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November 2008
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January 2009

Market Your Green Cleaning Services to People Who Care

One of the comments I get from cleaning business owners who want to offer green cleaning services is, “People don’t care about green cleaning. All they care about is price.”

Last night I was reading Upsize Magazine, which is a Minneapolis/St. Paul business magazine. One of the articles talked about a company called Big Ink Display Graphics.  The company’s staff decided to try and eliminate as much waste as they could from their production process. This evolved into the creation of a “green team” of employees who sought out ways to reduce waste throughout the company.

Because the company took a green initiative, word spread to customers, vendors and beyond. They also joined MN Waste Wise, which is a member-supported, nonprofit affiliate program of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

What’s my point? It got me thinking that a cleaning company in the Twin Cities who is interested in providing green cleaning services, would certainly be attracted to Big Ink Display Graphics as a potential client.  If I were that cleaning company I would jump all over this and start researching the company in order to put together a marketing plan.  If I were that cleaning company I would also check out MN Waste Wise, because there would be lots of other potential clients who are members.

For those of you who don’t live in the Twin Cities, don’t worry. I’ve seen similar articles and news stories about companies all over the world who are going green.  Start paying attention to these stories and do some research -- find out what organizations they belong to and where they hang out. Then put together your plan. It’s much easier to market to an interested group rather than trying to market your green cleaning services to anyone and everyone on the chance that someone might care.

If you provide green cleaning services, we'd like to hear how you find and market to your customers. Please share your ideas by clicking on the Comments link below.

Do You Make a Good Leader For Your Cleaning Company?

When you own a cleaning company, its success will partially depend on your ability to lead your employees. In order to be a good leader you must possess certain qualities. Some of these qualities may come naturally to you and some you may have to work on. So what makes a good leader?

  1. Communication skills. If you don't communicate well with your employees you'll struggle with everything from training to giving feedback to complimenting a job well done.   
  2. Integrity. Good leaders are honest, they hold themselves and others to a higher standard, and they're trustworthy. People like to follow leaders with integrity.  
  3. Enthusiasm. You as the leader of your team needs to be enthusiastic about your business and the services you provide. After all, if YOU are not enthusiastic about the business, why should your employees be? When you lead with enthusiasm you inspire your employees to become better at what they do. 
  4. Responsibility. A good leader takes responsibility for his/her own actions and those of the team. Being responsible means you don't point fingers. Instead you take time to solve the problem with your employee(s) and then work on additional training. 
  5. Confidence. A good leader is confident in his or her ability to lead, which is important because you must believe in yourself in order to get through the difficult times. Being confident does not mean being boastful or egotistical though. Rather, it means confidently leading with humility.
  6. Accepts change. Change is inevitable and the best leaders accept this and embrace change. Then they find the best ways to introduce change to their employees in order to make a smooth transition.

There are other qualities that make a good leader. Please add your thoughts to the list. Click on the Comments link below to post your ideas.

Ideas for Employee Incentives

A cleaning business owner is looking for ideas on employee incentives for things like no complaints and referring new clients.

A couple business owners shared the following ideas:

  1. Cash incentives
  2. Gift cards to local stores like Walmart, Target, or food chains.
  3. Paid time off.
  4. If you can show them how, by bringing in new business and by being complaint free the business can grow and everyone benefits, you will develop a team spirit in the company. They have to see how it affects them in their paychecks when there is lots of new business and happy customers. They can then get raises, new equipment, etc and everyone benefits. Maybe even a "company party" or lunch you supply when they reach a certain number of new accounts or go for a period of time complaint free.
  5. We give a "Star-performance card" when positive feedback comes in, and when a phone call comes in that's positive we often attach a "Happy Card" (a gift card of a small amount, maybe $10 at Wal-Mart). It's an unexpected surprise.
  6. We bonus generously when an employee refers a new client to us. So, if the client uses us three times, the employee gets $100! We give them business cards to pass out when neighbors come a knockin'.

What incentives do YOU offer your employees? Click on the Comments link below to share your ideas.