Eager entrepreneurs everywhere are reaping the benefits of opening a commercial cleaning business. Once you are open for business, it is time to start selling contracts. Here are five factors to consider when acquiring commercial cleaning contracts and customers:
1. Facility Selection
Deciding what type of facility you are going to target is a critical step to acquiring commercial cleaning contracts. Facility types vary amongst industries, so it is important to consider these differences and make your decision accordingly. For example, a standard office workspace likely requires less detailed cleaning and disinfecting services than a hospital would.
All facilities come with unique needs that you, as the cleaner, must be able to meet in order to retain customer satisfaction. Appealing to every industry type may sound like a good approach, however, it can lead to accepting a contract that you are unequipped to handle. Instead, try honing in on facility types that you are best qualified for. Think about your skills, strengths, and weaknesses.
Determining what suits your skill set best will help you identify your ideal customers, which, ultimately, will likely lead to strong customer relationships and long-term success for your business. Keep in mind that not all companies want or need recurring janitorial services. They may, however, require special event cleaning or “one-time work” services. As with recurring commercial cleaning contracts, special event clean-up contracts will have a wide variety of needs that the business owner must consider when deciding which opportunities to pursue.
2. Location, Location, Location
Establishing a service area is an important aspect of your business. Targeting customers everywhere may sound strategic, however, travel time and logistics are major expenses that must not be overlooked. Calculating the costs and risks associated with commuting to and from customer accounts will benefit your business greatly. Circumstances like heavy traffic and inclement weather might be out of your control, but they will cause you to be tardy and miss cleans. By clustering your cleaning accounts close together you are greatly reducing the chance of these undesirable occurrences from happening in the first place.
3. Pricing Your Services
Creating a menu or list of services your cleaning company offers can serve as a valuable asset when pricing and selling your cleaning contracts. This allows you to be transparent to your potential clients about what you are willing and able to offer. Additionally, a menu allows you to clearly state your availability. The level of cleaning you intend to provide on a nightly, weekly, or monthly basis should be advertised similar to how a store displays its hours of operation on its window or website.
A major benefit of being your own boss is having a great deal of control over your work schedule. You might plan to clean Monday through Friday, during regular business hours. Or maybe you intend to clean on the weekends when no one is in the office. Whatever the case, this method is an effective and efficient way to attract your ideal clients straight away. You soon will notice that your level of service, as well as frequency, has a significant impact on pricing.
Take electrostatic spraying, for example. Does your cleaning company intend on disinfecting the facility once a week, or nightly? If the answer is nightly, you will be spending more time and resources and, therefore, you should charge accordingly. Frequency and level of service are the determining factors for how to price a cleaning contract. The kitchen area of a restaurant requires a much more extensive cleaning than the dining area does, and these elevated expectations should be reflected in the contract.
Ultimately, you should take a consultative approach to understand client expectations, customizing cleaning schedules, determining the frequency and scope of work to suit the facility’s needs and client’s desires, generating a cleaning contract with terms, and outlining conditions and pricing to match the client’s desires.
4. Marketing Your Cleaning Business
Fortunately, cleaning companies provide an essential service that every industry type needs. Unfortunately, it is likely that there are several other cleaning companies that provide the same services target the same customers. That is why marketing can be a powerful strategy to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Cold-calling potential customers is a traditional and common way to acquire commercial cleaning contracts. Over time, it has proven to be an efficient and cost-effective way to target businesses in your areas. This remains true, especially if you already have an established network with local business owners and office managers. Tapping into these networks is a great way to generate word-of-mouth referrals as well. Satisfied customers are oftentimes willing to recommend you to other businesses in their building, network, or industry.
Cold calling, networking, and customer referrals have proven to work, however, there are several other approaches available to business owners. In fact, additional marketing efforts are necessary if you hope to establish a large client base. Fliers and pamphlets are a time-tested and relatively inexpensive advertising method. Building relationships with real estate agents and property managers can generate word-of-mouth referrals for customer contracts, which is especially beneficial for those who do not already have established networks and connections.
In today’s day and age, a digital marketing strategy is critical to successfully compete in the commercial cleaning industry. Creating a simple website, and/or social media page (like Instagram or Facebook) is an effective way to showcase your services and provide contact information.
5. Consistency is Key
Getting cleaning contracts- and retaining them- is no simple task. Determining your service offerings, location, target customer, and marketing tactics is only the beginning. Having systems in place is crucial to building, growing, and maintaining a profitable business, but you will soon learn that there is no way of knowing how much and how often you are able to sell. In the end, consistency is the foundation of running a successful business. The steps listed above will help you acquire commercial cleaning contracts so long as you are committed to putting in the work day in and day out.
About Corvus Janitorial Systems
Founded in 2004 to make people’s lives better, Corvus Janitorial Systems is a full-service commercial cleaning franchisor that offers cleaning services through reputable local Franchisees. Corvus has been guided by its mission to transform people and transform places by consistently delivering independence, security, and freedom to Franchisees who deliver high-quality cleaning to offices, educational buildings, medical buildings/offices, recreational centers, industrial parks, and other spaces. Visit our website for more information regarding Corvus and the franchise opportunities we offer nationwide.