What is the BIGGEST problem for your cleaning service startup? - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 03-02-2016, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question What is the BIGGEST problem for your cleaning service startup?

Explain what your biggest problem is (or was) as a startup cleaning service. What do you plan on doing (did you do) to overcome these issues?
Startup Capitol
Customers
Database
Processes
Supplies
Employees
Communication
Etc.

I think my biggest issue is getting the support I need to stay motivated. I have turned to online support and set up a daily schedule for myself to take care of daunting tasks, but I still struggle.

Heather Fuller~Infinite Legacy Solutions
Education, Action, Support

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post #2 of Old 03-02-2016, 02:58 PM
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All the above can cause issues but motivation should not be one of them as a start up. The only thing you should be thinking about is handing out brochures, calling for potential appointments and adding on new accounts one at a time. That's all I think about since the first day I started 13 years ago right through now. Call me anytime as well and I will motivate you!
Peter Weiss
Total Maintenance Services
www.totalservices.org
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post #3 of Old 03-02-2016, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you jahra.
My motivation is killed by negative people...friends and family....since my business is not a traditional 9-5 with benefits and a steady paycheck.
Luckily, I have found positive people in this forum and I am determined to prove all those negative people wrong.

Heather Fuller~Infinite Legacy Solutions
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post #4 of Old 03-03-2016, 12:14 AM
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Hello! So far my biggest issue is getting noticed. I am really new to the game and have a lot to learn. Navigating the crowded waters of commercial cleaning can be daunting, but I have some good folks behind me Good luck to you!
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post #5 of Old 03-03-2016, 01:31 AM
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Just think, I was one of the pioneers of the internet cleaning world. At first we didn't have any of the help we do today.

I can tell you that motivation wasn't a problem I had. People looked at me different too for not having a 'regular' job. And my friends.... I'm a male so just think of what I took for starting a house cleaning business. Fast forward 2 years to the year 2000 and my friends came by my house in Omaha (They live in Lincoln) to pick me up to head to racing in Knoxville, Iowa and they said... You live here? I said, Yep, this is how much you can make in the cleaning business. Not only have they never made fun of me since, but they used to be very interested and always ask questions...... because now they envied me. So, that was very hard for me but didn't stop me at all. If anything it made me go harder.

All the other things were hard because I had no idea about any of those. I learned from the ground up... literally.

Last edited by sprintcar93; 03-03-2016 at 09:43 PM.
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post #6 of Old 03-03-2016, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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It must have been great showing off your success to your friends! Congratulations!
You said that everything else was hard. You just rolled with it, made it up as you went, kept motivated, worked hard and it happened for you?
I'm curious, because you've been there....How could others emulate your success? What was your greastest hurdle and what could have helped you along the way?
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post #7 of Old 03-03-2016, 10:00 PM
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It would be very tough to do it nowadays. That's why I just got out of the business a few months ago. It seems to me that females just don't want to give good quality work like they used to and the ones that do, want to get their own customers. So it was time for me to fly.... I flew in to the mowing business. Easy to get customers and easy to get workers. No idea why I didn't do this years ago.

Having workers on the outside of the house is so mush easier than having them on the inside of the house.
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post #8 of Old 03-23-2016, 03:26 AM
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Thumbs up startup Problem for your cleaning service

Quote:
Originally Posted by epicheather265 View Post
Explain what your biggest problem is (or was) as a startup cleaning service. What do you plan on doing (did you do) to overcome these issues?
Startup Capitol
Customers
Database
Processes
Supplies
Employees
Communication
Etc.

I think my biggest issue is getting the support I need to stay motivated. I have turned to online support and set up a daily schedule for myself to take care of daunting tasks, but I still struggle.
For any business getting deals is the biggest hurdle everything other not big as getting the customer deals. So you must have good network skills and communication abilities.

Remaining things employees, processes and database can be kept in control according to the business motivation.

When you get more deals then your are more encouraged and be genuine with your words and employees because trust is the top most element in the business.
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post #9 of Old 03-23-2016, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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What are the concerns, issues, problems affecting your business today? Are they the same problems now as they were at start up?
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post #10 of Old 06-17-2016, 03:56 PM
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What is the BIGGEST problem for your cleaning service startup?

As a new start up mine seems to be finding business. Keep motivated! Nothing can stop you!
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post #11 of Old 06-18-2016, 10:16 PM
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The biggest problem for me in the commercial cleaning industry has been getting clients. It is definitely a numbers game and there is a lot of "luck" involved. By that I mean 99% of companies are currently not needing new cleaners, so the only way to find out which companies are currently unhappy with their current cleaning providers is by contacting as many companies as possible. You WILL eventually find someone who will want you to come bid their facility immediately, but it just takes time and perseverance.

What I have done is compile an Excel spreadsheet that list my prospective customers, their contact name, phone number, date of contact, follow-up date, and additional notes. I have over 500 prospective customers in my current list and I try to contact at least 50 of them every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Out of those 150 weekly contacts I almost always get at least 5 bids set up...some are immediate but most are a few months down the road. From there I keep updating my Excel spreadsheet and adding more prospective customers as necessary.

Cold calling is definitely the way to go, but whatever you do - NEVER LEAVE A VOICEMAIL. Keep contacting that company until you receive the decision maker's name and phone number. I would only recommend "door-knocking" if you are a regular customer of the company or if you personally know the decision maker. I also advise against emailing and mass mailings unless you are a VERY established cleaning company ($3mil + revenue).

When cold calling, what I have found to be most effective is keeping things as simple as possible and being as passive as possible (aggression will just get the phone hung up on you). I have yet to have anyone hang up on me or get angry with me - worst thing that happens is the person who first picks up the phone says "I'm not sure who the decision maker is, but you are welcome to mail us something". This is how 90% of my phone calls go:

Customer: Thank you for calling ABC Corporation, this is Jane speaking, how can I help you today?
Me: Good morning Jane and thank you for taking my call. My name is John Doe and I was wondering if you would be able to help me with something.
Customer: Sure! What can I help you with?
Me: Excellent. Would you be able to put me in touch with the person who is in charge of hiring cleaning services for ABC Corporation? I am interested in becoming involved in your next bidding process.
Customer: Let me see...I'm pretty sure the person who is in charge of that is Bob. Would you like me to transfer you to his phone number?
Me: That would be great.
Customer: Ok - hold on for just a moment.
Me: Thank you very much Jane for your help today and I hope you have a wonderful afternoon!
Customer: Thank you! You too - I will transfer you over now.
Customer (Bob): Hello, this is Bob
Me: Hi Bob - my name is John Doe and your wonderful receptionist Jane thought you would be able to help me out with something.
Customer (Bob): Haha Jane sure is a sweetheart isn't she? What can I help you with?
Me: Well, Bob...I own a cleaning company in your area and I would love to be able to be included in your next bidding process for cleaning services.
Customer (Bob): Alright. We currently have a cleaning company and I think we are under contract for the next 6 months. However, if you would like to stop by and drop off some information I will be sure to keep it on file.
Me: That sounds good. I will stop by tomorrow with a business card and a flyer. Would it be ok if I contacted you in about 4 months to touch base?
Customer (Bob): That would actually be perfect. We try to get bids from other cleaners at least a month in advance before our current contract is up. That gives us enough time to prepare everything if we end up going with a new cleaner.
Me: Perfect. I really appreciate your help today and I look forward to seeing you in a few months.
Customer (Bob): You are welcome and I am glad that I could help you today. Good luck with your business and I hope to see you in a few months as well.
Me: Thank you. Have a good day!

How does everyone else's cold calls compare?
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post #12 of Old 06-25-2016, 06:38 PM
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getting good employees
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post #13 of Old 06-25-2016, 06:51 PM
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Friends and family are your biggest enemy in the start up world. I actually avoided them and dropped out of contact with them because I was over motivated and I didn't have the time to hear why I should have stuck with a salary job working 70 plus hours a week versus what I do now. ( Almost same pay and way less hours )

If you are struggling with motivation I suggest you find your hype man on YouTube. As an example mine is Eric Thomas, a motivational speaker, that doesn't hold back on telling you that your struggles in life are smaller than you believe and many people have overcame bigger obstacles. Whoever you find, listen to them EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every day you should be trying to improve your business or yourself. My biggest advice I can give you is to simple not be outworked. I'm getting into the best shape of my life just so I can clean buildings faster. I cannot and will not be average and as a start up you should feel the same way.

As for the other things you have mentioned, they don't matter a single bit if you aren't motivated to do your best. Make this your passion and you will find ways to get new customers. Search the internet for brand new companies in your area and go after them. Offer one free deep/impact clean for customers who are near the end of a contract with another company. ( rude but if you are offering a superior service so what )

Refuse to be average
Owner of the cleaning business kit
Thecleaningbusinesskit.com
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post #14 of Old 06-25-2016, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CleanKing View Post
The biggest problem for me in the commercial cleaning industry has been getting clients. It is definitely a numbers game and there is a lot of "luck" involved. By that I mean 99% of companies are currently not needing new cleaners, so the only way to find out which companies are currently unhappy with their current cleaning providers is by contacting as many companies as possible. You WILL eventually find someone who will want you to come bid their facility immediately, but it just takes time and perseverance.

What I have done is compile an Excel spreadsheet that list my prospective customers, their contact name, phone number, date of contact, follow-up date, and additional notes. I have over 500 prospective customers in my current list and I try to contact at least 50 of them every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Out of those 150 weekly contacts I almost always get at least 5 bids set up...some are immediate but most are a few months down the road. From there I keep updating my Excel spreadsheet and adding more prospective customers as necessary.

Cold calling is definitely the way to go, but whatever you do - NEVER LEAVE A VOICEMAIL. Keep contacting that company until you receive the decision maker's name and phone number. I would only recommend "door-knocking" if you are a regular customer of the company or if you personally know the decision maker. I also advise against emailing and mass mailings unless you are a VERY established cleaning company ($3mil + revenue).

When cold calling, what I have found to be most effective is keeping things as simple as possible and being as passive as possible (aggression will just get the phone hung up on you). I have yet to have anyone hang up on me or get angry with me - worst thing that happens is the person who first picks up the phone says "I'm not sure who the decision maker is, but you are welcome to mail us something". This is how 90% of my phone calls go:

Customer: Thank you for calling ABC Corporation, this is Jane speaking, how can I help you today?
Me: Good morning Jane and thank you for taking my call. My name is John Doe and I was wondering if you would be able to help me with something.
Customer: Sure! What can I help you with?
Me: Excellent. Would you be able to put me in touch with the person who is in charge of hiring cleaning services for ABC Corporation? I am interested in becoming involved in your next bidding process.
Customer: Let me see...I'm pretty sure the person who is in charge of that is Bob. Would you like me to transfer you to his phone number?
Me: That would be great.
Customer: Ok - hold on for just a moment.
Me: Thank you very much Jane for your help today and I hope you have a wonderful afternoon!
Customer: Thank you! You too - I will transfer you over now.
Customer (Bob): Hello, this is Bob
Me: Hi Bob - my name is John Doe and your wonderful receptionist Jane thought you would be able to help me out with something.
Customer (Bob): Haha Jane sure is a sweetheart isn't she? What can I help you with?
Me: Well, Bob...I own a cleaning company in your area and I would love to be able to be included in your next bidding process for cleaning services.
Customer (Bob): Alright. We currently have a cleaning company and I think we are under contract for the next 6 months. However, if you would like to stop by and drop off some information I will be sure to keep it on file.
Me: That sounds good. I will stop by tomorrow with a business card and a flyer. Would it be ok if I contacted you in about 4 months to touch base?
Customer (Bob): That would actually be perfect. We try to get bids from other cleaners at least a month in advance before our current contract is up. That gives us enough time to prepare everything if we end up going with a new cleaner.
Me: Perfect. I really appreciate your help today and I look forward to seeing you in a few months.
Customer (Bob): You are welcome and I am glad that I could help you today. Good luck with your business and I hope to see you in a few months as well.
Me: Thank you. Have a good day!

How does everyone else's cold calls compare?
That's an awesome cold called script you have there. Simple works best especially since they aren't actually looking for someone at that moment.

When you drop off your material the next day, do you have a website they can go to on there? I find a simple website from Weebly ( free opportunity ) makes you look more legit than competitors who doesn't have anything on the web. You can ask for testimonials from current contracts for a free extra cleaning or a discounted price. I would wait a month or two before you ask and make sure you are doing an awesome job so they will say good things about you

Refuse to be average
Owner of the cleaning business kit
Thecleaningbusinesskit.com
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post #15 of Old 07-19-2016, 03:03 AM
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I started cleaning houses out of the trunk of my car the year my son was born. I quit work to have a baby and had no intentions of going back to work full time. Childcare was expensive and I wanted to be home. But it wasn’t long before I felt the need to supplement our income, so I posted an ad in the local paper to clean houses. I cleaned solo for eight years (had two babies by then and both were in school). When I turned 30 I realized I didn’t want to still be cleaning by time I would turn 40. I made up my mind to get out of the field and turn my cleaning job into a cleaning business.
Abandon Perfectionism .
Fire Some Customersonism .
Charge What You’re Worth.
Hire Slow, Fire Fast.
Follow A Proven Method
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post #16 of Old 07-19-2016, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
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Hemaweb,
That's great for you! I don't think owners should be cleaning because the owner's job is to 1. Create processes 2. Train employees to use the processes 3. Get customers
I'm not an affiliate or anything, but I think you could learn a lot from Mike Campion of grow mycleaningbusiness.com
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post #17 of Old 07-30-2016, 06:12 PM
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Starting out any business, I think prospecting is the smartest thing to do. Clients keep our business alive. Invest a certain % in marketing
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post #18 of Old 08-01-2016, 11:17 AM
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Heather, what is your business exactly? You mentioned that you struggle with the daily tasks and are working on a schedule for yourself so I am wondering what you do to have a better picture of how we can help you
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post #19 of Old 08-10-2016, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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ISFG, I am actually looking for ways to help you (especially new start ups in the cleaning industry). I started my cleaning business in 2004, Maid of the Essence, (My niche was essential oils) but I moved in 2007 and let go of all of my customers.

Since then I went back to my "career" of healthcare administration (and I still have my 9-5 in that industry, but I don't like it.)

I am now following my dream of becoming a writer and I started my first blog on starting a cleaning business. You can find the link in my signature below.

I also am about to launch an ebook on the subject. Anyone at this forum can get my ebook at pre-launch price discounted 75%. Email me [email protected] for a sneak preview.

Thanks for your interest.

Heather Fuller~Infinite Legacy Solutions
Education, Action, Support


Last edited by epicheather265; 08-11-2016 at 12:39 PM.
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post #20 of Old 08-12-2016, 12:40 PM
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Well congratulations and good luck
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