I can't get any customers! HELP!


#1

I started a window cleaning business two weeks ago. I missed the deadline to advertise my business in the phone book. I have to wait 10 months for it to appear, as I just missed it. I built a website and added it to the search engines. It should show up in the search engines in a few days. I have nice glossy business cards made and I paid for my business add to run on facebook. In two days I have only had two clicks for my ad. I have 2 years of full window cleaning experience and about 6 years on and off. By working for someone else it gave me insight. Im my area we have 3 big window cleaning companies, one of them being Fish.

I have went to atleast 60 businesses in person asking if they need a window cleaner. The response I get is, “We already have one.” THE LOWBALLER "They make us clean the windows ourselfs."
The next step I took was to stick my business cards on the door in very upscale neighborhoods. The kind I use to clean windows at when I worked for someone else.
So far I have passed out about 200. I then tried passing out another 50 or so in middle class neighborhoods.

It’s just me right now and my overhead is so low I can’t go out of business. I’m getting frustrated not getting any calls and it’s summer. Not being in the phone book really hurts. I’m trying my best to canvass when it’s possible. I feel as though I could sell someone a rock before a window cleaning bid.lol Can you guys give me some tips? Is the economy that bad right now? Other ways to advertise? Is persistance the key?


#2

When I started I placed an ad in the newspaper, services offered section. That initially got the phone ringing.


#3

It may be in the way you are asking the potential clients…

If you say “Do you need a window cleaner?” They will always have an answer to that, because if they aren’t new, they more than likely do. You also have to remember that the more questions asked means the more potential for a no. Here is an example

Hi, do you have a window cleaner? "yes we do"   ((NO))
Can I give you an estimate?                             ((NO))
Heres the estimate, can i do your windows?        ((NO))

Now if you walk up, take a count of the windows write the quick estimate, walk in introduce yourself give them a card and say “we are in the area doing estimates and I had a chance to take a quick count of your windows and here is what it will be.” You have just skipped 3 chances for a no, now they have all the info they need without a no. The less steps you go through the less chances for a no.

The last bit of info is this…starting a business is like pushing a boulder, trying to get it going is the hardest part. Keep with it!


#4

What also works are online review sites (angie’s list, yelp, yahoo, google.)

You’re in prime season now for service seekers. These people go online and they look for the company with 5star reviews, and they sometimes want to see 3-5+ reviews - if you don’t have either, they’ll go to the next guy. Since you’re already working for nothing, beat down some doors, offer a first-time, one-time customer special for a free or 50% off their cleaning, whatever. I don’t want to hear the “I don’t work for free.” rant DO THIS UNDER ONE CONDITION: IF THEY’RE SATISFIED, THEY LEAVE A POSITIVE, 5 STAR REVIEW ONLINE (your review site of choice.)

FYI: these companies have “moral rules” against what I just told you, but you’re out there to survive.
You’ll start to get an online presence and people like that.


#5

Congrats on starting your own business. Its going to take a lot of work to get customers so be ready to spend all your free time beating on doors and passing out postcards. I would get about 5000 flyers or postcards to start and pass them out to the houses that would be willing to pay for window cleaning. Color Fliers - Business Here is the best price and service I have found for printing. [url=http://gotprint.net/g/welcome.do]Full Color Glossy Business Card, Postcard, Flyer, Brochure, & Catalog Online Print Service - GotPrint Its cool and all that you have a website built but if no one can find it then its pointless. It needs to be on page 1 of google in order to really be helpful. Get alot of SEO done to the site and get a **** load of backlinks to start. Untill you recieve your flyers or postcards I would start knocking on the doors and not just place a business card on the door. Josh made some great points when dealing with storefronts, but dont be scared of the word no because your going to hear it alot.


#6

Keep going door to door in those neighborhoods you want to be in, but leave fliers that
have some appeal and an offer. Just leaving a business card doesn’t invite
them to pick up the phone and call you. Also try direct mail if you have the cash.
Persistence IS the key, unless you persist in doing what isn’t working.

Matthew


#7

Do some freebies … I did a friends yesterday and she sent out an email yesterday 6 people are interested. She has my lawn sign outside her home.

It will come so brace your self … good luck


#8

How many of these initial calls did you [I][B]return[/B][/I] to? [B][I]Return to all of them![/I][/B] Sometimes asking will get you nowhere. Some successes in the past for me were because I’d go in to a restaurant or a business with windows obviously being neglected and say “I’m here to sell your product to a larger market, to greatly increase your appeal. I’ll be here tomorrow morning to perfectly clean your windows. Then, I’ll return in two weeks in order to maintain the cleanliness of your property. This is how little my service will cost you per cleaning…”

Sometimes YOU have to tell THEM what they need and how they need it. Go in with it in your brain that you have something they really need. You have what they need and only you are going to give it to them like they need it.


#9

Something that doesn’t get mentioned much, join your local chamber of commerce, see what they offer for their members. Ours does flyers along with a newsletter, email blasts, networking events all the time., almost every business I’ve picked up thru the CC I then do their residences… Our chamber even does a ribbon cutting, in conjunction with the local paper that writes up a nice article, I still get business from THAT 4 years post date.


#10

Hi I 'am a newbie also and live in the same area V.V. .There is not alot of work up here in the Hi desert but just keep at it. when you go in to a mom and pop place and they say they use fish I tell them why not try me instead of a large company with many changing faces. I have gotten a couple of there jobs that way. The biggest thing is just keep at it I just got 2 jobs while taking care of stuff for my daughters wedding a flower shop and a restraunt and have two residentials coming from those so far. Always have your cards with you I even started wearing a company shirt when we go out just incase I’am not a great sales person but I talk to everybody I guess thats because I’am an old fart! Good luck Doug Ricks
Gimmee Water Window Cleaning 760-617-5757


#11

Thanks for all the help. Your right. I need to go with fliers. While my business card gets lots of attention I need to go with a flier. The first business card I made people wouldnt look at it. My new business card people stare at it for awhile. They are hypnotized by it.

Home Page

I made websites before and the best way to get it into a search engine faster is to add a youtube video. I will be adding it soon. http://magicwc.com/


#12

I used to live in the high desert. Apple Valley, Hesperia, Phelan. Bet it’s hot there. Good luck with the new business.


#13

Thanks. The High desert is a tough place to do business. While most areas have an 11% unemployment rate, the High Deset is around 9%-20% depending on which city. The thing is there are always people that have money (Rich). The guy I use to work for had around 120 accounts, which came out to around 75k a year. I also go to college part time and my goal is to get 20 accounts this summer. I’m going to get some fliers made.

How do my prices look?
Small windows $2.00, medium $4.00 large $6 per pane one story (bothsides of the glass) Inside and out
small windows $4.00 medium $8.00 large $12 per pane LADDER WORK two story (Bothsides of the glass) Inside and out

  • $2 per screen (Big Screens with Wheels $4, If not taken off $2)
    Tracks free!
    Window paint removal extra (Not sure how much to charge?)

$25 alkali removal (per side)

Commercial

$1.25 inside Large $2.50 INSIDE AND OUT
$1.25 outside Large


#14

I think you would get MUCH better results running ads with Google Boost


#15

Be careful if you do business in Adelanto. I lived there a short time. Very hard water and every house has horrible hard water stains on thier windows. I sure don’t miss CA. Too hot…


#16

When the wind blows here, holy **** it burns your face it’s so hot. Yeah something is wrong with the water in adelanto. My ex was a nurse and she couldn’t wash her nurse uniform. It woukd have a ting of brown if she did. We only lived there a month and had to move because of it. I’d miss Las Vegas and the beach too much if I moved.


#17

Josh, great advice, ive done that many times. Be persistant, make a flyer/postcard w/coupon and then add your business card to that. Do ads, get you name out there any way you can.Dont give up, even in this economy, you can make money trust me. Its not hard, you may have to hit the same houses w/marketing materials several times before you get a call. Hang in there, it will happen. Good luck!!


#18

I haven’t seen anybody mention Service Magic. They are good for one or two new customers a week for me. I was hesitant signing up with them at first to the point, I told them I didn’t have the funds for the start-up fees. They waived it after the 2nd or 3rd sales call to me.
Also I have a twist on passing out my flyers…I hired a sexy looking lady that she spends the day with me when we canvas a neighborhood and I always get more calls when she is with me. It also helps opening that car door, which I hate doing, but when someone is with you it makes it easier.


#19

I served as a Mormon Missionary in VictorVille! Loved that High Desert!


#20

How much was it to place in your newspaper? Ours is 20 dollars a line. Not much I can say, unless I want to pay 150 bucks or so.