Store: House Cleaning Training Videos on Growing a Cleaning BusinessSeminar Recording: Zero Cost Advertising
LOW PROFIT MARGINS IN CLEANING
REQUIRE FREE ADVERTISING
WE ARE BLESSED THERE ARE LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CLEANING SERVICES FOR FREE ADVERTISING
Profit margins are low in all industries, but especially the service industries. This challenge requires us to be very clever and bottom line conscience when reaching our base of prospects 17 times (always remember the 17 rule). There simply is not enough net profit to spend all of the money you would need to spend on advertising to bring your company past the $1M gross revenue level consistently, year in and year out. There is a small list of average profit margins per industry listed below. Many owners are unrealistic when it comes to what they think their profit margin benchmark is. It is important that you are realistic about what you can make in this industry. If you want to make more than $100,000 per year you will need to think in terms of $1M gross revenue per year and more.
Networking, free cleanings and building community relationships are the key to growth and making money in this industry. If you can keep your marketing costs low you will increase your profit margin. We are so fortunate to offer a service that everyone wants. When you give away a free cleaning at a silent auction you will probably have one of the few items that will pull full value. The only cost to you is your labor cost. Pretty cheap advertising cost to quality reach 200 or more people at one time. They see your company as a community sponsor company. They trust you or you wouldn’t be allowed to participate in a silent auction. They will trust you in their homes.
Offer a free cleaning for every major event in your community that has a silent auction with at least 200+ attendees. Become involved in your local chamber and join an organization with upper middle class members who can afford your services. Don’t just join it but become involved in it. Learn how to network effectively. Watch our video on Zero Cost Advertising and learn how to get virtually free advertising for your cleaning service. Pick out a couple of ideas and then IMPLEMENT THEM.
Health Care Facilities 24.6%
Application Software 22.7%
Information Services 17.8%
Personal Products 12.3%
PERSONAL SERVICES 10%
Healthcare Info Svc 9.3%
Cleaning Products 7.1%
Businesses Services 5.5%
Home Furnishing Store 3.3%
Employee Classified Ad and Employee Referral Bonus Form (English & Spanish)
NEW HIRES -THE CORE OF YOUR COMPANY
WHERE DO YOU FIND THEM?
If you do not have cleaners to clean your homes you are out of business or your growth stops with what you can clean yourself. Finding dependable employees with good attitudes is key to your success. You can train them as long as they have good attitudes and show up for the first training day and after. But first you need to find them.
There are many sources for finding dependable cleaners with winning attitudes:
- Run a good classified advertisement in your local paper. Advertise for full time and be upbeat
- Craigs List is a great new venue for recruiting new employees
- Put a sign in the window of your company vehicle (that does not block the view of the driver) with large print “HIRING NOW” and your company phone number. This always worked great for our company
- When you are out at a car wash, McDonalds, the dry cleaners, etc. observe the employees that are waiting on you. If you are extremely impressed after seeing this person several times, talk to them about working for you. Give them your business card and ask them if you can call them sometime to talk about what your company has to offer
- There are recruiting and outsourcing companies in your city like Manpower. Not all of them are willing to work with residential cleaning services, so ask them that first before you waste your time
- Filing your open position with your local unemployment office is great today with the high unemployment rate and they are free
- Call area churches and ask if they have members looking for work. Many cleaning services have found success with Jehovah Witness churches. I used them 18 years ago and had great luck
- Offer an internal recruiting referral bonus to your current staff if they bring you an employee. Put parameters on it regarding longevity and when they will receive their bonus. Make the bonus and requirements match what you need and how ‘desperate’ you are.
Write your own classified ads or use the ones we have on our shopping cart that are listed below. If you have a large Spanish market advertise in your local Spanish newspaper. It is very inexpensive and draws well. If you need them to speak English then put that in the ad and do not print the ad in Spanish. If it does not matter if they are bi-lingual, a Spanish ad will pull better in the Spanish paper as well as the unemployment office. Get the word out to your current employees that you are offering a bonus for their referrals. Give them a flyer on it. Make up your own or use the one we have listed below. Be sure that the bonus is sufficient to motivate your employees, put a time line on how long the referral must last before the bonus is paid and increase the bonus and put an expiration date on it if you are really ‘desperate’. Make sure you ask for what you want in your flyer to your employees.
Employee Classified Ad and Employee Referral Bonus Form (English & Spanish)
Applicant Call In Log
A LIST OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WORK CLEANING HOMES-WHAT A VALUABLE AND PRECIOUS LIST
DO YOU HAVE ONE?
It is no easy task finding good people who want to clean homes. When someone telephones, emails or contacts you in any way and states they are interested in a housekeeping job they should be treated like gold and become part of your ‘treasure chest’. The longer you are in business the larger your ‘treasure chest’ should become.
Keep a list of the names of the people who called your office looking for work whether you are hiring at the time or not. If you are actually paying for a classified advertisement you need to get your monies worth and work each ‘lead’ until it is dead. Never throw this list away. It could even prove valuable in a discrimination case, should you ever be so misfortunate as to be the recipient of such a suit. The next time you are ‘desperate’ for a new cleaner(s) you won’t be quite as ‘desperate’ if you have an applicant call-in log. Faithfully write the name of the inquirer in your log book. The best way to assure this is to not grab a piece of paper or stickem but to grab your call-in log and write the data in there the first time. You will never waste any more time looking for that little piece of paper you wrote that name and number on the next time you face the ‘desperate moment’. Call anyone on the list you did not interview the last time. People and situations change frequently.
Put together an applicant call in log sheet or purchase ours. Make numerous copies and put them in a three ring binder. Every time you receive an email, phone call, walk-in, etc. from someone looking for a job first ask them the information on your call-in log and then tell them if you have any openings. Save that information forever. Some things you might like to include on the call-in log are name, phone number, experience, bi-lingual (yes/no), etc.
I would not take or give any more information than is on your log until the applicant formally comes into your office and fills out an application. Many a good employee is lost on the phone because they were given too much information.
Applicant Call In Log Only $5.00
Relationship Building with Education Script
Teachers make great prospects for cleaning clients. They are also in an industry that feels like they are not appreciated enough. Giving away free cleanings to outstanding teachers is a perfect way to build credibility with this great target market. This gives you some ideas and scripts of what to say to the contact person.
Christmas Cleaning Poem for Client & Advertising Use
She had to do something
To help get things in shape
She needed some help
And it wasn’t scotch tape.
There is no better time to grow your business than during the holiday season. It is a fun and busy time of the year for everyone. Women actually become so overwhelmed at this time of the year that they are willing to ask for and accept help. House cleaning is one of the few things that they can ‘farm out’ by hiring it done. What is important during this season is that you keep your name out in front of people. You can do this in an inexpensive way. Make your own flyers and copy them on inexpensive green or red paper. It is also nice to thank your repeat clients at this time of year and you can also do that in several different inexpensive ways.
Make flyers for prospective clients that list the great gift ideas house cleaning gift certificates make for the holidays. Leave some kind of a flyer or notice for your clients giving them the same gift certificate ideas. Leave something for one time clients about giving the spouse repeat service for Christmas. Every chance you get promote cleaning services as the perfect gift idea.
Put something cute about Christmas on one side of an 81/2X11 paper in red or green and promote your service, gift certificates, etc on the back. You can do the same thing for your clients and put it with your holiday gift. Be sure the client holiday gifts go out the very first week of December so the flyers have enough time to work. They will also help your employees holiday tips. Remember, keep the client gift inexpensive to you. Make them cookies and put a home made card with it. It really is the thought that counts. Give them a heavy extra task for free but present it as a gift certificate to them. Don’t forget to have your cleaners hang flyers on doors around the houses you are cleaning promoting gift certificates (be sure to add the repeat spousal gift idea), especially at this time of the year.
Have some fun with your customers during the holiday season with this play on words in the residential cleaning industry using this version of Twas the Night Before Christmas! Give it as a gift with cookies, display special offers, offer gift certificates on the back for some free advertising.
Christmas Cleaning Poem for Client & Advertising Use
5 Stages of Growth in a Small Business-Stage 2 Survival $155-410K
It is a fact that most businesses get into a stall from time to time. A cleaning service based on a repeat business model should increase their net repeat client count by 40-60 repeat clients per year. We do, of course, have our super achievers that can sell 135 repeat clients in 100 days and they are super benchmarks for this industry. If your business has not grown that much each year for the past 3 consecutive years, and you want it to grow, then you should analyze the 7 Key Factors that drive your company and the components of each of those 7 KeyFactors.
Owners at Stage 2 have an annual gross revenue of $155-410,000 per year and are in the second of five stages of growth, the Survival Stage. You have the necessary coverage in place to have conquered Stage 1 and it is time to examine the benchmarks for each of the 7 key categories of Leadership, Information and Analysis, Strategic Planning, Human Resource Development and Management, Process Management, Business Results and Customer Focus and Satisfaction that must be in place to reach Stage 3. If you have not gone through the process of examining your company in terms of the 7 Key
Factors when you were producing under $155K, you might want to do that now, even though you have produced more income. A solid foundation is mandatory to reach Stage 3.
To move from each of the stages into the next you must develop 7 key factors, and everything connected to that factor. The seven key factors are:
• Information and Analysis
• Strategic Planning
• Human Resource Development and Management
• Process Management
• Business Results
• Customer Focus and Satisfaction
Learn what is involved in each of these factors and then develop the necessary forms, processes, systems and tracking mechanisms to put everything in place that is necessary to evolve to stage 3. i.e. Information and Analysis includes putting a process in place for tracking, trending, analyzing and managing things like customer maps, billing information, response cards, quality call comments, performance appraisals, supply usage, attendance, tardiness, turnover, etc. This is just part of the first key factor to your moving from stage 1 to stage 2. Sound complicated? If you have never been in an office setting before it will be. You will learn a lot and it will be as much fun as you let it be. Do not waste time reinventing the wheel. There is a world of resources out there. Search each of the key factors above on the internet. They are the basis for the Malcolm Baldridge Award application so there is a ton of information out there on each of the key factors. Read it. Make a plan and follow your plan into the next stage.
Ashley Windsor Testimonial – CleanSpace –
DVD – 5 Stages of Growth In Any Small Business Cycle-Stage 2
NEVER FORGET THE RULE OF 17
Someone must hear or see a name 17 times before they will feel confident enough in you to inquire about your company–This is cardinal rule #1 when planning your advertising.
BFollowing this rule can be expensive if you do not find ways to get your name out without spending a lot of money. Putting flyers on 6 doors surrounding each home that you clean, every time you clean it, is one smart and inexpensive way to do this. Never stop doing this for as long as you are cleaning the house. If you clean a home every other week it will take 2/3 of a year before you hit the ’17′ rule. Putting flyers on surrounding doors of current clients is wise:
- Your name is already known in the area because your cars have been seen
- Your employees are already in the area
- Booking new clients in this area will be cost effective
- The word will spread at community events, etc. that you are in the area because you have concentrated your efforts there
Make the flyers yourself on your PC. Change them every two weeks so that the recipients will continue to look at them. Change your offers. Change your message. Change the color of the paper you use to print them on. That is why you want to make and print them yourself. If they look the same every week and have the same ‘special offer’ it won’t look too special and they will stop reading them.
Flyers-Package of 12
Seminar Recording: From Cleaning to Coaching-English
ALMOST EVERY OWNER CLEANING HOUSES DREAMS OF THE DAY THEY WILL NOT NEED TO
THEN WHY IS IT SO HARD TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN?
If you are still cleaning homes then you are probably still in Stage 1 of your cleaning business. A key factor in your reaching Stage 2 is to stop cleaning homes. There are over 200 individual items that need to start happening the day you decide to convert from a house cleaner to a business owner. There is a huge difference and your learning curve will depend upon how much office and/or business experience you bring with you into this venture. One thing is for sure, you do not have the time and/or energy to do both good. If you try to you will probably fail at both. You must pick one vision. You must either stop cleaning houses today and start managing and leading the business or you need to set your sites on becoming the fastest cleaner in America, able to clean more homes per day with perfection than any other cleaner. They are both great visions but you cannot duo vision. You’ll be struggling with yourself.
We will assume that you have chosen the vision of running a cleaning business or you probably wouldn’t be reading this.
There are two things you must do:
1. Stop standing in your own way. If you are having problems finding people who ‘clean as good as you do’ you might want to take a look at the trainer, instead of the trainee. There are many good cleaners that clean as good as you do, better, and it is your job to find and develop them. Maybe you aren’t looking for them because you really do not want anyone who can clean better than you can. Especially not now, with all of the challenges you are facing each day with payroll, taxes, advertising, selling, listening to complaints, etc—the one thing you know, and know better than anyone else is how to clean a house. Be careful that your ego is not standing in the way of your phenomenal possibilities.
2. Decide how big you want to be and how fast you want to grow. How fast you can grow depends upon how much time you are willing to work each week, how focused and organized you are and how much capital you are bringing to the table.
Set goals and put the goals into an action item list. Put realistic and attainable dates on each action item and make that date no matter what happens. Eventually, within 6 months if you work at least 50 hours per week, you will have attained all of those goals and will be on track to reach Stage 2 (including Stage 2 revenue figures) within a year. Do not be overwhelmed, instead be methodic. There is a reasonable approach and numerous guidelines available to support you in this effort or buy a book or search the web and learn how to set goals and action items to support those goals.
When first setting your priorities it is difficult to determine what comes first, the goose (cleaners) or the golden egg (clients)? I would say the golden egg. Eventually you will need geese to help you lay those golden eggs. After all, you are only capable of laying so many eggs a day. When that happens do not forget to take good care of the geese. If you do not you will be back to laying the golden eggs.