I get this question a lot; How do I get my 1st Cleaning Clients??? While there are several ways, I wanted to share how you can build your cleaning business with GROUPON! This is the exact steps I took within the first few months of starting my Business. I was able to build my business by increasing my regularly scheduled clients quickly.
UPDATE: Recently LivingSocial and GROUPON have merged, so I the remainder of the post I will refer to GROUPON.
Before I go into this post I wanted to provide a Disclaimer:
Since I am upfront with my reviews, I do want to point out that you will NOT PROFIT from a coupon campaign. You are selling services below cost, plus GROUPON will get a percentage of the sale which usually starts at 50% (though this can be negotiated).
Yes, not all users will redeem their coupon, but even not servicing all your coupon purchasers you will not make profit off of the cleanings you perform for your GROUPON and LivingSocial customers.
Who should use GROUPON:
I recommend using GROUPON or LivingSocial to:
- Newly established Cleaning Companies
- Established Cleaning Companies during slow periods
Related Article: 7 Low cost ways to grow your cleaning business
What GROUPON will do for your Cleaning Business?
- Provide ZERO cost marketing. There are no upfront costs to you. Utilizing these sites is 100% free. You only pay a percentage of each sale. That means GROUPON does not make any money unless your service sells.
- Put your Cleaning Service in front of users in your local community who are interested in Cleaning Services. Thousands of users use GROUPON daily and search and buy local services. Listing on these sites will put you in front of people living in your community who are interested in YOUR Services.
- Perfect your cleaning system. You will gain practice cleaning several different types of homes. This will benefit your service by ensuring you develop a cleaning system that is efficient in all different levels of cleanliness and surfaces.
- With proper planning and execution, you will build your Cleaning Business with GROUPON!
How much can you make selling cleaning services on GROUPON?
Remember you will not be making a profit off your GROUPON sales. The goal is to build your cleaning business with GROUPON.
What you make off your campaign will vary based on the cost of your coupon, how many you sell and GROUPON’s fee’s. Here is an analysis of the campaign I ran:
Coupon sold: 3 hour cleaning discounted to $59. # of coupons sold: 113.
$6,667 in total sales. 50% of the sales went to LivingSocial and that left me with just over $3,000.
About 80% of those that purchased the coupon actually redeemed their coupon, so we were able to service about 85 BRAND NEW clients. 8 of those clients became weekly or bi-weekly clients. Just in 1 years’ time I made $20,000 off those new clients I gained from my LivingSocial campaign.
To me this was a win!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are Affiliate Links. What that means is I may earn a small commission if you click on one. This comes at no additional cost to you as the buyer. All of these products are products that I used exclusively in my Cleaning Business. I only recommend products or services which I have used, tested and highly respect. When you order through my link it helps to provide you free content. I greatly appreciate your support!
How to build your Cleaning Business with GROUPON
Running a Successful GROUPON campaign
Now that you have decided that a GROUPON campaign is right for building your Cleaning Business, lets get into how to be successful in your first campaign. Remember your goal is to increase your customer base, it is not to profit off of the GROUPON sales.
Have a Plan in place. Without a plan it will be VERY difficult to build your cleaning business with GROUPON.
When running your campaign expect to get a majority of your calls in the first 2 weeks of running the campaign. You will be performing the majority of the cleaning services within the first 4 weeks your campaign runs.
This mean you will be cleaning a lot of homes in a shorter among of time. This takes adequate man power and supplies and equipment. Taking the time to make sure you have the time and resources to complete these cleanings will be crucial to your success.
Not planning your time and resources can lead to failure. You will not want to disrupt your current cleaning clients by servicing your GROUPON clients. Make sure you are not moving around your current cleaning clients so that you can make room for your GROUPON clients. Ensure you have enough cleaning supplies and proper equipment.
I remember cleaning for one of our Coupon clients and they were so impressed with the high level of professionalism and cleaning quality. She said she had bought a GROUPON from another cleaning company and they brought a broom in place of a vacuum! Needless to say the cleaning was not quality. DON’T be like that Cleaning Company.
Related: Must have tools for Speed Cleaning
Define what is included in the Service
When you run your campaign you will be working with an account representative who will help you build your campaign. When defining your service, be sure to be specific with what is and what is not included in the cleaning services. This will improve communication and expectations.
The flip side to this is, if you have listed a service task that you complete it at every cleaning, make sure your are doing it with every cleaning. If not, you will quickly build distrust with the client and completely ruin your chances for gaining a repeat client.
Answer your phone
When you are first starting out it can be difficult to always be available to answer your phone. This is especially true when you are cleaning homes yourself.
Answering the phone will be the first impression to the new client. Your business will not look professional if a client has to call several times to book their cleaning.
What I did during my LivingSocial launch is coaxed my sister into answering my phone for me. She had just had a baby and was a stay at home mom. So we traded services. I set her up with my calendar and trained her in how to book a client.
This worked out really well and I had received great feedback.
If you do not have a friend or family member to help you answer phones, there are answering services available. There are variations in how these services charge. I personally have never used one, so I can not review the different services out there, but have heard of other cleaning businesses having great success with them. Here is an in depth review article you can reference. Best answering services of 2019.
Provide a high quality service
Don’t fall prey to treating coupon customers differently than regular, full paying customers. You will have 1 shot to make a first impression, don’t blow it. This will only push these new customers away and tarnish your business name.
When cleaning for a coupon customer, you will need to pull out the red carpet and wow with your quality service. Give them a glimpse of what it would be like if they hired your cleaning service on a regular basis.
By providing exemptional and quality service, you will increase your chance of gaining a repeat customer or receiving a referral, which is the goal of the campaign! These customers may not be ready to commit to full time cleaning services at the moment, but they are at least interested and may be ready at a later date.
Collect information about the home. Similar to quoting for cleaning services, collect details about the home so that you will know what to expect and what equipment will be needed to clean the home. Fill out a customer data sheet for them so that you have their information to clean the home AND to follow up with them after the clean.
Follow up after the Cleaning Service
Don’t let the day of the cleaning service be the only time that customer ever hears from you. The goal of the Coupon campaign is to increase your customer base. To do that you will need to follow up so that your business name stays fresh in their mind. This way when they need their home cleaned, they will think to call your business.
Developing a communication plan for your GROUPON campaign:
The night of the cleaning service, mail the customer a hand written thank you letter and information about your company. The packet should included a thank you letter, a quote and marketing material.
The thank you letter should say thank you for allowing you to service their house cleaning needs. At the bottom of the letter is where you could include a quote for cleaning their home weekly, every other week and monthly.
To learn about what you should be charging for cleaning services and sign up to get my FREE price calculator, click here … What to Charge for Cleaning Services
Marketing materials, such as a brochure, should describing your business mission and services. Include at least 5 business cards for the client to share with their friends and family. Providing this information helps to set the stage for a continued relationship.
To see my New Client Welcome Kit, click here … Create a New Client Welcome Kit
The next day after the Cleaning Service, send an email asking how their experience was and to rate your cleaning service. Provide a link to any directory you may be listed on (YELP etc.). This will help you to build a rating in these sites and increase your referrals!
At the time of booking the cleaning service, you should have collected the clients email. And so you will want to add them to your email list. This way you can email them periodically with promotions and news about your Cleaning Business.
3 months after the cleaning service was completed, if you have not heard from the client since, sent an email with a 10% off of their next cleaning service coupon. This puts your business name back in front of the client.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Interrupting a current clients schedule to clean for a New Client.
It takes hard work to score a recurring cleaning client. Don’t jeopardize your relationships and your reputation with your regularly scheduled clients to book your GROUPON cleans. This is why planning your resources in the beginning is so important.
Trying to up sell cleaning services to your GROUPON clients.
Don’t come off as a pushy sales person. Provide the cleaning the customer purchased at your high quality and follow up later. Remember the goal is not to make a profit on your GROUPON cleanings. It is to increase your client base. You will increase your client base if you provide an exceptional customer experience.
It may be tempting to cut corners with the cleaning service because of the little bit of money you have collected for it. Again, the goal is to not make a profit on these cleanings. Provide a quality service and you will increase your regular customer base.
How to Sign up for a GROUPON Campaign:
Once you have decided that a GROUPON campaign is best for your Cleaning Business you can create an account with GROUPON. When you first Get Started you will apply to become a Merchant. This may take a few weeks. It goes through GROUPONS approval process and they check to see if your campaign is a good fit for the site.
Here is a step by step process for Getting Started:
- Visit GROUPON Merchant Center and click GET STARTED
Choose Local Deals
Type in your Business Name to get started.
Choose a business Type
Within 2 weeks you will receive a call from a Merchant representative.
Now you will wait to hear back from GROUPON. You will receive a phone call or an email. When the merchant representative calls, they will get information about your business, help you to build and schedule your first campaign. You will choose what services you want to offer and at what price point.
Don’t forget to Negotiate Your FEEs
I highly recommend you try and negotiate your fee’s. Generally, you will start with a 50% fee of all sales plus about 2.9% for credit card processing fees. All of this is negotiable.
This is something I wish I knew going into my LivingSocial campaign. I did not negotiate my rates. I have heard of small businesses negotiating down to 40% and removing the credit card fees and having GROUPON pay those. So if this is the route you go, try to negotiate!
RECAP: To build your Cleaning Business with GROUPON follow these steps …
- Define what is included in your services
- Answer your phone
- Provide a high quality service
- Follow up after the Cleaning Service to land more cleanings!
Well that is it. Tell me about your experience with running a GROUPON campaign. Were you able to build your business with GROUPON? I would love to hear!
Best of Luck!