6 weeks in, need more customers

Feb 13, 2011
90
17
8
CA
Real Name
Bret Furtado
Business Location
United States
Hey folks,

Have been doing pretty good all in all for my first five weeks in business, better than my expectations. First two weeks I had two jobs, then three the third week, then five per week the last two weeks. My goal was five a week to hit within the first two months, so I've accomplished that and the money has been pretty good at this entry level.

But it's Monday and I have no jobs this week, my next one isn't until March 6th. I've reached out to my existing customers to offer discounted upholstery cleaning should they need it. What's the best way to hustle up more leads? Everything I've gotten so far has been from referrals, my work has spoken for itself and I ended up with raving reviews on a few local mom Facebook groups that generated a lot of messages, which turned into a handful of tire kickers but also a handful of jobs. It was exciting to hear all the notifications on my phone going off.

I've been thinking about forking over for a Google add. I live in the bay area Silicon Valley, so most of my customers are tech savvy. What would you do if you were in my situation as a new company to get more jobs?

Thanks guys,

- Bret
 

John Rockwood

Well-Known Member
Oct 18, 2012
2,368
497
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66
Oregon
Real Name
John Rockwood
Property Managers (no apts) and Relators. The lack of cash flow will be your worst enemy. You could do some Restaurants that will generate $ on a steady basis. Just remember the night work is only there to generate a cash flow until your business takes off. Sometimes you need to do the crap jobs to get you by but it builds character.
 
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AffordableCarpetCare

Active Member
Aug 30, 2013
284
159
43
35
Lebanon TN
Real Name
Matthew Patterson
Business Location
United States
I'd rather have good restaurant account than prop management, easier to clean and better more steady money. Stay away from chain restaurants, go to your local owned restaurants and hit them up, try to get them to clean on regular schedule. Mine range from every 2 weeks to every 3 mos depending on their traffic level
 
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John Rockwood

Well-Known Member
Oct 18, 2012
2,368
497
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Oregon
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John Rockwood
My largest property manager has 400+ properties at least 90% are single family homes the rest are duplexes and a few 4 plex's. Empty, no price cap, you are the expert and the PM is willing to pay for your expertise. I'll take this one account over any Restaurant.
They normally have 8-15 cleaned per month with an average price of 195-250. My lowest PM has about 75 properties and about 3-4 per month with about the same price on each job.
My other PM has around 200 properties and have around 12 or so per month to be cleaned. If I had to guess between the three the majority(at least 75%) are homes that the owner moved away and decided to rent the old one out. The rest are owned by a few individuals that have multiple properties, no corporations or slum lords.
 
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mrotto

Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2009
3,000
2,034
113
Wisconsin
Real Name
Paul Ottensmann
Business Location
United States
oh, man. how many times do we have to answer this question?

Surprise! Your not in the carpet cleaning business! Your in the MARKETING business! When you get started you need to market your business.

So the first question you ask is where do I spend the money? Google, Angies List, etc? You mean the money you dont have? Go ahead waste your money! You will be just like everyone else.

What you need to do is get off your butt and go meet people that can get you jobs. You already worked the people you know so you have to do what? KNOW MORE PEOPLE!

Realtors, carpet stores, property managers like Rockwood said. If your not cleaning, your marketing. You should be glad you dont have work this week. It gives you a chance to grow your business. Now GO!
 

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
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Peter Dymond
Get set up on Next Door, create a biz profile.
If you're not already set up on Google business, do that too.
Then get a few friends and family to post reviews.
I guess you're ready on Facebook, so that's good.
Ok, all the easy, sit at home stuff is done, now it's time to hit the streets.
Call on restaurants after lunch or first thing in the morning.
Don't go anywhere near one between 10 am & 2 pm or after 5 pm.
Go to carpet stores.
Another good idea is to get some flyers or postcards printed and do a five around drop whenever you do a job.
(House next door both sides and the 3 across the street.)
Ring the bell and just introduce yourself.
Don't be pushy.
Lastly create a follow up text or email template with a link to leave a review on Google.
And if you have money to spend, which hopefully you do, then try a home services ad magazine that goes to high end homes.
Be prepared to pay $1200 - $1500 a month.
You have to make a 6 month commitment for it to work, but when you break into the high end market, word of mouth will do the rest.
Finally, do amazing work. Go above and beyond on every job.
Get referrals and rave reviews.
 
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mrotto

Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2009
3,000
2,034
113
Wisconsin
Real Name
Paul Ottensmann
Business Location
United States
People figure (in all trades) that if they are good at something, it makes them a good business person. Which is exactly why so many new companies go out of business in two years.

Lets say your good at baking cupcakes and all your friends say you should start a cupcake business. So you get all the supplies, open a store and have all their friends stop by to get cupcakes. But after a couple weeks, they stop coming. Then what?

Thats where you are.

Thats why the FIRST function of Management is Planning. The first thing you should have done even before you buy cleaning equipment is plan on how your business is going to grow. Too many people skip that part. Why? Because they arent business minded. and therefore, go out of business.
 
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U. S. Vet.

Active Member
Jul 8, 2020
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Sanis Sanis
One couldn’t imagine an army being ready to do what they are recruited to do • simply because they have arms.

A complete understanding of the prosecution of war is more important than the gear.

Think of the early ( to present ), Israeli wars. They had nearly nothing compared to the Jordanians / Egyptians / & to a lesser extent, the Syrians • yet they defeated a far superior and far better “EQUIPPED” united foe.

Its not the equipment ( though very important ), it’s knowing what to do with what you have ( Till u can get what you WANT ) • • • that is especially true when it specifically refers to • • • a business plan
 
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kevinj6121

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2014
843
445
63
North carolina
Real Name
Kevin
Hey folks,

Have been doing pretty good all in all for my first five weeks in business, better than my expectations. First two weeks I had two jobs, then three the third week, then five per week the last two weeks. My goal was five a week to hit within the first two months, so I've accomplished that and the money has been pretty good at this entry level.

But it's Monday and I have no jobs this week, my next one isn't until March 6th. I've reached out to my existing customers to offer discounted upholstery cleaning should they need it. What's the best way to hustle up more leads? Everything I've gotten so far has been from referrals, my work has spoken for itself and I ended up with raving reviews on a few local mom Facebook groups that generated a lot of messages, which turned into a handful of tire kickers but also a handful of jobs. It was exciting to hear all the notifications on my phone going off.

I've been thinking about forking over for a Google add. I live in the bay area Silicon Valley, so most of my customers are tech savvy. What would you do if you were in my situation as a new company to get more jobs?

Thanks guys,

- Bret
Your only six weeks in, unless you get lucky and land some good commercial accounts right from the start it doesn't happen overnight for just about anybody.
You gotta have some kind of marketing plan for sure, everyone will give you ideas and things to try, but what worked for some may not work for you in your area, you'll make some mistakes along the way, most do.
But you'll hit on things that do work, when you do, then do it more
Most importantly always do a good job, if you do and people like you then you'll have word of mouth going for you, never underestimate the word of mouth
I currently and have not for awhile now have had to spend any money at all on advertising
I pay a monthly fee for a website but that's it. I'm on nextdoor .com which is free and get a lot of work from that and a facebook page which is also free.
Having a second source of income can help take some of the pressure and stress off of you in the beginning as you try to grow.

Here is what i did when i Moved here to North Carolina from NY 8 years ago. I was cleaning when i lived in NY but now had to start all over again
I knew it would take some time to build up a good customer base and i had to have some steady income in the meantime because as we know the bills don't go away, still gotta pay rent, still gotta eat and so on
I took a night job at a local pizza/Italian place that's been in business here for like 20 years doing deliveries.
I noticed very quickly that he has a very large base of customers who order delivery all the time.
I'm a very friendly personable guy so i built a good repor with these people and when i could i mentioned how i do this at night but during the day i have a carpet cleaning business
So i started to get jobs from these people, they already knew me and liked me, then i started getting referrals and word of mouth took off and alls well that ends well as the saying goes.

Taking that job turned out to be a blessing in disguise, I didn't plan on it but it just worked out that way.
Sometimes the owner would get mad at me cause some people would call the restaurant asking for my number so i can clean their carpets
I'd tell him sorry, but hey they are your customers too.
A running joke i have with a lot of these people is
"who's better then me, I bring you food and I clean your carpets"

Not telling you to go out and get a pizza delivery job like i did, but just that at least in the beginning having a second source of income can help.
But i will tell you this, that part time pizza delivery job which was from 5pm till 9pm 6 nights a week for a total of 24 hrs a week made me 30grand a year and is the easiest money i ever made

So much so that i will admit that 8 years later I still do it, don't really need it but I like money and it takes up the slack in the slow winter months, although winters here are not bad at all compared to when i was living in NY.

I just hit 60yrs old and carpet clean during the day and deliver pizza in the evenings so i stay busy one way or the other.
 
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U. S. Vet.

Active Member
Jul 8, 2020
919
207
43
Real Name
Sanis Sanis
One couldn’t imagine an army being ready to do what they are recruited to do • simply because they have arms.

A complete understanding of the prosecution of war is more important than the gear.

Think of the early ( to present ), Israeli wars. They had nearly nothing compared to the Jordanians / Egyptians / & to a lesser extent, the Syrians • yet they defeated a far superior and far better “EQUIPPED” united foe.

Its not the equipment ( though very important ), it’s knowing what to do with what you have ( Till u can get what you WANT ) • • • that is especially true when it specifically refers to • • • a business plan
Assuming one has the proper foundational accreditation,
( if not, start there ), all else will fall under this general outline.

1. Understand your total cost of doing business
( divided in to their respective categories ).
a. All expenses for adds / operations / admin / etc
b. All expenses not related to the bus. ( you need to eat / pay rent / mort. / life in gen.
2. Market research ( local )
a. Mostly : comm. / res. / mix
b. All posible locations of potential prospects
3. Implement a comprehensive plan to reach folks related to your type of cleaning
( once 2-b is determined )

This is by no means unabridged • it is an overgeneralization • an incomplete overview of what would be considered • • • a fundamental outline
 
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PistolPete

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Sep 28, 2014
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Peter Dymond
I worked a couple of part time jobs while I was getting started.
It sure helps to not feel completely useless when there's nothing going on with business.
Personally, I give credit to the Lord, because He has certainly blessed me!
The biggest job I ever did came from someone seeing my van.
I got 300 hotel bathrooms and 26,000 sq ft of tile & grout cleaning...