So what is Cause Marketing?
Cause marketing is when a for-profit business and a non-profit business team together to bring awareness or raise funds for a common cause. Philanthropy helps your business generate more business and now a days consumers expect it from businesses, it is becoming the norm.
What is cleaning for a reason and why should it be part of your business strategy?
Cleaning for a reason is an outreach program where women undergoing cancer treatment can apply to receive free, no obligation, cleaning services. A patient can apply for cleaning service by having their doctor sign a form confirming treatment. Anyone can sign them up through the cleaning for a reason website.
Once enrolled, patients are matched up with a cleaning service who service in their area. They receive 4 free consecutive monthly cleanings during treatment. This takes the burden of house work off of the patient and allows them to focus on healing, resting and spending time with loved ones.
Many of these patients lack the physical ability to clean their own homes. The body is put through a lot during treatment and chemo making it nearly impossible to keep up on house work.
Currently 1,200 maid services participate in the program and have served 23,000 women totaling $6,000,000.00 in house cleanings. The number keeps rising as more awareness is being made. Anybody who is a somebody in the residential maid service industry is participating.
So what is a maid services commitment?
A maid service who agrees to participate in the program agrees to service 2 patients at the same time. The maid service sets the cleaning parameters that they are willing to clean.
You can donate 3-4 man hours a cleaning. Which will be plenty of time for up to a 3500sq ft home. If you have 2 patients to service, that is only 6 – 8 man hours in a month.
What are the benefits to your maid service?
1. You can’t beat the PR.
This is a wonderful service to provide for women undergoing treatment. Everyone is so appreciative for the help. Word will spread through out your community about your businesses commitment to the cause. When I was running my cleaning business, we would have friends and family members of those we serviced through Cleaning for a Reason who were looking for cleaning services.
Cleaning for a Reason provides marketing resources for their maid services. They provide a ready to use logo for you to apply to all of your marketing material.
Need content for your social media? They provide loads of Facebook post ideas and tweats that you can reuse on your platforms for your following!
2. Boost employee moral!
Send them on these cleanings. Employees love to making a difference and participating in community service. There is no better feeling than knowing you made a difference in some ones life!
My employees absolutely loved servicing these clients. It made them feel more pride in their work and our company, building employee loyalty.
3. Cause Marketing
Tell all of your customers and potential customers about your involvement. Include the logo in all of your marketing material. It will help to build a positive image in your community.
Every October complete a campaign educating the public and local news media about the program. There is a good chance you could get a featured article or news blurb about it during the month of October! Cleaning for a Reason even provides Media News Releases for you to send into local news media!
You just get the feel goods!
Every client/patient I cleaned for through this program was so grateful of the service. We meet so many strong women. Heard so many encouraging stories.
It is so enlightening to be apart and support a person in their hardest fight of their life. Just knowing you contributed support against their battle is aw-inspiring.
You could never put a price tag on the benefits.
Now is the Time to Join!
It is supper simple to sign up. Go to www.CleaningforAReason.org, and click on their Click on the Maid Service tab.
There are minimal requirements to being a maid service partner. You will need to be insured and/or bonded and perform background checks on non-family employees. (Which you should be doing anyway!!!)
Its one of the most sought after questions for new entrepreneurs. How do I deliver a house cleaning quote? First, before we get to far into this, you will need to know what your price structure is.
If you don’t have any idea or know where to begin on what to charge for house cleaning services, jump on over to my post that dives into it. —> What You Should Charge for House Cleaning Services
Get the FREE Download for my Price Worksheet (included in the FREE Resource Library This worksheet provides a Pricing Guide for recurring Residential Cleaning!
Its exciting when you start getting requests for quotes. You’ve marketed your business and finally got that first call. Now what??? If you don’t have all your ducks in a row and a consistent process then you will not have a very high conversion rate.
Decide if you are going to give in home estimates or phone estimates. These are the 2 most popular quoting methods, and the most debated on whether which is best. They both have their pros and cons.
In Home Estimates
Lots of cleaning companies only do in home estimates and will argue that they are the only way to go. Whats great about them is you will be able to to see the condition of the home. Because the condition of the home has an impact on cleaning times, seeing it will give you a better idea on how long you should plan to be there on the first clean. It also alleviates any surprises…Trust me those are never fun!
The down side is that they eat up valuable time. You might be confused…Wait, isn’t landing a job one of the most valuable things you can be doing? Well, yes … and no. You can have a converted quote just the same whether you speak to the potential client on the phone or in person. The difference is the amount of time invested to convert the quote.
When you are a business owner, your time is very valuable and you will need to be very selective on how you spend it. Most in home estimates will take about 2 hours. This allows for driving time and for the actual face to face time with the client.
You could only realistically do a few in home estimates a day. And that is if your doing them during regular business hours. But, most of your estimates will be done around a time convenient for the potential client. This means you will be spending weekends and evenings delivering quotes. This will cut into family time, leisure time and sleep time!
These are my #1 choice. You can still get information concerning the job AND you can still create a connection with the potential client BUT you are saving 1/4 of the time! You could give 3 times more quotes this way!
The down side to phone quotes is you won’t be able to see the home until the first cleaning day. In my 2 years of running a cleaning business we walked into 1 complete disaster. But this was a move out clean, not a recurring client. The way around this is to set a disclaimer letting the client know up front, that the Estimate may change due to extenuating circumstances causing additional cleaning time than expected.
If you have a consistent cleaning system and pricing system your cleaning times will not vary greatly for the majority of clients. Obviously there are those outlier’s, but that is what the disclaimer is for. This makes phone quotes more effective and accurate.
Related Post: Cleaning Efficiently, The Most Efficient Cleaning System
Website estimates have grown in popularity in recent years. When you are first starting out, it more than likely will not financially make sense for you to invest in an online booking form. If you have a website, you should definitely make it a goal of yours to putting one on your site. The great thing about online estimate forms is they happen on autopilot. A client finds your site when they do a web search for a reputable cleaning company in your area, they can get a custom quote immediately AND can book their cleaning at the same time! When a quote is submitted, or booking made, you will get a notification.
The online booking form I used for my cleaning biz was Launch27. They are currently the best out there. Pricing starts at $59 a month. But they the sleekest and most user friendly format for both clients using the form and you as the business owner managing it. They have an easy to install plug-in for your site and offer tons of resources to help you through the process.
Whether you are providing an in home, over the phone or web quote you’ll want to gather pertinent data to help you set a price as well as prepare for your first cleaning. You will want to know the following information before entering a home.
- Square footage
- Number of Stories
- How many Bedrooms
- Number of Bathrooms
- Any other rooms? Laundry, Den, etc.
- Type of flooring throughout the home
- Any Pets?
- Is there currently a cleaning service
- One time cleaning or Recurring service
- Any additional information the client would like to add
Not only will this information help determine price and cleaning times, it will also help prepare for the first cleaning. It will help give you an idea of a cleaning time and help determine what supplies and equipment will be needed. If the client has wood floors you’ll want to bring a wood floor mop and cleaner, if none then that can be left in the vehicle. (BTW Click here —-> for the best Wood Floor Cleaning System) The more information you can gather about a home before you enter it, the better. This will help to eliminate any special surprises.
Define your services
So, why should clients choose your cleaning service over another? Now’s your time to SHINE!!! Tell them all the fabulous reasons your company stands out over another. Remember that you will be competing with cleaners who work by themselves, have no insurance, and don’t have any formal cleaning program, and are not insured. So tell potential clients this. If something is broken or property is damaged, cause lets face it we are all human and accidents happen, liability insurance protects your clients home and belongings. (P.S. If you don’t have business insurance, you need to hop on over and read this article —-> Why every cleaning business should carry insurance!)
Show them a cleaning check list used with each cleaning. At a minimum your service should include dusting of furniture, vacuuming, moping, kitchen surfaces, bathroom surfaces. Think of including areas that many other cleaners miss such as long dusting of ceiling fans and hard to reach area’s (this can be done with a simple long dusting tool).
Offer a unique service, and tell potential clients about it, that will separate you from your competitors. The way we stood out over our clients is offering ‘Extra’s’ like wet wiping baseboards, cabinetry, vacuum living room furniture, and other periodic tasks that most companies charge extra for. When I would tell potential clients this they were always excited about this. Its so easy to offer. At each cleaning you complete one task. Because you are keeping up on the tasks, it does not take much effort to add to the cleanings.
This is important. Some times potential clients will ask for a quote and may be get busy, or something else comes up. If we didn’t hear back from a client in 3 days I would email them or call them to ask if they had any questions I had not answered. This does 2 things. One it puts your company name in front of them again. Maybe they have called around for several quotes (which most people do when shopping for a cleaning service). Two it lets the potential client know that you care about their business and care about them. If they were to hire your cleaning service, they know they will be services with care. And three it makes you look professional.
Ask if you can send them promotional emails
I always asked those that received quotes if we could put them on our mailing list. I don’t recall anyone saying no! I let them know that we ran promotions or specials periodically for clients and that we would be happy to add them to our mailing list. Almost every time we ran a special, we had a prior quote sign up either for a 1 time clean. Some times homeowners get quotes and realize they can’t afford the service. But jump on the special promotions. These clients are great for generating referrals too! Once we got into their home to clean, we impressed them with our stellar service we either got a great review, referral or new continuous service.
Also, if there is an issue with budget with a potential client you can suggest once a month visits rather than weekly or bi-weekly. They still get the heavy cleaning done, but may have to do light cleaning chores such as vacuuming and wiping down counters.
Read my article on How to Get Paid for Cleaning Services AND Save Money on Credit Card Fee’s
So there you have it! How to give an effective house cleaning quote and get a sale. The key here is collecting the right data to determine the price, consistent pricing, having a consistent cleaning system and following up. Clients will hire a service whom they trust, so remember to always be professional and keep all promises.
Once you get hired head on over to my article Creating a New Client Welcome Kit to learn how to welcome your new client!
If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a response or shot me an email at Roberta@WellKeptClutter.com! I am here to help you start a successful cleaning business with as little extra work necessary!
Starting a cleaning business is a low cost, low entry business to start. With that comes a flood of entrants trying to take advantage of the same opportunity. Seeing that competition can be intimidating. Making growing your cleaning business seem overwhelming and impossible.
To stand out from the competition you have to think out side of the box and get a bit creative.
Growing your cleaning business with low to no budget.
Brand your Car
At first, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a vehicle wrap for your car. (Though it will be something you want to add down the road when you have more revenue.) You can purchase vinyl lettering at Wal-Mart or craft store. Put your ‘Companies Name’, indicate ‘Residential Cleaning Service’, and your ‘Phone Number’.
Every time you pick up your kids from school all those parents in the car rider lot will see your vehicle, there are 180 days in a school year. Times that by 2 (for drop off and pick up), that is 360 potential impressions per parent!
Or each time you clean a home, that clients neighbors will see your vehicle. The longer they see your car parked in their drive way the same time, every other Wednesday at 9:00 am the more likely they will call. They will see that you are reliable (because they see your vehicle the same time), and you obviously do a stellar job because your client keeps having you come back.
Because you have your companies name plastered to your vehicle, be sure to always act accordingly. Remember everyone you drive past, may be a potential client. Drive politely. Don’t cut any one off. No road rage, and for heavens sake don’t give anyone the bird!
Another rule of thumb. If you are a smoker, don’t smoke in your car! You would not smoke in your office, so don’t smoke in your vehicle. There are several reasons why, but for this post I will just say because of the whole image. With the whole air quality and sanitation phase, most home owners do not want to hire smokers. So if you do happen to be a smoker, try to keep it out of your vehicle for the sake of your image.
My first 2 clients (I considered them my first, because they were complete strangers!) were obtained this way! Best $20 I had ever spent. One was a bi-weekly clean at $145 for 2.5 years, that was $9,425 in revenue off of a $20 investment. Not too shabby!
Join local Facebook groups
Local Facebook groups are a great way to get your name in front of a large group of potential customers. To find local groups on Facebook, type in your city’s name in the search bar. Choose groups similar to services offered, swap shops, parent related groups, realtor groups, and any neighborhood groups you want to service.
Once you join, don’t over populate the feed with advertising. This makes you look desperate and pushy. Instead create a strategy to add value to the group. It is OK to introduce yourself and service when you first join, but after that try not to post advertisements.
The best marketing strategy with these groups is to respond to cleaning needs, contribute to discussions with helpful, professional and friendly content. You want to be seen as a expert in the cleaning field. Someone who provides valuable services, and not as a pushy used car salesman!
You will find others offering cleaning service, so you will have to make sure to stand out (in a good way!). Rules to follow to preserve your brand is to always be professional. Don’t fall into the trap of negative posts, be personable but don’t divulge your dirty laundry.
It is important to build relationships with members. If they respect and grow to trust you, they will be more likely to refer clients your way or higher you in the future….even better 🙂
I have seen small business owners post about their services, only to post a few days later about the lady driving a Blue Ford Focus who cut them off on Hwy 301 Tuesday afternoon at 3:00. That kind of post may elicit more response, but it is not going to make you look like a professional business owner.
Offer a Promotional Sale on GROUPON
GROUPON can be a powerful tool for your business if leveraged correctly. To run a campaign you offer your cleaning services for a discounted price for a short period of time. Local buyers purchase your coupon upfront, then have a short period to redeem the coupon for services.
I know I am always saying not to under sell your services. But in this one instance I recommend the GROUPON sales. GROUPON has the resources to get your business in front of a ton of consumers. It does not cost any money upfront. You pay GROUPON a percentage of your sales.
I have written up an entire blog post on how to effectively run a successful GROUPON campaign so that you can grow your business and the number of recurring clients. Read it over here: Building your Business with GROUPON
Donate to local organizations
Community service is a great way to spread the work about your company. Silent auctions are a lucrative and popular way that local organizations/groups fund raise. Donating a 3 hour cleaning would only cost you your time. You will help. You will gain cleaning experience, a potential client, reference, and referral.
The people that purchase these gift certificates have the need for cleaning help, and usually are tied to the organization in one way shape or form. Which means they will be supper gracious to you for offering up your services to help support that group.
There are several ways to find these opportunities. You can utilize the Facebook groups. Contact churches or schools directly letting them know you would be happy to help support their group.
Donations are not only good PR, but it also helps get the word out about your service. Most all groups accept certificates, and only a few were even redeemed. You will gain more positive exposure commenting on these announcements as a reputable company willing to help and donate back to the community.
Join and network with your kids PTO/PTA
PTO’s are constantly looking for volunteers and donations. You can support your child’s school and promote and grow your cleaning business. There are so many different avenues you can take with this. I wish I would have implemented this with my cleaning business. There is something uplifting about helping the community!
Teacher appreciation is huge in schools, with budget cuts and stagnant salaries schools welcome any support they can give their teachers. Offer 1 free cleaning to the teacher of the month. Or better yet if there is no teacher of the month program you can spearhead it and put your cleaning company’s name as the sponsor of the program. Teachers put in a lot of time and effort into our kids so pampering gifts, such as a sparkling clean home, is always much appreciated.
Other ways to support your school include purchasing an ad space in the school newsletter or sponsor level, donate raffle items for silent auctions, provide the ‘clean up crew’ for after hours school events, set up a table/sponsor a game at any school carnivals. You can get really creative with this so think out side of the box!
Offer Discounted Services to Friends and Family
I did this when I first started my business. I only promoted it on Facebook, but knowing what I know now, I would have utilized my email list as well. Tell all of your family and friends of your newest business venture.
Do them a favor by offering a free service in return, ask for a review and to use them as a referral. This is a sure way to build your reference list and a review base to add to marketing material. Plus you will prove your value, so they will be that more likely to refer you to people they know….See how everyone wins!
Reach out to local Real Estate agents
Realtors work with home buyers. At a sale, a good realtor will give a gift to the new home buyer, welcoming them into their new home. What better gift than a move in clean! (From your company, of-course!)
Another way to service a realtor is buy offering cleaning services for house showings. It is no secrete that a clean home shows better and a home that shows better sells better! If a home seller does not have a house cleaner, their realtor could recommend bringing in your company!
Working for realtors can help keep you busy, plus build more repeat clients. They meet and work with a lot of home owners. Make their life easier and help them sell more houses and they will keep you in mind when their clients need your services.
Obtain a new home purchased list.
New home buyers are usually new to the area. They don’t already have a cleaning service and probably in the market for one. Put together a fun letter, or post card if you have the budget, and mail it to the address.
Make sure to talk about all the awesome ways you will make their life better. What value do you bring them? What makes your company better than the next? Offer them their first cleaning free! Or if you have a few extra dollars, throw in a free $50 Bed Bath and Beyond gift card so they can pick out something fun for their new house!
Get creative, be causal, be fun and be professional.
How do you find newly purchased homes in your desired neighborhoods? Visit realtor.com type in a zip code you want to service and search. It will then populate a list of homes, with street addresses, of recently sold homes, by date.
Now try it! Write down 2 ways you can promote your business this month at your child’s school and implement them!
A few things to keep in mind when growing your cleaning business. Always, always, (sorry I have to say it again) ALWAYS present yourself in a professional manner. This will help you stand above 80% of the so called cleaning businesses out there.
You don’t have to spend a lot, or have a huge budget to market your business in the beginning. Now get out there and implement these low cost steps. You have nothing to loose and only new clients to gain!!!
Let me know what works for you and how many clients you can grow you company with!