calling on commercial accounts. This takes time to develop relationships. That will come in time. So far, one account but no regular contract. Only as needed work. Nice, but really want contracts.

For the residential side - we've sent post cards, had and ad in Savvy Shopper, listed online with Service Magic. We've had very little response to these efforts. We don't have a ton of money to spend, either...

We like the think outside the box idea, but are stumped on what some of those things might be. Also, when an idea comes up we seem to be stuck on how to implement or make it happen.

So, all this to ask:

What ideas do you have to get the word out about a new service company?

What's the best way to find creative ideas for promotion and advertising and then get those ideas implemented?

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Old 31st August 2009, 04:42 PM   #2
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Tough in this economy -- I know a lot of people who are cutting back on what they consider optional services, both individuals and companies. My own employer has cut back drastically on our office cleaning services (we empty our own office trash cans and vacuum our own offices nowadays).

What sort of benefits are you mentioning in your ads? If you're not getting good responses from them, maybe you're not hitting on the right "hot buttons" to motivate people.

Seems to the things people are still short of these days, even more than money, are time and energy. They're working extra hours to make up for laid-off colleagues or taking on second jobs to make ends meet.

Some kind of focus on how your services will allow people who are swamped with work to have a house into which they can be proud to invite company, and yet still spend as much of their precious time as possible with their families (instead of scrubbing the kitchen floor or whatever), that might resonate.

You could also try partnering with realtors (and advertising directly to homeowners) for a "detailing" service for those who are trying to sell their homes. The market's competitive, maybe a few dollars spent to have their home professionally deep-cleaned could make the difference between a quick sale and sitting on the MLS site for weeks/months. Direct to homeowners would be a bunch of one-offs, but by partnering with several realtors, you could get a steady stream of referrals.

Perhaps you could even find local home stagers and partner with them to deep-clean houses they're staging, or subcontract them to allow you to offer staging services as another option. (Or you could learn home staging and offer the service directly yourself.)

To make contact with realtors and stagers, you're probably best off visiting them personally -- maybe dropping off a bucket with some cleaning supplies and sponges/rags and a duster along with your business card and a personally-written letter introducing your services and mentioning the benefits (clean houses result in quicker sales for more money, for instance). Then follow up with a phone call to set an appointment to discuss in more detail. Maybe offer them a discount if they sign a contract committing to a certain period of time or a certain number of houses rather than going with one-offs.

For offices, if you haven't already, get creative with offering "a la carte" services -- let them pick and choose how often you come in and what exactly you do while you're there. Maybe even borrow an idea from restaurants, and have a menu of services they can choose from. You could have some fun designing the menu and running with the whole restaurant theme, even.

Make that customization a focus of your advertising to commercial accounts: how you can help them keep a presentable office/store/whatever that will give their customers a good impression, and do it by allowing them to customize your services to fit their needs and budget.



Diane Aull - NineYards.com: Helping Businesses Do Business Online
Whether you think you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.
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Old 5th September 2009, 09:20 PM   #3

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The tasks were defined units, has been appointed director, a budget, drafted a business plan. What's next?
This issue is a matter not only me but thousands of other leaders. Recruitment of technical specialists is not a big problem, but rather the problem is not here. But with all the managers are much more complicated, I have already wrote in previous post. And manager to work with clients is not difficult to find. Then deduct the office. In Russia at the moment with the office can easily do that there are many proposals for different tastes and wallets. True cost of communications in the office almost always very high, although this is my personal opinion. Many may not agree with that, but for me as head of the new unit a few things (prices) were surprising.

I'll tell you about doing what our division.
The main directions are IT outsourcing, supply of equipment for data centers and office equipment for just in offices and parts for this equipment, apart from the above we deal with internet connection, and supply chain software.

And so, the staff recruited, the purpose of identification. It is time to work out the budget and profitable. Here then the problems begin. How to attract customers on maintenance of PCs and LANs organization (more precisely the unit), which has not proved itself in the market? The answer is obvious. Looking for sales managers. Where did they take? The answer is also obvious. Jail staffing agency. The results I have already told you last post.

I have adopted the following decision. While the phasing out of sales managers and together with the manager to work with clients to try to find clients.

To do this, I have developed special tariffs on the basis of our past rates adopted in the business plan. The concept of "original" warranty. Of course it was all in concert with the leadership and received permission.

After the above action, I made the original offer and sent it to 10 major organizations in St. Petersburg.

This was done this week, let's see what will be the reaction on my offer.

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Old 1st October 2009, 02:54 AM   #4

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Hello friend,
I think you have not done proper advertisement of your business.I know you don't have so much of money to spend,but initially without proper advertisement you can't proceed well in business.So don't think of gaining profit initially,only try to invest more and more then only you will get a good profit.
So I suggest you to contact some add agency for that..and try to do online advertisemnt..For that you can contact any SEO company..they can do a proper internet advertisement..This I know because one of my friend did this..and it helped a lot.


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Old 9th October 2009, 07:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nelsonclassic View Post
I think you have not done proper advertisement of your business.I know you don't have so much of money to spend,but initially without proper advertisement you can't proceed well in business.So don't think of gaining profit initially,only try to invest more and more then only you will get a good profit.
So I suggest you to contact some add agency for that..
I strongly disagree with this. Marketing should have a direct result in sales. Branding is reserved for companies like Coca Cola and Nike, not for the startup.

Postcards are good, but only if the message is right and you're sending them to the right group of people.

If you don't have a message that "pops" in the mind of the person who reads it -- AND -- if you aren't reaching exactly the right prospect with that message, you will have a tough time.

When you get those two elements, combined with a good offer and a strong call to action, you should see your results improve.

- Paul

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Old 10th October 2009, 02:17 AM   #6
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Explain what what 'hard surface' floor cleaning is exactly....

Like cleaning tile, hardwood, ceramics? What makes this so special that I would want to spend my money on it? This would help me give you better advice.

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Old 27th October 2009, 05:06 PM   #7

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As a service based business owner I had the same problem until I realized I was targeting the wrong people. I would suggest doing a google search for property managers in your area and visiting them in person. Once there simply ask what is required of you to become a vendor for them. They will want to see license, proof of insurance, workmans comp and a general price list. It worked for me and I am now 4 years into business and doing rather well in my area. Good Luck to You!

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Old 27th October 2009, 09:02 PM   #8
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Get in with insurance companies...garunteed work. Get Xactimate (its an estimateing program that 99% of the insurance carriers use)

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Old 3rd November 2009, 01:02 AM   #9
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You have some useful suggestions here, in particular targeting property managers and realtors. With the latter those in the sales game will be recommending people have their house cleaned before presentation for sale. And rental property managers always have a list of cleaners they use between rentals. A sub-set of these are those providing holiday letting, when cleaners are put in between each letting.

One other group occurs to me and that is removal companies. In Australia the major companies doing household removals like to offer a full service so they offer cleaning after they have uplifted you and your possessions. I suspect the same would apply to moving offices.

And leaving a little gift as mentioned will make you more memorable than just another flier.

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Old 4th November 2009, 06:47 PM   #10

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Default Some info

I opened a business from scratch and ran it for 20+ years.(see my intro I posted today) I understand your situation. I would be glad to share some basic info I accumulated in building a business.

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