QUESTION ON Growing a Janitorial Service Business
Hello. We started a janitorial cleaning company. We have 8 contracts. Please give us some ideas on how we can grow in this field.
Advice by Yvonne Buchanan
First, have you profiled your current clients? Do they fit into a particular niche? How are they similar? Size of business? Industry? Location?
Second, how did your clients come to you? Word of mouth? Industry association? Advertisement in a trade publication or local newspaper?
When you know the answers to these questions it will be easier for you to focus your marketing efforts. It’s easier to promote your business to a specific market than “everywhere.” Chances are, your new clients will come from the same pool as your current clients. In addition to this general recommendation, here are a few specifics:
For example, do they have other sites you can serve? Consider offering a discount for multiple sites, and allow them to group with a strategic partner, e.g., a vendor or supplier of theirs.
2. Can you develop a referral system with your current clients?
Include an immediate incentive for referral plus a bonus after a six-month contract, for example. People like an immediate reward, and a reminder in six months will prompt them for another referral.
3. When you’ve identified a profile client (e.g., size, industry type, etc.), poll the businesses in your area to find out what qualities in a janitorial service are most important.
Price? Timeliness? Thoroughness? Develop marketing materials accordingly, and continue to promote to your target market using your identified best approach. Don’t take no for an answer; it may be six months to a year or more before a client is ready to switch. If you stay in front of them, you’ll be in the right place at the right time.
4. Have your customers come to you by making a name for your business in the community.
Many janitorial services are “underground” so it will be easy for you to rise to the top in name recognition, at least. Come up with a catchy slogan or tag line; tie it to your business name and use it in all of your marketing and public relations activities. Again, focus. One memorable message beats three competing messages any day.
5. And of course, serve your current clients well.
One dissatisfied client can undermine all your good efforts.
With focus and persistence, your business is sure to move up. I also suggest you read the article Starting a Janitorial Service Business and How to Market and Run a Janitorial Business or Cleaning Service.
Best of luck. Let us know how you do.
Recommended Resources on How To Grow a Janitorial Service Business
- Start Your Own Cleaning Business
- The Janitorial Contractor’s Bible (1)
- How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Cleaning Service: With Companion CD – ROM
- Owning and Operating a Sucessful Cleaning Business in less than a Week: Everything You Need To Know In Simple, Easy Steps
Article originally published in January 2002. Updated March 9, 2012
Yvonne Buchanan is a 20-year veteran of public relations, marketing and advertising. She teaches public relations courses online for career changers, freelancers and students through The PR Academy www.learnpr.com and is co-founder of Real-World PR www.realworldpr.com , a public relations information provider for small businesses. Real-World PR offers public relations toolkits (manual/CD combinations) that allow small business owners to create and maintain their own public relations programs.