Specific niche marketing

Hello everyone,

This is my second year in business and would like to thank everyone at the National window cleaning directory forum for all their help.

I enjoy window cleaning resource much more, because of its fantastic layout.

This year i am focusing on commercial accounts, i am very interested in large amount of beauty salons and hair salons in my area. Santa Rosa California ( Wine Country) I checked the online-yellow pages and with in 30 miles of me there are 700 salons.

I wanted to ask the window cleaning community if they have any specific methods or certain ads that they have used and what works well.

I want to set up some kind of standardized pricing for storefronts, salons. etc.
I was thinking $44.00 per month ( price would included to cleanings per month inside and out) this pricing would only be avaiable to small storefronts, and than we would have other pricing options as the storefronts got bigger.

I don’t know if that would be asking to much or to little?
let me know what you guys think and different advertising methods you have used.

nobody has any thoughts?

I’m not the storefront guru, but IMO, you need to work in specifics rather than a general price structure – every situation is different.

Go show your face to each decision-maker and have a conversation about their needs and how you can meet them!

Why are you targeting these places, again?

Just because they are everywhere?

They don’t seem to be a very lucrative client base at $22/cleaning, in & out.

Well your right. but i feel when most salons have 2 to 5 windows and each one is with in a block or two, it could be good money. Figure if you can do two to three stops to an hour maybe four that is an average of 44 - 66 or best case 88 bucks an hour. I wouldnt consider that bad money. What would you suggest charging them more?

Pretty competitive in my local market – $0.50-1.00 per pane per side.

Good idea, these places don’t mind paying good money for window cleaning

I wanted to ask the window cleaning community if they have any specific methods or certain ads that they have used and what works well.

Canvassing works best for me

I want to set up some kind of standardized pricing for storefronts, salons. etc.
I was thinking $44.00 per month ( price would included to cleanings per month inside and out) this pricing would only be avaiable to small storefronts, and than we would have other pricing options as the storefronts got bigger.

If you are trying to grab a whole chain you might have some standardized price. However if you are getting them one by one, you should price based on the job and the amount of windows they have.

Some factors to consider:

Inside windows take longer to clean, and require more care than outside, so simply charging the same per window rate for inside windows will make you lose some profitability. Always charge more for inside

Consider giving them a price to clean the outside and doors, and offering the inside windows as an additional occasional service. Many stores don’t need their inside windows cleaned all the time.

Frequency: Many window cleaners are so swamped with cleaning residential that they can’t clean commercial more than once a month. However many stores would love to have their windows cleaned more frequently. And many need it. Plus you could make as much as 4 times the amount of money if you clean some stores once a week. However, you can have some problems with your scheduling. I’m coming to think that you can’t reach your full potential in commercial unless that’s all you do.

Pricing: Don’t think small about pricing. It’s the customers job to worry about their expenses not ours. Charge a fair price for what you do. Your time is valuable. The very clients your targeting understand the value of paying a little more for better quality and service.

As an example. I now charge for new customers a $10 minimum, 1.25 per outside windows for jobs under $20, and above that I charge at least $1/window. Inside windows are priced at at least $1.50 per inside window, and yes I charge per window. It’s the fairest way to price jobs, and to have consistent pricing. For bigger windows I may charge more, but often I just use bigger squeegees.

Try to make at least $65/hour. Remember that driving, walking, getting paid drag down your hourly rate so don’t be afraid to charge fair prices.

Again, canvassing works best for picking up stores. If you are trying to get corporate accounts, someone else here can advise you since I haven’t picked up enough to tell you the best methods for obtaining them.

Don’t think small. My monthly average for storefront accounts (which include a fair amount of spas and hairstylisits is $55/month, and many jobs I just do the outside windows.

That’s pretty low.

.50-1.00 per side is the norm here also (store front). That is why I do homes…

This whole “niche” thing can be done, but it will take effort. Now is it worth it, I don’t know.

If you or anyone on here wants to niche your company. You will need to make your entire message be aimed at that niche. Possibly even the company name.

How do we figure out a name and a message that resonates with these target prospects? Go there. See what they see. Get a feel for what matters to them.

DO NOT think Salon Window Cleaning Experts is the way to go. It is not about window cleaning. Just like salons are not about hair cuts. If it was about just hair cuts people would go to Great Clips and pay $12 instead of $40 at a salon.

I would also like to throw my hat in the ring with CFP.

He’s dead on about the niche approach requiring highly-customized marketing materials to be as effective as possible. And, as he said, if you’re going to pour your heart and soul into dominating a niche, maybe this isn’t the niche worth fighting for…

But since we’re talking about it, and you’re ready to go…

CFP : Assuming that most of these salons are little family businesses, owned by a husband and wife of middle-class white America, who drive SUV’s, watch Desperate Housewives, own a middle-class home, and vacation in Europe, what would you suggest for a possible flyer/postcard message?

I think this would be a great way to show these folks the value of what you’re saying here…

I would not be able to give advice about people I do not know about. I would say this, they are people. I would approach them in the same personable manner I approach my residential prospects.

They are involved in a very competitive business and I would try to use that competitiveness to my advantage.

Because they are a Beauty Salon, an image approach would be useful.

I couldn’t agree more.

Everyone has excellent points on the matter, Everyone has a different answer, that was exactlly what i wanted some different viewpoints. I have always been scared to devot my time to commercial accounts because i am a residential window cleaner and i feel that there is more money in it. I just thought that by having some commercial accounts to keep be busy all year wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Right now i am really slow and i don’t know if its the economy right now or just the winter. I want something to keep me going but i don’t want to much so that i don’t have time for the residential.

So maybe i should take this post in a different direction.
How do you keep a window washing company balanced and still take on residential and commercial.

Just my 2 cents.

These salons take care of the vanity needs of [U]their[/U] potential clients.

Why not market yourself to them under the ‘First Impressions’ banner.

This can be your company name and your main selling point. Windows are the first thing people notice about a storefront/salon. Your service helps them to sell by giving them a good first impression.

Now run with it…

This is how I did it. I went after enough commercial to keep me busy 2 full days a week. Plan out each month filling those 2 days of commercial each week. After I filled those days I started going after Residential’s. During the Spring - Fall, I am pretty well filled, every day, During the winter I have 2 days a week of work. enough to get me through the winter, but slow enough that I can pick the days that I go out.

This works great if your by yourself, probably be bad if you had employees. Which I’ll probably have to do this summer, still trying to figure this part out.

who says we can’t find residential work in the winter?

People are not actively seeking mostly because they are unaware it can be done.

My 2nd best flier response ever was the first week of January 2008

BC windows>> thats how I am set up right now…2-3 days of storefront/commercial stuff, the rest of the week booked for residential. Although in the winter that is pretty slow.

CFP…i’d like to see you try and get residential work up where I am in the winter. I have had 2 so far this winter. besides my own house windows ! In this climate, people don’t seem to want there windows cleaned, not only that but dragging a extension ladder through 3 ft of snow is a super pain in the a**!

This week I have dealt with temperatures ranging from -30ish Celsius to -15 Celsius , and again back down to -28 degrees Celsius. When the weather sits that cold most of the winter, I don’t know, people don’t seem to want there windows cleaned. Even some of my regular clients that I do more than once in the spring and summer, and who understand the benefits of winter window cleaning are still choosing to skip the process during the winter. And trust me I have no issues working in the snow and cold.
BUT…once March rolls around and the weather warms up enough for snow to start melting…the calls will come in like a flood…last year i have had as many as 22 calls on my answering machine in one day!

Some of my Canadian counterparts on this forum may have more luck in the winter as they are in climates that are much less severe during the winter, and sometimes the weather seems like spring even though its still January!

I’m doing my first house in 2008 this Saturday. Woohoo! Let the good times roll. LOL

I live in Minnesota bro… check out the weather channel with our below normal temps of -11 with windchills of -25.

Do I work in this weather? hell no! Do I schedule window cleanings in this winter? you bet

What are you doing to get people to call this time of year?

picking up storefront and commercial stuff is easy this time of year, but residential is another story.