Once your janitorial business is profitable, it’s time to focus on growth. Expansion is as simple as getting (and keeping) new customers. But you’re not alone if you’re struggling to make acquiring clients a regular part of your operations.
Over 80 percent of new business for janitorial service companies comes from replacing another commercial cleaning company.
If you’re not taking over contracts, you’re losing them to your competitors.
How can I grow my janitorial business?
Opportunities for growth exist in every aspect of your business. These eight tips don’t require significant capital and will fuel long-term growth for your company.
Whether you've been struggling to answer how to expand your janitorial business for a while or just setting ambitious future goals, these eight steps will help you dominate in new markets and make business growth a fundamental part of your organization.
8 tips for growing your cleaning business
- Network in your community
- Create a referral program
- Meet people face-to-face
- Use budget-friendly marketing
- Implement compounded sales
- Differentiate your business
- Hire reliable team members
- Plan for growth in your operations
Start networking and share what makes you stand out
You’re likely familiar with networking as a buzzword and know that you’re supposed to get value from building industry relationships, but simply showing up to networking events won’t deliver results.
Look at community events as opportunities to help others. Your network should comprise the following:
- Local businesses
- The IFMA and BOMA chapters in your area
- Facility managers
- Current and potential customers
- Vendors and suppliers
By connecting others with the services, suppliers, or information they need, you position yourself as a trusted resource—even if they are not a current client.
Surround yourself with other successful companies
Successful competitors are an incredible resource for modeling how to expand a janitorial business, especially if they’ve already accomplished your short and long-term goals.
In the competitive and fast-growing janitorial industry, the expertise of other business owners can help guide your decisions and provide insight into growing your brand.
Partner with other businesses
When you’re working from a lead list of hundreds, chances are you’ll encounter prospects looking for service providers for verticals you don’t offer (yet).
Your network enables you to partner with other businesses to refer customers who need services you don’t provide, such as:
- Residential cleaning
- Snow and ice removal
- Power washing and window cleaning
These partnerships increase the value you provide to your customers. Instead of spending hours researching reliable companies, customers can arrange services with a company you recommend.
Set up a program for referrals
Alongside email marketing, referral programs deliver one of the highest ROIs out there. Referrals aren’t just a way to generate more; they provide companies with higher-quality leads.
When you target your best customers (the most profitable, good communicators, punctual bill payers), they’ll fill your client base with similar accounts.
Big companies have used this referral strategy to drive monster growth:
- Dropbox grew 30% monthly to increase users from 100 thousand to 4 million in just over a year.
- Airbnb used compound growth through its program to generate millions of dollars in new revenue.
- Paypal’s referral program pre-dated social media and still generated up to 10% daily growth for 100,000 users in their first month.
You don’t have to be a startup with an entire marketing team to create rewards that deliver a high return on investment.
How do building service contractors attract customers?
Simple rewards will activate your existing customer base to become a sustainable growth source that scales with you (more customers = more referrals).
- Discounts on services for both the new and existing customers
- Nonprofit donations in the referrers' name
- Gift cards to local businesses for high-quality leads
- Nourish existing relationships to leverage them into growth
As you grow, it can be challenging to keep track of program participants, their past rewards, and the accounts they referred. Using cloud-based janitorial software as your customer relationship manager can help you keep track of program participants and maybe up the ante on your top performers.
Canvass in your community and meet people face-to-face
A well-maintained online presence is essential for customers to find your company. But don’t underestimate the value of door-to-door visits to office buildings in your service area.
When establishing a new branch, canvassing close to your service hub can help you grow your customer base without increasing transportation costs.
The goal isn't to land conversions from every conversation. Instead, face-to-face meetings are a networking opportunity to make initial contact with decision-makers within target businesses.
How you approach first meetings with prospects, even those happy with their current janitorial service can lead to landing large contracts in the future.
Use print marketing materials to build brand awareness
Bring print materials with you while canvassing. Your business card and pamphlets for specific services are less likely to get tossed out with junk mail and will spread brand awareness in new markets.
When reaching out to your target market, you can put printed brochures directly into the hands of the customers you want.
Use budget-friendly advertising
Even if you’re ready to build a business plan that answers how to grow your cleaning business, you may not have the budget to hire marketers and launch multiple initiatives.
Plenty of proven strategies for marketing your janitorial business deliver a substantial ROI and don’t cost much.
- Start digital marketing with an online presence and engage existing and potential customers on social platforms.
- Create a modern website with SEO-optimized content and contact information, including a phone number.
- Use eye-catching and cohesive branding across all channels.
- Write an email newsletter that new clients want to receive: informative, engaging, and interesting.
Your marketing should go 24/7, so you’re constantly generating new leads. Anytime your demand generation falters, you lose momentum for future business growth.
Not all your marketing strategies require active campaigns. You build non-stop lead generation when you establish business pages on:
- Facebook and Instagram
Cleaning business owners who use posts to spark conversations about customer pain points can gain insights that will inform their paid advertising efforts.
Word-of-mouth and why it’s essential
There’s no more budget-friendly form of advertising than letting your customers do it for you. It’s also remarkably effective—people trust the recommendations of their friends and family.
Great buzz isn’t always easy to generate. After all, you can’t force your customers to bring up your services in conversation.
Generating word-of-mouth advertising comes down to excelling at the things you can control:
- Delivering exceptional service at every property
- Creating viral-ready social media content
- Building customer relationships
- Cultivating connections through BOMA, IFMA, and ISSA
There may be several janitorial companies in your market, but customers are always looking for exceptional cleaning services from a trustworthy provider.
Implement compounded sales
The theory of compounded sales activates value from your entire sales team. Counting on a few high-performing salespeople to drive your commercial cleaning business revenue by landing whales isn’t sustainable.
How can I increase my cleaning sales?
Compounding sales is more than just a technique to drive revenue growth. It’s founded on delivering a better customer experience to potential clients by focusing on relationship building.
The result is an engaged and loyal customer base. Compounded sales theory prioritizes:
- Identifying and solving customer pain points
- Building longstanding relationships with customers
- Making small changes to deliver significant results
Running a business that focuses on delivering value and building relationships is the ultimate answer to how to grow a cleaning business.
By setting even modest goals for every salesperson of generating $2,000 in new contracts each month, a team of three salespeople can increase your annual revenue by almost half a million.
Strive for zero-complaint cleaning services
A key component of successfully implementing compounded sales and growing your business is to improve client retention and eliminate churn from your customer base.
Adding thousands of dollars in new sales won’t impact growth if you lose current customers.
Instill the zero complaint goal in every team member at every level of your organization. By striving for perfection, you’ll deliver higher-quality commercial cleaning services than many of your competitors.
Stand out from the competition by differentiating your business
It doesn’t take long for property managers to get overwhelmed by options when they research local commercial cleaning companies.
The janitorial market grows on an average of 6% each year, making it ideal for entrepreneurs launching new businesses.
You must set yourself apart from the crowd in every aspect of your branding and marketing.
- Is there something remarkable about your company’s ownership with which customers connect?
- Do you use environmentally friendly products or donate a percentage of profits to community organizations?
- Do you offer services outside of traditional hours or specialize in a particular property type?
Differentiating yourself gives you an edge in targeting new customers and building a recognizable brand.
Deliver exceptional customer experiences
Happy customers are essential to answering how to grow a cleaning business. Not only will they share your company with their network, but you can also count on them for service revenue year after year.
If you experience high churn, your sales team can only sustain your operations, and growth will remain out of reach.
Ensuring every customer is happy after every service creates the momentum you need for expansion.
- Include surveys with invoices and bills
- Give coupons and special offers to long-term customers
- Recognize birthdays and service anniversaries
- Use CRM software to track and resolve issues
Something as small as providing your existing customers with dedicated attention can set you apart in a crowded market and ignite momentum to expand your cleaning business.
Hire reliable, dedicated team members
One of the biggest mistakes that janitorial companies make is pausing hiring employees for their janitorial business when they’re staffed for their current job schedule. Great team members are essential in every growth strategy, from providing outstanding service to implementing compounding sales techniques.
Any small business owner knows the challenge of finding candidates who bring experience and talent and take ownership of their job responsibilities.
It’s easy to get sucked into a pattern where you wait until your team is overwhelmed by demand, then hire to catch up.
Instead, cultivate high-quality applicants year-round. You’ll reduce turnover, improve your services, and instill your organization with the talent it needs to overcome future challenges and sustainably grow your cleaning business.
Plan for growth in every aspect of your operations
The janitorial services market is almost a $100 billion industry. It’s also one of the fastest growing. Businesses need processes that will scale with them to avoid getting swept aside by the competition—whether expanding within local markets or across their city and state.
Aspire is a unique cloud-based janitorial business software that provides commercial contract cleaning companies with effective management tools for teams from 10 people to 100, including:
✓ Workforce management
✓ Visibility across business data
✓ Real-time client and field staff communication
Establish consistent, scalable workflows across your organization with end-to-end functionality, such as:
- Robust CRM
- Estimating templates
- Invoicing interlinked with estimates
- Flexible scheduling
- ERP integrations for popular bookkeeping platforms
Want to learn more about the capabilities of business management software built for the cleaning industry? Aspire provides janitorial organizations with streamlined workflows designed to improve efficiency as you scale. Schedule a demonstration to see how today.