In the window washing business, it’s all about marketing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that in order to be successful in this business, you need to be an expert with a squeegee. I’m
sure there were window washers out there who could run circles around me when it came to knowing all these different squeegee techniques, but…I had many more customers. And that’s what matters!
So today we’re going to talk about getting customers!
Business owners (not just window washers) who get into business, think that a simple yellow page ad or a sign in front of their business will generate “buzz” and make ’em successful. Um…not
The problem here is these new business owners get so excited about their business that they think everyone else will be just as excited. The reality is quite different.
I was guilty of this also when I was younger. If I opened up a business that I just knew was a great business, I had visions of people just flocking in the doors or calling me non-stop.
I laugh about this now, but here’s a funny story relating to exactly what I’m talking about.
Many years ago, I flew up to Denver, Colorado and bought a mobile oil change van. Before I left on my trip, I secured a business phone number with the phone company so I could tell the folks in Colorado what my business number was and they could letter the van with this information (along with company name, etc).
Anyway, to make a long story a little longer, I got to Colorado, received some training, and drove back to Florida all excited about my business. Man, I just knew that this was it. I mean
everyone needs an oil change, right?
I literally had visions that as soon as I crossed the Georgia/Florida border, people would see my phone number on the van and run to their phone to call me for an oil change.
As a matter of fact, right when I got in my hometown I stopped at a gas station to use the payphone and check out all the messages on my answering machine. I really expected about a dozen calls. Imagine my surprise when there were zero calls. What a bummer!
Now let’s transfer the above information and relate it to the window washing business.
Everyone needs an oil change and I still had to take a very proactive direct marketing approach bringing my message directly to the public. The yellow pages and my signage on the van didn’t
cut the mustardoriginal site.
But what makes marketing in the window cleaning business even a little harder is that everyone does not need their windows cleaned. As a matter of fact, windows are generally at the bottom of a person’s “to do” or “to get done” list.
So you have to be a whole lot more proactive, focused, AND smarter when advertising and marketing to window washing prospects.
A good example of this is when I first got started in the window washing business. I had 1,000 flyers placed in a general publication newspaper. I received no calls. None!
The reason is very simple, although I didn’t know it at the time…and that reason is because I was trying to advertise my services to too broad of a market.
The target market of prospects that window washers need to approach are the upper income folks-business owners, doctors, lawyers, executives, etc. And retirees also make great window
The regular Ma and Pa six-packs of the world need not apply. Those types of people (with rare exceptions) traditionally won’t pay for a professional to clean their windows. They need a high school kid with a bucket and a squeegee.
When I realized this, I then hired a graphic designer to design some postcards, flyers, and ads. We had to test, redesign, and test some more before hitting on the correct formula, but once we
did, I then proceeded to target the people who would buy my services, and voila! The phone started ringing and customers were lining up for my services.
There are numerous other ways to market, and I talk about them all within my manual How to Start Your Own Residential Window Washing Business, but one more technique is to align yourself with other service business owners like carpet cleaners, pressure washers, blind cleaners, etc.
I’d be in a customer’s house and the homeowner would ask me if I knew of a good carpet cleaner. And visa versa…the carpet cleaner would get asked if they knew of a good window washer. We
supported each other. I literally had my own private army of people and businesses promoting my window washing services for me.
So…whatever you do, don’t just get a magnetic sign, place a little yellow page ad in the phone book, or perhaps run a little 3 or 4 line ad in the local Pennysaver, and wait for the phone to
ring. You’ll be extremely disappointed if you do.
Knowing your target market and attacking that market with a proactive approach using multiple marketing techniques will get you a large number of customers and directly affect your income in a positive way.