24 QUICK START STEPS TO STARTING A JANITORIAL OR
1-File a DBA in your county "Doing Business As" assumed name
2-Use your DBA to open a business checking account, deposit the miinimum to start.
3-Design a business card , and contact a local printer, start of with either 250-500 business cards.
4-Call and tell everyone you know that you have started a cleaning service, and to please tell their friends and family also.
5-Keep your business cards with you at all times, wherever you go whoever you meet tell them about your services.
6-Develop a flyer, or simple brochure, and go from business to business or door to door telling potential customers about your services.
7-Online list your cleaning service in as many free or paying directories as possible, yahoo local, google local info seek, etc you do not need a website to do this.
8-Accept jobs, take all the jobs you can possibly handle in the beggining, even if they are not the most high paying, you need to establish some references.
9-Buy only the equipment that you need on a "as needed basis", and rent equipment that you need in the beginning do not buy.
10-Follow up with your customer, ask them if they require any more cleaning from you, offer them a special.
11-Concentrate on promoting your business , call your local yellow pages and get prices for a moderate listing, in most cases from the time that you start your business it could be 6 months till the next yellow pages comes out, find out when the deadline for a listing is, even if you get the smallest listing, get a listing.
12-Keep promoting and improving your services, buy new business cards and flyers as needed.
13-Concentrate on your image- What are you reflecting to your customer. Do you have a logo? Are you in a t-shirt and jeans cleaning. What about estimates, do you have a logo prepared, what is your work vehicle like. Do the best you can to develop a universal package that represents you and your business. Uniforms, business cards, letterhead, website, equipment.. should all be clean and presentable.
14- Getting more customers on a low budget.
-Mail some flyers out, daily stamp and stuff 10 envelopes with your flyers, information and cards.
or develop a mailer, a postcard that can be mailed to potential customers. 10 a day start with this amount that`s roughly 300 a month. Direct them to business and customers that need and can afford your service.
15- Follow up- If your using the yellow pages for addresses of your business mailer, or an on line directory, make a note of some of the accounts or customers you want, then call. Ask if they received your information, ask if there currently using a service, ask if you can come by and give a free estimate.
16- Going on estimates.1- Your goal is convince the customer that your service is better than the other service. 2- That your service offers more or a specialty service that they currently do not receive. 3-Your price is better than the other service they are currently using. Your goal is to write up proposals and estimates (lots of them) quotes on price and service. Make all your offers valid for 90 days. Make them competitive
17- Develop a promotion- Maybe there is something at this point that you are really good at, and fast at lets say for example: Window Washing- A good promotion that has worked for me in the past is that all commercial accounts get inside and outside window washing free monthly with every service agreement. I have known of services that for small offices provide the toilet paper and hand towels at no cost included in the service agreement, regardless develop a promotion that sets you apart from your competition.
18- Follow up with friends and family, tell them of your success, tell them of new promos that you are offering.
19- Follow up on the estimates and quotes that you have written, If you did not get the job.. ask why, was your price to high, or are they still happy with the other service or person there using. Be polite tell the person you plan on being in business for the rest of your life. remind them the offer is still good for another 45 days etc. Tell them there is room for negotiation. Just keep contact close and friendly. (as you will be calling back)
20-Look at the supplies you are using, analyze the cost of chemicals and general cleaning materials. Are you getting the best deal. Ive known of many services that I call pharmacy fools. They will buy a windex from CVS or Rite Aid for 2.99 a bottle. I use this as a good example: your local janitorial supply stores have gallon bottles that are concentrate. You make almost 100 bottles of that windex for $12.99
21- Get online and if you have no work to do, link strategy. At this point you should have a website. You can build one yourself for cheap at GO DADDY. Keep on linking your website to as many service sites for free as possible.
22-Money, Money, Money- You at this point are hopefully making it, you must keep track of the money you are bringing in, money paying out (including yourself), and the money you are using for all your business supplies. It can be a general ledger for $5.00 at any Office Max or a computer program. You have to keep track.
23-Follow up with those estimates again, after about 30 days. The customer only has 15 days left till it expires. Let them know that you are still interested in being there service provider, let them know that you have the ability to further accommodate their needs by altering the estimate. Negotiate and keep contact close regardless.
24-Daily tell 5 new people about your service. Whoever, wherever, whenever. Send them an email or give them a card tell them you can handle all their cleaning issues, tell them to tell a friend. If you have a good image, and good fair prices keep this up for the rest of your business life, and you will be very successful.