Hi, from Austin,TX - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 08-23-2009, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 23
Exclamation Hi, from Austin,TX

Hi my name is Ken,
I currently live in North Austin, TX and I'm trying to break into the residential cleaning business. I work a normal 8-5 so it's kinda hard to get clients as I can only do it from 7-10 during the week and all day on the weekends. I have no money for marketing. I actually use the printer and paper in my apartment complex and pass out fliers. I live on Wells Branch and there are 12 apartment complexes on this one street. I passed out 200 fliers this weekend and only got 2 replies. No sales yet. This is my first marketing attempt.

I've learned so far
I need way more fliers as I only had enough for my complex, the other fliers with tabs on the bottom for bulletin boards
I need to revamp my fliers
My market is edlerly, middle income apartments/houses
I need business cards and a website
I can use the paper and cut it in half (as recommended on this board)

I'm 23 and a former Marine. I'm not afraid of hard work. I charge $40 for a checklist of things I got off another site. Basically everything in the house. I put "2 referrals get you a free cleaning" on the fliers.

I'm slowly learning what to do from reading this forum, and I just wanted to share my first experience with the industry. ANY tips or advice is greatly appreciated. I'll try to contribute what I can BACK to the community.

I'm ready to get in there and get cleaning
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post #2 of Old 08-26-2009, 05:42 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 25
Ken,

A couple of thoughts:
1) edit your signature, so we can know who you are where you're from on postings where you don't introduce yourself
2) the money is not always where the work is - residential cleaning typically belongs to the demographic that spends their money shrewdly, and therefore has money left over to spend on cleaning service. Think middle class boomers. You can often tell by the landscaping whether they take pride enough in their home to spend money on maintenance. I've seen a lot of neighborhoods that desperately need my services, but that is precisely why they won't ever pay for them. Enter rental property.
3) the key to marketing is to get the talkers talking. Think through your target talkers (realtors? HOAs? Friends? Family?). People aren't usually looking for flyers (2% success rate?), they hate reading, and they're not caring about your services when YOU want them to. Check out Seth Godin for more of what I mean (he focuses more on marketing software, but the point is the same: you want the sneezers sneezing).
4) I like your "low-out-of-pocket-cost" approach, but remember, you're return will always be relative to your investment, so adjust your expectations accordingly. That said, exterior window washing has pretty low start up costs and overhead and may be a good place to start building a customer base.

Keep us posted!
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post #3 of Old 09-01-2009, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 23
I will edit my signature for the people here on the forum. Maybe I'll have a website eventually!

When you say "landscaping" I know your talking about houses. I recently got my first 3 jobs last week. They were all move outs from my apartment complex. Your right 3% return rate is what I got. 150 fliers and got 3 jobs. Houses is probably were the recurring money is. Right now i'm just taking what I can get.

I'm aware of ROI. Right now the only thing i'm investing is time to pass out fliers which I will gladly do considering the whole process cost me no money, and I get get a little exercise.

Hopefully I can get enough jobs to actually have a marketing budget and decide what's the best route for me to get the word out about my services. I'm sure you'd agree nothing beats free. As long as that's working for me I'm gonna keep doing that.

Thanks for your thoughts!
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post #4 of Old 09-01-2009, 02:26 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 25
Way to go landing a few jobs! All you need is one story to gain some momentum, as "facts tell, but stories sell."
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