Have you ever thought about starting a service business? Do you currently run one?
Almost four years ago I started a janitorial company, Cool Springs Office Cleaning. I asked for advice from several friends of mine who have successful business’s. Here are 5 of the best tips they gave me:
1.) Don’t work for cheap asses, they are too demanding and difficult to get payment from.
This advice is pretty self-explanatory. (Thank you to my painter friend, Steve)
2.) Do some market research and price yourself at 80% of your highest competitor.
This was the first piece of advise from my friend Phil Theodore. He said to call 12-15 competitors and get a cleaning quote. Drop off the highest and lowest price then price my services at 80% of the highest price.
The reason for this is if I price myself too low I am going to resent myself. A sunny Saturday will arrive when all of my friends are going to a ball game I have to clean for a customer. I want to be happy and serve my customers with excellence and if I’m working for peanuts, sooner or later, it will be reflected in my work.
This tip has helped me keep high standards on my service. I never resent cleaning on nights and weekends because I am fairly compensated.
3.) Be reliable and trustworthy.
Once again, Phil dropped some golden advice into my lap. He said the biggest complaint with contractors is they never show up on time and they do not do what they say they are going to do. If I show up and time and keep my word, he explained, I will separate myself from 90% of my competition.
Simply showing up when I say I am going to has won me over a few accounts that had trouble getting their contracted service providers to show consistently.
4.) Don’t compete on price, compete on quality.
This advice comes from Zig Ziglar and is the third piece of advice on not under-pricing my services. Work hard, be excellent and earn your price, but never cut corners and price too low.
5.) Write your customers a personal thank you note.
The third piece of advice from Phil Theodore. He said this is something nobody does. He told me to write a hand-written note every few months saying, “Thank you for putting your trust in Cool Springs Office Cleaning. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time”.
Sometimes I’ve only left a note, sometimes I’ve left a note with a coffee mug, pen or chocolate. The rule is this: Appreciate your customers and they will appreciate you.
What can you add to this list?