The cleaning industry is competitive, so you need to make sure your business stands out – the good news is there are several ways you can take it to the next level.
In 2017, a survey for the British Cleaning Council revealed that new cleaning businesses increased from 4,380 to 4,910 between 2015 and 2016. With more competition, there’s never been a better time to expand and grow your own business.
From really focusing on your customers to revamping your brand, here are some of our favourite tips on how to market and build up your cleaning business.
What kind of clients do you work for currently? If you’re finding it difficult to find new customers, it might be a good idea to look at your existing customers first – it could give you some focus.
If you’re doing all sorts of cleaning jobs for different clients, from residential to commercial, it might be a better idea to focus on a particular niche or market.
Take a look at your current client list. Who gives you the most business? Do they fit a certain profile – how old are they and what do they do, for example? See if there are any patterns or trends, then tailor your future marketing to people from a similar demographic.
These customers clearly like your service, so it’s worth trying to grab the attention of similar people.
Talking to your existing customers to find out what they like about your service. You could ask them to fill out a short survey, or simply chat to them. If there’s something in particular they like, then really home in on making it the best it can be – and shout about it clearly in your marketing.
Talking of current customers, make sure you’re doing all you can to keep them coming back. Cleaning businesses thrive when they have a solid list of customers who repeatedly offer them jobs. This ensures a consistent income and full calendar.
Do you have an email newsletter? If not, this can be a great way to keep your customers updated on what’s happening with your business. You could also include special offers in your newsletters to entice customers into using your services. If you choose not to go with email, direct mail is also a good way to send customers information.
Don’t pester them, though – once a month is plenty, because you don’t want your customers to become annoyed.
A company website is also a must, as you can use it to post regular updates on a blog and include all the information your customers need to get in touch with you easily.
Plus, do you offer any perks for your current customers? People like to feel rewarded, so there might be a reward scheme you can create. Some ideas are a discount off their next clean, or a fourth clean for free.
You could also combine a reward scheme with a referral scheme – if someone refers two friends to you, they get a free clean. Referrals from existing customers are a very effective way to grow your business.
Showing the human side of your cleaning business in your online marketing. We mentioned email newsletters to keep your business in your customers’ minds – the content for these newsletters could include expert everyday cleaning tips from you and your staff. Your friendly customer service should be matched by a friendly tone in your online activity – it can make all the difference to retaining customers.
How about asking existing customers who like your service to give you a review?
Testimonials and reviews can be great to use in your marketing. You can put them in email newsletters or feature them in flyers and leaflets.
If someone sees that others have had a good experience, they’ll be all the more likely to sign up to use your services themselves.
Word-of-mouth referrals are really powerful and online reviews and testimonials can be equally effective.
Using online review sites to your advantage. You’ll need to set up your business on different review sites, but these sites are one of the best ways for people to find your business and see that other people like your service.
You can also read our guide on responding to online reviews. Whether someone’s had a positive or negative experience, how you respond can make all the difference to how someone perceives your brand.
You’ve spoken to your customers, you’ve thought about how to encourage customer loyalty, and testimonials and reviews let everyone know about how good your service is.
The question to ask now is – does your brand stack up? Think about it in terms of all the different ways your customers interact with you, from your flyers to your online presence.
If you don’t already have a visual identity but you want to grow your business, it should be one of the first things to focus on.
Make it professional, sure, but it should also match your niche and how you want your customers to perceive you.
So, if you’ve identified that customers like you because you use environmentally friendly cleaning products, and you don’t already show that with your brand, there might be a way you can incorporate it into your identity. Think logos, company colours, and even your business’s name. We have some tips on how to refresh your brand.
Making sure everything is consistent. From staff uniforms to the colours used on your website, everything should match up. Be sure to keep your logo in the right proportions across all your materials – don’t stretch it out to fit a poster, for instance. Plus, really look at the words you use on flyers, your website, and even in conversation with your customers. Your tone should match your brand and identity. If you have staff, consider giving them training on this.
Researching and knowing your competition helps keep you at the top of your game. If there’s something a rival is doing that’s successful, is there any way you can adapt it and make it better for your cleaning business?
You can make sure that your service remains different to your competitors by keeping an eye on what they’re doing, too.
Remember that your business needs a unique reason customers keep coming back to you. If you do something that your competitors aren’t doing, it can make all the difference.
Keeping a document as part of your research. You can identify your top five rivals and list what they’re doing on their website, how their customer service is, and anything else that you think is relevant. Then you can see if there’s anything you can apply to your own business, making sure it fits with your brand and everything your customers expect of you. And – even better – it will help you look for gaps in the market.
What are your top tips for marketing and growing a cleaning business? Let us know in the comments below.
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