MONEY is really nothing more than an IDEA in your head that is ACTED UPON.

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by Tom Watson on November 17, 2013

In my quest to find cleaning accounts I’ve marketed my services to just about every type of business at one time or another. If you can name it, I tried to get hired by them.

The vast majority of times I would try to get in front of a certain group, I would either do some form of a direct mail package or just stop by with some flyers and goodie bags that included info about us. With that said, sometimes it’s just a simple business card that does the trick.

The Day Spa Story

One time I read about a day spa in the paper. The owners were doing a “grand opening” in my area. They dumped a ton of money into the place to make it look like new so they ran an ad in the paper to promote themselves.

I decided to send them a sales letter and business card the next day just for kicks. So I literally woke up the next day and sent one letter to the address I saw in the paper. Within a month they called me and hired me on the spot.

I had that account for exactly four years until new owners took over. In the process that customer sent me $42,045.68 in cleaning fees. That’s averages out to $875.95 per month for four straight years! All for just ACTING ON AN IDEA. No hard work at all. Just an idea that Sue and I acted upon.

The Cemetery Story

Another “idea” came to me as I was riding down a busy highway and saw a cemetery with an old two-story brick house located off to the side. I figured that was the office that was used when people came into buy a plot or locate a loved one buried there. Care to guess what I did?

Well, I did the same thing as before and sent off a sales letter and business card. Wouldn’t you know it, they called me too! Before I knew it they also hired me to clean the place. This took place in early 2003. My company still cleans that cemetery to this day.

We charge $94.00 per visit to clean an old home that was converted to an office once per week. It has about five or six staff members working there. This has totaled $41,163.70 so far. This is not a grand slam of an account by any means, but these type jobs keep my company very profitable.

The Town Hall Story

My wife Sue was sitting in the office one day reading the local paper. In it the township administrator was quoted as saying the municipal building was getting a minor facelift due to its age. So she sent our salesman at the time to see if he could bend the administrator’s ear about getting some construction cleanup work.

This process literally took place within moments of Sue reading the article. Sue looked in the paper and then our sales guy walked in the door for the day. He walked right back out after talking to Sue and headed over to town hall. Guess who was walking out to his car at the time? The township administrator!

Good fortune smiled broadly upon us that day as we wound up getting hired for six different jobs over the course of only four months. We started out with over $3,200.00 worth of carpet cleaning. This was followed by over $2,900.00 for a heavy-duty cleaning of the entire facility.

We then did over $1,500.00 of VCT floor care work and a little tile and grout cleaning. The next job was for another heavy-duty cleaning that totaled over $2,500.00. Then we did another $2,700.00 worth of carpet cleaning after that! We ended with a small little touch up cleaning. That put the final tally at well over $13,000.00.

Afterwards we were asked to bid the ENTIRE municipality. This meant every single township owned building. This meant the police station, court building, library, recreation complexes, MUA offices to just name a few. This wasn’t “luck” as some people would call it. It happened because we took action!

The moral of the story

At the end of the day ACTING ON AN IDEA gave us the opportunity to land accounts that put a ton of MONEY in our pocket. Far too many people have those EXACT same ideas, they just don’t act on them. As a result they lose out on some tremendous chances to make important contacts, place bids and land cleaning accounts.

I can’t stress enough that YOU control your own destiny. Nobody will come around and hand this to you, so you need to keep your head in the game. Be proactive and take action at all times. Like I always say, this business is not really all that hard, you just need to put in some good old-fashioned work. When you do… good (and sometimes great) things happen!

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.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 LAD November 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Hey Tom, Thanks for the encouragement!

2 Tom Watson November 17, 2013 at 10:18 pm

No problem LAD!

3 Jeff November 17, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I was wondering if you can tell me about this “sales letter”. Just like you I took a chance on a business that was in need of cleaning and won the contract. My first contract so very new to this and really appreciate your advice and website because it has been a huge blessing for me. Thank you again

4 Tom Watson November 17, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Hi Jeff! Thanks for sharing that story. You took ACTION, and as a result good things happen. Keep it up! Anyway… I have some killer sales letters in my courses (the ones I still use to this day). And I’m very happy to hear you enjoy the site!

With that said, here is an example…

Here is another example for apartments…

Informational post on what you need to know…

5 EMMANUEL OLAYEMI November 18, 2013 at 12:31 am

Love it also I want a website what do I do iam in Nigeria west Africa.your articles are greatly helpful thanks and waiting for your reply.

6 Jeff November 18, 2013 at 8:37 am

Thanks you for the tips.

7 Tom Watson November 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Hi Emmanuel! THANKS… you just need to pick a website and sign up here…

8 Tom Watson November 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm

No problem Jeff!

9 Katie B November 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Hi there, Tom. I love your posts and podcasts; I find them pleasant and very helpful. I am Katie and I have a solo operation that is about 1 year and a half old. I am interested in construction clean up but have no idea how to go about it. What is expected, what gets done, how do I price it? By hours, square footage, etc? Do u get them by bidding? Etc….It seems u can make darn good money doing this…. Thanks so much! Looking forward to your reply


10 Roseta Jennings November 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Hello Tom, I love all you do to inspire us to do well, I cant wait until I can afford a website. Thanks Rose

11 Tom Watson November 18, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Hi Katie! I appreciate hearing how much you enjoy it all. Anyway… I have not done a post on construction cleanup per say. I have touched on it (like how all you really have to do is stop by construction sites and find the boss then give that person your card).

As far as the bidding is concerned, that is a HUGE question that can’t be summed up easily. At the end of the day I charge by the hour, so I basically take my best guess as to how long I will be spending cleaning the place (AFTER hearing from the boss what the expectations are AND carefully inspecting the jobsite).

You can make BIG MONEY in a short time. Sometimes you get small stuff, while other times you get jobs for several thousand. The bigger stuff comes after you have some experience generally, as you should work your way up to that level over time.

12 Tom Watson November 18, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Hi Roseta! Well… I’m happy I can do my part. I know how hard it can be when you don’t have someone to act like a cheerleader for you (you have to be your own cheerleader at times). That’s why I like to BELIEVE in other peoples dreams. Mine came true, and my goal is to get as many other people to reach their goals and dreams too.

13 Katie B November 18, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Thanks! That was a great answer! One more question, if you don’t mind:
Could u give me some idea of what would be reasonable to charge per hour? even in your neck of the woods? I have certain rates for certain stuff, but how much would I do for this? Just a little guidance…..thanks again!!!!

14 Tom Watson November 18, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Hi Kate! You would charge the same rate you would for any other “normal” cleaning service. “Cleaning is just cleaning”, so it really doesn’t matter WHAT you clean. Prices start to fluctuate when you add “machinery” (carpet cleaning equipment, floor care machines etc…) or “specialty” type services where highly trained personal are needed.

As far as prices… there is no such thing as “reasonable”, as it can vary in a HUGE way. For a range… (in general)… It can go from 20 to 30 per hour. The closer you are to 20 per hour the more likely you’ll get hired, but sometimes it can stretch out to a higher rate.

15 Katie B November 19, 2013 at 12:15 am

Thank you so much, Tom! The clarification is tremendously helpful!!! We build these things up in our heads and complicate them so much that it is so blurry. You and your experience have straitened my perception on this issue. Take care and ill keep reading. Happy days!

16 Tom Watson November 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

You are very welcome Katie!

17 Azalean W. November 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Thank you Tom for this advice. I just opened my new cleaning business and I will be implementing your advice—taking action. Azalean

18 Tom Watson November 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

You are very welcome Azalean!

19 Susan November 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Hi Tom,
Thought you might enjoy one of my favorite quotes:
“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

― William Jennings Bryan

20 Tom Watson November 19, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Hi Susan! What a great quote that is! I might have that quote framed.

21 Iron felipe November 22, 2013 at 2:40 am

I need help for get officers for clean thank u .

22 Iron Felipe November 22, 2013 at 2:46 am

I need help to more officers clean thank

23 Tom Watson November 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

Well… you are in the right spot to learn the ropes. Touch base if you need anything.

24 T.Davis November 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Hi Tom,

I got a call from an owner of an office who needs a one time cleaning service for an office that has mice and also a rat before the new tenants move in.I would rather not accept a job like this,not just for the obvious reason but because it is also a one time cleaning.Would you accept something like this or pass it up and keep moving to the next prospective office to clea.? Your help is greatly appreciated.
PS I haven’t yet received any contracts after doing direct mail campaigns for a couple of months now.

25 Tom Watson November 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Hi T. Davis! I would do the cleaning myself, even with the rodent issue. That will come with the territory from time to time. It’s not the norm, but it does occur. And YES… I would take one time jobs for several big reasons…

1 – Money is money! And I as I always say… no money means no options.

2 – One time jobs can lead to more work from the same person down the road.

3 – Make that one time job happy… and they tell their friends (happens ALL the time).

4 – You gain experience bidding. The more you bid THE BETTER YOU GET AT IT.

As far as not getting any more calls… KEEP MAILING! First off… no calls DOES NOT mean you won’t get any down the road, as I’ve had people call me up to a year later from a mailing. And number 2… keep your foot on the gas pedal. Market ALL THE TIME. Do one mailing then wait a little (start preparing for the next), THEN mail that one! That’s how it’s done.

26 T.Davis November 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Thanks for your advice Tom,I will call the business owner.

27 Tom Watson November 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Hi T. Davis! Good luck with it!

28 Tom Watson December 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Hi Felipe! I would recommend you check out the courses we have

29 Catherine August 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Hello thank you for the encouragement,. Can you tell me a good tile cleaner

30 Tom Watson August 27, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Thanks. For tile cleaner I went with a classic…

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