In this article I want to cover the task of effectively marketing your Carpet Cleaning business. The steps outlined below would be implemented once you have all your carpet cleaning equipment and are experienced using it.
To successfully market a carpet cleaning or any other business a few things need to be true.
1. There has to be a demand for the product that you offer. In other words, people have to want what you sell or need the service you provide. Additionally, the demand has to be sufficient to support your business. For example, if you build ice fishing sheds and your company is located in South Texas you would have no customers regardless of what your marketing plan was. Switching over to building pole barns would of course solve this problem.
2. There has to be several practical ways to reach the people that want your service or product.
3. The number of customers versus competition for these customers is such that if you had a good marketing plan and you were able to get a fair share of the market your business could be profitable.
If you have determined that these things are true then all you have to do to create an effective marketing program is identify who these customers are and establish how to reach them.
For Carpet Cleaning your potential customer would be anyone with carpet. To further narrow this down your customer would be anyone with carpeting that needed to be cleaned. Finding people that need their carpets cleaned can be a challenge since it would involve walking into every building in town. However, target marketing can be implemented using market segments. To do this you would establish a type of business you would target. Apartments would be an example of this. A google search will help you create a list of apartments and this will allow you to target these customers with some very inexpensive advertising. To reach the other customers such as residential clients you would use a broader based advertising program so that customers that you did not find through your target marketing program could easily find you. I will start with some target marketing ideas and then move on to a broader based approach.
To reach potential customers using a target marketing approach you simply follow these easy steps.
1. Make a list of business that typically have carpet and would need them cleaned on a regular basis. Apartments, retirement homes, retail stores, car dealers, etc.. would be some potential customers.
2. If you need addresses for some customers, go to the property appraisers site on your computer and enter the property address to get the propery owners name and address. This is sometimes out of town which is fine. The owner is normally the one who is responsible for keeping the carpets in good condition. If they have a management company that handles the property they will often forward your information. For shopping centers simply call the number on the "for lease" signs in the windows of vacant units and send a letter to the management company that handles the project. (sending a letter to the owner and management company is fine) For hospitals, malls, factories, etc... use the main address for the facility and mark it attention "Maintenance Supervisor".
3. Send them a nice letter stating that you clean carpets. Include your business card and any other pertinent information such as years in business, jobs you have done, hours of operation, insurance and workers compensation information. Make a list on your computer of who you have sent letters to. As you get responses make a note. After a few months send new letters out to those who have not responded.
This type of target marketing will normally result in quite a few jobs. Most will be commercial and many will be monthly or bi monthly contracts. All for the cost of a few rolls of stamps and some time.
Broad Based Marketing
For customers that are not reached with your target marketing program but need your service it is going to be necessary for them to find you on their own. Broad based marketing accomplishes this by making your company information available to anyone who looks for it. The yellow pages would be an example of this. I have listed below several ways to get your name out starting from the least expensive way to the most expensive way.
1. Google Local Business. Do a search on www.google.com for google local business and you will get a variety of links that will allow you to place your business on googles local business section site for free. When someone in your area types in carpet cleaning your business will come up.
2. Yahoo Local Business. Search www.yahoo.com for local business or do a search for carpet cleaning on yahoo and you will see their section of free business listings. This is very much like the google service and it is free. Look for the "add business" link at the bottom of the page.
3. Craigslist is a free local classified service. It is quite popular and available all over the country. It is localized in that there are special craigslist pages for all the major cities in the US. You would advertise on the one for your city or the one nearest you.
4. Business Website. Having your own website is very helpful and not necessarily expensive. I have used www.godaddy.com for some sites with good results but there are several other good companies that have online web building tools for you to use. Include plenty of content in your website as well as pictures. Make sure the title of your site includes the city you are in so that when people search they find you. You would use something like ACME Carpet Cleaning Service Los Angeles CA . This lets the search engines know where you are. Look at other carpet cleaning company websites and see how they lay out there sites. You should get a good idea of how you want yours to look.
5. Local newspaper business directories. Most papers have a business directory that is often inexpensive to advertise in. Put your business in as many publications as you can afford. In my opinion it is worth the money to pay a small amount extra to make your ad stand out. Just use your own judgment.
6. Yellow Page advertising. This used to be one of the best ways to reach people and also the most expensive. Now, with the internet it has become less necessary. If you have a business phone you will normally get a free listing. If you pay a little more you can get a bold or larger one. I personally would recommend an in column ad or just pay the extra to make the free ad bold.
7. Signs on Telephone Poles or the Roadside. Many counties do not allow very much of this but check with yours to see. A sign company can make some small signs for you that say Carpets Cleaned and then your phone number. If you can do this type of advertising it is fairly effective.
Lastly, bidding jobs is a very important part of your marketing program. Make sure to show up on time. When doing bids make sure your bid sheet is neat and professional. Break out the different parts of the job without giving too much detail or making it confusing. Give the customer all the information they need to make a decision. Put your business license , insurance and workers comp info on the letter at the bottom so they know these items are covered.
If you follow these basic steps you should be able to stay as busy as you want to be.
List of Articles on Marketing Your Business
Marketing your Parking Lot Striping Business - Step by step guide to marketing your parking lot / line striping business.
Marketing your Carpet Cleaning Business - Step by step guide to marketing your Carpet Cleaning business.