How to be Totally and Truly Your Own Boss in Every Way Be Your Own Boss To jump right in on how to be your own boss, I’m going to answer a question that I get a lot, which is a lot of people are working through part time or full time in another job and they’re really having difficulty understanding, figuring out or feeling comfortable with how they’re going to be able to transition from their job into working on their business full time. The real question on how to be your own boss is generating enough income in their cleaning service business so that they can more comfortably leave or sooner leave their other part time job. So if that is something that you have had a question about or you’ve been struggling with or you weren’t quite sure, that’s what I’m going to talk about today. Managing Time for Your Business to Be Your Own Boss So in particular some of the questions that I get are things like, “How do I know how many employees to hire?” “Should I hire full time or part time?” “How many days of the week we should be open?” “How do I sort of set up the schedule?” And...

Exhibit Edge has provided trade show exhibit design and consulting for over twenty years and we still learn and grow as new ideas evolve and trends develop. After much discussion and reflection, they’ve worked with the Build My Cleaning Business team to come up with these six tips to help you on your journey to trade show success for your residential cleaning business Bev Gray is the founder and CEO of Exhibit Edge Inc., a trade show exhibit design and consulting company in the Washington, DC metro area. For more information about their trade show services, visit ExhibitEdge.com or email info@exhibitedge.com. Bev is a co-author of this post. Deciding to exhibit at a trade show for the first time can bring about a number of overwhelming emotions, from excitement and exhilaration to nervousness and confusion. It takes several times of trial and error to really master the art of exhibiting, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking a leap of faith and exhibiting your service and/or product for the hundreds or thousands of potential buyers at your industry trade show. Book Early Book your airfare, hotel, and conference tickets as early as possible. Having your airfare booked early relieves the stress of...

Cleaning business owners frequently talk about the need for more prospective and actual clients, (and also lament how little time they have) to spend looking for them. What if you could hire an unpaid sales force to get new clients and prospects for you? Wouldn’t that be great? One of the best ways to do this is by forming strategic alliances with other professionals who speak to the same “ target market” you do. Do you take time to form strategic alliances in your business? Strategic alliance partners are people who share the same target audience or clients as you do, but whose company or service doesn’t overlap with yours. Strategic alliances are usually your best referral partners and in most cases, you’ll can develop a variety of different ones. For residential cleaning business owners these might be: People who offer dog-walking, pet and/or house sitting services Realtors , home inspectors, and property managers Residential pest control companies Window washers General contractors who perform remodeling services Residential painters Carpet cleaning  companies Companies that offer disaster remediation services Companies that do power-washing and driveway treatments I recommend taking time out on a regular basis to identify potential strategic alliances. Here’s an easy “2 step process” List ten (10)...

Keep your commercial bids from disappearing into a black hole Make sure you get a clear idea BEFORE submitting your proposal of what the decision making process looks like: Who makes the decision What are the key criteria When will decision be made What happens after bids are received If a new vendor is selected, when will they start? Ask for a commitment from whoever you deliver the bid to to stay in touch with you and to notify you when a decision is made Once you make this request (whether in person, via email, or over the phone) WAIT for a response, before assuming you have it. Don’t agree to submit you bid without it Let your prospect know that this is a custom proposal and (as one professional to another) you expect the courtesy of a notification When following up use phrases like “checking in” and “touching base” to find out when a decision can be anticipated (and where in the process things currently stand). DON’T make a nuisance of yourself- understand that corporate wheels turn ever so slowly Stay busy enough submitting other commercial proposals that you don’t have time to obsess about any one pending deal...

I have today the answers to a question that I get asked an awful lot by people who want to know not only what are the best types of commercial accounts to go after, but what are the ones that they should avoid. I have a list of 7 Commercial Cleaning Accounts to Avoid that over my 23 years and counting working in the commercial cleaning industry I have found are ones that you want to avoid like the plague. First step on my list of 7 Commercial Cleaning Accounts to Avoid is doctors and dentists. I have found doctors and dentists to be, how shall I say, some what of a sort of a know-it-all type of personality. They are hard to please. They tend to be cheap, particularly doctors. I think maybe it's not really their fault. I think that doctors are singled out by a lot of different types of salespeople as easy marks. So doctors have become really, very weary. They just try really hard to try to strike a bargain, to try to negotiate with you. Try to cut corners, and as a result of that it's just made them really difficult as clients to deal...

The 6 best commercial cleaning accounts that you should go after. In my 23 years and counting of going after commercial cleaning accounts I have identified six that are my favorites. So here they are in no particular order. First up in my list of 6 Best Commercial Cleaning Accounts is the precision professions. People who tend to be involved in work that is very precise, like engineers, IT specialists, computer people, bankers, accountants, attorneys, those people tend to understand the importance of attention to detail and they typically are willing to pay for it. So those make great commercial cleaning clientele. Next up as my really all-time favorite, I love this one more than any other category is what is known as class A office space. It is white collar office space, it's in nice areas, it's in good condition. The cost per square foot to rent it is typically higher than in some other areas. I love that kind of space. It doesn't get all that dirty. They typically understand that they need cleaning five days a week, and they make excellent clients. They tend to be things like you know accountants, insurance people, really any kind of profession that requires people sitting at...

People want to know what can they do to do a better job Closing Commercial Cleaning Business Sales. So our topic for today is closing the sale. Interestingly enough what a lot of people don't really understand, cleaning business owners in particular. Because we don't tend to think of ourselves as salespeople, we tend to think of ourselves as cleaning professionals. But if you are in business for yourself you also need to understand that marketing and sales is going to be an important ingredient of your success. Closing Commercial Cleaning Business Sales actually begins before you ever get in front of your prospect. You need to be thinking about your client attraction, and making sure that you are attracting the right types of prospects to you. Closing Commercial Cleaning Business Sales is based on two key ingredients. Do you have your ideal client properly identified? Have you been really clear in identifying what your unique selling proposition is? Without those two things, then closing sales is going to be much more difficult, because you're attracting the wrong kind of people. Or they're not going to be motivated by the thing that makes your business unique, better, special, different. Remember that closing commercial cleaning business sales is not...

Key Components of a Winning Commercial Proposal, What Does that Look Like? There are a couple of key components of a winning commercial proposal that it is critical that you make sure to include. The very first one is you need to demonstrate to your prospect that you understand what their pain or problem is. They do not care about all of the features and benefits of your business. They only care about that as it relates to their pain or problem. In order for people to make the decision to buy, they need first to feel understood. It does not matter whether or not they understand you, but they do need to feel that you understand them. It's critical that you do this throughout the proposal process, specifically in your proposal. You need to include some sort of listing and reference to their problem, their pain. Then you need to be able to tie your solution specifically to their pain. You need to be able to show how what you do is going to solve their problem. So again you know if you're talking about your processes and your systems, make sure that you tie it specifically to something that's important...