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October 2009
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Are You Stifling The Growth Of Your Cleaning Business By Reacting To Problems?

Many cleaning business owners desperately want to grow their business and they do a great job of focusing on marketing when they're just getting started. But once they start gaining new clients they realize that they now have to manage the business too! Pretty soon the business isn't growing at the same rate it was at the beginning.

The problem is, they skipped an important step in setting up their business. They went from marketing to cleaning without giving much thought to what kind of systems they should put into place to make things run smoothly. The result is that they spend most of their day reacting to problems that come up because no one knows what procedures to use for any given task in the business.

For example, you hire a new employee to clean, and you spend a day or two showing them what you want them to do. Then a week later you get a call from a customer wanting to know why a trash can was missed and why there are crumbs on the floor near the kitchen sink. Or perhaps you hired an office worker to answer phones and then get upset because she didn't write down a prospective client's contact information so you could follow up with a phone call.

The underlying problem is not that you have incompetent people, it's that you didn't put into writing the system they should use for doing their job. As a result, you start having a hard time growing the business because you are focused on solving problems, not growing the business and making a profit.

Start analyzing the decisions you are making each day. If you discover that those decisions are problem-solving decisions, you are reacting to day-to-day problems. Also, if you find you are continually having to solve the same problems over and over again, it's a clue that you should create a system around that problem so your employees can handle it themselves and avoid it occurring again.

If you want to stop stifling the growth of your cleaning company, you need to start weighing each decision you make by deciding if it will be profitable for the business. These decisions should be directly related to growing your business and making a profit -- NOT putting out fires.

What Do You Give to Cleaning Prospects When Meeting For The First Time?

One of our members shared the following:

Some of the customers we have gained have commented on our presentation at the initial meeting. They said it was "unique" and different. I guess I never really thought of doing it any other way.

For every initial meeting, we bring a packet/folder of info for them to look through during the walk through. Some of our clients have said it made us "look" more professional than the other companies who just gave them a price and left.

In that packet, we have the following:

-an intro letter that tells about us and who we are
-a copy of our insurance certificate
-a copy of a W-9 form
-two copies of the contract - one for us and one for them, once both are signed
-a walk-through checklist
-a specifications sheet
-a follow-up checklist (that we leave after every cleaning)
-a stamped/addressed feedback postcard that we ask them to send after service begins
-several business cards
-a copy of our policies (that cover payments, lockout, reschedules, cancellations, etc)
-a brochure that covers our referral bonus program and the "extra" services we offer

It may seem like a small thing, but our customers have told me that it made us stand out as the more "Professional Business" and that's why they chose our service!

What do YOU do to make yourself memorable in the prospect's eyes? Share your thoughts by clicking on the Comments link below.