Over the years I have been in business I’ve read countless articles on how to get cleaning jobs. Some were useful but most were simply a waste of energy.
Generally speaking those who try to “educate” others on how it’s done completely OVER-COMPLICATE the process. This scares beginners to the business away in most cases.
“Old school” marketing techniques work best
In my humble opinion I firmly believe that simple techniques deliver far superior results than a complicated alternative. In a nutshell… taking ACTION with a simple plan beats planning out some complicated “master plan”.
In most cases the simple route is also cheaper plus you get the added benefit of getting the ball rolling much faster. I mean at the end of the day your goal shouldn’t be to write some lengthy thesis on how to start a cleaning business, it should be to ACTUALLY START ONE.
This is why I have always been a fan of direct mail. It’s a proven way to reach an audience that needs your services in one way or another. In the direct mail example I’m sharing today my letter was nothing remarkable. I just mailed it to “property management companies” in my area.
The letter itself really just “introduced” the recipient to who I was and how they could get a hold of me. I included a business card along with the letter. In most mailings I also threw in a refrigerator magnet to make the envelope feel “heavier”. This is a nice little tip the pros use to increase the “open rate” of the letter.
If you think about it for a moment it makes sense. A magnet in an envelope adds a different dimension to the letter. It makes the person opening it wonder “what’s inside”. This results in higher than average readership of your letter, and as we all know, getting eyeballs on the letter is the key!
“One winning ticket” makes the mailing worth it
When you perform a mailing you will get a pretty small “response rate”. What I mean is that for every hundred letters you mail you may only get one to three people contact you. This translates to a 1% to 3% response rate. This will vary from mailing to mailing.
Sometimes you may get a 1% response rate while other may give you a 6% response rate. At the end of the day however you will average somewhere between 1% to 3%. Though this seems like bad news, the odds actually work in your favor over the long haul.
When I did a mailing to property management companies several companies called me. Though I only landed one account out of the bunch that one job has generated $17,512.54 to date. The jobs this particular company calls me for are all “one time jobs”.
When a property they manage goes empty because the tenant moves out they call my company to perform the cleaning. Sometimes it’s a easy job that takes a few hours while other times the job can take several days. It all depends on whether they are flipping the unit quickly or doing a complete makeover.
While some management firms will have “regular monthly contract work”, this one doesn’t. They only rent to larger industrial type customers that don’t need a retail setting. As a result they don’t provide any cleaning services to the tenant.
Instead they allow each tenant to get whoever they want in there to clean, thus not allowing for the option of my company to clean the entire complex. I only get the “turnovers” so to speak. With that said, I do mail sales letters to all new tenants in case they need me!
Breaking down the money from just one customer
Though I don’t get any regular monthly commercial cleaning type work from this particular account it has worked out very favorably for me. I did the mailing that landed this account about six years ago. They have hired me 29 times over those six years. That works out to about 5 times per year.
The $17,512.54 total charges range from only $80.25 for a small cleaning to $3,150.01, with five different jobs being over $1,000. This averages out to $603.88 per job. Not that bad for mailing out less than a hundred letters in my spare time six years ago.
Like I mentioned earlier, don’t over complicate this process. Get a list of property management companies via a list broker, online or even the phonebook if need be. Hand address the envelopes to make them appear more personal and include a sales letter, business card and a magnet for that “added weight” I spoke of.
Then get those letter in the mail and see what happens. Don’t be discouraged if the phone doesn’t ring right away, as it may take some time. You’ll also want to repeat the mailings every six weeks or so to “stay in front” of them (just like credit card companies do when they seek YOUR business).
I’ve had good success with this method and I believe you will too if you just give it a try. Should you have any questions or thoughts concerning this post or direct mail in general just leave a comment below to get the conversation started!
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