I'm starting new business and need advice.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Robert_eb, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    I'm starting a office cleaning company and need advice on the best way to solicit new customers. I thought of joining the local Chamber of Commerce but their initial membership fee is pretty high and I'm not guaranteed of getting customers this way. I was also planning on just calling business up but I really have no experience in sales.

    Does anyone have any advice or know of a publication/book that covers the best way to sell a service?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Zen K. Butler
    Dude, don't ask us. We are all supposed to be working, and we're dickin' around in here. [​IMG]




    Seriously, if you haven't any experience in sales, don't use the telephone. Getting new business, is a bit of an art, in itself. Anyone that is in on the business with you that may be good with people? You as owner try and offer something your competitor(s) isn't.

    I hired a young lady (yes, activist me) to solicit my area. I trained her in a week on the custom work we do. She brought in more business than I ever could. I can only speak for this area but it seems pretty common to hire an attractive person to represent your company. As brutal as it sounds, it appears to work.
     
  3. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Good luck.
     
  4. James_S

    James_S Second Unit

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    My advice.... Don’t Do It! - It's a jungle out there.

    No Just Kidding.

    Anyway I used to run a construction clean-up company that did final detail cleaning for new buildings that would open up. So I have been there done that.

    Prior to that I was in the janitorial field until that company went belly-up. I used a lot of my contacts with the former company to start up my own and it exploded from there. References from suppliers are a good start. If you have some contacts with some suppliers drop off some cards with them and hopefully some work will come your way. Here in Seattle we have a Daily Journal of Commerce that will publish contracts from cities looking for janitorial services for a year or 2. I am not sure if you city has one that would be a good start to look for some new contacts.

    Leo does raise some important questions mainly have you done this before? and what makes you better than the "company" I am using now? These are some important questions to ask yourself.

    Another thing to think about is insurance and bonding. If I am not mistaking for every employee you may hire you maybe require getting a "bond" for each employee. I would check with your insurance company on that one. It’s to cover you in case of theft of "building merchandise".

    Here are some links to some good website info:

    http://www.thebluebook.com/ - you can add your Company Info here for free and possibly get bid request from contractors and the such. You get a new free book I think twice a year. (But be prepared to get some "sales" calls from them to advertise with them, wait a year or 2 to see what kind of response you get through them) I looked in the Michigan section and there are already 178 "Building Maintenance" Contractors listed, you may look at their websites and their profiles and get some ideas for marketing yourself.

    Here is a good book starting a cleaning business:
    http://www.smallbizbooks.com/cgi-bin...ml?id=LowxGpkX

    Sorry it’s so long and I probably rambled more than I should, but I am getting pretty tired right now.
    I am willing to help you anyway I can either here or via e-mail. My main e-mail is james@trepus.com or secondary is james_s@jmccinc.com

    Good Luck to you!!
     
  5. James_S

    James_S Second Unit

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  6. Joe Spratley

    Joe Spratley Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    James_S, please check your email as I have sent a few questions.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  8. John Robert

    John Robert Stunt Coordinator

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    My company has a suite of small offices, and we were experiencing some problems with our existing cleaning crew. A young man "cold called" us one day and said "I'll clean your office for a month". "If you aren't happy, tear up the invoice I give you and we'll be done". Long story short, we paid the invoice, he has done the office for the last year and I have recommended him to everyone else in the complex.

    To me, this form of marketing is more effective than any flyer or coupon. Good Luck!

    John
     
  9. Timon Russo

    Timon Russo Stunt Coordinator

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    I have my own business and can say that I do not like receiving sales calls. I would recommend that you stay off the phone, personally. But I do read all my mail, and mail is how I promote my own business. Just get a list of nearby businesses and put a mailing together for yourself.
    infoUSA is a company that sells CD-ROMs of businesses by state, I believe.
     

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