by Bev Gray of Exhibit Edge 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. In part one of this 3 part series we talked about the importance of booking your participation (and the attending details such as airfare, rooms, transportation extra staff, etc.) early. We also discussed things you could do in advance of the show to promote your attendance and let your customers & prospects know where you’ll be and what new techniques, services, and innovations you’ll be featuring at the show. Today we’ll uncover three more tips. They are: 3. Understand the Terminology Being comfortable with the terminology and jargon of the trade show industry is critical to avoiding costly mistakes. Many of the terms have rules and costs that are associated with them. Below are some key terms to be familiar with: Drayage – The movement of show materials from shipping dock to booth for show set up and back to dock for return shipment at end of show. The drayage rate is typically based on...

by Charles Ogwyn and Pam Washington “What happened? I thought our meeting went great and I quoted you a great price. This has happened to me a couple of times lately, so I’d really appreciate it if you could at least let me know what happened and why we didn’t get the contract.” Mary explained to Todd that after getting quotes from several cleaning businesses, she went online to look each company up. His website didn't represent him well and it was costing him business. Let’s look at 2 things you need to know about making Internet marketing work for your cleaning business. Can they find you? Remember how thick the phone book used to be? It’s so much thinner and smaller today because people are turning to the Internet more and more to find businesses, instead of the yellow pages. Today, most people look on-line before doing business with a new company. In fact, studies show that this happens 80-90% of the time, even when the “sale” is not made on the Internet. What does this mean for you? It means that your customers are looking on the Internet for information about cleaning companies in the area. It means that if you don’t have a website...

By Bev Gray of Exhibit Edge 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. 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! 1. Book Early Book your airfare, hotel, and conference tickets as early as possible. Having your airfare booked early relieves the stress of last minute...

The challenges in the commercial and residential cleaning industries are many. Squeezed from all directions by shrinking budgets, intense competition and the need to do more with less, many cleaning business owners are looking for ways to build and grow their businesses, improve the nature of their relationships and stand out in a crowded marketplace. Client attraction for the cleaning business owner is more important now that ever before and keeping your staff and associates feeling positive and inspired is a must in today's environment. Cleaning service providers, customers and referral sources all respond well to an "atta boy" and a show of appreciation can go a long way in improving the relationship with all of these important stakeholders of your cleaning company. What can commercial and residential cleaning companies do that’s affordable, simple and effective? Here are a few ideas: Reward service providers with gift cards after having a pre-defined run of no complaints from customers. Could be for the month or quarterly, but the goal is to give the employee something as an incentive to strive for, beyond their base pay and benefits. Ask employees when the are hired, what types of gift cards they'd like to receive and then store this list in their personnel file for use at a later...

In the introduction to this series, I identified all of the 12 essential website components and gave a brief overview of each of them. They are again: 1. Define the problem 2. Provide the solution 3. Gather contact information (conversion strategies) 4. Call to action 5. Social Proof 6. Original, Credible Content (keyword rich) 7. Easy to Navigate 8. Social Media Tie-Ins 9. Visual Appeal 10. About Us 11. Contact Info 12. Statistics, Tracking and Analysis The purpose of this series is to help you (the cleaning business owner) make sure that your website is doing its job. The primary purpose of your website is to generate numerous, high quality leads for your company. You want to attract your ideal clients, have them self-select and pre-qualify themselves, and then contact you or ask you to contact them, so your closing ratio should be 75% or more. Now, let’s dive into essential component #2 - Provide Solutions. Since you clearly identified the problem in Step 1 of this series (dependability, professionalism, experience, expertise, value, speed, trustworthiness, etc.), your next step will be to show your website visitor that YOU have the solution they need. Marketing experts know “people don’t buy features, they buy solutions.” In the old days, sales presentations were structured as “feature, benefit, feature benefit.”  But...

In the introduction to this series, I identified the 12 essential website components and gave a brief overview of each of them. Again, they are: Define the problem Provide the solution Gather contact information (conversion strategies) Call to action Social proof Original, valuable content (keyword rich) Easy to navigate Social media tie-ins Visual appeal About us Contact info Statistics, tracking and analysis The purpose of this series is to help you, the cleaning business owner, make sure that your website is doing its job. The primary purpose of your website is to generate numerous, high quality leads for your cleaning company. You want to attract your ideal clients, have them self-select and pre-qualify themselves, and then contact you or ask you to contact them so your closing ratio should be 75% or more. You, or your sales team, will need to follow up with these prospects to actually close the sale, or perhaps nurture them slowly towards the close. Unlike websites with shopping carts people don’t actually BUY your product (service) on the internet. Your goal for your website is to: Establish your superiority (unique selling proposition) Begin the relationship Gather contact information Get them to contact you You’ll have a much higher...

Let’s face it - many of us BSC's and cleaning business owners are being dragged (kicking and screaming) into the digital age. But, if you want to continue to grow your cleaning company, build your brand and stay competitive – or even better, dominate your market, you’ll need to get on board with social media. Today’s article is the first in a multi-part series that will introduce those of us in the cleaning industry to some of the most relevant platforms on the internet landscape and provide you with the basics to get started without spending all your time there. Here’s the case for why you should at least consider using Twitter if you own a residential or commercial cleaning company (large or small): Twitter gives you a way to connect with your existing and potential customers as well as create strategic alliances and identify potential joint venture partners. It’s the new yellow pages if you will. It’s a place to connect with people who are talking about the things you’re interested in, and a great way for them to get to know the personality of a business/owner. (This is part of your unique selling proposition and is HUGELY important.) Increases transparency,...

  For years, cleaning business owners and BSC’s (building service contractors) were relegated to the “low tech” area of service industries, but no more. With the dawning of the information age and the introduction of simple tools like Google Analytics and the Word Press platform for blogs, using pre-built themes and web site templates, even those of us who don’t consider ourselves “geeks” are able to play on the internet stage. And frankly, a well-designed website is now not only a key ingredient in the overall marketing plan for your cleaning business, it is essential for success!  Like a fax number 20 years ago was mandatory for business, websites are now considered a staple among serious companies seeking to compete in or dominate their markets. With that in mind, I’ve identified 12 essentials that you can easily master and implement to help build and grow your cleaning company in record time. This gives an overview of the components and a brief description of each one. Let’s get started:   1. Define the problem Identify your ideal client  AND Speak to their struggle/pain People searching for cleaning services (whether commercial or residential) are doing so because they have a problem (lack of cleaning or lack or good cleaning). This...

As a coach to cleaning business owners I get a TON of questions about how to get new clients. In the "20 Simple Ways to Get More Clients for Your Cleaning Business (Part 1)" of this series, I talked about “cold” prospects; What They Are, Where to Get Them, and How to Begin the Process of Moving them into the “Customer” Position plus Keeping Them THERE! Get Cleaning Clients Remember that “cold prospects” are people that you are approaching (with very little information or encouragement) to see if they may be interested in your service. Whether prospects start as (cold, warm or hot), your goal is to convert them into happy, long term clients! You’ve accepted (and embraced right?) the fact that marketing your business is vital to your success….. You know that it’s a vehicle (beats walking) to be utilized to your advantage. Now you’re on your way to having all the clients, money and free time you desire. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0L70bEye0c&feature=youtu.be[/embed] So let’s take a look at the category of “warm” prospects for your cleaning business. A “warm” prospect is one that you have some reason to believe is already interested in your service. They could be someone that has visited your website. Maybe they accepted something free you’ve offered (a white paper, special report,...

This week we have a “guest” blog post by well-known (copy) writer- Bob Bly. I think this advice is a good way for cleaning business owners to get more clients and here’s why: Many janitorial service providers don’t have a well thought out or clearly articulated marketing message. You can’t be all things to all people. So you want to clearly define who you’re speaking to and what you’re offering them. If you’re not sure what to offer or what people want the easiest thing in the world to do is to ask them and then listen to what they say. In order for your message to be effective it needs to be compelling. Messages become compelling based on the problem the solve and or the results they offer…… ----- Have You Actually Ever Talked to a Customer? by Bob Bly Do you ever actually talk with customers or prospects about your product? Doing so is old advice, but it can yield profitable results. Veteran ad man Joe Sacco once had an assignment to write a campaign for a new needle used by diabetics to inject insulin. What was the key selling point? The diabetics Sacco talked with praised the needle because it was sharp, which Joe said...