Wow it’s been a busy spring! Over the last few weeks I have been dealing with employee turnover, carpet cleanings, stripping and waxing floors, setting up new contracts and window cleaning. Needless to say it’s been a full 3 weeks. This gave me an idea for a post about upselling your cleaning customers. 90% of the work I’ve done over the last month has been returning customers, or my current customers who wanted additional services like carpet cleaning.
I live in the Northeast, so spring time is when anyone and everyone wants to have their carpets steam cleaned. And trust me, the rugs need it! Over the winter salt and sand from the roads have worked their way deep into the carpet fibers and have also left white powdery residue in patches where customers or employees shoes have been.
A portable extractor can cost $500-$5,000 so for someone just starting out it may not be in the budget. However, when I first started I found a way to offer these services without buying the extractor first. Rent. That’s right, rent it. In my area both Home Depot and my local janitorial store offered rentals for carpet extractors. It cost about $100 plus the cost of detergents (maybe another $30). This was perfect because my janitorial store let me have it over the weekend about not the price of just one day! So I lined up a few cleanings per weekend and made $400-$500 minus the rental fee. It only took me a couple months of doing this to afford my own unit. I suggest also investing in an air mover. You want those carpets to dry quickly, so leaving an air mover in an area you just just cleaned will assist in faster dry times. Again I went to Home Depot for a Rigid air mover, it cost $200 and has lasted me 5 years and still going strong. The air movers at the janitorial store were $300+. Now when I look for another unit I check craigslist first.
I took the time to go back into last years profit and loss and look at my spring earnings. I was surprised to find that the “extra” money i made from up selling my customers actually totaled over 20% of my 2014 annual gross revenue! Carpet cleaning, power washing, spring window cleanings, parking lot cleanup, etc. This is a HUGE amount of money to leave on the table. Take the time to remind your customers they could use these services. I recommend leaving a note on their monthly invoice reminding them that this time last year they had the carpets cleaned and to make an appointment to have them done again. Or if you want to take the time and spend a little money on marketing, you could always send out postcards to your customers reminding them to schedule the service with you.
Well, i’ll keep it short this week 🙂 If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment area below and i’ll be happy to answer them, or address them in the next post. Have a profitable week!