A super simple marketing strategy combined with execution point you towards success

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by Tom Watson on August 18, 2013

Having success in the cleaning business boils down to getting customers that provide you enough profit to make it worth your while to clean.

That’s a pretty simple definition of what you are trying to do. It applies to those just getting started as well as those looking to expand their operation.

Though it sounds easy, putting it into practice can seem overwhelming when you are new. Many people get stuck because they don’t really know where to start. This leads to frustration which soon turns to despair. To help folks along with the process I’ll share the approach I used when starting my business.

Before I begin I would like to make mention that my personal philosophy in life is “keep it simple”. So it makes sense that when I was getting started I always looked to SIMPLIFY the process into baby steps. So for instance when I hatched the idea of starting a cleaning business this is what I did…

  1. Picked a name.
  2. Chose a business “type” (sole proprietor, LLC etc…).
  3. Registered the business.
  4. Opened my business bank account.

People can talk all day long about “how much you need to do” when getting started but at the end of the day that list is what it boils down to. It’s not really all that much work to be honest. I had to do a little homework on each but I can’t say any of it was “hard”. It was all pretty simple!

Anyway… when it comes to getting customers I looked at the process in the same way. “How do I do it as simple as possible” was the question I asked myself. I wanted a simple “easily repeatable” process that kept me on track. This is one of the approaches I came up with…

  1. Identify WHO to market to.
    1. If residential – which neighborhood (ones with money).
    2. If commercial – who in particular (doctors, real estate agents, lawyers).
  2. Decide HOW to get in front of them.
    1. In person – Get dressed and start handing out flyers or other freebies.
    2. Direct mail – Develop a sales lettercreate a list then drop in mail.
  3.  Get to WORK!

The “big picture concept” I want to get across is don’t get too bogged down in meaningless details. What you see above is what needs to be done. I’m sure you could add tons more “bells and whistles” but that is not needed in the beginning. At first KEEP IT SIMPLE.

At the end of the day far too many people want to know “everything” before digging in and getting started. The fact is you’ll learn more (not to mention be more productive) by just “keeping it simple” and actually doing some work.

Once you get your hands dirty you’ll then be able to measure the results that you get. If they are good then just continue on doing what you are doing and if not then simply tweak the process a little until you see your work paying off.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to our Cleaning 4 Profit RSS feed. If you are looking for a step by step blueprint that will show you how to start your own cleaning business, then check out my Cleaning Business Training Manuals. If you need a great website or would like to upgrade what you already have then you may want to take a look at my Cleaning Business Website Packages.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Arlene Smith August 19, 2013 at 12:25 am

Hello Tom! My name is Arlene I am a new business owner of Redlands Cleaning. And I just wanted to Thank You for your daily articles I read them daily and find them helpful for me to keep a positive additude with begining my business. I also have my business listed on your cleaning 4 profit website directory and follow you on Google+ you have been a great inspiration.
Thank you.
Sincerely, Arlene Smith

2 Tom Watson August 19, 2013 at 7:47 am

Hi Arlene! You are very welcome. I really appreciate your support and if you ever need me I’ll be here for you.

3 phumzile August 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

hi tom as i told that i have a bussine pls help me to get client for my COMPANY i v been struggling to get contract I’ve been reading all your articles en it inspired me,but if i can get help to start. connected with the company it can be agent that i should sign contract with them any company that may need my COMPANY appreciate your help pls help me in this situation Thkx

4 phumzile August 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm

any post that can be available i will appreciate it pls i need your help all your articles is giving me hope and i can’t lose my bussines pls i need your help with thanks

5 Tom Watson August 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Hi! The truth is I can’t get the contracts for you. That is something you need to do for yourself, and there is no way around that. Hiring others as an agent is BAD NEWS and never works (it only works for THEM as they get YOUR MONEY).

6 Tom Watson August 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Hi again! There is no one post that tells all (it’s a combination of elements working together). I HIGHLY suggest you take a look at my courses, as they give you the “foundation” to build on.

7 mobi August 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

Thanks tom for this timely post. I personlly think keeping it simple is the best advice any beginner should have. the energy one expends in thinking through the details that always ends up weighing you down, should have been better invested in doing the real work.

For me I have learned to always cut off trivialties. I keep the big picture alive while putting all energy in doing the small things in a qualitative way.

8 Tom Watson August 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Hi Mobi! I agree with your approach. Keep it simple and dig in. You learn more “from doing” in most cases. Thanks for the comment!

9 Rae Katz September 2, 2013 at 9:27 am

Hi Tom

My name is Rae, I am the owner of Gracie’s Way cleaning plus…, in Dartmouth NS Canada. I started my business just over a year ago. I had actually been subcontracting through another company for about 4 years, and decided that I no longer wanted to make other people rich, so I would try going out on my own. The thing was I had no idea how to even start, or who to talk to . Then I came across your website totally by accident. I just want to tell you that I have been reading your posts religiously and have tried just about every one of your suggestions. They all work! I have found that even things like the name of my business has gotten me contracts.
I just want to tell you that if it hadn’t been for you and all of your excellent advice I probably would not be in business right now. I have actually printed off every post that I received and have turned it into a type of training guide for myself and my employees. So I just want to say THANK YOU for taking the time and going to the trouble of offering your expertise to others. I couldn’t have done it with out you.


10 Tom Watson September 2, 2013 at 9:53 am

Hi Rae! I LOVE hearing comments like that. That is wonderful! And yes… you were making others rich, no doubt about it. Keep me posted as you move along, and don’t hesitate to touch base if you need anything!

11 Arlene Smith September 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm

This is to Rae, my is Arlene I am a new business owner of Redlands Cleaning. And I just wanted to thank you for your comment it has given me courage and inspiration to never give up. I to have been keeping up with Toms posts for suggestions and tips for my business. And have found them to be helpful for me. This is without a doubt a great tool to use for new business owners to help get there business started. So thank you Tom for what you have started and thanks to those who are commenting as well.
Best wishes,
Arlene Smith

12 Tom Watson September 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Thanks Arlene! I’m happy to help.

13 Rae Katz September 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Hi Arlene:

Obviously you were already inspired and very courageous or you would not have started your business in the first place. It is a very scary thing to start a business especially if you don’t know who to talk to or where to start.

Cleaning 4 Profit certainly is an invaluable resource not only for people who are just starting a new business, but a lot of well established businesses could learn a thing or two from Tom’s advice.

He tells it the way it is, in a way that is easy to understand, he doesn’t confuse us with a lot of jargon that means nothing. He also teaches us budget friendly ways of doing things. I really can’t say anything good enough about Tom Watson’s website.

I would have packed it in a long time ago if it hadn’t gotten totally addicted to Cleaning 4 Profit. It has helped me so much in starting my business. So Arlene, I know that some days you just want to tear your hair out but it will all be worth it in the end.

Hang in there, hang on to your hair and keep following Tom’s advice and you are going to do great. I wish you all of the luck in the world and thank you for your kind words.


14 Kelly Horscroft September 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Just what I needed to hear..My motto is also to keep it simple. But have totally over complicated the whole process of even getting started. Being new to business you feel like you have to know everything first..bigesst hold back. Although I’m glad I have taken the time to do the research, from now on in I want to keep the process simple. I look forward to reading more around here. Thanks

15 Tom Watson September 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Hi Kelly! It’s a common mistake we all make, so don’t beat yourself up over it. Anyway… keeping it simple is the way to go. You can always add more wrinkles once you fully understand the process, but in the beginning SIMPLE RULES.

16 crystal October 24, 2013 at 10:55 pm

I’m going to my first bussiness expo at the mall this weekend is there any tips.. That would help me bring in customers.

17 Tom Watson October 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Hi Crystal! Dress well, have your business cards ready and maybe have a simple flyer that offers a discount for first time customers. You might also want to collect email addresses via a clipboard with the promise of a email coupon (or something similar).

We also used to give out freebies like this (with our logo on it) http://www.jondon.com/spot-out-custom-label-program-free-lifetime-label.html People LOVE this type freebie! Very cheap and makes you look good (even if you are not a carpet cleaner, you can still give this out).

18 crystal October 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I bought cookies and mints.I made my own booklets about my my business business card..I have clip broad with names and phone numbers.

19 Tom Watson October 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm

That’s great Crystal! Go have fun! Let us know how you make out.

20 Brandon December 11, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Hi Mr. Watson,

When marketing my cleaning company to different commercial properties, would professional designed brochures be a great replacement for a sales letter, or should I still provide a sales letter to the potential clients? Thanks.

21 Tom Watson December 11, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Hi Brandon! I see no reason why you can’t try brochures instead of sales letters… give it a shot and see what happens.

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