Since I started back in 2008 I have mainly focused on residential. More times than not they say yes and I book the job, even when raising prices from “Newbie Dollars” to “Confident Dollars.”
Lately I have been entertaining the thought of Storefront and Commercial. Sure, I have picked up one or two along the way, but the money in residential and yes’s beat the money in one or two storefronts when a “yes” would happen.
So, I have been working on putting myself in the right frame of mind and approach to deal with finding “the right customer.” After all, not all storefronts seem to either be doing well enough to pay for maintenance service, or don’t find much value in it. A Verizon manager actually said that yesterday - “I don’t give much attention at all to window cleaning.” I got the area Reps phone number from him and called her to offer my proposal and ended up giving her a proposal on two stores.
I also put together a half sheet introduction to a handful of other businesses of what I offer with space at the bottom to leave a quote with them; I’ll do some more this coming week on my slow days. Out of 10 I got three receptive leads. One I am meeting the owner next week, another is going to talk to his partner about out of pocket since Corporate is really slow and they need it, and yet another has to talk to the owner.
Okay, not bad for one afternoons work. Could I be on the path to enlightenment of Storefronts? Oh yea, one of my residential’s is a Commercial Realtor and she wanted a bid for an office building monthly she has. She had me do one other last month, so hopefully she will get back with me soon on this one.
Anyone else do anything different than usual this past week?
Not just this week but last as well I have started to actively pursue some regular commercial work.
My mindset has been similar to yours in that I’m seeking only qualified customers, rather than trying to qualify myself to the wrong customers.
I’ve taken a couple late afternoons just to cruise around my area and check out the windows at different places where they really care (or really SHOULD CARE) about their image. Car dealerships, real estate offices, law offices, medical facilities and furniture stores have been my main targets. If they seem to have dirty windows (and a surprising amount do), I do my estimating and take my calculated prices back to them the next day based on semiannual, quarterly and monthly service schedules, with small discounts for more frequent service.
So far I’ve had great success putting together a monthly and quarterly commercial route for standalone buildings and commercial units off the beaten path. I don’t even bother with shopping centers on the main drag where other cleaners have already got their claws dug in. I see that kind of work as a race to the bottom where nobody wins.
This is true! I used to just try to hit a volume amount of places. Now I pre-qualify based on if I ran that business, how would I want to present my first few seconds of that all important first impression.
I too have gone out on my re-con missions to locate a target base and prep myself for “the visit.”
Why does “corporate takes care of that” get nixed? With one sale( I know there is more hoops to jump through) you have days worth of route work. You don’t have to compete with the small businesses. Of course all your eggs in one basket with them but if you’re already do good work you don’t have to worry about that.
Nice thread! I tend to focus on residential as I am operating in a affluent town where homeowners don’t bat an eyelid at a fair price. However due to Canada’s balmy winters I do like to have a small amount of store front for the winters. Not that the income makes much of a difference but I like to keep active and keep the business moving also I find you get to speak to so many people and pick up so much residential and can be picky about what store fronts you want to do.
Because they usually have slow pay periods too. Starbucks, for example, boasts a net 45 pay. Really? Well, prepare the check, I’ll be back in 45 days to net 45 your windows. Life is short, pay in a week or two, or give the help a bottle of Windex.
An also if you want to get into route work or commercial cleaning. There will always be money on the streets. It’s the nature of the business.
You haven’t been in business Long enough if you hadn’t been burned for money at sometime , or another. So you can’t not do things just Cause your afraid of getting burned, or if you have to wait for your money
Yea, I think if it is a hard and fast rule for some companies to jerk your payment around like this then something may be amiss and worthy to avoid? The article does talk about qualifying the pay times. Some Net 30 or Net 45 from the day accounting receives the invoice, others start from the end of the billing cycle. Personally I think that is a cheesy way of doing business. I have a couple of Net 30’s, but informed them payment is due the week of service. They pay by check within 10 days. So far so good.
It is a scam, and I just choose not to feed into it. And when it comes up I offer my own payment schedule for my business, just as they try to offer theirs. We compromise or we don’t.