LET'S MAKE SOME MONEY
Now that we have all that shiny new equipment ready it's time to put it
to work. First, if you have little or no experience, try it out on
your own place. Clean the driveway, spiffy up that old fence or
wash the house. Make sure when you do it that the neighbors are
home and can see what your doing. Ask them if they want you to
clean their driveway, or house. If they are well known to you
offer to do it for free or give them a discount. What you want
here is machine time and exposure.
Starting in your own neighborhood and working for free or at reduced
rates allows you to take a little longer or go back to areas you missed.
Ask the neighbors to be straight with you and critique your work .
That way you will find out if their expectations are as high as yours.
Hopefully your expectations are higher. This is important information.
Now you have some experience a jobs under your belt,
branch out a little. Go to the neighbor across the street or the
next block over, ones you don't know so well or know at all. Ask
them if they want your driveway cleaned. Guess what? Now you
have references. Tell them about your previous jobs in the
neighborhood and offer to take them to see your work. When you get
a job, and you will, take a few minutes to knock on the doors of people
on each side and across the street where you are working. Explain
to them what you do, your in the area and ask them if they want their
driveway or house cleaned. If not, leave them with a business
card. If they are not home leave a business card and brochure and
write something like "Hello, I am working in your area and
just cleaned your neighbors (driveway, fence, house, deck etc.)
I am offering you a neighbor discount. For a free estimate please
call me." The key is to use one job to get another.
Without an advertising budget you need word of mouth. Throughout
the building of your business, word of mouth will be your best way to
increase sales and promote yourself. Part of promotion is image.
You are in the cleaning business so start out with clean clothes, a
clean vehicle, clean equipment and finish off with a clean job. If
you do this then people will not hesitate to recommend you to others.
Once you are familiar with your equipment and the
cleaning process, you will want to start looking elsewhere for business.
You can make a good living doing residential work but it is very
competitive. Look around, it's a dirty world. Many fast food
drive through lanes need regular cleaning and quite often issue
contacts. If they are already happy with the job they are getting
then leave a card. Always go back. Nothing is forever.
There are many reasons for people to change contractors. It's a
matter of being in the right place, at the right time.
This right place right time theory applies to all potential jobs.
When you go to see a property manager, to offer you services to clean a
strip mall, and they say they have a contractor and are happy always say
you are available at short notice if something changes. Make sure
you go back or call occasionally. Don't overdue it to the point
you get thrown out but be on the verge of being a pest. Remember,
you want to be in the right place at the right time.