Once you start landing some customers, or even submitting a bid for that matter, you’ll have the chance to up sell them on the supplies you offer.
Items like c-fold towels, toilet tissue, hand soap and various sizes of trash liners are just a few of the items you can provide for a fee. Keep in mind you don’t have to offer these items, but it is a chance to earn more off each account.
Back when I first started my business I didn’t offer anything other than my cleaning services. I don’t remember exactly when I started offering items they could buy, but it was probably within a year or two. Once I started selling different items I kept it simple, offering just a basic collection of liners and c-fold towels.
Over the years I started adding in some more items. I never went all that crazy, as I didn’t want to focus on the supply side, but I tried to offer the most commonly used items. So in essence, I charged people my regular flat fee for the cleaning, then if they needed and or ordered the extra supplies, I just added the amount onto their next monthly bill.
Some customers liked the idea of me taking care of this for them, while others ordered their own supplies. I just went with the flow when getting hired, and it was probably 50/50 as to whether or not I supplied the paper goods and other such items.
My goal as far as pricing the items was pretty simple. I wanted to get the supplies at the best price and sell them at full retail. After all, if I was going to keep track of their supplies and be responsible for them I wanted to make a few bucks. Not that it’s all that hard, but I’m not going to do it for free.
I basically looked at the retail pricing that W.B. Mason or some other big chain offered items for sale and tried to mirror that. Normally you can purchase supplies at a janitorial supplier at prices well below retail prices if you do your homework, then mark it up to retail prices.
For instance I was able to buy a case of c-fold for $17.00 and sell for $34.00 when I started. If a customer used 5 cases per month I earned and an extra $85.00 off that just one product from that one customer. Multiply that by many different products I offered my customer base and it totaled a decent amount each month.
Not enough to get rich, but it was money there for the taking. Either they buy it from someone else or me, so why not me? Anyway… the idea behind this post is to just get you thinking about the concept of selling some supplies to earn extra money. It’s not hard to do and it goes hand in hand with what you are already doing.
So give it some thought and consider adding it in as a value added service that will add to your bottom line. If anyone has done well for themselves selling supplies, has a question about it or just wants to say something, post your comments below and get the conversation started.