10 Ways To Increase Sales And Profit In Your Cleaning Business During A Tough Economy
- Some clients were perfectly happy with your services, but had to cut back or even fire your company due to budget cuts. Be sure to stay in touch with these clients because when things get better they'll likely want you back. Also ask for letters of recommendations to offer new prospects.
- Build relationship with your vendors. Many of them are in the same boat and will be willing to help out other businesses if you do the same. Plus, they are usually "in the know" on who is looking for new cleaning contractors. Just make sure your business is one they will recommend.
- Show more value. One member of The Janitorial Store is investing in employee training programs, automated quality control systems like Cleantelligent, and a new and improved website. Be sure to communicate these changes to your customers. If you're using technology like Cleantelligent, show your clients and prospects how it works and how it can improve quality control in their building. If you have a new safety training program, show them the program and/or invite them to attend one of your training sessions.
- Paying your employees well, offering comprehensive training, and offering opportunities for advancement helps to attract a better quality employee. If you hire better quality employees you'll end up spending less time hiring and training, and productivity will increase due to having better trained, long-term employees. This will all add profit to the bottom line.
- Customize your specifications lists and re-do them for current clients if necessary. The days of having one generic specifications list is over. If the only way to keep a customer is by cutting back on service, then take a good look at ways you can trim the fat so you can still make a profit.
- Some companies are offering day cleaning so they can save their clients money on their utility bills. Others are offering "cooperative cleaning". For example, letting the customer empty their own trash and clean their own desks, while they clean the rest. Get creative on ways to save clients money.
- Consider offering some free cleaning services like a free floor buffing or window cleaning for every third service, and incorporate that into your proposal.
- If you're not charging for managing restroom supplies and trash can liners, you should, because that is a profit center. And the more volume you can get the better the pricing you'll receive.
- Offer to manage light bulb changes. You can charge for the bulbs, charge for the time it takes to change them, and charge for recycling.
- Get creative in your marketing - what worked in the past may not work today. There are lots of opportunities for marketing on social media sites like Facebook if you do it right. (Check out my interview with Carlos Martinez).
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Steve Hanson helps owners of commercial cleaning companies build a more profitable and successful cleaning business through his online community at TheJanitorialStore.com. For more tips on owning a profitable cleaning business, watch the popular Web TV show CleaningBiz.tv and up for the newsletter, Trash Talk.