One significant critical issue for building service contractors (BSCs) is gaining new business while retaining their current customers.
Especially now, at a time when customers and potential clients are investing less in cleaning, gaining new accounts and diversifying your services are important.
This, however, does not mean that business has to slow down.
In fact, with very little investment and training, you very well may find yourself generating more revenue this winter than you ever thought possible.
A winter slowdown, notably if your specialty is building services, is a given; however, winter is when duct cleaning businesses experience skyrocketing volume.
With some furnaces running and recirculating all the dust and debris that has collected in the ductwork, it is a perfect time to promote your duct cleaning services.
Duct cleaning is an add-on service that has been of interest to BSCs for decades.
Wide Open Market
A simple Google or Yellow Pages search of your area will reveal that there are a fraction of duct cleaners compared to other cleaning services.
And, with an elevated level of interest in indoor air quality (IAQ), more and more homeowners, builders and small business owners are turning to duct cleaning professionals to get their dirty ducts cleaned.
If you have built a client base with your company, you have a perfect opportunity to promote your duct cleaning services.
A letter or postcard to your existing clientele is an easy, effective way to successfully advertise your duct cleaning service.
Offering duct cleaning to your clients directly during an existing appointment is also a very effective marketing strategy, as you can easily give them a quote for getting their ducts cleaned immediately.
And, figuring that you carry your duct cleaning equipment in your service vehicle, you can very easily increase the bill during that appointment.
Homebuilders, real estate agents and home inspectors are great sources for referrals.
Many builders are now having the ducts cleaned as soon as they finish building a home.
My Central Oregon-based cleaning company, for example, signed a contract with a local builder, and has so far cleaned the duct systems in over 200 homes in the past three years for that one company alone.
Heating and cooling installation companies in your area can be a valuable resource for referrals as well.
Our company has made a habit of providing a free duct cleaning for the owner or manager of such companies in order to show them the quality of our work; in the process, we have been repaid many times over with referrals from these individuals and their companies.
How Difficult Is Duct Cleaning?
Many BSCs, although confident in their existing cleaning abilities, find themselves reluctant to learn how to perform a new service.
The truth is, duct cleaning — provided you have good equipment — couldn''t be simpler.
By loosening the dust and debris in the ductwork with an agitation device — compressed air blast ball, brushes or whips — and providing a vacuum system to remove the loosened debris, duct cleaning is a very easy procedure to learn and perform.
Recently, there have been some exciting breakthroughs in duct cleaning with the focus toward making duct cleaning readily available for people wishing to add it to an existing service business.
How Profitable Is Duct Cleaning?
Along with being very easy to learn and perform, duct cleaning can be extremely profitable, yielding $250 or more per hour.
For example, a medium-sized home with 14 supply registers and two cold air returns will yield about $465.
A home this size, being cleaned with a modern duct cleaning system available to carpet cleaners, will take around 1½ hours for a single operator and one hour for a team of two. This equates to between $310 and $465 per hour.
Dryer duct cleaning can be a very simple, lucrative service to offer as well.
With profits ranging from $45-$90 — and taking 5-10 minutes to perform — asking your client if they would like their dryer duct cleaned is a very worthwhile question to ask.
David W. Hart, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of RamAir Industries, is a 24-year veteran in the carpet and duct cleaning industry. He invented the revolutionary RamAir ClearView Duct Cleaning System, which is now available for purchase in over 500 locations in five countries. He also owns and runs Guarantee Cleaning Services Inc. in Bend, Oregon.