The cleaning business is one of the most competitive industries that you can get into. However, the barrier to entry is one of the smallest of all markets and there are little to no costs involved in the start-up. In fact, all the equipment you need is available from your local hardware store and we’ve all done a bit of cleaning growing up.
We spoke to Delah Gomasi, owner of Sydney based cleaning service MaidForYou on what he’d do if he was starting his cleaning business again from scratch. This is the how-to guide to starting a residential cleaning company.
Delah started MaidForYou in 2014. According to him, he started the business because:
‘We entered the market after having struggled to find a quality cleaner online. 6 years ago, to order a cleaner, you’d need to know the specific square footage of your home, you’d need to wait for someone to come and give you a quote and more often than not they’d try to upsell services we weren’t requiring.’
And so, MaidForYou was conceived out of the inconvenience of market conditions.
‘We got about setting up an aesthetically pleasing but simple website, found our superstar workers, learned as much as we could about cleaning, rented an online booking form and started marketing’.
Fast forward 6 years and online booking, scheduling and aesthetically pleasing websites are an industry standard.
If Delah was to start his business again from scratch, here’s what he’d do.
Customer Service Focus
Cleaning, like any market which doesn’t require much technical prowess, is riddled with cowboy operators and companies who don’t have customer service at the forefront of their operations.
If MaidForYou was started again from scratch, Delah would definitely make customer service the chief driver of all business operations.
‘We’d have set guidelines and KPIs on how our teams interacted with clients from initial phone consultation to how they greet clients and enter their home to how they say goodbye and after service follow-up’.
‘The aim of providing a service that is universal in its customer interaction would completely differentiate us from our competition and increase word of mouth marketing, minimize customer churn which would, in turn, allow us to grow at a much faster rate.
Provide All Types Of Cleaning Services
Whilst niching down can be great for some markets — from residential, commercial, end of tenancy cleaning, and many more — it doesn’t seem to be the case for the cleaning business if you want to grow at scale.
Delah went on to say:
‘If I were starting my business again from scratch, I’d provide all types of cleaning services immediately, that would make it much easier to drive more revenue in a shorter amount of time.’
‘I’d be able to provide more high specialist services to our existing customer base, which would prevent them from sourcing additional services from other providers’.
He stated that ‘our current aim is to the be the biggest cleaning provider in Sydney and to do so, we’ve started strategically offering more types of cleaning services, I would’ve saved myself a lot of hassle and time, had I done this from inception’.
Using Your Website As A Shop Front
A good website exemplifies a professional company. Just because you run a local service business, doesn’t mean you should skimp on conveying professionalism to your website visitors.
MaidForYou initially had a custom-designed website based in HTML but decided to move towards a professionally designed and developed WordPress website.
The owner stated that this helped them achieve a 300% per cent increase in conversions, which ultimately saved them money on their marketing spend.
Which leads us to our next point. If MaidForYou was started again from scratch, Delah advised us that he would definitely go with a holistic marketing strategy.
Holistic Marketing Strategy
Delah likens relying on one form of marketing to be like eating the same food for every meal. ‘After a while it gets stale.’
Initially, most local service businesses rely on a form of search engine marketing to obtain jobs. The reason for this is that customers that are acquired through SEO seem to be acquired at the cheapest cost and their browsing intention is to buy.
However, the fickle nature of Google can mean that this form of marketing can be extremely inconsistent.
If MaidForYou was started again from scratch Delah stated the following about his marketing.
‘We wouldn’t rely solely on Google for new jobs. Ideally, we’d want to drive as much targeted traffic to our website as possible, without being concerned too much as to where it came from. We’d also use extensive retargeting campaigns through the Facebook Pixel which we were lackadaisical in using until now.’
In addition to retargeting campaigns, Delah stressed the important of content marketing.
‘Local service markets are not sexy in any way shape or form but that doesn’t mean we should skimp on creating high quality, valuable content for our readers, with the intent to educate and inform. Our brand then becomes an authority in our market, which further allows us to grow our customer base’.
So, there you have it.
If you’re looking to start a cleaning business from scratch or any local service business for that matter, here are four recommendations from the experts that you should apply.
- Have customer service at the forefront of your operations.
- Don’t limit yourself to providing one type of service in your market.
- Use your website as a shop front (It should be cleanly designed and it should serve a purpose).
- Holistic marketing strategies are the best.
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