Following on from last month, here is part two of my list of ways to generate more cleaning leads for your business.
6 – Become a subcontractor
Even the biggest cleaning firms in the world subcontract. They can’t be everywhere and cover everything. Approach some of the larger regional/ national companies, they may be looking for partners like you. Any company hoping to expand will welcome the local support. Nobody likes to say no to a client if they can’t help, particularly if mileage is an issue. With the digital world as it is, many of us get speculative calls via our website for areas of the country we don’t cover. Think about it, would you rather lose a job, or pass it on to partner? If you’ve paid the generate that lead so why let it die. It’s better to have a 20% subcontractor fee than nothing and who knows what doors it could open with that client.
7 – Start a blog
Blogging is not just about content creation and keeping your website updated. It can be so many things, a communicator, educator and an out reach tool. Do not think for one second “but, who is going to read it?” Well, it depends on what you write. People are not interested in you and how great you are. Think about, “how can I give back”, “how can I help people” and more importantly “what are my customers looking for”. A Google search for ‘The benefits of outsourcing cleaning’ for example will show results for this very blog, on or near the top of page. With the right customer focused mindset, your blog can generate new business leads for you, as well as increasing your credibility within the industry and with Google.
8 – Google AdWords
So many people think of AdWords as a waste of money for cleaning companies. With the right management and more importantly an effective website though, you can increase your sales dramatically within a very short time frame. Lets take a scenario – Lets say you do high level cleaning. At the moment Google will charge you about 70p per click on your advert. You may get 200 visits a year, costing you £140. A good benchmark for a lead generation service site is 5%, giving you in the region of 10 enquiries a year. If you’re converting just 1/3 the jobs you price, that means you’ll win about 3-4 jobs a year through AdWords. I’m sure you all know that just one high level factory clean is going to be a lot more than £140. With the ROI (return on investment) sometimes in the 100s of percent, how can you ignore.
Now be warned, this isn’t for all. If you use the above example and you sell cleaning consumables for instance, Google are charging you 70p a click on your advert, you get 200 visits a year at £140, but your mean product sale is £5, that £140 pound has only made you £15-20. Take time to work out your CPA (cost per acquisition) and CPC (cost per conversion) and you may just find that AdWords could really kick-start your sales, especially if you’re a wide service range.
9 – Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the big brother of AdWords. He takes longer to mature, but he is in it for the long haul. A good healthy CTR ( click through rate) for an AdWords ad is around 3%. The top result in Google gets around 33%, if not more. Despite the many charlatans out there that have given the industry a bad name, their a many more reputable companies out there that can and will deliver. Do your research on suppliers, ask for testimonials from them. Ask a business associate or a customer for a referral or recommendation. Once the right connections is made, the positive difference that effective and ethical SEO can make is unquestionable.
10 – LinkedIn groups
Confession time – For the cleaning industry, I thought LinkedIn was next to useless. How wrong I was! Ask our self this “Who buys your services?” Facility managers, Bursars, production managers? All these people have groups on LinkedIn. Cleaning it is the same, if your looking for industry expertise, subcontractors or just somewhere to syndicate your blog posts, now is the time to really consider LinkedIn. I can recommend the NICE group and NICE for Cleaning & FM as great groups to join and start exploring.
11 – Forums
Going back into the noughties and beyond, forums were the go to place to virtually discuss the industry. Some of these groups are still going and flourishing. Cleanitup and Cleantalk are two that are worth a look. As well as there being some great freebies to download, shared by the community. They also have lengthy boards of contract tenders and job postings.
If you are already doing all the above fantastic! You’re well on the way to cleaning greatness. For those that aren’t I hope it’s sparked some new avenues for you to explore in search of that next big contract. I’d love to hear some of your techniques for finding new business, so please share in the comments.