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Increase Profits In Your Cleaning Business With Upselling and Cross Selling

"Would you like fries with that burger?"

That is the common phrase you hear when people talk about upselling. In a cleaning business an upsell might be, "Would you like your refrigerator deep cleaned today?"  Or if you just finished cleaning carpet you might ask, "Would you like us to add carpet protectant to protect against spills?"

What exactly is an upsell? It is any service that you can add to the original sale that is directly related to the original service. PLUS, it increases the customer's experience of what they were trying to get from you when they made the original purchase. So if they wanted clean carpet, adding carpet protectant to help prevent against additional spills will add value to what they originally hired you for.

Upselling also happens right at the moment of providing the service, or shortly thereafter -- during or right after making payment. This is the perfect time because they're more likely to spend a little additional now, since they are paying you right now for the service.

In the case of a commercial cleaning service, where you typically schedule the services first and then invoice later, the perfect time to upsell is at the time they schedule the service. If they're scheduling a tile and grout cleaning, upsell them on grout sealing at the same time.

A good rule of thumb for upselling is that the product or service you are trying to upsell should be 60% or less of the original offer price. So if your carpet cleaning job is $250.00, your upsell should be no more than $150.00.

Cross selling is a little different from upselling. What you are doing here is selling additional products or services that are not necessarily complementary to the original service. An example of cross selling would be a home cleaning company selling window washing or pet waste clean up; or a commercial cleaning company selling restroom supplies.

When it comes to cross selling there is no rule of thumb on price since it's not related to the original purchase, so the price can be anything.

If you are not incorporating upselling and cross selling into your marketing plan, you are missing great opportunities to increase sales and profits in your cleaning company. If you ARE upselling and cross selling, please share examples by posting your comments below.

Good News For Cleaning Business Owners That Might Have Mis-Classified Employees As Independent Contractors

Do you think you might have misclassified employees as independent contractors?

This is a serious topic for cleaning business owners because if caught, the IRS can go after you for back employment taxes plus penalties and interest. This would put most companies right out of business. The good news is, the IRS has launched a new program that allows many employers to resolve their misclassification issues at a low cost by voluntarily reclassifying their workers.

Most employers don't know what to do if they realize they've made a mistake because they know there is a stiff penalty to pay depending on how long it's been going on. But under the new program, they have the opportunity to get into compliance by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit.

The program is called Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), and is part of the “Fresh Start” initiative at the IRS to help taxpayers and businesses address their tax responsibilities.

To be eligible the applicant must:

  • Consistently have treated the workers in the past as nonemployees,
  • Have filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous three years
  • Not currently be under audit by the IRS
  • Not currently be under audit by the Department of Labor or a state agency concerning the classification of these workers

To read the announcement and find out how to apply, visit the IRS.