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Forum nameMarketing Mix
Topic subjectIm Not Sure Where To Begin! (Cleaning Business)
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1244, Im Not Sure Where To Begin! (Cleaning Business)
Posted by cleaning, Thu Nov-06-08 01:50 AM
I have registered my cleaning business and got my insurance. I have owned a small business for 3 years before this( a gift basket biz)and I currently own another small business( it is like an entertainment agency)
Now, I am opening an office/residential cleaning business. I have read and heard so much that this type of biz can be what you make of it. My ex husband was a sales and marketing PRO!.. and I was fortunate to reap the benefits of learning from him when we were married.
I am getting a lot of people telling me that this business will not get me rich. I don't mind that either. I am fortunate enough to be able to pay most of my bills from my other business. I just want to make this succeed!
I am a work at home mom. My other biz is 24 hours. My husband and I have a toddler daughter. It is so much but I am determined to make this work. :)
So far, I have set up meetings with the local newspaper for an ad, as well as a leader in direct mail. That is my plan to target the homeowners as well as my husband will distribute flyers to homes in the community.
As for office cleaning sales, this is where I get nervous and worried. Im very familiar with meeting with the decision maker and closing the deal from the gift biz I had years ago. I am going to be closing the sales again with this business. I have a telephone script for appointment setting and I have even hired a college student to make the calls on the phone. Now my problem is this. . I read about bids and contracts and proposals. I dont know how to find information on how to deliver an effective cleaning presentation. Why would they want to use my company?How can I uncover the pain of the prospect in this situation? If there is no problem, then how can I provide the solution? I am afraid that cleaning is a ratrher non emotional subject-- that what would motivate a decison maker to change cleaning companies? I have a wonderful appontment setting script but havent actually tried it out yet. Can someone tell me what I should do? I just want to avoid looking like a total jerk on the appointment if Icannot answer their questions appropriately

1247, RE: Im Not Sure Where To Begin! (Cleaning Business)
Posted by Pepperfire, Tue Oct-21-08 06:12 AM
Well, the easiest thing is to actually answer the question...

Why would they want to use your company?

From where I sit, you seem to have failed to do one piece of very important homework. You haven't studied your market. Why do people hire cleaning services. I know that I might hire one so that my staff aren't cleaning the toilet; or because I don't want to do it. But that's not a "motivating factor" for me to hire someone who might be trying to prospect me.

You need to know how many people use such a service and why, and believe it or not... why not? How much are the going rates, who is the best in your area... who is the worst, etc.

I haven't the slightest clue what such a company would charge me as the business owner; but you will absolutely need to know that. How often do I want them to come in and what are they going to do when they do... empty the paper baskets, sorting stuff for the recycling, refilling water bottles, watering the plants, washing windows, picking up trash that has blown onto the lawn? Are they just inside or do they do outside as well... etc.

Why would I change cleaning companies if I was already working with one?

If I am dissatisfied. That's the easy answer. Perhaps they are too expensive, perhaps I don't like the hours they choose to come in (disrupting my business), etc. Maybe I simply don't like the company I'm currently working with... Maybe I need someone but aren't working with anyone yet. Determine who your best possibility for getting a contract is by doing the market research.

You might want to use the student's time and have him/her submit a survey... ask business owners these questions as part of a market study; qualify them by only actually surveying businesses who currently use such a service.

Finally, once you know who you are, why you are doing what you are doing, and the answers to all those questions, you can pre-qualify people on the phone and won't be "sitting down" with people who aren't candidates to be your customers. So the sales presentation bit, I think is a premature worry, at this point.

Good luck with it.

Tina Brooks, VP Marketing
Brooks Pepperfire Foods, Inc.
Makers of Peppermaster Hot Sauces

Eat more peppers!
1261, Deleted message
Posted by phillrw, Sun Nov-02-08 02:09 PM
No message
1262, RE: Im Not Sure Where To Begin! (Cleaning Business)
Posted by stantong, Tue Nov-04-08 05:51 AM
I and a partner own a business development consulting firm. We only serve clients that pursue business with the federal governmnet. I have seen and written 400 page proposals for providing janitorial services.

Here is how I suggest approaching: 1)In the beginning, I would make the sales calls yourself. See how effective your script really is before you send someone else off to do your calling. Otherwise you will not be able to evaluate your process because you will not know if the script is great and the caller falls short or vice versa. Get a feel for it yourself. Minor adjustments will probably be required. The goal of the call should be to qualify, and get in front of the prospective client.

2)Initially, I would call on companies that maintain very small offices, or are not the clients that you really want to serve. This will allow you to hear the questions that you may not know the answers to or find difficult to answer. You can practice on these guys.

3) Be candid. Let them know that this is a new business---and ask them what they are looking for in a janitorial company. Ask what is most important to them. You should be taking notes here because their answers are the targets you want to hit while drafting your proposal. Asking questions is the number 1 way to get info. Ask if they are currently using a competitor, and what they like and dislike about them. Keep the likes in your proposal, and correct and stress the correction of the dislikes.

Number 3 will get them talking to you and as your rapport grows, they will speak more openly. That is where you get the real data for your proposal.

If they decide not to use you--be sure to ask why.

Every time you go through this, you will find yourself, your approach, and your proposal become more effective.
1263, RE: Im Not Sure Where To Begin! (Cleaning Business)
Posted by Pepperfire, Tue Nov-04-08 07:24 AM
This is actually great advice, I think for any new business! Thanks for posting it.


Tina Brooks, VP Marketing
Brooks Pepperfire Foods, Inc.
Makers of Peppermaster Hot Sauces

Eat more peppers!
1264, RE: Im Not Sure Where To Begin! (Cleaning Business)
Posted by stantong, Wed Nov-05-08 04:08 AM
You are welcome, and thanks for the compliment.

Stanton Grubb