1) Marketing without a USP
USP stands for unique selling point; it is essentially what makes you unique from the other window cleaners in your town. Selling without a USP is like window cleaning without a squeegee, you might as well pack up and head back home. Sure, you can bounce along the bottom of the growth indicator, but is that really where you want to be? Even at the start of your business, bouncing along the bottom does not get you from £60.00 to £5,000 per month, a wage that you can actually live on any time soon.
And worse still, if your goal is to reach a Million turnover, well without a USP you might as well kiss that idea goodbye.
I will write about USP in a later blog… because I bet you can’t think of one right now. Well Mr Burbidge here has a bunch of ideas that will take you thinking out of your box on USP!
2) Failing to capture repeat business
You have your window cleaning business and it has 500, 1000, 2000 residential and/or commercial accounts. It takes 5 times the expense to sell to new customers, can we improve on this? Yes you can, by looking inward. You are sitting on a gold mine already with your existing client base.
Upselling is a term used when an appointment for a window cleaning estimate also turns into a discussion on getting that nasty algae covered conservatory roof cleaned, or that grubby looking driveway washed or that lawn that does not get cut. Suddenly that £20.00 window-washing job becomes £200.
The great thing about this is that it works on your current customers as well as new prospects, its up to you to get that message out. Advertise, talk to your customers and have all your services printed on the back of your calling cards.
3) Failing to capture referrals.
Even I have been guilty of this. A referral is when your customer recommends your window cleaning services to their neighbour, family member or friend. Again on the back of your calling card, have displayed a referral scheme. Referrals are one the best kind of customers. They have already bought into your service and as a bonus they have had confirmation that you deliver a good job.
4) Avoid the Tommy Gun syndrome, become a Sniper
Focus on your target market like a sniper and not like an indiscriminate Tommy gun. Why drop your flyers in an area that has 10 window cleaners already and/or charging silly prices or in an area not able to give your business the returns that you are looking for. Seek out the money and target there.
For example if you choose to drop flyers, try the area that you think is good, then keep records of all the enquiries.
This will help you fine-tune your price to that area, which will in turn increase your close rate. It will also tell you which area has more people looking for window cleaners. Maybe there is no window cleaner in that street or that a local window cleaner only cleans two houses or one window cleaner has retired. Whatever the reason, you are now building a picture and a greater understanding.
If you are marketing by flyers for example, then we know that it takes up to 7 views of your leaflet for customers to react ( on average) , that is why flyers can rate as low as 1% or 2% ROI (Return On Investment). But now you know the area with the biggest enquires with your new data capturing techniques, you now know that dropping the same flyer every month for the next 7 months will max out that area. Congratulations, you just took a sniper shot!
5) Lack of research and testing
This leads into number 4 a little. Doing your due diligence and research will tell you that there is 10 window cleaners working in an area you have your eye on. Every area is different from the prices you can charge, level of service expectations to desired frequencies.
By testing your different marketing campaigns and capturing the data will help you be more precise as your marketing campaign grows and it will help you decide which marketing method works best for you in a given area.