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- What Makes a Home Cleaning Business . . .
Depending on which source you check, there are between 795,590 and 900,000 maids and house cleaners currently working in the United States. The more populated a state (like California or Florida) or a city (like New York or D.C.) is, the more residential cleaning companies exist.
Do you understand what makes you unique?
How can you make your business stand out from other companies in your area? Somehow you need to find a way to distinguish yourself from the competition. Here are some low-cost ideas to get you thinking:
- Make sure that you take advantage of the capabilities of your website. It gives you a platform to persuade potential customers to trust you to clean their homes. People tend to generalize and to form impressions quickly, so spend time thoughtfully creating your logo and designing your digital presence. Research has shown that it takes only 50 milliseconds for someone to form an impression about your website and determine whether they will stay or leave. That's .05 of a second!
- Even if your website design and company logo delight the discriminating eyes of the potential customers, you still have to make it easy for them to interact with you. People tend to get frustrated quickly, so make it easy for them to contact you or to book an initial appointment. My House Cleaning Biz members have access to a course on setting up and optimizing a website to maximize targeted traffic for their business.
All residential house cleaning businesses offer similar basic services: dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning kitchens and bathrooms. However, your business could stand out by offering unique services that others don't. You can do this in 3 ways:
- Create add-on services for clients, such as a refrigerator or oven cleaning, picking up pet waste, carpet spot cleaning, or steam cleaning. Make sure to also offer spring clean/deep clean services, as well as move-in/move-out, cleans. You may wish to invest in specialized equipment so that you can clean windows without the bother of subcontracting. You may even wish to offer extra services organizing closets and cabinets.
- Every other visit or every 3 or 4 visits, throw in a small extra cleaning service. For example, you may organize a spice rack or kitchen cabinet or sterilize the children's bath toys. Whatever you do should not take too long (you shouldn't lose money on these little extras), and you should leave a note saying what you have done and thanking them for their patronage.
- Make it a point to emphasize your commitment to the environment with eco-cleaning or green cleaning. This involves stocking and using natural products that are EPA safer choice certified but keep in mind the fact that there is more to green cleaning than simply using environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals. Green cleaning is a whole system of cleaning that not only uses fewer toxic chemicals, but also different types of equipment, such as vacuums with HEPA filters, and different techniques that decrease the number of chemicals needed in the cleaning process. You can read more about this in our article, Green Cleaning.
Gifts and other small gestures:
It's human nature to be pleased when receiving a gift or unexpected token, and you can take advantage of this to cement customer loyalty. There are many small, thoughtful touches that you can include in your regular cleaning with a minimum outlay of money or time.
- Leave a thank you note with the name or names of the employees who cleaned. This adds a personal touch to the transaction.
- Fold the ends of the toilet paper the way that the housekeepers do in hotels. It shows attention to detail and makes your clients feel that they are getting a luxury service. This costs nothing; however, you could go one step further and attach a sticker with your company name and logo to the folded end of the roll. These are easy to buy and not very expensive, especially when you buy in bulk. For example, you can get 350 custom stickers from Amazon for only $15.99.
- There are many other small gifts that you could leave after your initial cleanings, such as a promotional pen with your company name ($79 for 300) or a customized pad of Post-it-type notes. Fridge magnets are useful for everyone and have the added advertising benefit of including your company name, phone number, and website (approximately $76 for 1000 custom magnets). It's very easy for a homeowner to pass the magnet to a friend who has asked enviously, “who cleans your house?”
- You may want to add a luxurious fillip by leaving mints on pillows after each visit, but this may not be a good idea if the house includes children or pets.
- Depending on the cost, you may want to leave a fresh flower (carnations are the least expensive) in a vase each time you clean.
- Holiday token gifts will also set you apart from other companies. You could leave a calendar (with your company name on it, of course) or even a branded key chain. You can buy 100 of these for approximately $140. If you are just starting out and don't have too many clients, you could make small packages of baked goods that you package in foil with a ribbon. (If you have been watching Ted Lasso, you'll remember how Ted “tamed” his boss with homemade cookies -- people love baked goods!)
- Take a tip from cruise ship room cleaners. No, you don't have to learn to make animals out of intricately folded towels -- but you could add a small and humorous personalization to a room. If children have left stuffed animals or dolls, arrange them whimsically on the bed. Or place one stuffed animal in an amusing place to tickle the funny bones of young ones when they arrive home.
- One intangible that many house cleaning clients appreciate is the clean and fresh smell they experience when returning home to a house after the cleaners have been. You could capitalize on that by spraying a quick spritz of a signature scent in the entranceway just before you or your employees leave.
- When clients hire your cleaning services, they are paying for a clean house, but they are also buying a feeling of being taken care of. You can add to this feeling by taking the time to listen to your clients. Give them the opportunity to leave feedback on your website -- and respond to it.
- Offer coupons or deduct money from their bill for referrals to friends or family.
- Give a free service after every 20 paid services. Loyalty programs work for airlines and hotels; they can work for your business too.
- Show that your business cares about the community by sponsoring or donating to a local team. This is an inexpensive marketing tactic that has been around since the Fifth Century BC in ancient Greece when wealthy citizens paid to sponsor cultural events in Athens and Olympia.
- Write blogs on your website with interesting cleaning tips for your clients.
- Send notifications to your clients to let them know when your cleaners are on their way and again when they leave.
- Make sure to list all of your qualifications on your website. People want to know that you are licensed, bonded, and insured, but they also will be impressed to read that your employees have completed training sessions and earned multiple certifications.
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In 2021, MyHouseCleaningBiz.com was part of an acquisition by Armando Bello, Ricardo Regalado, John Disselkamp, Michael Dahlke, Saul Marchan, and Juan Padilla. Comrades in the cleaning industry. Their goal is to continue to expand on the resources accessible to its members, provide a personalized roadmap for sustainable growth, and make a positive impact in the cleaning industry. About Us -Vision - Mission - Story.
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