Expert Roundup: Tips for How to Grow a Cleaning Business
- September 12, 2019
- By: Vonigo
We asked a group of experts what advice they had for how to grow a cleaning business. We got answers from cleaning company operators, marketers, SEO experts, HR consultants and more.
Read below for some high-value tips on how to operate a cleaning company and manage its growth.
1. David Serville, Owner of Crewcare
I’ve been in the business of cleaning for decades servicing a lot of offices, schools, and other business settings through my network of over 100+ franchisees in my country.
Growing your cleaning business involves a lot of continuous learning. Staying ahead of industry trends and technologies, and continuing to upskill yourself and your staff will keep you ahead of the game. I’ve had cleaners who weren’t equipped with digital or computer skills, but we’ve successfully trained them to use our client tracking management system because the job calls for it.
We’ve started talking about cleaning robots, too, because that’s where the future is and the technology needs to be explored to see how it fits in with our existing operations. We wrote about a similar topic on our blog not too long ago, so might find it useful as well.
2. Melanie Johnson, Marketing Manager of Fantastic Services Group
In our opinion, the most important step towards growing a cleaning business is to work on employee retention, especially among the cleaning technicians. Provide the employees with proper training and licensing, and provide proper monitoring. Employee retention is important because good, qualified and experienced technicians are not easy to find. The ones who already have the experience have high standards and won’t work unless you provide them with good terms, enough jobs and proper support when it comes to arranging logistics and customer feedback.
Providing the not-so-experienced employees with the proper training and preparations is also an important step, which will have a direct impact on the quality of the service and business growth. The cleaning field doesn’t provide enough variety for qualification courses and mentoring options at the moment, unfortunately, which means you have to train their employees yourself. This is good, but not always the perfect option when it comes to covering industry standards and staying competitive on the market.
When it comes to monitoring and providing proper feedback, it’s definitely something you want to invest in. Cleaning is a constantly changing field and you need someone to observe the work and the changes to provide improvement feedback when needed.
3. Zach Hendrix, Co-founder of GreenPal
A quick tactic that others may not have suggested on how to gain new customers for your cleaning business: Facebook Groups. Especially local Facebook groups.
No matter your niche or vertical there is a Facebook group that you can participate in to contribute to the discussion, answer questions, and develop a presence to refer people to your business, often times when they are looking for exactly what you offer.
Facebook just also launched a dedicated mobile app to support their groups’ communities so now it’s easier than ever to manage the groups that you participate in, monitor the conversations, and participate while on the go throughout your day.
We have found this tactic to be very effective for our marketplace. We monitor local groups and neighborhoods’ groups, and when anyone is asking for a recommendation on a lawn care service, we kindly let them know about the GreenPal community. Then we track the success and 60% of the time we make a recommendation, they sign up for our service. This tactic can work for almost any business in any niche.
4. Dawna Boone, Valet Maids
There are several keys to growing a cleaning business. Two of the keys to growing a cleaning company are having quality cleaners and recurring clients. It’s best to only hire experienced cleaners and test them on their cleaning abilities before having them enter a client’s home.
It is also important, that beyond just skill, that they are professional and will represent your company well. A solid crew of cleaners will make it easier to upsell one-time clients and turn them into recurring clients. If cleaners are providing sub-par service, a client will not come back and will most likely tell others about the bad experience. Conversely, if they have a great experience they will recommend your business. Therefore, it is important to build a solid base of quality cleaners.
It is also important to identify your target market and ideal customer. Marketing and advertising to just anyone with a home will lead to a significant amount of money spent and wasted. Residential cleaners can serve niches ranging from busy professionals living in apartments, condos, and townhomes or they may choose to serve families living in the suburbs. Whatever the niche and target market is, it is important to understand their needs and be able to address their pain in the marketing message. This will allow your brand to resonate with your target market and bring in more business.
Overall, it is important to grow the company at a manageable pace and not just take on any customer. Growing too fast can lead to lower quality, customer complaints, and stalling growth in the long run. Growing a cleaning company takes time and it is important to focus on the quality of cleaners and obtain recurring clients.
5. Stan Valadzko, Owner of SV Professional Cleaning
Growing a cleaning business can be tough. It took me a while to get mine going, but along the way, I identified three areas of focus that are essential for success: exceptional quality, strategic marketing and solid systems.
I’m a believer in quality and I’ve gained a solid reputation for my work. I provide exceptional service. I’ve also secured certifications that signal credibility. I always ensure the customer is satisfied. As a result, referrals have helped to grow my customer base organically and online reviews attest to my performance resulting in more business.
After learning that 90 percent of consumers use a search engine to find local services, I set out to learn everything I could about search marketing because I wanted to connect with customers at their time of need. Start small, educate yourself, try things, keep what works. Now that I’ve grown, I’ve been able to hire someone to help with marketing.
As I became busier with cleaning, I realized I had to put systems in place so customers could conveniently book my service. Streamlining my business management processes has increased my efficiency and ensured nothing slips through the cracks. It frees me up to spend more time on what I set out to do … provide exceptional professional cleaning.
Live Your Dream
Would I do it again? You bet, but I would build marketing plans and business systems into my plan from the get-go.
I’m one of the lucky ones. Today, I run a successful business. I am passionate about making homes bright, welcoming places where families and friends gather and memories are made. I make my customers’ lives better and that’s very rewarding.
6. Jeroen Minks, Founder of Vazooky Digital
One of the fastest ways to get new customers for your cleaning businesses is to start advertising on Google. Google Ads is still one of the most effective ways of advertising online. It allows you to show ads only if people are actively searching for a cleaning company.
By using radius targeting, you can make sure that your ad will only show if people are physically located in your service area. This way, you can limit unnecessary marketing spend.
7. Laura Craven, Corporate Communications, Imperial Dade
Whether you are starting a commercial cleaning contractor business or home cleaning business I recommend you follow a green cleaning protocol and market your business accordingly.
Sustainability and indoor air quality are top of mind with today’s consumers. A sound green cleaning program includes commercial-grade cleaning products that meet the guidelines of the USGBC including 3rd party certifications such as EcoLogo, Green Seal, and Safer Choice. These products are verified to have a reduced impact on the environment and are safer for human health. This protects your staff and the occupants of the building you are cleaning. Training is also important. Your cleaning products supplier should provide training on the proper handling of cleaning chemicals and equipment. This ensures your staff is safe from injury and that they are cleaning effectively which helps keep people healthy. Again, market the fact that your staff is properly trained by industry professionals.
Lastly, provide ergonomic tools and carts. Cleaning is physically demanding and workers comp claims can be a burden. By outfitting your staff with the proper supplies, tools, and training you protect them and your bottom line!
7. Shelley Grieshop, Public Relations Director, Totally Promotional
Branding and communication are key elements when growing a cleaning business. You can achieve both by rewarding your clients’ loyalty with a small, affordable gift.
After cleaning a business or home for the first time, leave behind a customized notebook and pen that are printed with your logo and contact information. Your customers will appreciate a gift that they can use, and have your contact information easily accessible. It’s also likely these items will be viewed by others, giving you multiple branding opportunities.
8. Ryan Barone, Founder of Rent My Words
First, this is not a tip, but a plea—build a website, add a blog. Why?
You can’t control the narrative on Yelp. You can kind of control it on Facebook. But you can totally control it with your own website.
If you’re lucky enough for someone to be searching for you by brand name, your website takes up valuable real estate, and you control what’s being presented. Also, there are only so many people searching for a cleaning business in town XYZ today, tomorrow, and the next day. But think of how many people are searching for cleaning tips? How many people are trying to DIY clean and thus are using Google to feed their knowledge? The opportunity to create content around these topics is virtually endless.
Now, there are things you need to do to ensure those blog posts are being seen, but it sounds like that’s beyond the scope of the article.
So, above all else, just get started. You can’t grow what’s not there.
9. Chad Hanson, Managing General Partner, Sustainable 9 Design
When it comes to growing a business, the number one factor that determines success or failure is grit.
Can you consistently apply massive effort towards growing your business? Another super important factor is networking, especially for cleaning. Are you trustworthy and have someone vouching for you? That can go a long way towards winning more business.
10. Michael Colacci, COO of H2GO Mobile Wash
One thing that has really helped grow our business is our investment in online marketing. It’s allowed our company to be recognized on a much larger scale, helping with our overall profits. If you’re a business that’s trying to do the same, the first thing you have to do is find a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Find your edge and go with that. If a potential client contacts you, live up to your brand’s word and provide the standard of service you’ve set with your reputation.
Another feature that has allowed us to grow as a company is our website. Don’t be afraid to mention all of the services that you provide. Tell your potential clients about yourself and find something that you can help them with.
11. Jake Lane, Director of Growth at NuBrakes Mobile Brake
Referrals and reviews are key.
Operating a successful cleaning business starts and ends with two things – trust and happiness. Since the barrier to entry on a cleaning business isn’t that large, competition is steep and customer experience is everything.
Be diligent in providing a level of unmatched customer service and give happy customers a referral discount on their next service when they refer new customers. On top of that, leverage your early customers by asking them for a review after they’ve worked with your company for some time.
12. Illia Termeno, Director, Extrabrains Marketing Agency
The cleaning industry is competitive. Even if you have a substantial client base, you can’t grow on referrals alone – although referral programs are the fastest way to boost your results. You need to invest time in marketing to ensure you always have new clients. Your business needs an online presence so you should keep your website and social channels up to date.
You should invest time and money in local SEO to get your website to the top of search results and increase its visibility:
- Optimize your website with the right keywords that include the name of your area
- Include your name, address, and phone number (NAP) on each page of your website
- Put a list of every service you do on at least one page of your website
- Include local information such as neighborhoods or suburbs serviced, local sports teams, a park or other unique landmarks near your office on the “About Us” page or employee bio pages
- List your company in relevant directories and sites like Google, Bing, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc. Keep your listings up-to-date with any phone number or business hours changes so that the information that your potential clients (or existing ones) access is correct, no matter where they find it.
13. Eckhard Ortwein, CEO, Lean Case
When you plan to grow your cleaning business, you need to make sure you have a business plan in place and determine strategies and tactics for your growth. But the most critical part of the business plan is cash flow analysis because all effective strategies, tactics, and ongoing business activities mean nothing if your company doesn’t have enough money to pay the bills.
Many businesses fail because they run out of cash leaked through losses or poor management processes. You need to create a cash flow budget which shows how much cash is coming in and how much is exiting your business accounts. It will help you predict your money needs in advance and ensure that you have enough money available to fulfill your obligations, such as paying salaries and suppliers before you start increasing your advertising budget.
14. Steve Kurniawan, Marketing Strategist at We Know SEO
One of the main ways people find cleaning businesses is through a “near me” query (for example, “cleaning service near me”) or straight from Google Maps.
For these near me search queries, Google will display 3 Google Maps results above the organic results (just below the paid ads). So, ranking on these top 3 spots of Google Maps according to your niche will guarantee increased conversions from phone calls to especially paying customers.
Ranking on Google Maps only involves three key steps, or as we call it, local SEO or Google Maps SEO.
- Claiming, optimizing, and verifying your Google My Business listing. Focus on providing complete and comprehensive information for human readers, and don’t forget to add photos
- Get more (positive) reviews both on your Google Maps listing and third-party platforms like Yelp, Facebook Places, etc.
- Get more citations (online mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number) by listing your business on various online directories according to your niche and location
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