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April 2007
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June 2007

Do You Give Something Special for Customer Referrals?

The best way to get new business is to receive referrals from happy customers. After all, who better to toot your horn than a happy customer?

Have you considered implementing a referral program for customers who refer you new business? Here are some things that other cleaning companies do to thank their customers for referring their business:

  • Discounts on carpet cleaning, window cleaning, or other special services
  • 10% off their next cleaning service
  • Gas card - who doesn't want to save money on gas these days?
  • Gift cards - Starbucks coffee, Best Buy, Target, etc.
  • Fruit basket, gourmet cookie basket, other type of gift baskets
  • Gift certificate to their favorite restaurant. As one cleaning business owner put it, "I don't mind dropping a $20 certificate seeing that this is a client I would've never known about unless this person referred them to us. I think about how much money I would've spent searching out a client & the certificate becomes priceless. The client gets a meal on us...they're happy, we're happy. Whatever you do, give them something tangible...something that means (something) to them!"
  • Thank you card. Even if you don't buy a gift or offer a discount, a hand-written thank you card goes a long way towards showing your appreciation.

What other ways have you thanked your customers for their referrals? Post your comments below!

Are You Letting Past Mistakes Hinder Your Success?

Do you believe you deserve to be successful in your cleaning business? Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who deep down, feel they really don't deserve to be successful, that they're meant to struggle to make ends meet all their lives. They've made mistakes along the way and have decided that this is how it's meant to be. Some also use past mistakes as an excuse or as a way to justify their situation. But it really doesn't have to be that way.

Even the most successful entrepreneurs have made huge mistakes. But they're quick to realize that even the most devastating mistake is merely a setback. They know that if they learn from their mistakes, they won't make the same mistake twice.

I can hear some of you saying to yourselves, "yes, but MY situation is different". Not really. You'd be amazed at how many people have been in the same situation as you. The ones who come out successful are the ones who spend their time focusing on the opportunity they can make out of the situation - they DON'T waste time focusing on the mistake or having a "pity party".

So how can you move past your mistakes and realign your focus so that you can become successful?

  1. Have faith in yourself. You really need to believe that you can work through the misktakes you're sure to make as you grow your cleaning business. Focus your attention on the goal, and don't dwell on the road blocks.
  2. Don't give up too easily. Too many people hit a speed bump or make a mistake and think all is lost. Those are the ones that give up too easily and will never become successful. What is your vision for your business? If you don't yet have one, be sure to read last week's post: Creating Your Vision of a Successful Cleaning Business. Remember that just because you've made a mistake, it doesn't mean you've failed. It just means that you've learned a valuable lesson for your business and will be stronger as a result.
  3. Don't be your own worst enemy. What is it you really want? Focus on that thought and don't try to talk yourself out of your dream with negative self-talk.
  4. Be resilient. If you find yourself thinking there's no way you'll be successful in your cleaning business after making a big mistake, just think about all the entrepreneurs who overcame adversity and bounced back from their mistakes to become even more successful than before.

Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure, or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember, that's where you will find success. -- Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

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Creating Your Vision of a Successful Cleaning Business

So many people have big dreams of owning a successful cleaning business but never seem to be able to make their dreams come true. They struggle and struggle, and finally give up. Or they get so far but can't seem to get over that hump to get to the next level. Why do you think that is? 

For some people, the dream looks good, but they're not willing to do what it takes to make things happen. Owning a cleaning business (or any business, for that matter), is not easy and takes hard work and long hours. Other people are willing to work hard, but they really don't have a clear vision of what they want their business to look like. This is what we'll be talking about here...

In order to have a successful cleaning business you need to have a clear vision of just what that means - it's not the same for everyone. There are things that you can do to make sure your vision comes true:

  1. First you need to define your vision. If you're thinking about starting a cleaning business but you're going after anything that comes long, then you don't have a clear vision of what the future looks like. But if you've decided you want a commercial cleaning business that services small clinics and medical offices, then you can create a clear vision of what your business will look like.
  2. Now that you have a vision of the type of cleaning business you want, figure out the first step you need to take to get the momentum moving in that direction. This is a journey, and every journey starts with one small step. Some of the steps along the journey will be much more difficult than others, so this is where your drive and determination needs to take over.
  3. Make a plan. You've taken that first step, now lay out a roadmap to continue on your path of success. You'll probably need to make adjustments to your plan eventually, but that's ok - everyone hits speed bumps. That doesn't mean you have the wrong vision, it just means you need to change directions along the way. Perhaps you're having difficulty getting medical clinic accounts. One way you could make an adjustment is to change your strategy and start going after dentist offices and eye clinics, which might be easier to get into.
  4. Monitor your progress. If you see some things are working and others aren't, then learn from this. Don't keep doing the things that don't work. Rather, put more energy into the things that do work, and come up with more ideas to try.
  5. And finally, focus on your vision. Resist the temptation to worry about what's not working. Move on and focus on the positive things that are happening, and that will move you closer to your vision. Remember, what you focus on expands, so if you're constanly berating yourself for failing, then you'll continue to fail. But if you stay positive, and surround yourself with people who believe in your vision, the more likely it is that you'll succeed!

Try Something Different to Win the Bid

One of our members at The Janitorial Store just shared this story with us.

A company was visiting his website and decided to call and get a cleaning estimate. When our member visited the facility he asked why they were looking for a new cleaning service and found out that the last company didn't do a good enough job of dusting. Our member replied, "I'll take care of that right now..." And he proceeded to dust the office!

That unconventional action impressed the prospect. The other thing that really impressed the prospect was the bid packet that he was presented with, and the quickness of receiving the proposal. Our member used one of the The Janitorial Store's templates in the Download Library, and had it back the the prospect the same day.

Now I wouldn't necessarily proceed to dust an office to get the account, but it worked for this cleaning company owner and it made him stand out from the competition.  What have YOU done to stand out from the competition? Please post your replies by clicking on the Comments link below.