I think I am going to start an offline business cleaning garages.

by Rob28x
78 replies
Being in Michigan and unemployed, with winter coming I am thinking about advertising garage cleaning and organizing. I have the basic stuff I would need to do it (shop vac, etc) but that's it. I cleaned and organized the father in laws shed last week and he was impressed. Just not sure what to charge to do it. I have been searching on google for other companies doing it but haven't come up with anything in the way of pricing. What's your thoughts?
#business #cleaning #garages #offline #start
  • Profile picture of the author Sue Bruce
    I think it's a great idea. If you have a van or truck you can haul away whatever they don't want from their garage or basement. Then advertise in the next town and follow the path of the 800 junk guys. (big money)

    Sue
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  • Profile picture of the author greenovni
    That sounds like a plan rob! Just now, a guys came to bring me 86 pounds of lead from a CL ad that I had posted.

    Guess that else he left me?

    2 Desktop PCs and a HUGE Sony KDF-42WE655 42" Grand Wega™ High-Definition rear-projection LCD TV at Crutchfield.com

    For the payment of the lead and 2 Beers!

    I asked where he gets all this stuff and he said he just cleaned out a storage locker . .
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    wow nice score.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    On one hand-Much respect to you all who are hustling and trying to earn.
    On the other hand-Holy crap you are doing things the hard way when there are tons of small biz owners WANTING to give you money without breaking your back.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
      I know what your saying, but I haven't had any luck trying anything else. Seems like back breaking work is all I can ever do to make money.
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG DEALS
    Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post

    Being in Michigan and unemployed, with winter coming I am thinking about advertising garage cleaning and organizing. I have the basic stuff I would need to do it (shop vac, etc) but that's it. I cleaned and organized the father in laws shed last week and he was impressed. Just not sure what to charge to do it. I have been searching on google for other companies doing it but haven't come up with anything in the way of pricing. What's your thoughts?
    Good idea. I would generalize it to cleaning and hauling away anything residential... No job too small!
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  • Profile picture of the author daddykool
    Storage lockers when you are *skint* and need a few bucks, is great, set a target, make the target, reinvest 75% of the price of the locker in the next one, before you know it... Cash!

    Cleaning out *also* a good idea, target one area [near you to save on fuel] if you can, walk the whole block with some *mono* B6 homemade flyers with "Hey, get your Garage Back... Today!" start cheapo price, say you need $50 for family shopping, charge $60, if it takes you a day, so what, you got shopping for the week, then as you get going... START asking others to do it with you, work your way up to asking others to do it FOR YOU.. before its is Xmas, you will have a pile of $$$$!

    Also, keep at the online|offline marketing, ask a local food|drink|gym venue to *sponsor* the other side of your flyer, in exchange for some food|drink|workouts.. Neat hey!

    Keep your chin up and your face shaven, all will come good!
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  • Profile picture of the author massiveray
    Storage lockers really interest me, I've seen a few episodes on storage wars lately and I really want to try it.

    Shame the laws aren't the same over here.

    Yuuuuuuuup
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    • Profile picture of the author BIG DEALS
      Originally Posted by massiveray View Post

      Storage lockers really interest me, I've seen a few episodes on storage wars lately and I really want to try it.

      Shame the laws aren't the same over here.

      Yuuuuuuuup
      Storage wars is a hoax. I had a friend who was called in to be an expert identifying a painting. He knew about it, prepared for it went to the show and all the people on the show knew the contents of what was inside for the most part.
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  • Profile picture of the author massiveray
    Still looks like fun.
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  • Profile picture of the author Seantrepreneur
    So would this be a junk hauling business or strictly cleaning garages? I mean I would say there is only room for a junk hauling business. If you hit the pavement hard enough you'll find ppl who need junk hauled and you can make a good living doing it.

    Think about it, 1-800-got-junk is a multi-million company. It's a pretty simple concept. They pick up junk and haul it away. You could replicate that pretty easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    A note about hauling debris....
    Check your local dump fees. Over here, its $65 per load.
    And some things are allowed.
    Same price whether its the back of a pickup or a 17 foot trailer.
    Another dump is based on weight with a $45 minimum fee.

    Not a bad idea though, cleaning/cleaning out garages.
    Some add-ons would be floor coatings, and storage solutions.
    Or you could partner with these companies for work.

    You clean so they can organize or put down a floor coating.
    Start marketing now, we could be getting snow as early as next month.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    My Dad went to prison for two years, because he got behind on his taxes.

    When he got out they gave him a hundred bucks dropped him off somewhere in the middle of Dallas.

    He went and got a cheap motel for a couple of nights and stared the ceiling thinking of what he was going to do...

    He noticed the carpets were bad and went to talk to the motel owner thinking he could buy some time by offering to clean their carpets in one of the buildings... So they agreed and that bought him another week in the hotel.

    Then he made a little money cleaning the other buildings for them...there were 3 I believe.

    Then he got an idea to telemarket businesses from the phone in his room and called a bunch of local businesses offering to clean their carpet, or offer a free estimate.

    He also found an equipment rental place that would let him rent equipment by the "Job".

    He got a job through this, doing another hotel, or a red lobster or something, I dont remember exactly which...

    He had someone else in the motel, who had a truck, to haul him out there, in exchange for letting them work.

    Did the job , paid the equipment rental place, and repeated the process a few times.

    Then he bought his own carpet cleaning machine. This was all within a months time starting with nothing.

    The carpet cleaning machine enabled him to tweak his pitch a little, because now he could take it out to the estimates with him, so he started telling people "Pick the worse spot in your whole building, and I will come clean that spot for free , in exchange for a chance to give you an estimate".

    Now his conversion tripled and he started setting up accounts like crazy.

    Within a year he had made over a quarter of a million dollars.

    Within 2 years he had his own warehouse full of equipment and had made his own cleaning chemicals by mixing stuff together that cleaned better than anyone else... and was well on his way to becoming a millionaire.

    It was around that time that I pissed him off real bad, and I havent heard from him in 20 years since, however... I watched all of this happen. During this time I watched him telemarket in his home office for hours at a time, and saw him writing up business left and right, and it all started from some cheap motel room with 100 bucks.

    I have never believed failure was possible since.

    You can do anything you want to.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    That's actually a good system there John.

    I know a guy that does that for restaurants. Goes in after hours and does his thing.
    He brother used to offer it, has since got out of it.

    He would clean showrooms. Like at the Supply houses for contractors.
    They were usually quick calls, no price hassling. They had corporate coming... ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I have always known that if worse comes to worse I could do that too. actually ANYONE could. Certainly doesnt require seo skills. lol, and if you clean the bad spot you get the job.

    Still offline is more of a preference for me, but there is all kinds of opportunity out there. No lack.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    There are so many things any of us could do to make money. But so few are willing to do those things when push comes to shove. I've seen it in my own life time after time with friends. they will tell me they need more money and I will point out things they could do to make money. Point them to places like the warrior forum to learn skills they can use. But in the end they don't do it.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      There are so many things any of us could do to make money. But so few are willing to do those things when push comes to shove. I've seen it in my own life time after time with friends. they will tell me they need more money and I will point out things they could do to make money. Point them to places like the warrior forum to learn skills they can use. But in the end they don't do it.
      Well if someone dont make money Aaron, it aint because we didnt try to help them is it? lol

      I have alot of people in my life that want money but dont want wisdom.

      Mike Murdock says that a "parasite" wants your possessions, and a "protege" wants whats in your heart and mind. Its easy to spot the difference, but if you are big hearted its not always easy to say "No".
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      Holy Camoly! Rob! This comment caused me to STOP and respond;

      "I know what your saying, but I haven't had any luck trying anything else. Seems like back breaking work is all I can ever do to make money. "

      YOU...are NOT a "loser" assigned to "menial-labor" the rest of your life!

      It's your "ATTITUDE" that will bring you out of "Loser-Dom"!

      I grew up in a "working-class" family in South-Side Chgo. I had an assintant Pastor at my chruch tell me (when I was about 12)...when I asked him, "What can I hope for in MY life?"

      He told me, "Donald! YOU GET WHAT YOU SAY WITH YOUR MOUTH..
      AND...BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART!"

      He continued with, "If YOU think of yourself as a Failure with No Chance of having a "Good Life"....that's what will probably come about!

      However....If you say, "I BELIEVE I RECEIVE....ALL THINGS GOOD ARE COMING TO YOU....NOW!" It is amazing How....your LIFE changes!

      Happened to ME! NONE of my family had ever gone to college. College and a GOOD Life was NOT in my heart. I thought I was destined to a life of "Struggle and Strife"!

      Then...one day....I started, "Saying! Out Loud!; "I BELIEVE I RECEIVE THE DIRECTION TO A GREAT LIFE!"

      Granted....I made sure no one could hear my oral comments BUT.... I believed.... "someone did"!

      And....soon later, I started noticed "Things Happening"! I was chosen to be in my 8th Grade Spelling Be....which I WON! Then...my Music Teacher called me aside one day, a few weeks before my 8th Grade Graduation and told me; "Donald! You have a REALLY GOOD VOICE! I'd like you to sing a SOLO at your Graduation Ceremonies!"

      Holy Camoly! You could've knocked me over witha feather!

      So...forward to next year when I was in Freshman High School in a BIG HS in Chgo. One of the football coaches saw me walking down the hall, stopped me and asked if I had considered playing Football.

      I paused and he then...asked if I'd come out to the "Introductory" session next Friday. I agreed and....decided to "go out for the Football Team".

      Well...I found I could throw a football a LONG ways...WITH accuracy! So, I was chosen to be the Starting QB.

      So...fast forward to my senior year. My dad had been working with me for 3 yrs and our HS Team started winning.

      EVERYDAY....the first thing I did, when my feet hit the floor was to say, "Something GOOD is going to happen to me...today!"

      So....towards the end of the season, my coach told me there were some "College Scouts" in the stadium. And...after a winning season, I received
      "Letters of Interest" from 3 Major Colleges (Wisconsin, Purdue and Northwestern)

      So....after visiting all 3 campuses and being offered an ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP...FROM ALL 3....I was OverWhelmed with how my "Positive Outlook" had produced for me.

      Wow! Who would've known that a kid from the So Side of Chgo would be invited to "RECEIVE A FREE EDUCATION" from some of the best Universities in the country!

      Well....because I "Believed I Could Receive" and SPOKE IT OUT, EVERY DAY! I KNEW....DOWN DEEP THAT....GOOD THINGS WOULD HAPPEN TO ME!

      AND....GUESS WHAT! THEY DID!

      I've had a pretty good life! ...and I attest it to ONE THING....My Faith and Belief in....a Power Greater than little ol' me! That "Power" is a "GOD" who "Loves ME"!

      So...Rob....you can go about your life, thinking that; "Heck! I'll NEVER do anything! I'll NEVER be anything more than what I am now!"

      HAH! I got NEWS for you! You CAN BE....WHATEVER YOU...BELIEVE
      ... YOU CAN BE!

      It just takes a BELIEF in someone who LOVES YOU and wants to GIVE YOU A GREAT LIFE!

      NEVER STOP BELIEVING!

      YOU RECEIVE...WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND "SAY WITH YOUR MOUTH!!

      God Be With You

      Don Alm
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    Cleaning in general is a great business. We've thought about starting one on the side since we've done the calling side for some of them and seen the response.

    Everyone needs cleaning, but NO one wants to do it! Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

      Cleaning in general is a great business. We've thought about starting one on the side since we've done the calling side for some of them and seen the response.

      Everyone needs cleaning, but NO one wants to do it! Good luck!
      Yeah cleaning businesses are a shoe in for telemarketing. No doubt. Most successful cleaning businesses (Janitorial services) have a room with four or five callers going fulltime.

      So is home remodeling...

      My daughter was telling me that the economy is rough on small business...and I told her the story I have worn out here about the first construction company I telemarketed for...

      The economy sucks for everyone who isnt busy working to make money...but to those working, all they see is their monthly goals and meeting them.

      It sucks maybe for "retail" but not for anyone who uses telemarketing.
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      • Profile picture of the author umc
        I've been cleaning with my wife now for 12 years. I also started detailing cars on the side to fill in spots here and there if need be for the past 7 years or so. Last year I added in carpet cleaning for kicks. Junk removal/garage cleaning is definitely needed. We see the homes that often have lots of excess "stuff" in them that people want to get rid of.

        Why am I here? Because I personally love marketing and ever since I was a telemarketer 16 years ago and ran a telemarketing department for a few years I have always wanted to be involved in marketing. I've marketed my own service businesses to the point where my wife and I never have to do any advertising and we stay more than covered up with work. In fact, we have a waiting list for people wanting us to clean their house. We choose not to hire employees because we actually like the work, love actually making a difference in people's lives, and detest the thought of dealing with employees. That's just our decision. But, the workaholic that I am, I have goals of one day having my own marketing business and scaling back the physical labor somewhat.

        Anyway, I just want to encourage you to go after it. Don't let anyone hold you back, including your own self-doubt. Realize that the majority of service providers out there suck. Seriously. Here I sit with a waiting list of customers, and I've tried to GIVE AWAY leads to other businesses, and they won't even contact me back. If you can show up and physically fog up a mirror, if you have the intelligence to be able to tie your shoes, and if you have the relational intelligence to be able to call people back and speak professionally with them, you will beat out most of the competition. I could write a book, and in fact am putting together a training course to help people get started in their own offline service businesses, because so many people jump out there and start an (insert name of service here) business without any clue on how to relate with the very people they hope to serve.

        Marketing is a huge part of the business, and where most people fail. If they get marketing down and get people interested in what they have to offer, then they have to learn the skills to show the prospect the benefits and motivate them to act. That kills a bunch of other deals. Then if they get the job, they actually have to show up. Well, there went the rest of your competition. You have nothing to fear. Just do it. I'm a hustler and have been my whole life, which drove me away from the poor upbringing that I had. I learned from watching the poor people around me that many of them were just that because they wouldn't hustle. I'll outwork just about anyone, in just about anything. If you're willing to work hard, you'll do great.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marco P
    i'm gonna have to differ with most of the opinions here,with the economy the way it is,the service business in general is bad and a lot of companies do their own cleaning or hire one employee to do it,( I know I just closed my janitorial company)
    plus there is a lot of people starting their own business in the service industry (like yourself Rob)
    and charging really cheap prices.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
      Originally Posted by Marco P View Post

      i'm gonna have to differ with most of the opinions here,with the economy the way it is,the service business in general is bad and a lot of companies do their own cleaning or hire one employee to do it,( I know I just closed my janitorial company)
      plus there is a lot of people starting their own business in the service industry (like yourself Rob)
      and charging really cheap prices.
      Unfortunately there are those that are not fairing well. Sorry that was you, and I hope you get something else going soon. Would have loved to try to help you out before you had to close.

      Good luck!
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      • Profile picture of the author Marco P
        Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

        Unfortunately there are those that are not fairing well. Sorry that was you, and I hope you get something else going soon. Would have loved to try to help you out before you had to close.

        Good luck!
        Thanks for your words, Mwind076,
        I was lucky enough to get a job pretty quick,
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  • Profile picture of the author linkmetro
    John Durham,

    when this story from? Mid 50's?? Try to start today. Did you checked CL? Everybody and + want to clean your whatever.
    Rob, you have a great online present w/your website....go out and sell, pick up the phone...whatever. You started something, don't give it up. Lower your price to $150/ad, will sell...You still will make money.
    Good luck to you!

    Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author Marco P
    Hey Rob
    Not to leave on a bad note,why not sell a Guide,course,e-book,etc on how to start a cleaning ,junk hauling,garage cleaning business,or all (since there is a lot a people trying to start a service business)
    sell it on ebay,CL or how about a kindle ebook?
    Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
      Originally Posted by Marco P View Post

      i'm gonna have to differ with most of the opinions here,with the economy the way it is,the service business in general is bad and a lot of companies do their own cleaning or hire one employee to do it,( I know I just closed my janitorial company)
      plus there is a lot of people starting their own business in the service industry (like yourself Rob)
      and charging really cheap prices.
      Who cares how many people are starting a business?
      Too many people blames things on the "economy"... what a crock of sh!t
      Decent companies with effective marketing will do well regardless of the economy.
      You don't even have to be the best, just have to do a good job.
      But, your marketing has to be above par.
      I like the fact that people are charging low prices.
      I would charge double!
      That will immediately seperate me from them.
      There is a percentage of people I will get just because I charge double.
      Guess who I won't get, price shoppers!

      Originally Posted by Marco P View Post

      Hey Rob
      Not to leave on a bad note,why not sell a Guide,course,e-book,etc on how to start a cleaning ,junk hauling,garage cleaning business,or all (since there is a lot a people trying to start a service business)
      sell it on ebay,CL or how about a kindle ebook?
      Good luck!

      This is a good idea.
      But, without doing it first, it would be a book on theory...
      That is terrible!
      So, he would have to do it. Then do it well.


      I say go for it Rob!
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      • Profile picture of the author midasman09
        Banned
        My goodness....I told a guy who was "down and dejected" to go down to "O-Reillys Auto Parts" and some "BLUE MAGIC Headlight Lens Restorer". Get a few Fiber Rags and go to a local Used Car Lot and tell the owner you can help him get $500 MORE for each of his older vehicles (cars or trucks) AND....THEY WILL SELL FASTER!

        How? By making the headlights SPARKLE LIKE NEW!

        Tell the owner you'd like to demonstrate...at NO obligation. Go do ONE lens...ask him how it looks and tell him you'll do a pair of headlights for $35.

        Then....go get some "Black Plastic Renovator" .....charge $5 per Door Handle....$10 per Mirror and...$25 per bumper.

        The guy now has a "route" of 32 Used Car Lots....8 per day for 4 days a week. (He takes "3 day weekends")

        Each day he makes $800 to $1200 from the 8 used car lots!

        Look around! Money-Making ideas are EVERYWHERE!

        Don Alm....possibility guy
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      • Profile picture of the author Sue Bruce
        Don's story reminds me of a local business guy who's worth $490 million. He sat on a bench outside a university admin building after being refused bursuries or a scholarship and didn't want to go home.

        A guy on a nearby bench struck up a conversation with him and chatted about why he was there and what his goals were. They talked for an hour and the guy (who turned out to be a pastor with the university) asked him if he beleived that he was going to acheive his goals.

        He told the pastor "That's why I'm here, I know I can if I don't go home."

        You already know the ending and there's a long middle part of the story but the pastor helped him get funding and recently he told his story in a local business mag. He said "I achieved because I beleived"
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        • Profile picture of the author DABK
          Have you thought of approaching banks, offer to clean their newly foreclosed properties? Pretty much, they want you to take everything out, remove drywall if there's been flooding, sweep and wipe.

          As regards how much to charge, why don't you figure out your costs, how much profit you want, then put a few ads, at different prices, see which one gets responses?

          If you can't afford several ads, start somewhere close to your cost + profit, then, after you get hired a couple of times, charge a bit more. If you don't get hired, charge a bit less. And all the while, work on presenting your services to people in such a way as to make it crystal clear to them why you're worth what you're charging.

          Cheers

          PS You need to look for people like me. I hate cleaning anything and put things any which way in the garage (when we lived in a house... I'm in a condo now) and I have a wife who's forever after me to clean up.

          Profile: college educated, liberal arts, artistic aspirations, lazy, made good money for long enough to delegate what I don't like... Became such a strong habit that I'd find a way to 'delegate' even if I went broke totally. In my late 40's.

          Read, among other things Poets and Writers and such publications, even those published by college students for their school project... At one point, I wanted to be a professor (Then I found out it pays a hell of a lot less than what I wanted). So, presumably, you might find people like me at nearby colleges...
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  • Profile picture of the author mvwolf
    Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post

    Just not sure what to charge to do it. I have been searching on google for other companies doing it but haven't come up with anything in the way of pricing. What's your thoughts?
    Cheers to the entrepreneurial spirit! I wish you luck with the undertaking... Well, the price is hard to determine, but I would be more concerned about marketing.

    As for prices, ask yourself a few questions:

    1. What are costs of goods you use in providing the service? You probably will need a cleaning patche, paper towels, cleaning chemicals, perhaps a mop, or something similar? And how much will it cost to transport yourself to the customer?

    2. How much would you pay for a similar service, and how much money you need from this enterprise?

    3. Will you want an hourly rate, a per-project rate, or something else?

    4. Call some company in that business, and find out how much they charged?

    Good luck Rob!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Maybe charge by the hour. Charge what you are worth.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adwizard
    Great reply Don... I have done that most of my life as well and can certainly attest that is does work!!! GOD IS GREAT!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Originally Posted by linkmetro View Post

    John Durham,

    when this story from? Mid 50's?? Try to start today. Did you checked CL? Everybody and + want to clean your whatever.


    Joe
    I guess you cant read. I said about 20 years ago. It doesnt matter what the people on CL want or dont want. People who rely on passive marketing are victims to that stuff, but not people who dial hundreds of numbers per day. Sorry. Alot of people would like to think passive marketing is stronger, and that aggressive marketing is passe....but its not true. Its their fantasy, thats why half the world thinks they cant get any business because they are all looking for push button ways.

    Bet me 500 bucks that I cant set you up three janitorial appointments in two hours. I dare ya.
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  • Profile picture of the author linkmetro
    Who said I'm in this business? I guess you cant read either.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by linkmetro View Post

      Who said I'm in this business? I guess you cant read either.
      Sorry if I was harsh....I wasnt even ALIVE in the fifties, Im still traumatized from Mwind saying I was an old man last year at 42 :p lol. Made me want to go buy a corvette.:rolleyes:

      The dare would apply to ANYONE, because Im dead serious, I used the word "you" figuratively.

      Point is:

      I could set five janitorial appointments on the phone before most people could even get their CL ad approved...let alone wait and cross their fingers that someone responds.

      Ps. You may not realize it, but so could YOU!
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      • Profile picture of the author sqigilz
        Could you help me with my cleaning business? I have hit a brick wall and need some help from someone with your experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    I don't know Jonh... I can post an ad pretty quickly... :-)

    I believe you. I looked into it once upon a time.
    I called the first 5 numbers in the phone book and got three appointments.
    the other two didn't answer.

    I would ask for the office manager.
    Then say, I was calling to see if they were open to having a competitve bid on file.
    Set an appt with each one. Then went in and showed how bad the previous company was.
    Here's a tip. Wear black pants. When you run your finger across the top of picture frames and tops of filing cabinets, look at your hand and wipe your fingers on your black pants.
    By the time you are done, your pants show they need someone else..
    Signature
    Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
    - Neale Donald Wilson -
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by vndnbrgj View Post

      I don't know Jonh... I can post an ad pretty quickly... :-)

      I believe you. I looked into it once upon a time.
      I called the first 5 numbers in the phone book and got three appointments.
      the other two didn't answer.

      I believe you. If someone is a craigslist whiz, that can happen too, if they are dedicated to learning the art of it, but its no push button riches thats for sure. I find cold calling less irritating than posting craigslist ads myself. I like the control telemarketing gives you... You set your goal, you meet it, and it doesnt depend on any factors other than YOU.

      As long as you dial, even a BAD list will produce prospects.

      Wow, thats a nice conversion ratio you got there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Okay Rob, since your already on this cleaning track, here's something you or anyone else can do for some quick cash: mobile auto detailing. Now, I got this idea from DA MAN HIMSELF-Mr. Don Alm on another forum, some years ago. I followed Don's suggestions and they worked like dynamite.

    The hot market for this service is busy professionals, think realtors, attorneys accountants, insurance agents, doctors, dentists, etc. They want/need (especially the realtors) clean vehicles and they do not have the time to do this themselves. They do, however, have the money and will pay someone to do it for them.

    Now, if you offer interior detailing only, instead of a full interior/exterior job it really simplifies things. You just need the vacuum, extension cord, some rags, and some cleaning supplies that can be purchased from the local dollar store.

    Charge $49 for one car, $39 for 2 or more cars AT THE SAME LOCATION. Add $10
    to those prices for small minivans or SUV's. Practice on your own vehicle or your relative's or neighbor's vehicles. You'll get comfortable with it after practicing on 2
    or 3. There are also plenty of videos on youtube if you want to watch the pros in action.

    Anyway Rob, if the weather stays mild, you can put a nice chunk of change in your pocket in the next 30 days or so. Go for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
      Wow thanks for all of the feedback and suggestions guys.

      Originally Posted by BIG DEALS View Post

      Storage wars is a hoax. I had a friend who was called in to be an expert identifying a painting. He knew about it, prepared for it went to the show and all the people on the show knew the contents of what was inside for the most part.
      I could tell it was right from the start but I still get a kick out of watching it. I would bet cold hard cash that a lot of the "Wow look what I just found in this dresser drawer" items were placed in there just for TV drama. The real winners from those shows are the storage unit companies and auctioneers who sell the units now that everyone thinks they can be a millionaire buying storage units. I bet the price per unit has probably doubled since those shows have came out.

      Originally Posted by Seantrepreneur View Post

      So would this be a junk hauling business or strictly cleaning garages? I mean I would say there is only room for a junk hauling business. If you hit the pavement hard enough you'll find ppl who need junk hauled and you can make a good living doing it.

      Think about it, 1-800-got-junk is a multi-million company. It's a pretty simple concept. They pick up junk and haul it away. You could replicate that pretty easy.
      I don't have any way to haul junk, so I planned on offering Bagster® since it is available in my area for the people who have a lot of junk to get rid of. I just charge them for the bag, load it up, and call for a pickup which they pay the fee for.

      Originally Posted by Marco P View Post

      i'm gonna have to differ with most of the opinions here,with the economy the way it is,the service business in general is bad and a lot of companies do their own cleaning or hire one employee to do it,( I know I just closed my janitorial company)
      plus there is a lot of people starting their own business in the service industry (like yourself Rob)
      and charging really cheap prices.
      I know what you mean and I don't plan on being a low baller.

      Originally Posted by Marco P View Post

      Hey Rob
      Not to leave on a bad note,why not sell a Guide,course,e-book,etc on how to start a cleaning ,junk hauling,garage cleaning business,or all (since there is a lot a people trying to start a service business)
      sell it on ebay,CL or how about a kindle ebook?
      Good luck!
      Not a bad idea, maybe when I get the process down enough that I can have something of value to offer. If I am going to offer something like that, I need to be able to sleep at night knowing someone who spent their hard earned money got their money's worth.

      Originally Posted by vndnbrgj View Post

      Who cares how many people are starting a business?
      Too many people blames things on the "economy"... what a crock of sh!t
      Decent companies with effective marketing will do well regardless of the economy.
      You don't even have to be the best, just have to do a good job.
      But, your marketing has to be above par.
      I like the fact that people are charging low prices.
      I would charge double!
      That will immediately seperate me from them.
      There is a percentage of people I will get just because I charge double.
      Guess who I won't get, price shoppers!




      This is a good idea.
      But, without doing it first, it would be a book on theory...
      That is terrible!
      So, he would have to do it. Then do it well.


      I say go for it Rob!
      I agree, one thing I have learned from this site is the money is in the marketing.

      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Yeah cleaning businesses are a shoe in for telemarketing. No doubt. Most successful cleaning businesses (Janitorial services) have a room with four or five callers going fulltime.

      So is home remodeling...

      My daughter was telling me that the economy is rough on small business...and I told her the story I have worn out here about the first construction company I telemarketed for...

      The economy sucks for everyone who isnt busy working to make money...but to those working, all they see is their monthly goals and meeting them.

      It sucks maybe for "retail" but not for anyone who uses telemarketing.
      I guess I need to figure out how I can do telemarketing, the thought of calling people to sell them a service scares the crap out of me though. I have no problems talking to people, and have worked many jobs in the past that required me to call and talk to people. Just trying to sell something on the phone is what scares me. I am sure its just head trash, but I am lost at how to get past it. It's to the point that I feel like if it telemarketing was the only thing keeping me off the street, that I would be looking for a nice box to drag under the freeway overpass.

      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Sorry if I was harsh....I wasnt even ALIVE in the fifties, Im still traumatized from Mwind saying I was an old man last year at 42 :p lol. Made me want to go buy a corvette.:rolleyes:

      The dare would apply to ANYONE, because Im dead serious, I used the word "you" figuratively.

      Point is:

      I could set five janitorial appointments on the phone before most people could even get their CL ad approved...let alone wait and cross their fingers that someone responds.

      Ps. You may not realize it, but so could YOU!
      Wow I could only imagine being able to do that.

      Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

      Okay Rob, since your already on this cleaning track, here's something you or anyone else can do for some quick cash: mobile auto detailing. Now, I got this idea from DA MAN HIMSELF-Mr. Don Alm on another forum, some years ago. I followed Don's suggestions and they worked like dynamite.

      The hot market for this service is busy professionals, think realtors, attorneys accountants, insurance agents, doctors, dentists, etc. They want/need (especially the realtors) clean vehicles and they do not have the time to do this themselves. They do, however, have the money and will pay someone to do it for them.

      Now, if you offer interior detailing only, instead of a full interior/exterior job it really simplifies things. You just need the vacuum, extension cord, some rags, and some cleaning supplies that can be purchased from the local dollar store.

      Charge $49 for one car, $39 for 2 or more cars AT THE SAME LOCATION. Add $10
      to those prices for small minivans or SUV's. Practice on your own vehicle or your relative's or neighbor's vehicles. You'll get comfortable with it after practicing on 2
      or 3. There are also plenty of videos on youtube if you want to watch the pros in action.

      Anyway Rob, if the weather stays mild, you can put a nice chunk of change in your pocket in the next 30 days or so. Go for it.
      I have also thought about doing auto detailing. I would have to go mobile for that since I live in an apartment. With winter coming, interior detailing would probably be the way to go. I just think I will have a larger market for garage cleaning at this point. Michigan economy sucks, but I think people would pay to be able to park in their garages out of the snow before they would pay to have the insides of their vehicles cleaned.

      Also, was thinking since winter is coming, I can pick up a small portable heater to use when cleaning garages so it's toasty.

      I would also offer installation of storage units, shelving etc. as I am quite handy.

      For pricing, based on what I have found so far, I have been thinking something like:
      • Single Car ~$99 and up
      • Two Car ~ $169 and up
      • Three Car ~ $229 and up
      • Sheds ~ Estimate Only

      Pricing does not include Bagster program which would be $30 for the bag, and $119.95 for haul away.

      I would be very grateful for any help or suggestions on an ad for CL, or any other help or suggestions to get the ball rolling on this.

      On a side note - I have a friend who has a house cleaning business that gave me a house to clean today that is an hour away. Job pays $200. They are moving in this weekend and just want a good cleaning before they move in. Its empty right now.

      I have also done foreclosure clean outs a few years ago when I had a truck and the equipment to handle the lawns. But I didn't have a clue about marketing then and didn't think to make a business out of it. They were jobs for someone I knew who was buying houses to turn into rentals. I think I did 4 of them in total, all complete crap holes in the middle of Flint.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post


        On a side note - I have a friend who has a house cleaning business that gave me a house to clean today that is an hour away. Job pays $200. They are moving in this weekend and just want a good cleaning before they move in. Its empty right now.
        i have a friend who does home cleaning... she developed a handful of about 8 clients, and she runs her whole business from her cell phone using text messages.

        Once I watched her book her self for 3 days and set up a whole weeks pay from text messaging casually while she was having a conversation with me. This person doesnt even know anything about the internet...she just took a few months out of her life to develop a handful of house cleaning clients....and now when she wants to work all she has to do is go through her text list telling people "I have a free day wednesday, if you want me to come out...".

        Also she gets referrals out the ying yang... someone might say "Well, not for me, but my mothers house needs cleaning really bad if you wouldnt mind doing me a favor and going over there, I'd ike to surprise her...". Things like that.

        Text is her preferred method of communication...She can be anywhere anytime setting up a days work for herself and hasnt had a job in years.

        Now as far, Rob, as you saying telemarketing scares you:

        Think of it this way.... you really have a service to offer that these people may be interested in.

        A service like this you could do with flyers on doorsteps, since it residential... I know a few months back my garage was a mess for months at a time, and I would have gladly paid someone a hundred bucks to come clean it out, and that person would have also gotten to haul away an old drumset I had with a few missing parts, some old printers that only needed ink, an old vacuum cleaner , and all kinds of stuff I had collected that wasnt being used anymore...3 Bikes that were perfect, just with flat tires...

        So I can see personally where a certain percentage of people would have called in that flyer. I certainly would have, but as far as telemarketing... its really not scary, it's all about "perspective". You are just honestly calling to honestly see if a person could honestly use your service.

        It doesnt have to be a sales pitch...the best telemarketing is TRULY a "courtesy call".

        In carpet cleaning, you are literally offering to come and clean a spot in their home for FREE in exchange for introducing your service.... usually takes 15 minutes to do the spot... and you just talk to them about the condition of their carpet while you work... Sometimes you might even be able to tell them its in great condition and they feel good... but then you tell them that regular maintenance will KEEP it that way, and tell them a TRUE horror story (that you TRULY want to help them avoid) about what happens when people dont maintain their carpets...and how they can avoid that.

        WALA, you get a job...

        Telemarketing is portrayed one way by the masses, but myself; I never make it hard, for me its as easy as just asking a simple question "Could you folks use some help with your internet marketing there?" basically...

        The answer is yes or no...if no then "Okay well, glad you have it handled...I appreciate you taking my call today Bob, have a great day".

        Nothing hard about that. Its truly a "courtesy call" to see if I can help them.

        2-3 out of a hundred dials (acrtually about 40 greetings because they all dont answer) say "Yes, actually we do need some help, but I dont have time right now".

        "No, problem Bob, I can set up an appointment for wednesday or tuesday afternoon, which one of those would work best for you?"

        You see Rob, you can try to "FAKE" and use all kinds of techniques, which is a way of approaching it, that I can teach after having worked with a ton of call center owners, but if you do it like I personally do.... It's just a sincere courtesy call, to really see if someone could use your help or not. Not big spiel.

        No tricks, no BS, no hard rebuttals, and no sales experience required.... Just a person calling another person saying "Hey I mow lawns, and Im looking to drum up some business, I was just wondering if you folks could use some help with your lawn care... "

        Here's how it works Rob.... Some guy that turned down 3 other people just last week, thinking he was going to do it himself...comes around to the weekend, and he still hasnt done it...so monday you call him, while the other guys are ignoring him because he already said no, and he says "Sure, I really need to get this done, I have been planning to do it myself but just havent got around to it...My neighbors are going to start complaining, when can you come out?"

        Rob, its just a matter of dialing enough numbers, saying hello to enough people, being nice to them all...not selling, just "offering", and people will say yes to you if you do that. Most will say no, but you come across those who say yes.

        The ones who say no dont bite... you can wish them all a nice day, and share an uplifting moment of niceness with them.

        Nothing scary. Alot of telemarketers and salespeople are braggers.... they brag about this line they pulled or that technique that you must master....and it scares you. Then you hear all the ones who failed because they listened to all that advice instead of just being sincere.... and THAT scares you...

        There is nothing scary about the advice Im giving you here....and it works. You will get business taking it.

        You are imagining all the people who will say NO, and they "will", but thats no big deal.... Try imagining for a few minutes how it would feel to run across someone who says "Yeah, Im glad you called".... Why?

        Because they WILL!
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        • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
          I actually gave him a decent answer in another thread,
          plus a script, and told him to just read it to get himself some jobs.

          actually let me go find and paste it here... this seams like a better place for it any way.

          ----

          Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post

          I am a telemarketing noob, I know it's something that pays to do from what I have read on this forum, just do not know the first thing about it.
          The number one first thing to do is ....

          Pick up a phone and start dialing... the rest you can learn on the fly.

          ===

          For you specifically.. if you the one who is thinking about cleaning garages...

          ===

          Hi this is ( your name ) , jim said you might have a garage for
          me to clean, I am quick, professional and can have it knocked out
          in just a few hours.

          I charge by the truck load, so i have to see your garage before
          i can quote you a price, is today @ 3 good for you?

          ---
          call the white pages in your area, spend 2-3 hours every monday
          saying JUST that, and you will be too busy cleaning garages
          to make any more calls the rest of the week.

          and to further enhance it... when your done with each job, ask
          them if they have any friends who can use your service
          Signature

          Selling Ain't for Sissies
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          • Profile picture of the author John Durham
            Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

            I actually gave him a decent answer in another thread,
            plus a script, and told him to just read it to get himself some jobs.

            actually let me go find and paste it here... this seams like a better place for it any way.
            Cool Ken. I must have missed that. I dont know why, but not every thread turns me on....This one did for some reason. Probably because it reminded me of the story of my Dad.

            Who knows why I say yes to some threads and ignore others...but on another point, all the prospects you call are going to be the same way...Who knows why they said no to someone else, but they are saying yes to YOU.

            Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post


            ---
            call the white pages in your area, spend 2-3 hours every monday
            saying JUST that, and you will be too busy cleaning garages
            to make any more calls the rest of the week.
            Ken is not lying. Its really as simple as that. Dont overcomplicate. Dont try to be a "lazy executive" or a "whatever technique", just ask an honest question "Do you folks need my help" in simple words like ken has outlined here. You will have business out your ears before long. Really that simple.

            Just tell the truth...you have a service to offer, and you are looking to drum up some business... actually, just use Kens script verbatim, you will be fine.


            "Hi this is ( your name ) , jim said you might have a garage for
            me to clean, I am quick, professional and can have it knocked out
            in just a few hours.

            I charge by the truck load, so i have to see your garage before

            i can quote you a price, is today @ 3 good for you?
            "- Ken Michaels

            If someone says no, ask them, do you know anyone else who might be interested....? And do this what he is saying.
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  • Profile picture of the author apkkadam
    Best of luck for your new venture
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    Looks like I have some tough competition... lol
    Garage/Barn clean up and Organizing

    For my ad headline I am thinking something along the lines of:

    "Wish you could park in your garage?"
    "Tired of scraping your windows in the morning?"
    "Snow's coming! Can you park in your garage?"
    "Is the wife on you to clean the garage?"
    "Embarrassed by your garage?"
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    • Profile picture of the author umc
      Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post

      Looks like I have some tough competition... lol
      Garage/Barn clean up and Organizing

      For my ad headline I am thinking something along the lines of:

      "Wish you could park in your garage?"
      "Tired of scraping your windows in the morning?"
      "Snow's coming! Can you park in your garage?"
      "Is the wife on you to clean the garage?"
      "Embarrassed by your garage?"
      How about something like:

      Garages shelter your automotive investment. What's in your garage?

      Is your garage protecting your car, or yesterday's junk?

      Maybe those are too wordy, but it might make people think. Just another angle to consider.
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      • Profile picture of the author umc
        Also, don't give prices up front. Doing so turns you into nothing but a number. When someone contacts me looking for a price on house cleaning, I give them a price range but let them know that I need to look at it and do a walk through to give them an exact price. That gets you in the door, and then people will buy based on liking you instead of liking your numbers.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        It's interesting o see that one of the most active threads isn't about marketing at all.

        Anyway, I spent about two years making a serious living (while running a retail store full time) placing classified ads in a local ad network, offering to buy various things like slatwall, retail fixtures, used office furniture, and a few other things. Each ad was offering to buy one item. In the same set of newspapers, I ran ads offering to sell these things at a huge markup.

        For example; For a few years there were air purifiers that were being sold by MLM call Alpine (later EcoQuest). There were tons of these things sitting in people's garages because they thought they would sell them at $599-$699.
        I ran an ad saying I was buying them. Any quantity, any condition. When the person called, I would offer them $75 if they were used, and $150 if they were new. About 75% of the people who called either got mad and hung up, or tried to sell me at retail.

        But I ended up buying a few thousand of these things. In the same paper I advertised buying them... advertised them "Like new for $350". I sold them faster than I could get them. Some I upsold to new ones, some I didn't. Some I repaired. A few I threw away and lost money. But I made a boat load of money buying and selling these. And I did the same ting with lots of other items too. Me...a van...a few dollars...and a classified ad.

        And you know what? Not one person ever mentioned that I had two ads in the same paper.One buying, and one selling. Weird.

        Now, this was about 20 years ago, so it wouldn't work today. Why? Because there are no classified newspaper ads you can still run. Vans are extinct. And nobody needs to sell anything to raise fast cash. That's a joke.

        My single most profitable enterprise doing this was getting a few calls from companies tearing down malls or retail plazas. I would walk in with $100, agree to do all the work tearing down fixtures, slatwall, furnishings....and run ads selling the stuff at a huge discount.

        I also had great luck buying furniture and TVs from hotels. A quick steam cleaning, and VIOLA! like new furniture. I eventually stopped doing any of this because my other business was a little more profitable...and a lot less work.

        I have a friend that buys used vacuum cleaners from door to door vacuum cleaner dealers, and sells them to vacuum cleaner retailers. He drives a huge trailer, used to haul horses, cross country about 6 months out of the year.
        Maybe $200,000 a year. The possibilities are endless.


        By the way, midasman09 has lots of very easy to sell little marketing packages. These would get you quick cash without a whole lot of expertise or salesmanship.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tim Bazley
        Cleaning's a great biz to get into. "Where's there's muck, there's brass" as they say up North (England). There's always money to be had from cleaning, in good times and bad!

        Go for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author linkmetro
    You can contact builders also, they need to clean out houses when it's done and buyer ready to move in. But I it is hard to get in. You mat have to hire telemarketers
    Just noticed your in Flint?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    I am actually in Flushing which is next to Flint. We actually have Flushing, Davison (Where Michael Moore is actually from) and Grand Blanc all around me that are higher end areas.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
      Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post

      I am actually in Flushing which is next to Flint. We actually have Flushing, Davison (Where Michael Moore is actually from) and Grand Blanc all around me that are higher end areas.
      I grew up in Flint until High School, and lots family and good memories still there.

      Something I haven't seen mentioned yet is your background ... do you have a good knowledge/feel for the value of "things"? And what are your interests?

      First, I really dislike eBay (AKA oBay) for a lot of reasons. BUT for some types of collectables, they are one of the easiest ways to make money. I needed to make some money fairly quickly a month ago, and sold off a variety of stuff for about $2500.00 in a couple of weeks.

      Before I stopped selling on eBay, I would sell stuff for people I knew and charge a 50% commission on the final selling price. The only people who objected to the 50% were people who didn't realize the amount of time that went into research, listing, and shipping this stuff.

      I love going to hamfests, swapfests, etc. and would frequently pick up all the stuff that was left as a service to the organizers. And no, I didn't charge them for picking up all this stuff.

      While I was there, I would sometimes actually buy stuff . But the real gold (pun intended) was frequently in the older things that nobody wanted. It never happened that I didn't make at least $500 from this "free" stuff. I put free in quotes because it does take some time to sort through to find what is worth while. What was unsaleable I would typically just sell for scrap. Notice I didn't say get rid of, but SELL.

      A friend of mine wanted to start cleaning up and wanted some stuff gone. I spent a week making one trip/day picking up things that he would have taken to the dump. That stuff sold for about $3000 to another friend who is a scrap dealer.

      The same thing can be done with "stuff" being cleaned up. Your idea of cleanup and organizing can be a good one, but the way you've talked about it could be leaving a LOT of money on the table.

      One example would be someone was cleaning out their house, put all the stuff in bags, and wanted it taken to the dump. A quick look said I'd better check it out first. Good thing since there was close to $1000 worth of stuff that would have just gone to the dump.

      Someone else was recycling a LOT of old mainframe computer manuals, etc. Since that is a hobby of mine, I didn't try to make money from it. But I did get a kick out of someone who was restoring an IBM 1130 mainframe computer. While I was talking to them, they indicated they got a lot of older manuals online from a site called bitsavers.org. The owner of the site scanned in those manuals I had saved, and made them available online.

      But at the time, those manuals were probably worth in the range of $5K - $10K or so if I had sold them.

      As the saying goes, if someone thinks education is expensive, they haven't checked out the price of ignorance.

      I heard through the grapevine that someone had bought a lot of belts from a military auction. They couldn't sell them, so took them to the dump. But they did keep a couple of them and showed them to a friend sometime later. The friend then told them what the belts were. Apparently they were used by pilots in WWII? and contained several gold pieces. This person took a couple million dollars to the dump.

      That story may or may not be true, but if true, illustrates the price of ignorance somewhat dramatically.

      Hope this helps!

      Marvin
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    That ad is terrible.
    If I were you, I would stick to just garages.
    You can become thee "Garage Guy"

    Then you can also JV with house cleaning companies.
    Offer them a cut, like 10% or something, which is easier when you charge the most.
    Signature
    Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
    - Neale Donald Wilson -
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    • Profile picture of the author Vikuna2009+
      Trying to compete on price is the worst solution because that is what you are going to get. Set yourself apart by asking more and have the guts to say you always do an excellent job and that you are worth every penny and then some, lol. I used to have a custom drapery workroom and for one drapery panel, which you could get for $19, I charged $55, emphasizing CUSTOM European Work, not something factory made. I had no problem getting people to pay that.

      Before that, I did house cleaning. This is way back but still holds true today. When everyone else charged $6 an hour, I either charged by the job or $13 an hour. I did that for 4 years and never lost a client. Giving them a surprise every now and then (over-deliver) is what kept them referring me and begging me to stay when I finally was ready to move on. As an example, I often did their laundry and if I saw the towels folded in a different size and the cabinet being a mess in general, I re-folded all towels, stacked them neatly and color-coded them. Same thing with their clothing or sock drawers or whatever. Going the extra mile goes a long way.

      As far as finding clients, I personally would make up a plain flyer, split it in half to make 2 flyers out of one paper, keep it simple and walk the neigbhorhood during the weekends. Stop and talk to anyone with their garage door open and hand them a flyer, chit chat a bit and carry an appointment book. Starting out, I would make a few "appointments" in the book to make myself look busy, scarcity sells.

      Installing storage cabinets is a good idea but not sure if you would need some kind of insurance for that. I also used to work as a sales rep for a closet/storage manufacturer and it is amazing what people will actually spend on their garages/closets. It might be a good idea to contact/meet/inspect a few storage systems and work a deal with that company that would give you a referral for referring your client, ask for 10% of the whole job and let them install. 10% of the order is what they paid me in commission, going out on leads they provided. In your situation, YOU would provide the lead and even though you are not a trained sales rep, the lead costs them nothing to generate so I would not settle for less than 10%. It is not unusual for someone to spend $2.000 and up on their garage.

      Best of luck, Eva
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    I would use a picture of yourself in the ad, you give the impression of a clean cut, honest guy that wont rob or kill you.
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    Promise Big.
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  • Profile picture of the author Glen Barnhardt
    I would charge by the square ft. You never know how big a garage will be. Someone could call you to a warehouse with garage doors. To determine how much to charge really isn't that hard. What do you think your time is worth? $10.00 hr, $12.00, or more? Once you have figured that out. Then figure out an average amount of time it takes to do a certain size garage. Say a 12 x 12 Garage. That would be a 144 sq ft job. If that takes you 4 or 8 hours to do then you can divide that into the square ft and come up with a square foot price. You may have to adjust your pricing over time. Some may take longer and others less but if you use an average you will do well. Hope this helps!!
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    I like the idea a lot myself. I know some local businesses around my area that are making a killing in the junk removal industry. I want to warn you though, the market here at least, is fairly competitive. Not in the sense that you have any real franchises doing the work (I think there is 1), but there are MANY spur of the moment businesses doing this type of work.

    How do I know? Because I do a lot of work inside peoples basements in my spare time. It seems at least half of the time I'm there, these people have junk removal companies coming out. Which is we've contemplated just upselling the service to them, and finding crews to do the work.

    The thing I like about your model is that its focused on garages. I can name about 5 people off the top of my head who have said "my garage is a mess and needs cleaning". I think 1 of them actually did the work, the rest just keep complaining. These are mainly friends and family members. Then we find more people in our own line of work like I mentioned.

    If you see homes that are getting remodeled, I noticed the insides of these homes tend to be a MESS. Tools everywhere, scattered all around the garage, etc. They can't put stuff back because they're usually using it the next day, so they leave it on top of counters and what not. Or they'll move stuff out of rooms, into their garage, then decide they don't even need it anymore.

    Honestly if you were doing this in my area, I can find you a bunch of referals right now. Which is just another reason why we should be doing this work ourselves.

    -Red
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    im not really one for leaving messages, but in his case...

    i would read that verbatim, and leave messages....

    10 -1 people are going to call back and say ... 3 is no good... how about 5
    the rest who don't have a garage that needs to be cleaned will ignore the call.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      im not really one for leaving messages, but in his case...

      i would read that verbatim, and leave messages....

      10 -1 people are going to call back and say ... 3 is no good... how about 5
      the rest who don't have a garage that needs to be cleaned will ignore the call.
      Not to add to your pefect post Ken, but you inspired me to say something else...

      Those who ignore your call are the same ones that dont need their garage cleaned... they arent rejecting YOU really... but the truth is that if someone needs it cleaned, they will call, and they want your service, and they are glad you called..

      Is that scary?

      Is it a reason to feel rejected if they say no?

      They probably dont need their garage cleaned right?

      no big deal...but some WILL.

      Again, I would have said YES myself a few months back... but no one called me, so I went looking for a hauling service in the paper and gave the job to them... but I put it off for months, if someone would have called me during that time they would have gotten it for making the suggestion.
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  • Profile picture of the author greenovni
    Just to update on the 42 Inch TV that the lead guy left me yesterday Sony KDF-42WE655 42" Grand Wega™ High-Definition rear-projection LCD TV at Crutchfield.com

    I paid for his 86 lbs of lead $30.10 (which will net me about $85 when I sell the lead ingots on ebay)

    He had the tv above in the back of his truck as well as 2 desktop pcs, so I asked hime whre he gets all his crap and he said that he places ads on craigslist.

    But that TVs sucked because he needs to open them, strip and separate all the recyclables etc - So I pulled 2 beers and chatted with him for a while and I said that it would be sad if that TV actually worked and he just gave it to me.

    It was missing the power cord that someone cut out.

    So I opened it up and pulled out the cords connection to the motherboard, made a new cord, plugged in and no luck.

    Looked online as there was the power light flashing 6 times "red" then a pause of 2 seconds and then doing it again.

    Turns out that it is a code telling you that your "lamp" is burned out. Short trip to ebay and found a replacement for $30!

    So once it comes in I have a new 42 inch TV for $30

    And I havent even touched the desktops yet...
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  • Profile picture of the author greenovni
    Also, Look in the Craiglist FREE section - Ton of big TVs there that with a little maintenance or better yet, some cleaning you can resell for $100 easy all day
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    Along the lines of a cleaning business, a friend of mine used to find estates and offer to clean out the house to get it ready to sell. Basically she told the owners to go through the house and take anything they want. After that, she would empty the house and get it cleaned. After that, see would check out what could be sold. The good stuff she sold, and what was not worth the effort of selling was generally donated to a thrift store.

    And yes, she did charge for her services but I don't think I ever asked the price. She got her customers via word-of-mouth.

    Marvin
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    @ Claude

    I could see that vaccuum buying thing working out really well.
    There is a local Kirby office that gives customers $100 off the purchase if they trade in their old vaccuumm. Just to make the customer feel better about the deal.
    Then they throw the vaccuums away.
    In fact, they had a contest for their reps one time. See who could throw a vaccuum the longest distance across the parking lot.
    These vaccuums still worked, but they don't want thme and the customer wants the $100 off.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    Thanks to everyone for all of the tips and suggestions, there is a ton of good information in this thread. I never expected it to be such a hit.


    Man after the day I had yesterday trying to do that house (which was twice the size they said it was, with a finished basement with a second kitchen + she was a nightmare to work with) I sure learned a lot.

    First off, never quote over the phone. This job was offered to me by a friend who was supposed to do it (2 person team) but then something came up and they couldn't do it. The job was 1.5 hours away. I said I would do it as they told me it would take 4-5 hours tops as it was a small single story house and the job paid $200. Well when I get down there and the customer walks me through the house my jaw dropped. It had to have been 2,500 sq ft at least. Plus they said they wanted all of the walls washed. She was all bent out of shape that it was just me and not a crew as it was supposed to be a one day job.

    Mistake #2, I should have just cut my losses then and there and told her I can't handle that job by myself. But instead, I was upset I had just drove an hour and a half down there so I took on the job anyways. I didn't have all of the supplies I needed for a house that big so I spent another $20 on stuff. After 5 hours of busting my hump on it, she was all bent out of shape that I had only 1/2 of the main floor finished. Long story short, I packed up my stuff and went home, empty handed.
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    • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
      Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post

      Mistake #2, .
      You did not make mistakes, you learned what not to do next time, so call them learning curves not mistakes. Any pro will tell you that they all made them at the start and still do from time to time, just do not get hung up on them.

      Go again tomorrow and best of luck with it.
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      • Profile picture of the author umc
        R Wow man, you got screwed. Unless you've professionally cleaned before, if you're friend is just handing out cleaning jobs to any able bodied person as if that's all it takes to clean, then he doesn't have a very good business. Cleaning isn't just grabbing a bottle of Windex and some rags, especially in homes with lots of higher end materials. If you don't know what you're doing, you will underbid yourself and possible damage something. There's nothing wrong with the cleaning business, some are just run poorly.

        Heck, just driving that far for a job in the first place is sketchy. Wow.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
          Originally Posted by umc View Post

          R Wow man, you got screwed. Unless you've professionally cleaned before, if you're friend is just handing out cleaning jobs to any able bodied person as if that's all it takes to clean, then he doesn't have a very good business. Cleaning isn't just grabbing a bottle of Windex and some rags, especially in homes with lots of higher end materials. If you don't know what you're doing, you will underbid yourself and possible damage something. There's nothing wrong with the cleaning business, some are just run poorly.

          Heck, just driving that far for a job in the first place is sketchy. Wow.
          Yep for sure. I have done clean outs before but never professional cleaning. This house was empty so it was just cleaning the house itself not the personal belongings luckily.
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          • Profile picture of the author umc
            Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post

            Yep for sure. I have done clean outs before but never professional cleaning. This house was empty so it was just cleaning the house itself not the personal belongings luckily.
            Yeah, there's a huge difference between doing a clean out and actually doing detailed, professional cleaning. People often think that once a house is empty it is easier to clean and will take less time. Not true. Empty just means that now you can reach those baseboards that were hidden by furnishings, all of the insides of drawers and cabinets that were formerly full, the insides of appliances like the refrigerator, etc. Move in and move out cleanings are the detailing of the cleaning industry. Regular cleanings or more like the maintenance car wash. Of course, you can get pretty detailed there as well. If you don't know what to use on natural stone counters, you can ruin their finish. You can't take an abrasive pad or cleanser to just anything. Soap scum that has built up over years may require scraping. Glass shower doors may need to be restored for clarity. It is so much more than people think. Sorry you got in over your head.

            Three hours of driving probably cost you over $20 in gas alone. Then you have those three hours of your time. Plus supplies. Plus labor. Even if it took you 5 hours to clean, you weren't going to do very well on it.
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            • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
              Originally Posted by umc View Post

              Yeah, there's a huge difference between doing a clean out and actually doing detailed, professional cleaning. People often think that once a house is empty it is easier to clean and will take less time. Not true. Empty just means that now you can reach those baseboards that were hidden by furnishings, all of the insides of drawers and cabinets that were formerly full, the insides of appliances like the refrigerator, etc. Move in and move out cleanings are the detailing of the cleaning industry. Regular cleanings or more like the maintenance car wash. Of course, you can get pretty detailed there as well. If you don't know what to use on natural stone counters, you can ruin their finish. You can't take an abrasive pad or cleanser to just anything. Soap scum that has built up over years may require scraping. Glass shower doors may need to be restored for clarity. It is so much more than people think. Sorry you got in over your head.

              Three hours of driving probably cost you over $20 in gas alone. Then you have those three hours of your time. Plus supplies. Plus labor. Even if it took you 5 hours to clean, you weren't going to do very well on it.
              Yep for sure. I have no more interest in house cleaning. The way home took me 3 hours due to Detroit traffic. Took 1/2 a tank of gas easy to go down there and back. Never again.
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              • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
                Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post

                Yep for sure. I have no more interest in house cleaning. The way home took me 3 hours due to Detroit traffic. Took 1/2 a tank of gas easy to go down there and back. Never again.
                Just a suggestion. Don't be like the cat Mark Twain talked about. The cat sat on a hot stove and would never again sit on a hot stove. But neither would it sit on a cold stove.

                Business is a *constant* learning process, at least for the successful ones. As has been already suggested, take a look at what you did wrong and adjust.

                Unless you *really* don't like house cleaning as a business !

                Marvin
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  • Profile picture of the author dafnait
    Good luck with the cleaning, you'll get to meet a lot of new people and who knows what will come of that and all the other services product you can market them...
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  • Profile picture of the author LindaYzq
    Have you tried calling for house cleaning prices, then re-ajust the price for garages?
    Of course the prices should be higher!

    Just my opinion
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Rob, check your PM's, I sent you a 'lil somethin!
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      Rob, check your PM's, I sent you a 'lil somethin!
      Like I said, this is one of those things that flyers and mail pieces would work on... Bob is the man for that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    Well I was never planning on getting into house cleaning. I want to do just garage cleaning. I just happened to take a house cleaning job that didn't end up being as advertised and got screwed. Just more of a reason not to do house cleaning.

    RedShifted posted in another thread about going after the right customer. I didn't think much about it as 95% of the people here in Michigan have garages. He was talking about someone he knew that did lawn care and stopped targeting low and middle class and just picked up a couple upper class clients and his business has never been better. I am thinking along the same lines. If I target say people who make over $100,000 a year I am thinking those people will be less likely to want to clean their own garages and also probably won't have as much trash in their garages. I can focus more on basic cleaning and installing organization systems and such with those types of clients. I would rather target houses that have been built in the last 10-15 years at most vs those that have 50 years of trash, dirt and accumulation in them.

    Also, I am going to use Bob Ross's new M3 system to get clients. I plan on having my ad target the wives with something like "Tired of waiting on your husband to clean the garage?"
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  • Profile picture of the author davidreese
    Why limit it to cleaning? Why not make it organizing too and hauling too?

    IF you put the green spin on it you can add a premium price.

    I would use doorhangers or the Every Door Direct program to market it.

    Hint, many people respond to something along the lines: need help organizing?
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  • Profile picture of the author aduttonater
    I have hauled alot of stuff in my time. 3 years in a yard cleaning business and now I'm back on my marketing grind. Don't get me wrong, I will never flush any jobs down the toilet that require me to hitch up to my trailers again and get to hauling.
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