How to Increase Revenue in your Cleaning Services Company


multitasking

(This is a sponsored post provided by Mike Brown, CEO of Swept)

If you’re running a small to medium size commercial cleaning company, you’re likely juggling many tasks on a daily basis.

I know this because I ran a janitorial business myself, before founding Swept, a technology company that helps owners of commercial cleaning companies keep cleaners and win new contracts.

In my many years as an entrepreneur, I never thought twice about multi-tasking. The nature of the janitorial industry meant I did it all day long, assuming it was the only way to keep up with the constant demands on my time.

But despite how well I juggled dozens of tasks on a daily basis, I felt like I was never really getting ahead. I was spending so much time putting out fires in my business I had no time left at the end of the day to focus on important levers like revenue and growth.

Until I learned a technique called “Revenue Block Time”

Now, this is not to be confused with regular< time-blocking, which is where you designate a block of time in your calendar for each of your key business activities to avoid multitasking and distraction. Revenue block time is taking regular time-blocking a step further, and planning out what you will do with the block of time you’ve set aside for “growth.”

Hint: this means you should actually have time set aside on your calendar for growth! If you’re not clear on how to block your time, check out this helpful post.

For me, every morning from 9-10am is now dedicated to brainstorming and implementing strategies to increase revenue and grow my company.

In this post, I will share the 5 questions to ask yourself during revenue block time. They will help keep you focused and guide your brainstorming. I’ve also included a few helpful resources, and some ideas I’ve come up with for inspiration.

Questions to Ask Yourself During Revenue Block Time

1. How can I sell more to existing customers?

This is perhaps the easiest and most effective question to focus on during revenue block time because it doesn’t require you to build new relationships or start the sales process from scratch the way selling to new customers does.

All it requires you to do is:

  1. brainstorm ways you can add more value to your existing contracts;
  2. reach out to those clients

When we ran our cleaning company we did this with offers like a weekend cleaning for customers who were only receiving weekday cleanings, or an additional hour of cleaning tacked on to a weekday cleaning.

To make this work you’ll need to come up with a plan for who you’re going to contact, what you’ll offer them, and present the additional service as being as value-driven as possible.

I recommend starting with a phone call and following up with an email, or vice-versa.

For instance, if you want to come in on the weekend, you’ll want to clearly outline what you will do for them during that weekend cleaning shift that you don’t have time for during the week.

Always focus on the benefit for them!

For Example: Monday morning your employees will arrive to a very clean office to start off their week on a good foot.

2. How can I increase the price of what I’m selling?

This is one method many business owners avoid because they fear it will harm existing relationships with otherwise happy customers, and cause them to lose out on new contracts because their bid is higher than their competitors.

I hear you, but there is absolutely a safe way to increase your rates while keeping existing customers happy and winning new contracts.

It’s all about reframing the way they view the janitorial industry. It requires you to change their expectations of commercial cleaning companies by showing them you are not only a better-managed company but that you understand the impact your cleaning services have on their business goals.

In doing so, you’ll be able to command a higher price and have people willing to pay it and event excited about hiring your company.

Hint: When increasing prices for existing customers, this news needs to be delivered in a way that clearly outlines why this change is necessary, and how the benefits them. For instance, many Swept customers charge a $10 – $15 technology fee to not only cover the cost of our software, but make money off it! Because there is a direct relationship between having the technology and increasing the quality of service the contractor is able to provide, the client will generally understand and accept the increase.

Resources: We’ve put together an entire video workshop on how to do this, as well as a 21 Day Sales Challenge. Both will teach you to use this method of selling and Swept technology to command a higher price for your services.

3. How can I decrease the time between purchases?

Many companies have picked up on the fact that our society likes the idea of “spring cleaning” and have used this to offer an annual deep clean in the spring months. So why not decrease the time between purchases by offering a special cleaning service specifically tailored to each season?

You could offer:

  • Holiday cleaning (get the office ready for the holiday party!)
  • Post-Holiday cleaning (take care of the extra mess following the holiday party!)
  • Flu season cleaning (buy UV lights to kill germs during flu season)
  • Spring cleaning (freshen the office after the winter months)
  • Summer cleaning (take advantage of fewer people in the office to work on high-traffic areas)
  • Fall season (get the office squeaky clean as things begin to ramp up again after the summer months)

cleaning-professional

4. How can I increase opportunities to present an offer?

This method involves building new relationships, and (hopefully) winning new contracts.

Take some time to brainstorm all the ways you could get your message in front of new potential clients (ie. cold calling, ad campaigns, email marketing, etc.)  and what you’ll say to them when you do.

Resources: To receive scripts, templates, checklists, and video tutorials to help you win new contracts sign up for our 21 Day Sales Challenge.

5. How can I improve conversations & speed of sales?

Often if you have the opportunity to pitch a new potential client it’s because their current or past contractor has let them down and they are looking for a new one.

This gives you an opportunity to change their expectations like we discussed above. The goal is to get them to “yes” quickly so that you don’t end up with a long list of leads who might possibly, maybe, one day hire you.

Resources: In this post, I talk about how I was able to go into walk-throughs and walk out with keys and signed contracts, even when the client had planned to shop around.

I also recommend downloading this Quick Estimate Tool to help increase the speed of sale. It’s a free mobile app that helps you calculate quotes on the spot.

Some final advice…

All the topics we covered are just suggestions for how to kick off your daily 1-hour brainstorm session for Revenue Block Time.

Feel free to break from this once you get the hang of it and let the hour unfold. Don’t be frustrated if you feel that you are running out of ideas — you could spend the entire hour reading blog posts on growth to generate more ideas and keep moving forward with growth experiments/ideas!

The important thing is building the habit to invest quality time on strategy and not let the day-to-day tasks of putting out fires in your business get in the way of long-term growth.

Happy growing!

About Swept
Swept is simple janitorial software designed to help cleaning companies retain their cleaners and clients. By streamlining communication between you and your employees Swept helps you proactively address issues on site before they become customer problems — ensuring your cleaners feel supported and your customers know you’re different from the competition. Learn more at www.sweptworks.com