How can I get customers for my house cleaning business?
August 30, 2011 2:59 PM Subscribe
I’m trying to start up a housecleaning business, but can’t figure out how to actually get any customers. I’ve been putting flyers on houses in fairly upscale neighborhoods – McMansions, hip urban condos, places populated by professionals and executives. I have an ad on craigslist, although my city doesn’t use craigslist much. I’m not getting anywhere with either of those methods though.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (43 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I’m currently living on unemployment benefits, so taking out expensive ads in local magazines or newspapers isn’t an option, although I could afford to run one in the local freebie classifieds paper if I thought anyone actually would look there. Word of mouth won’t work for me at this point because I don’t have any friends who are the type to hire housecleaners, or who even know anyone who would hire cleaners. (Actually, most of my friends live in other cities, anyway.)
Since I have worked in marketing and design and am good with Photoshop, my flyer looks good, so that shouldn’t be an issue. I mention in both my Craigslist ad and my flyers that I use eco-friendly cleaning products. I have a "call to action" in them - "Call today for a free consultation!" I've gotten two calls, one from a flyer, one from the Craigslist ad. (Neither one developed into a job, but that's my fault because I wasn't aggressive about asking for it. I'm going to change that, but first I need the calls!)
So I guess my questions are:
1. Where would you look if you wanted to hire a cleaner? Okay, now assume Craigslist doesn’t exist – where would you look?
2. Where would your parents look?
3. What could I put in a flyer/ad that would make you want to call me rather than another house cleaner?
4. Should I switch from putting flyers in fairly upscale neighborhoods to putting them in the two extremely upscale areas?
5, Would mentioning some sort of "first time discount" make that much of a difference? I haven't noticed anyone else in my city doing that.
6. Bonus points if you know of a cheap place to run copies of the flyer. Hundreds of flyers at nine cents per page is killing me, even though I’m doing 2 per page.
I’m in a major Texas city, but anonymous because a.) my family doesn’t know I’m unemployed, and b.) if my family found out I wanted to clean toilets for a living, they’d plotz.