I work for a company that owns a few different businesses. One of the businesses is a residential house cleaning company. We have tried many things, but we have found a few that work better than others.
Our goal has been to build a business on a shoestring budget, so our marketing has been very limited in terms of budget. Most of our marketing has been via door to door sales.
We created a door hanger flyer that acted as a coupon. It offers 1 hour of free cleaning with a minimum purchase of 2 hours. It also clarifies that we offer 'free estimates'. This allows us to have a conversation with our prospective clients and give them a customized quote based on their needs.
At first we just put the doorhangers on each door; trying to hit as many homes as possible. We passed out 10,000 door hangers, but only had a response of about 1/3 of 1%. As you can tell, this was NOT cost effective!
So we started trying a different method. We would take the same door hangers, but wait until evening or the weekend - when people were home - and we would go door to door. If no one answered, we would still leave the doorhanger, but if they did answer we would use this outline script:
"Hi, my name is _____ from Pixie Dust Services. We are a locally owned cleaning company and we just wanted to let you know we are here to serve you. Have you ever used a cleaning service?"
Our conversion rate from this method has shot up to around 2.5%. It takes a lot more time, and is labor intensive, but it has proven to be very effective.
Our total cost to acquire a new customer is around $130 per customer. This is much lower than the average lifetime value of a customer - and most new customers cover this cost in just one month of using our service. If we were not paying a cleaner/sales person to do the door to door (and were doing it our self) that cost per customer would be much, much lower - as the major cost is labor. So for someone looking to start something - a cleaning company can be started for as little as the cost of insurance, initial cleaning supplies and a few door hanger flyers. The biggest cost is your own time and investment in going door to door.
This method has allowed us to grow from nothing to over $14k in monthly revenue in just under 6 months.
That is the 'success' side. I want to encourage anyone looking to start their own venture that the best method is usually just putting boots on the ground, ear to the phone or knuckle to the door.
Of course, there is clearly room to grow. We are looking at improving our method and making our customer acquisition more efficient. We don't mind paying $130 for a new customer, as that is profitable, but we would like to find ways to lower that figure.
Does anyone have any ideas on that front?
We are thinking about an EDDM campaign. I have attached the flyer I have designed and would love to get people's critique on the flyer.
How would you market a business like this?
Your thoughts and feedback is appreciated!