Cleaning Business Postcard

15 replies


Buddy is out of work and thinking of starting a cleaning business. He asked me to look at the postcard and I have some ideas but figured I'd ask what you guys think.

I know it needs work - just looking for suggestions.

Tim
#business #cleaning #postcard
  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    I used to mail postcards that looked like little newspaper articles,
    complete with a newsy headline.

    I haven't done it in awhile, but it did work. They were cheap to
    print, too, because they were black and white.

    Anyway - this postcard here is very much focused on the
    services offered, but not the benefits of picking up the phone
    and calling your friend for an estimate.

    The copy is also kind of cliche. Everybody says "no job
    too small, we specialize, we really care" yada-yada, yawn.

    What about "Find out how to slash your cleaning bill by
    up to 40% this year" ???

    Churches are hurting too. They always want to save money,
    but especially now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Nothing gets attention like the promise of getting more
    for less.

    I know all the marketing gurus are charging around telling everybody
    to charge top dollar and justify your prices with greater value,
    but most businesses are dealing in perceived commodities,
    so it's the bargain price that will get people to give your offer
    a try.

    ie.
    "Announcing and Easy Way to Save 30% off Your Current
    Cleaning Bill!"

    Then your guy sends out a free report on why he's more efficient,
    etc... or just goes for the bid and shows how he will do it for
    cheaper.

    The discount could be a lot less than I mentioned, but at some
    point inertia and loyalty to "good old John" (or Juan) kicks
    in and they won't want to fire their present guy to save a
    few bucks. Show 'em how to save some real money, however,
    and the loyalty evaporates.

    Yeah, it's poaching. But that's business.
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    • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
      Here is what I did.

      I took him from being a general cleaner to being a cleaner who specializes in cleaning churches.

      I also made him a headline that is all about benefits to the consumer - saving at least 20%.

      I explain lower cost and lower overhead gets them a cheaper price and make them call to request a quote for the cleaning company.

      On the back I hit the benefit headline again and let them know we've been in business, cleaning churches, for 13 years.

      Bet he hates it.

      But if he is smart he'll focus on churches and offer a deeper discount for them to allow him an ad in the church bulletin so he can get more customers and the churches endorsement all at once.

      Not to mention where he lives there are thousands of churches so he can focus his efforts on them and expand as needed.

      Lets see what happens.



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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    With churches you should be emphasizing cleaning
    of the "physical plant", because there is often no
    landlord and church management has to contend
    maintaining heating, ventilation, blah-blah - a lot
    of stuff 'cause they own the building(s).


    Add to this a lot of churches are administered
    by seniors and committees of seniors who don't
    want to crawl around under the building and
    so forth, and the issues become physical competence,
    thoroughness, and trust.
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  • Profile picture of the author tekayo
    write something promising in the end
    it is what they will get from your service
    that is their: what is in it for me

    like if ur a dentist write something like:
    get the brightest smile in the room
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    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

      To be honest, focusing the message on saving money
      is not always best in my opinion. With products it is
      different, but with a service... I don't think it is a good
      idea.

      You also assume they have a current cleaner.

      That is a tough market to focus on to start out.
      Of course positioning on cheap price sucks... but the dude
      is out of work. He's not gonna get traction with anybody
      saying "Same price, better quality" - not for this. Unless
      the current cleaner the client has is stuffing it up, the only
      appeal likely to get attention is the carrot of a competitive bid.

      That's reality in marketing a commodity.
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    • Profile picture of the author FortressDewey
      Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

      To be honest, focusing the message on saving money
      is not always best in my opinion. With products it is
      different, but with a service... I don't think it is a good
      idea.

      You also assume they have a current cleaner.

      That is a tough market to focus on to start out.

      Here is some advice from someone that owns a relatively successful cleaning business. (PM me and I will send you my link)

      You mention price? My price is never 20% less, I have my margins and I will make them. It's about the service, the trust I bring to my clients (note I said clients, not customers) and doing a good job all the time. I was recently in negotiations against a national company that for all intensive purposes was just a brokering agent. They claimed to "manage buildings" ultimately I won, not because I was cheaper, I was actually more expensive by 10%, but because my clients have 24/7 access to ME, not a call center.

      There is no mentioning of insurance, bonding, etc. Any type of commercial account will require it and your friend might want to consider getting some. Most (not all) liability accounts run around $600 or so a year, quite an investment when you are first starting out, not to mention workman's comp etc.

      Although cleaning may seem "easy", there are barriers to entry if you want to do it right and make money. Anyone on their mother can open a "cleaning" business, its' whether or not they are legit.

      So to recap 1. Emphasis the service, that's the most important part. 2. If he/she is new, explain that to your potential clients. 3. DO NOT send a postcard, it doesn't pay off (unless you feel like wasting money). Go knock on some doors and introduce yourself (yes that means cold calling). 4. Don't say 13 years experience in commercial cleaning unless he/she really has it, I personally would ask about your background.

      Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenster
    This is more general advice but this is what I have

    1. When starting a busines slike cleaning where you will have a customer for months/years, your number one focus should be on building a customer base. This means sacrificing up front. Just like IM, you are thinking about the lifetime value of a customer.

    With that said I would offer something very special such as LET US CLEAN YOUR PLACE FOR FREE and then offer the first visit free. Or maybe do 75% off to weed out the real moochers. This should be able to help you build your customer base...then you make money on the back end continued service. The hardest part when starting a business is getting that first contact


    2. Maybe try the green route...even if you dont want to focus on that, it seem to be pretty popular now to mention that you are green friendly.



    Best of luck,

    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author FortressDewey
      Originally Posted by Kenster View Post



      2. Maybe try the green route...even if you dont want to focus on that, it seem to be pretty popular now to mention that you are green friendly.
      It helps, if you are going to go residential it will definitely help more. With commercial cleaning, going to be very much a case by case basis. "Green" is generally considered a premium cleaning solution.
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