The Secrets To Starting And Running A Successful Local Service Business
If you had told me 3 years ago that i’d be the owner of a successful home cleaning company, i would’ve laughed in your face. Me, cleaning, houses?
Such a juxtaposition couldn’t exist in my reality, i mean my own mother had to beg me to do the bloody dishes and i honestly wouldn’t have been able to tell you the difference between ajax and muscle magic.
Fast forward three years and i’m what i’d consider a home service marketing guru.
The successful house cleaning company i run starts the week with over eighty-six homes to clean and each month we service over four hundred individual homes.
This was all boot-strapped from my own pocket. Whilst competitors in the same market required venture capitalist funding of over $500,000 (more than five hundred times my total yearly marketing budget) to obtain any sort of foundation in the market.
Now, i’m not claiming to have any sort of foothold in a market that is worth well over one billion dollars (if that was the case i’d be writing this from Uluwatu on a beach with a surf board and a condo right next to it.).
What i am saying is, it’s not as difficult as you think, it doesn’t require any specialist knowledge, loads of capital or technical expertise.
Literally, all that’s required is a local service market, less than $1000 Australian dollars, some motivation and a passion for making money. Here’s how i did it and continue to do it.
Look After The Representatives Of Your Local Service Business.
As a business owner you need to rely on factors that are outside of your control to succeed in any market.
Sacrificing the control of how people view your organization can be both stress and anxiety inducing. To succeed in any business you’ll need to mitigate and manipulate the positive and negative ways people view your business, here’s how we did it.
Build A Superior Website
When i first started my house cleaning company the market was in dire need of a company that offered a same day booking service, up-front pricing, online booking and scheduling with no hidden fees.
Building a website with a great design helped my initial push for customers and conveyed the notion that we were a big player in the market when we really weren’t.
I had customers ring while i was at my full-time job with the typical vexatious question of “What do you do”. Not wanting to sound incompetent or lose a potential sale i would read out our services page in the hope that this would convey value.
I’ve had numerous potential clientele ring and mention the easy to navigate website and how it effectively conveys information to its readers. Mitigating the way potential consumers viewed the business at first glance has been pivotal in the growing success of Maidforyou.com.au as an organization and developing brand.
Pay Your Team What They Deserve!
In the market where we’ve had success most companies seem to exploit their workers by taking an exuberant amount of the invoice charged to the customer, all the while forcing their teams to purchase their own equipment, transport and chemicals.
All of our cleaners receive remuneration that is comparable to the best in the industry. They’re paid every week and my door is always open should they need extra or if they feel a client’s home is too dirty, i’m happy to pay them the full price of the invoice.
In looking after the interests of my company’s representatives they’re more than happy to look after me and my interests. We work together in symbiosis and mutual-ism to move toward an objective. The cleaners don’t feel like they’re working for me, we both understand that we work together to achieve a common goal and they know that i’m happy to sacrifice for their happiness and i know the same of them.
Paying teams what they deserve mitigates any problem with quality, in fact i barely need to mention quality to them at all. They’re disciplined enough and feel rewarded for their work enough that they know to try and provide the best job, every time. Essentially leaving my business’s image in safe hands.
Look After Your Customers
Is the customer always right? no, not necessarily. Can a business exist without their customers not at all, therefore for us, the customer is always right to a certain extent.
Customers are universally reasonable, they’re not out to cheat you. If you’re stuck in the mindset, get out of it, it’s not healthy for your business.
What helped Maidforyou.com.au grow to starting each week at capacity is looking after our existing customer base. I know it’s cliche but treat your customers how you’d want to be treated as a customer. For me this meant, answering email queries in ten minutes or less, organizing last minute cleans, making sure the best service was provided every time and never overcharging.
Conducting business as fairly and as ethically as possible proves our mission and makes sure we gain the trust of our customers. We’ve had customers where we’ve messed up our honesty and ethics in conducting business means they will never go to a competitor.
Invest In The Cheapest Form Of Marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
For any business marketing is easily the most pivotal cog in the machine. It allows businesses to get in front of their customers and can be very costly to any organization starting out. Orthodox marketing mediums like TV and Newspaper advertisements can cost upwards of $100,000 (for a prime time spot on the former) and these mediums tend to have an extremely poor return on investment for local service companies.
Marketing is so pivotal and internet marketing is essentially such a recent phenomenon that it doesn’t take a $30,000 degree to learn and learning the arts of the trade can help save your business and future businesses time and money in the long run.
The cheapest form of marketing by far for a local service business is organic search engine optimization (SEO). To explain like your five it’s using techniques and creating relevant content so Google sees you as an authoritative figure in your field.
More than likely you’ll be solicited by agencies offering this as a service every day. Companies can charge anywhere from $150 to $5000 dollars per month, with promises that are unable to be guaranteed (first page of google promise).
Investing in SEO is as simple as creating content that is relevant to the field your local service business is apart of and getting your business name and brand in as many relevant places as possible. If you’re building a brand and creating content you’ll rank highly in no time.
Pay per click
Pay per click marketing is a marketing channel where you can pay organizations like Google or Facebook to help you drive traffic to your website, if people click on your sponsored ad you’ll pay a nominal fee per click
Maidforyou.com.au used this as a means of obtaining our initial customer base. Unfortunately we just broke even but again knowledge is power and if you invested a significant amount of time learning about the best practice for this type of marketing, it would’ve have increased our return for every dollar spent and we’d more than likely have continued to use it as a preferred marketing channel.
Continue To Reevaluate The Market
To continue to grow your local service business, you’ll need to continue to reevaluate the market. Competitor analyses, coupled with the recording of consumer buying habits will give you an edge in a market where almost every one is unskilled.
I’m so sure that i have the keys to succeed in any local service business that i’ll be logging my run from $0 in revenue to $100,000 in the carpet cleaning market in Sydney.
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