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Upping advertising dollars.....

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Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Mon May 28, 2018 3:54 pm

I don't know about the rest of you, but this year, I am upping what I spend on marketing. I'm trying to push my growth a little harder.

I usually drop post cards, which I'm still doing, but I want more growth this year.

Recently I have purchased yard signs. They should be here this week. I plan on putting 1-4 in the area where I am working, pulling them when I leave. Just will depend on the location where I am, how many I put out. I also am going to strategically plant a few in the areas I want more work in. I gave 100 bucks for 50 signs and stands.

In addition, I am lettering my truck and my personal car. The car will have lettering over he back window, the truck will be lettered on the doors and the tailgate. I have held out doing this, because I don't really want to have issues at resale, nor do I always want the vehicles lettered, when I go outside my service area. The magnets though, I'd never do because of paint getting scratched.

Now I'm thinking of doing 5+ arounds with door hangers, but I don't want a ton of them. Went to Vista, and 1000 were 160 plus shipping. Passed on it for now. I didn't pay that much for 5000 post cards from another printer, but 5k of post cards are too many for me. I guess I'll need to hit up Fivver to get some design work done.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Mon May 28, 2018 6:39 pm

I don't know if the signs would be very valuable since the truck will have signage on it and draw the most attention. I completely agree with you on the desire for growth, but clearly I am the last guy around here to offer advice on that...you need to ask successful cleaners.

One of the big moves around here is sponsoring a little league team...coaching one is even better. My area is still crazy about baseball and has some of the best little league complexes in the region. There is a waiting list for advertising, but if you got in on it early and sponsored a team or maybe even an add on the right field wall, you can really get somewhere.

If that is not available, sponsor a softball team in the local rec league. You don't even have to play, just sponsor one. It works great for bars and restaurants anyway.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Mon May 28, 2018 7:44 pm

The yard signs: id leave them on your customers yard for the whole day. Tell them you or someone will be back late in the day to pull them.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Tue May 29, 2018 10:33 am

I think I'll try Matt's suggestion, but try extending it a day or two, if the client's will allow it. I won't have time to get back there the same day.

Sponsoring a ball team or the like, I honestly don't think will go over well. Most people that are involved with that are the typical "blue collar" person, that won't pay for window cleaning, and baseball is still a hometown, small deal here. Instead I'm thinking about pushing on hotels, and some larger commercial buildings.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Tue May 29, 2018 11:16 am

Commercial makes sense Freemind, with the only drawbacks being that is where your competition will also be and that meeans cut-throat pricing.

When you go fishing, you never want to drop your hook where others are if you want to land the big fish. You look for fertile areas where nobody else is fishing. I think the same can be true in advertising. Commercial will always have multiple contractors to choose from and they all go with the lowest bidder and carry no loyalty. Maybe non-traditional commercials like schools and churches would be the way to go?
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Tue May 29, 2018 1:44 pm

I agree with you.

There are larger companies that come here, from an hour away. A lot of it is storefront, some of it is LARGE commercial like our huge hospital. I don't know who is servicing what, or even if the unserviced places are willing to pay for window cleaning, but I'll fid out before summer is over.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Tue May 29, 2018 4:25 pm

@Freemind1 wrote:I agree with you.

There are larger companies that come here, from an hour away. A lot of it is storefront, some of it is LARGE commercial like our huge hospital. I don't know who is servicing what, or even if the unserviced places are willing to pay for window cleaning, but I'll fid out before summer is over.

That's the approach...go get 'em.

This is a bit biased now, but I am starting to wonder if everyone might make some big gains by getting to know the postal carriers in your area? Maybe offer steep discounts to postal carriers on services to get to know them as they hold a ton of information that a business owner could really utillize in marketing their business. They deliver to every business on a daily basis and know who the right people are to meet, who they use now for services by the invoices, some inside office gossip, etc. I really think that could prove very valuable down the road.

Think about it, if you have a relationship with the postal carriers and you send out marketing postcards, that carrier would be your reference and cheerleader. You can't beat that in my view, a marketing flyer deliverd by a positive reference...gold.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Tue May 29, 2018 7:15 pm

Most of the businesses in my area, either have a mailbox, a PO box, or the carrier just brings in a box with mail and takes the one from the day before. The person at the front desk handles mail. Not much chit chat from what I have seen. Most postal carriers here just want to get their route done and go home.

I don't think they are going to tell you much more useful info, than you can find on the net.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Tue May 29, 2018 9:29 pm

You might surprised what they know....
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Mo on Wed May 30, 2018 7:51 am

I had my company name on our high school volleyball warm up t-shirts and for three jobs from it.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Wed May 30, 2018 1:30 pm

@Mo wrote:I had my company name on our high school volleyball warm up t-shirts and for three jobs from it.

Not the return was it? Then again, everyone knows Chico's Bail Bonds".
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:47 pm

Got the yard signs last this week. They look nice.

Vista offered me a deal on the door hangers that was like 50 bucks off. I took it. They were FAST to print and ship. I've got them now too.

Lettering was shipped off Saturday, so maybe I will be able to get them on this upcoming weekend.

Now I will stock a wad of door hanger and several signs in the truck. Time to implement the new marketing.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:32 pm

Good luck with it, I still have a couple of boxes worth of door hangers in my van. I go out at least once a week in different neighborhoods and hang about 200 at a shot. Can't say they have been overly successful, but every area is different. I hope it works out.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by dp1 on Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:23 pm

I did that with Yelp last month, boy it was a bust !
Up from $ 300 / month to $ 1500 / month, it was month to month, so I dropped it back to $ 300 / month for this month and going forward.

It seems like Yelp is becoming another yellow page, they used to be really good until everything turn digital, Yelp used to have quality customers, now it turned out to be price shoppers.

Things are tough now, not just for me but for a lot of cleaners around here too, all of them are saying that it’s been slow, I’m wondering what happens to great economy that the media are saying ? If the economy is great, doesn’t that mean people are spending ? Well my repeat customer are still spending good money, that should count but it’s really hard to get new customers that are willing to spend good money now down here.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:21 pm

the economy? Here i see whole, young families dining out at red lobster. with little kids! They have to be atleast duel income households.
-Car dealers are building new and relocating close to Costco. They must have the sales volume.
-there are constant New little strip mall buildings going up.
drove by a place i havnt  been by in 6 months, several little strip mall buildings. Holy cow, where did these come from. where have i been??
-orchards are being ripped out and new house developments going in; up scale houses.
-orchards being ripped out and new varietys are being planted. thats 2-3 years before any harvesting!
-several 1000 acres in new HOP farms going in. This area is one of the largest producers of hops in the world.
-BUT in the carpet cleaning world; its been slow for several ive talked with here.
-my summer has been slow to pick up, ive been freaking out. last 2 months, down 25-30%.
put together reminder postcards to past customers. dropped off yesterday; today-got  2 calls from past customer(postoffice cant turn those around and deliver that fast??)
-got flyers ordered and being shipped. doing insert in ellenburg(north of me). 15,000 flyers would have cost high $500's. My print lady got them for $380, ship included!!! saved me about 200! i was stoked. so i will do 3 insert of 4500 flyer over the next 2 months. really gonna push the summer to pick things up.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:43 pm

It is that way all over right now...just can't figure out why? The economy shows a lot of buzz right now around here with construction going crazy and new car purchases way up, yet cleaning is nearly dead. Even my regulars are calling for abreviated cleaning of just the living room and maybe a sofa instead of the whole house.

We all know that things slow down in the Summer and around here we never had a Spring so the reduction in volume on residentials do not surprise me at all. I just can't figure out what happened to the commercial jobs as they are flat as well. confused

We have all been around a long time and we know that there has always been a rebound so we might be in for record numbers this fall which would balance out the year. It is just so strange that it makes predictions merely magic 8-balls right now. One of the reasons I am going back to work until this blows over and the economy makes sense again.

I also agree Dp, Yelp seems to have lost its luster. It did so well for me the last 2 years, but hss not been generating anything this year. Anyone know how the franchises are doing? Seems like they would be getting hurt the most with the drop in volume.

The good news is that the mechanics and boat shops around here were nearly dead in the Spring, but are doing record business thus far this month. Money is being spent, so maybe the wave is coming for us next.?
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by dp1 on Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:24 pm

I saw the yellow truck tv ads last month I think ? I’ve never seen their ads around May, so I’m guessing they are hurting as well.

I hope you’re right Bob !

Matt, I can explain Red Lobster, they offer free meal for kids with paying adults, lol. I can’t explain everything else, if people are spending $$ for new cars and home market is booming, then we should be busy ? New homes need carpet / floor cleaned ? Unless they buy something they can’t afford and the banks are loosening everything again like in the Clinton era, if that’s the case then you know what’s going to happen in a few years.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:00 am

Well, I was wrong about Spring, but I have never ended a year without a correction. Even last year I had a terrible Summer and even the Fall started out slow and then BOOM, a record Sept. and October which actually lingered over into December. My commercial account has always ended up being nearly the same amount every year despite some very slow times.

That is the great thing about commercial, they are encouraged to spend their budget or risk having the next year's budget reduced. In my case, they have another $25,000 left in that budget and will need to spend it before October 15th or risk having their budget cut back. With less than 5 months to go, there will have to be some very good months on the way yet.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:55 am

Early summer is so far, going really well for me. Just finished the upper two stories of the construction clean. That was 4 hours of walking 2nd and 3rd story roofs. Went to fix three screens, and stupidly cut the material, not once but twice. Evil or Very Mad
Have to go back today with more material and finish those screens.

June is booked, and new jobs coming in are getting dumped into Saturdays. I don't like working weekends, but with the work load, I have to this year. So far, there isn't much for July, but we'll see if this extra advertising will change that.

That post construction job broke the record for the biggest billed client this year. Thought I was walking in tall cotton last year with the 1200 dollar job. This one was just over double. I don't love HUGE jobs like that one, but we pushed through it and it looks fantastic.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:55 am

All sounds really good Freemind. The window cleaning guys around here have been crazy busy as well...I might be in the wrong field? My business functions almost entirely on the big commercial tickets with every job being around $1,000 plus with one that is over $3,000....a nice evening's work. Sadly, those jobs which were consistent for 8 years have all but disappeared for reasons that I have yet to understand. Those buildings have not been cleaned and I have not been replaced, they just seem to not care any more and some of them even have roach infestations now as a result...they still don't seem to care.

I have always said that when your cleaner cares more about the condition of your business than you do, there is a problem. There just doesn't seem to be any way to correct this problem, I nudge a lot, but I can't change an attitude. Well, at least once I start working a regular job again (Monday) it will not matter as much and life can stabilize again. I am still expecting to get slammed before October and I welcome it.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by dp1 on Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:29 pm

I think you’ll sleep better at night by doing both work, you’ve done it before so you know you’ll be tempted to quit if things got crazy busy with carpet cleaning, just remember to think about winter months during those times, it will hopefully ease your pain Very Happy
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:38 pm

I agree,  the stress reduction alone will be quite a difference and being able to get cheap medical insurance also makes a huge difference right now.  That $1400 per month premium wasn't working out for me.  I plan to stay focused on that element the most when things get tough with all the hours.  I suspect that I will likely burn out though like I did with the previous career as you can only work 60+ hours per week for so long before you lose touch with enjoying your life.  The key will be if a career route opens up before I burn out.  If that happens in say 2 years, then I would have a fast track to retirement and the loss of all the overtime demands.

I think it will come down to the body's ability to deal with it.  Physically, I can out-work kids half my age still, but that doesn't always matter internally as we age.


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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:03 am

17K a year is just over half of the pay from a $15 an hour job. Then you have taxes coming out too......

It's why I still work a job AND run my business. I can't get a 3K a day ticket, much less do it consistently. Then we have winter, which kills business...

If you can get your jobs scheduled around your day job schedule, you'll have it made.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:03 pm

That is what I am shooting for Freemind. The USPS is paying a little over $17 plus a lot of overtime, so it isn't bad for an entry-level job. My main commercial doesn't start until after dark and the postal policy is that you need to be done before it gets dark. Seems like they mesh fairly well in that regard. Factor in the money saved on the insurance premiums and this becomes pretty valuable.

The entire day of my training (started today) I kept looking out the window and thinking about how much I hate sitting in rooms with somebody else in charge, but once on shift, 95% of my day is spent on the street away from the office. That is when things will feel better.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Mo on Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:37 am

The cost for yoir healthcare is ridiculous Bob. I know you've had some healthcare issues in the past buy that's just not right.

Hey Freemind, do you attribute the majority of your new business to the advertising campaign you implemented?
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

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