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Upping advertising dollars.....

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:28 pm

Not really Mo. I'm sure it is driving some of it (signs), but google and references from clients are doing a lot of it.

Haven't gotten any calls of 5 around door hangers yet.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Mo on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:51 pm

Don't be surprised if you get calls from those 5 arounds months down the road
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:53 pm

Update since it seems dead around here.

I am not doing as many door hangers as I should. Just don't have the time. I am however, sticking those yard signs in those target areas and they are working. I have had several people recently tell me they are calling because they saw my sign.

These are in area's that have been post carded. I also have first slot of Google. So this just goes to show (at least in my experience) that even if you are top of Google and are getting paper ads in front of people, they aren't always paying attention. It doesn't take a lot of time or money to do these yard signs.

I'm convinced, they work.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:31 pm

That is very interesting about the yard signs, you may have found the new approach that all will follow...something has to work. My area has one of the strongest housing markets in America right now, yet cleaners are going under every week, something just doesn't add up. I recieved 2 calls last week that were referrals, but I wasn't able to service them due to a rough work schedule.

This was designed to be a long part-time job, but last week I did 56 hours and was wiped out by the end of it. We were in a heat wave with heat indexes over 105 degrees and here I was walking around all day with a 45 lb bag over my shoulder. It has been a long time since I had to push like that and having a couple of bruised ribs hasn't made it any easier. I didn't sign up for 6 days per week this time of year, so this experiemnt might end sooner than I expected. I don't get much cleaning done in July historically, so I will stick it out another month, but if it continues to be this way in August when I start a traditionally busy fall cleaning schedule, it will have to end.

No perfect answer right now. Just wish the bottom didn't fall out like this.

Oh, and for those that mail flyers for advertisement...I wouldn't bother after handling them the past week. I can't tell you how many times I have delivered them only to see the recipient throw them away right in front of me. In some cases, the carrier isn't real found of them either and might just stuff 4-5 of them in a single mailbox instead of with each house. That is a violation of course, but if you have ever received multiple pizza ads, for example, now you know why.

Hang in there gang, things have to turn around at some point.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:15 pm

My first batch of 50 signs and double H hangers, was 200 to my door. I'm looking to order another 100 and so far I'm seeing 350 to my door with the stands and delivery.

It sucks you day job is sucking the life out of you. I know where you are coming from. I have been doing overtime lately because I work for IDIOTS that can't seem to get things done. Unorganized like a bunch of chimps....

I'm trying to get myself into store fronts. I have it planned out what I need to bring in a month to MINIMALLY get myself out the employee game. I'm so sick of working for someone else..... Now if that plan pans out, or is a waste of time. We'll see.

Working until 1 AM and getting up at 6 AM after hitting the hay at 2 AM, is getting REALLY old. I hope things get better for you Rob.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:24 pm

I have been a workaholic my entire life, but this job has a learning curve that is beyond anything I have ever experienced. It feels like boot camp again where you work hard, but can't seem to anything right while the rest of the staff accomplish it as easily as tying their shoes. They tell me that it takes a few months to really master the various routes, so this will be an issue for awhile yet.

Working for someone else is always difficult if you care about what you do. When you wake up and realize that you care about the job more than the boss, that is when things decline rapidly. Some people are just not cut out to work for others while others are great at the "8 and skate" mentallity. It sounds like you have a plan and are executing it, so you will make it a reality at some point. I am just trying to get by right now.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Mo on Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:53 pm

Hey Freemind do you get any jobs from realities and cleaning services ? I get jobs from those folks.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:45 pm

No Mo, cleaning companies "clean" windows themselves (LMAO!).
Realtors don't pay for things like that. They don't care about that stuff, they just want to make a commission. Even on those million dollar homes (that you'd THINK they would want PERFECT), they just take pictures and list..... Real estate is selling as fast as it lists here. The only ones still sitting on the market are the ones that have problems or are listed way too high.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:29 am

IT is the same here with real estate and agents no longer do any cleaning prep work. They used to hire me to deodorize and clean carpets before listing, but the market is so strong that they are just replacing the flooring before listing now. Carpet and flooring installers are making a killing as are Home Inspectors, but not cleaners.

I think the economy might be too good in this area for the cleaning business...never thought I would say that. The exception seems to be VCT work, there seems to be a real need for that type of work, but not sure I want to get into that. Even the post office where I am assigned is desperate to refinish the VCT floor and has to seek companies from 75 miles away just to find one....they bid it, but never showed up to do the work. I was asked if I wanted to do it under my business and it paid pretty well, but this floor is so worn by steel wheeled carts that it might be out of my league to attempt.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:27 pm

I have done strip/wax in the past, and have let that go. The beginning of this year, that account stopped service, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I don't like doing it, and it doesn't pay well here at all. Not to mention it's dirty work, and nothing about it is fun, IMO.

On the "yard sign" front, I ordered more today. Got to be honest, I got one call at 12:30 AM (yes, you read that right) from some DUMB woman who called and asked if I was the window cleaner, then hung up. Yes, I could tell from the phone number they were a lake home owner. Yes, she was likely drunk. I was tempted to call her at 4 AM and ask her if she was the lady calling for window cleaning at midnight.....

But in all honesty, yard signs have now earned a permanent place in my marketing. Call after call, estimate after estimate, the book is filling very fast. I had three calls TODAY, and I figured I'd never get any calls on a holiday. It would be worth a try Rob. I just ordered 100 signs and stands, $290 to my door. Sure beats postcards, and all the time involved there.
5 minutes with a map or Google maps and you can plan perfect places to put them. I placed all mine on the in/out routes to the target places, near stop signs where people are going to be slowed down and more likely to look.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:33 pm

It does sound like it is worth a try and it certainly makes your mail carrier happier. I just wonder about the legality of where you can place them, there must be various restrictions involved. I would certainly be interested in giving it a try, something has to work. It is supposed to rain all day tomorrow and believe me, delivering mail in the rain will motivate you into looking for a different line of work.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:59 pm

Sometimes, people make you laugh at how dumb they are.... I laid out some signs a week ago, and (I assume) a competitor pulled the signs. The three that were missing were placed along the road, in an unmowed place, where I knew it wouldn't piss off a landowner. I noticed it today when I was out doing a half dozen estimates.

Maybe they think they are accomplishing something (trying to hurt my business) or maybe they don't realize how cheap those signs are, and I have a bunch of them to replace the old, stolen signs. Either way, I think it's funny because they are acting like morons.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

Most of our competitors are morons, let's be honest about it, they really are. Childish as well. I used to leave a stack of business cards at the barber shop and one of my competitors also went to that barber. I was sitting across from him when he spotted my business cards. He grabbed all of them and put them in his pocket. He was wearing his franchise uniform at the time so I engaged him in conversation about cleaning my house. After a few minutes of that, I asked for a card. When he reached into his pocket to get one, all that he could pull out was mine. He didn't even notice it as he handed me the card and told me to give him a call when I was ready.

They really are that immature and stupid.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:54 pm

That's just funny.

I'm not a fan of any of the competitors here. No one seems to take pride in what they do, nor do they seem to be worried about doing the best job for the client.

Though I WILL say they deserve sub par service, when they are buying on price, and not quality. I know lots of guys think using dish soap is fine, but I have seen the difference between dawn and pro soaps. There IS a difference.

So with that said, it doesn't surprise me when some dufuss thinks pulling my signs is a good idea. Maybe if they were as busy as me, if there customer service and service delivered were that good, they wouldn't have time to mess around.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by dp1 on Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:16 pm

@milspec6 wrote:Most of our competitors are morons, let's be honest about it, they really are.  Childish as well.  I used to leave a stack of business cards at the barber shop and one of my competitors also went to that barber.  I was sitting across from him when he spotted my business cards.  He grabbed all of them and put them in his pocket.  He was wearing his franchise uniform at the time so I engaged him in conversation about cleaning my house.  After a few minutes of that, I asked for a card.  When he reached into his pocket to get one, all that he could pull out was mine.  He didn't even notice it as he handed me the card and told me to give him a call when I was ready.

They really are that immature and stupid.

You should've offered him some referral and asked him to give you the rest of the cards, and then go back to the shop the next day to put your business cards back, lol.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:41 pm

@dp1 wrote:
@milspec6 wrote:Most of our competitors are morons, let's be honest about it, they really are.  Childish as well.  I used to leave a stack of business cards at the barber shop and one of my competitors also went to that barber.  I was sitting across from him when he spotted my business cards.  He grabbed all of them and put them in his pocket.  He was wearing his franchise uniform at the time so I engaged him in conversation about cleaning my house.  After a few minutes of that, I asked for a card.  When he reached into his pocket to get one, all that he could pull out was mine.  He didn't even notice it as he handed me the card and told me to give him a call when I was ready.

They really are that immature and stupid.

You should've offered him some referral and asked him to give you the rest of the cards, and then go back to the shop the next day to put your business cards back, lol.

laughing
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:24 pm

Did 6 estimates on Saturday, and got them e-mailed out late Saturday. So far, I've booked 3, 1 declined, and two haven't responded yet (figured they wouldn't that soon).

The one that declined was done with a neighbor. Both asked for a quote at the same time. Declined on responded first, and said he had a "guy" that did it 30% cheaper than me. I reminded him that the other guy may or may not be legit, and he should be checking before he calls him out, just to be sure of who he's hiring. (I know the "guy" isn't legit. I looked him up.)
Then the neighbor responds and after a bit of back and forth, he booked. Guess that "guy" doing things under the radar wasn't such a good deal... LOL. I gave him a ONE TIME 15% off, but he knows going forward he will need to pay full price or call someone else. I REALLY didn't like doing a discount, but I'm sure when he books and is happy, the neighbor is going to follow suit. And he isn't getting any discounts....

I have been told many times, I need to be willing to discount. I really don't care to do that, but in this situation, I thought it might be to my advantage. Time will tell. If it doesn't work out the way I planned, I probably won't consider it anymore.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:01 pm

I consider discounting to be a valuable tool and don't think you should ever hesitate to use it. Everyone wants to beleive that they are getting a good deal and sometimes that is all that matters to them. My 3-room price is the same as the "magic water" franchise's special yet people still ask me if I have any specials going. Even when I point out that the price is basically the same, they still think that the discounted franchise must be a better deal since it isn't their normal price.....except it really is their normal price, they just call it a special. Sometimes they even add to cost from the last "special" and people still fall for it.

I say pad the estimate by 10% and then offer them a 10% discount if they seem undecided. That little nudge might be all that is needed to book out.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:01 am

Some see it as a valuable tool, and maybe it is Rob. The problem is that people who want a "deal" aren't loyal. They are loyal to a "deal". I am a legit business. I have a license, insurance, and invest quite a bit in equipment. Some one doing it "on the side" likely is not doing that.

I already have competition that is pricing very low. I honestly don't know how they are making any money when they (I assume) are paying an employee 2 hours round trip drive time, and charging half my prices. On a job that should take 4 man hours, they are charging about 200 bucks. Then you add in 2 hours drive time, and take out what you pay employees and overheads. How do you make money doing that?
I get that someone doing it on the side, might think 15-20 bucks an hour is a big windfall, but it sure looks like chicken scratch when you are running a legitimate business.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:58 am

I understand that point, but don't base what your competitor is charging as being apples to apples. The guy I used to work for in N. Carolina had 6 cleaners and 3 trucks. We got paid hourly regardless of if we had jobs or not so a lot of time was spent on sweeping the floors during slow times. He would send us out on jobs for dirt cheap prices often since we were getting paid the same either way and at least cleaning made something and might lead to other work.

So that $200 that you used in your example isn't necessarily meant to be profitable, just giving the techs something to do instead of sweeping the floor and staring at their phones. They are making the real money on larger contracts or they would be out of business quickly.

You are also correct about loyality and deal shoppers are not the loyal kind, but the people they recomment you too might be. If you are busy enough, I wouldn't discount either, but if you have more time than work, I would discount freely.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:32 am

I get the point about having something for them to do. I just don't get why it's priced so CHEAP. The point of business is to make money, and grow (or at least maintain your size). If they have guys kicking a can around that much, why not let some go, OR AT LEAST find some cheaper work in their own market, rather than putting a truck on the road for an HOUR one way and doing the service dirt cheap?

The point wasn't really to mull over why the competition prices the way they do, but rather IF discounting even makes any sense for my business. I'm not doing this job for costs, but I'm losing 15% I'd otherwise be profiting. Not a make it or break it situation, but we'll see IF doing this is good business for me. In the least, if the guy that booked, returns for service next year, I'd call that a success. His neighbor wanted me to cut 1/3 of my price, and that wasn't happening.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:29 pm

I refer back to the observation that most of our competitors are morons....that is why so cheap.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:31 pm

Of course the other side of that is that if the company is large enough, it might be low-balling jobs to drive the smaller companies out of business since they likely don't have enough reserves to survice the price war. I never focus on the competition's pricing much, it is none of my business and is never apples-to-apples anyway, but I do use discounts as a weapon on many bids.
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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:58 am

@milspec6 wrote:Of course the other side of that is that if the company is large enough, it might be low-balling jobs to drive the smaller companies out of business since they likely don't have enough reserves to survice the price war.  I never focus on the competition's pricing much, it is none of my business and is never apples-to-apples anyway, but I do use discounts as a weapon on many bids.

I've considered that Rob. But honestly I believe it's only because of bad business practices. An hour away, every tom, dick, and harry is probably picking up a squeegee and trying to make a buck (literally). I think these clowns are coming to my area and trying to price the same as they are down there. Which I know I can't worry about, but the people here start getting the idea THAT is what it costs no matter who you pick. Yes, I know we need to sell ourselves on the VALUE you offer.

Point is, when some clown comes into a market, (even a well established clown) they destroy the market the infiltrate. Yes, I'd probably discount a little bit myself to get my foot in the door. But cutting prices in half isn't doing anyone ANY good. Yes, I know I can't do anything about it. It's just stupid that anyone would run a business that way. They aren't just screwing things for them, they are doing it to other people trying to run a business too. There is a fair portion of the people that will set in their mind the price should be X, and if it's much more, they just won't do the work because they perceive that someone is trying to screw them over.

I've run into that kind of thing plenty this year (more so than in previous years). They either don't like the work of the last guy, or the last guy can't get them in (surprise!). They want a great job done, want it in a timely fashion, just don't want to pay much more. I've convinced most of them to book, it's just very frustrating. I shouldn't have to be whipping out a long sales pitch to book them.

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Re: Upping advertising dollars.....

Post by milspec6 on Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:29 pm

I understand that frustration, I couldn't reclaim those 7 apartment complexes because the cleaners in Omaha were bidding 2 bedroom apartments at $75. There is no way to make any money at that rate....at least not if you actually clean it. In Omaha, most slum lords do pay $75 and cleaners take it, but not in my area. At least they never used to. I would love to see what they keep after driving 2 hours round-trip and paying 2 techs to clean a $75 apartment. That math doesn't add up to me.

This will always be a problem though and it always comes down to the same old issue of educating the customers. They would never trust a company that low-balls that badly IF they understood what the costs involved really were. Can you imagine a roofer quoting you $500 to replace your roof after a storm? People would call the police on the guy let alone hire him, yet that sort to thing happens in our industry every day.
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