How to Beat the Wintertime Blues, Part 1
What is a Residential Carpet Cleaner to do?
Let’s face it, for most of the country; residential carpet cleaners get very little business starting around Christmas. It doesn’t usually end until after the dreaded “tax-day-cometh” for consumers (around April 15th). Running wintertime specials can be a complete waste of time and money! Door hangers are basically out of the question in the winter months.
Consider Commercial Contract Carpet Cleaning in your overall marketing plan.
In addition to beating the wintertime “no cash flow blues”, regular commercial contract carpet cleaning has many advantages:
- Routine, pre-planned cash flow: Think how good it would feel to find a $1,500.00 commercial account check in the mailbox in Mid-January.
- Emotionally “easy” work: In residential carpet cleaning, homeowners may feel trapped, invaded, and vulnerable as your technicians work in their homes. It can be nice to work without fretting over how the customer views them.
- Commercial work is a great place to: Employ your reliable, hardworking but “non-social” employees.
- Fewer bosses: The higher amounts of commercial work and the greater frequency of cleanings mean that you can generate the same yearly dollars with many fewer bosses. Every additional person you work for adds the potential for customer problems. Working for more homeowners means more problems. Unlike a homeowner, commercial owners and managers are not “emotionally invested” in their work environment and are usually more reasonable regarding carpet cleaning results.
- “Amortize” your job start-up costs: If you want a scare sometimes, just put the pencil to what it costs you to acquire a residential carpet cleaning job, one that may never get a second time. Add up your advertising costs for last year and divide them by the number of first-time jobs you booked. (The idea here is that most of your general marketing aims to gain new business. It would be best if you did not have to use mass media to remind your existing customers of your existence.)
- Much faster, more efficient production: In the residential environment, you must always remember the customer is watching. You can make your regular commercial accounts click like “synchronized swimming.” Teach your employees that you only make money if your equipment moves! Make your goal in a typical commercial contract job to have your machinery actually cleaning carpet within three to five minutes after arrival on the job site. You can’t do that in a residential setting without the homeowner looking on and thinking you should be spending more time on the job.
- Less Overhead: Don’t forget that if you diversify into commercial your fixed overhead costs will remain virtually the same, lowering your cost “percentage-wise” of doing business.
- Less “bait and switch” competition: The commercial sector is a low-bid environment. But business managers won’t put up with the bait-and-switch games that your unethical competition plays with homeowners. So, at the very least, you are on a level playing field. Plus, many carpet cleaners, especially owner-operators, don’t like commercial work, so you won’t have as many competitors.