Because this is a continuation from last month's column, let's do a short review.
Selling your services and continually expanding your client list are important parts of establishing and growing a profitable business.
One of the ways to plan part of your marketing program is to structure it around seasons and events that trigger the urge to buy cleaning services in the mind of the customer.
This technique can be applied to both commercial and residential markets with a little tweaking, thought and customization.
On the commercial side, the holidays may provide some opportunities, as there are special events and parties that may require extra service or result in spots and cleanup that is outside the normal scope of work.
When To Market Yourself
Sales and marketing is not something you do once and then forget it because it's done.
A good and effective marketing program never ends.
Highly successful business owners realize that sales and marketing are an ongoing process requiring personal attention every day.
The most successful marketing campaigns are built around a theme, which gives you a valid reason to communicate with your present and prospective customers.
Events, seasonal changes and social trends are examples of good reasons for you to reach out to offer your services to existing and potential customers.
Aside from selling for the seasons and around other special events or significant happenings, the following are some effective marketing strategies:
• Memorable gifts
A bottle of spot remover with a nice holiday or personal greeting along with your name and phone number can reinforce name brand recognition.
• Refrigerator magnets
A magnet with your logo and a positive selling tag on it can go a long way in keeping your name handy and in front of customers, especially if your messaging is centered on a healthy spring cleaning or emergency service theme.
I know a contractor who takes a photo of a client's pet or office mascot and sends a postcard back featuring said animal.
It is a great way to bond with the customer and continually remind them that, if they have pets or children, cleaning should be done more frequently to maintain a clean and healthy environment — in addition to extending the life of furnishings and flooring.
• Free exposure
Your local newspaper, radio or television station may be open to an article, quick tip or interview that highlights useful information such as spot removal, odor control or other tips for carpet, upholstery, window or floor cleaning.
Pick a holiday, local event or specific season and weave your article or tip into that particular occasion.
You have to keep your name in front of potential and existing customers in order to remind them to call you and not your competition when the need arises.
When business is slow and more work is needed, that is the time to bite the bullet and invest wisely in additional advertising and promotion.
If you haven't used seasonal advertising in the marketing of your business, now would be a great time do give it a try.
The two best times of the year to use seasonal advertising are Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they are just around the corner.
Although we are still several months out, have a happy and prosperous holiday selling season.
Bill Griffin is president of the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) and owner of Cleaning Consultant Services Inc. Comments and questions about bidding and estimating are encouraged: (206) 849-0179; WGriffin@CleaningConsultants.com.