A residential home business is a great small business to own because there are often low start up costs and low overhead costs. If you are running a residential home business, then you may find it difficult to get new clients, especially if you are new to the business. There are basic ways of marketing that work for residential home businesses that many of these types of businesses use, such as newspaper advertisements and flyers.
If you are working to expand your business, then you may try and target markets that do not normally use cleaning services, but may be willing to try. Here are two creative markets that house cleaning services do not often target.
* College Students / College Apartments
If you live in a college town, then you will likely have a lot of college students who live in apartments and homes nearby. Every semester there will likely be a huge buzz around these apartments of college students moving in and out. Many students will be busy with final and packing and may not be too concerned about cleaning up their apartment to get their deposit back, this is where you can shine. It may be a great idea to canvas the area with flyers around that time and offer a student discount. If you can speak to apartment managers who take care of buildings that house a lot of students, then maybe you can ask him or her if you can post flyers at the front office or place in advertisement on their bulletin board. This can give you a great boost in business throughout the year.
* The Busy Holiday Crowd
If you are often slow around the holidays, then you may start using that to your advantage. During the holidays, many families will be hosting parties and get together with friends. Also, many families may have house guests for the weekend or over the holidays. With so much going on, a lot of busy families may need a house cleaning service to help prepare their home. You can target the big need for these folks. Make out specific flyers that drum up the idea that the holidays are going to hectic and taking one chore off of the list can be a lifesaver. By targeting a specific need, you may find that new clients are calling you just because of wanting to delegate the chore of cleaning the house.
Once your business starts receiving new clients from untapped markets, it's important to keep these new clients happy. Offer coupons for the next house cleaning or offer them a discount for their next cleaning if they refer a friend. If you are marketing to the busy holiday crowd, then capitalize on it and offer them an after-party cleaning discount. Give them free stuff like pens, pencils, magnets - anything that will keep your house cleaning business in their mind. It takes a lot of energy to gain new customers, so make sure all you pull out all the stops to keep them. Aside from the target markets above, what other types of clients would be beneficial to target in your local area?
If you own a house cleaning business, then you know that the low start up cost is an attractive feature of the particular business. That being the case, you may have some competition in your local area for house cleaning business. If you have been in business for a while or are looking to attract new customers, then you might consider offering additional services to your current house cleaning menu of services. This may work well if your clients have been working with you for a while and trust you with their home.
If your clients own pets, then you might consider offering a pet-sitting service for when they go on long vacations and need someone to make sure their little friend is fed and given water. This can especially easy for your clients, because you likely already have a key to their home and are familiar with their pet. If you would like to offer this service, then you should do some research on a questionnaire that you develop to answer any pertinent questions regarding the care of each particular pet. This will make your job of pet sitting much easier and your clients will feel more secure about having you take care of their pet.
Often pet sitting services charge per visit or per pet, so consider how you are planning to charge for your pet sitting services and create a price sheet that your clients can consider when the opportunity comes up. This may be an especially profitable niche to offer during the holidays, but remember, if you often travel and go on vacation, then offering a pet sitting service may not work with your own schedule.
* Specialty Cleaning
Cleaning residential houses typically involves vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, and other household chores. If you want to expand your services, then you may want to offer specialty cleaning - such as steam cleaning or rug cleaning. These specialty services often require special tools and learned skills. So before offering your clients additional services, you should do some research on what types of equipment you may need to obtain and what types of skills you need to acquire before offering the services.
* House Sitting
House sitting is a great and easy service to offer. House sitting involves watering the plants and lawn, taking in the mail, and other small tasks that need to be done when someone is on vacation. House sitting gives a home the 'lived-in' look and deters house burglaries because would-be thieves will think that the resident is home. Because you have a key, this should be a relatively easy service to offer, especially if you work in the local area and do not have to drive out of your way to make a stop at the empty house.
* Pool Maintenance
Many homeowners who have a pool hire a pool maintenance company to come in and clean their pool. If you had the right equipment, then pool cleaning service can be another type of service that you can offer to your clients. Make sure to do your research because the equipment might be expensive and difficult to carry around if you do not have a large vehicle.
If a full-service pool cleaning option seems a little beyond the scope of services that you can offer, then you may just offer light cleaning to your clients' pools. Light cleaning may require simply skimming the pool. By offering light cleaning services, your clients may not have to have their pool company come in as often to take care of their pool - making it a win-win situation for you and your client.
Within the housekeeping industry, there are several major considerations that should be taken into account when selecting uniforms. Picking out the right uniform can help the staff to better handle their jobs, while the wrong uniform can slow them down and become dirty very quickly. In order to help your staff as much as possible, it is important that you take some time to consider all of your options, and be certain that you are truly picking the uniforms that will best help your employees, while still ensuring that the housekeeping staff looks their best.
Pockets are the number one friend of a housekeeping staff member. By ensuring that uniforms have a lot of pockets staff will be able to quickly and easily carry around with them some small cleaning supplies such as towels, and even a small bottle of cleaner. This can reduce the amount of time that they are shuffling around and digging in the cart for certain supplies. Being careful to look for deep pockets as well will ensure that supplies are not easily falling out of pockets as well.
An apron can be a great way to add some additional pocket space, plus help to protect the clothing items. Looking at all of the different types of aprons that are available, most business owners choose a half apron that goes around the waist itself. However, there are also full style aprons available as well. Selecting an apron with plenty of pocket room is important as well to ensure that you are getting the look that you want, while still having ample pockets.
You should also look for shoes that are extremely comfortable as well. While slip resistant shoes are important, having properly cushioned footwear is important as well. By having cushioned shoes, you will protect yourself from the harshness that could happen to the feet otherwise, and help to ensure that sore feet are not keeping staff from coming in to work.
Taking a bit of time to look at color choices is very important. You need colors that will look good with your logo, look well together, but also be resistant to stains and dirt. You do not want the housekeeping staff looking dirty and unkempt after cleaning only a single area. Rather, uniforms that hide the dirt will wear and show much better since stains and dirt will not be immediately obvious to staff. Proper selection of colors will go a long way towards the overall appearance.
Look for stain guard treated fabrics as well. This will help to quickly and effectively remove dirt and stains from uniforms, while still preserving the colors. By spending a bit additional dollars with each uniform purchase to get a good quality fabric that resists stains you will greatly extend the life of the uniforms and ultimately save a lot of money. Of course, typically getting a stain resistant fabric will add to the costs of the uniforms, these is such as small costs over the course of time, that it would be foolish not to insist upon the treated fabrics.