Getting Your First Cleaning Business Leads
When you first start your cleaning business, you’ve got new crisp business cards, ads that you personally developed, cleaning supplies ready to go and eagerness to start cleaning. However, the success of your cleaning business, home cleaning or commercial boils down to one thing: you need leads. Without your first cleaning business leads you might as well shut down shop, because let’s face it, business leads equal sales and sales pay yourself. Leads are what successful sales people convert to customers and grow long lasting relationships. If you can successfully convert your cleaning business leads, you are off to the races as they say.
Sounds simple right?
Actually it is pretty simple. Converting your cleaning business leads into customer is essentially your bread and butter of how successful you’ll become with your cleaning business or any other business for that matter. The place many people get off track is at the beginning, as they don’t even know where to start.
Certainly we can mutually agree on one thing: there are many ways to get cleaning leads. But which ones are most effective? Which require a minimum investment of your time and money? These are some of things you need to think about. Hopefully in today’s post I’ll be able to make the picture clearer en route to gaining some of your first cleaning business leads.
Hand Out Flyers
This is probably the most simplest, least time consuming and least expensive way to gain your first cleaning business leads. When I first started out, this was my bread and butter. It worked well for me because I could create my own flyers and more importantly distribute the developed flyers myself. Here’s how to effectively hand out flyers in hopes of gaining your first cleaning business leads.
- Develop your own at home flyer
- Include a few words on why anyone would want to do business with you
- Don’t forget to include your phone number and any other contact info
- Hand out your homemade flyers to friends, family members, neighbours etc.
- For those of you in commercial cleaning, visit small businesses in your neighbourhood during and after work hours.
- Always carry business cards, and be ready to hand out at any interaction along the way.
A website, even a simple design, will place your business name on the Internet, but that doesn’t guarantee that your website will rank high or even display in search results of Internet users looking for the products or services that your business offers. Let’s hope that you either have a website or that you’re in the process of creating one. Having a website is one of the simplest ways to establish online presence. Here’s where you can advertise your new cleaning business online for FREE.
Yahoo Local – One free business listing where you can include your web address, phone number, physical address and add your business up to five different categories.
Google Places – Very similar to Yahoo’s Local where you can add your web address, phone numbers etc..
Merchant Circle – Similar to Google Places and Yahoo Local. It offers the same free basic online listing, but it also allows you to add a picture.
Yelp Canada- Enter you business name, address, phone, email, website URL, up to three categories, and hours.
Kijiji – On Kijiji you can list your print ad for free and up to four pictures. You can customize the ad any way you like. Here’s a sample cleaning services ad on Kijiji.
Craigslist – Very similar to Kijiji in the sense of you listing your own cleanings services under the category services offered. List your website, phone number, address and up to four pictures.
Cold calling is one of the hardest things to perform successfully.It’s s sore topic for most as most entrepreneurs dislike cold call. Let’s face it, who likes getting doors slammed in their faces. I certainly don’t. It’s demoralizing, exhausting and very counter productive. However, I learned cold calling can be effective by simply doing the following:
- Plan before you call
- Seek out a personal connection
- What can you do for the client attitude?
- Careful note taking
This is a real simple process.However, I’ve never done much direct mailing. This isn’t because I don’t believe that the process is effective, in fact direct mailers are very effective. Friends in the cleaning industry have been very successful with direct mailers. Anyways, I won’t get into details as to why I haven’t done much direct mailers, but instead wanted to share with you on how you can use direct mailers to gain your first cleaning business leads.
So, by now you may be wondering where you’re going to get addresses for your direct mailer? Well there are several ways you can get cleaning leads (addresses) to mail to.
- City Directory – Mainly for residential homes.
- Online Search - Mainly for commercial establishments.
You can make good use of your local city directory by heading to the nearest library where it’s kept and making use of it regularly. In case you didn’t know, this book not only contains all the names and addresses of anyone living in your town, but other information about them as well such as household income (in generic ranges only). All you need to do is ask the librarian for the City Directory. The librarian will then probably ask for your ID which they may hold this until you finish with the book.
Pay attention to high-end neighborhoods in your area, then copy the pages with all the names and addresses. Then head home and take the info from the copies and start writing envelopes. After that you just stuff the envelopes with your marketing and place them in the mail. You can include a sales letter with a flyer plus a business card inside. This is a real simple process that works provided you have quality marketing material. Quality will depend on your interpretation of quality, so take your time developing your flyer.