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Old 12-12-2010, 07:37 PM  
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Hemet, Ca
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Business Discussion

Its me again. Im writing to get some input. I own a Window Cleaning Business, cant list the name because is would be advertising on the forum, but like most business owners out there we are always trying to figure out creative ways to reach customers. Without customers we would not be in business. I would like to hear your ideas and suggestions. Currently Im going door to door and hanging door hangers and also walking the strip malls soliciting for work. I have picked up some customers, but like any business owner the more customers the merryer. Thanks and I can't wait to read the suggestions.
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RESIDENTIAL OR COMMERCIAL WINDOW WASHING NEEDS IN THE INLAND EMPIRE, OR PALM SPRINGS AREA CALL ME (951) 663-7239, or email me abel@alliedsurface.com www.windowcleaning.com
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:32 PM  
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Sammamish, WA
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I have been a business owner for nearly 20 years, and the last thing I would do is door hangers. Actually, that is second to last, after telemarketing. Why? People hate it. It's really annoying to get things left on your door or doorstep, or car. When I get them they go straight to the trash without a look.

My business is directed to other business, not residents, so that wouldn't have done much good anyway. In your case, it seems that a good steady business contracts for commercial buildings would be a great target. In my sign business I sent mailings with follow-up visits to the managers of large commercial buildings, resulting in outdoor parking signage work, as well as indoor and outdoor directories and other things. A few of the smaller ones had their own staff to clean windows but most hired outside companies such as yours.

Strip malls vary, you might get some tenant work there, but even many of those have an outside company do all the exterior glass so you should also talk to the management people.

One of the cheapest and most effective advertising methods is the lettering on your truck/van. Like a rolling billboard, so make sure it's done effectively.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:45 PM  
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Temecula, California
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Originally Posted by bisjoe View Post
I have been a business owner for nearly 20 years, and the last thing I would do is door hangers. Actually, that is second to last, after telemarketing. Why? People hate it. It's really annoying to get things left on your door or doorstep, or car. When I get them they go straight to the trash without a look.

My business is directed to other business, not residents, so that wouldn't have done much good anyway. In your case, it seems that a good steady business contracts for commercial buildings would be a great target. In my sign business I sent mailings with follow-up visits to the managers of large commercial buildings, resulting in outdoor parking signage work, as well as indoor and outdoor directories and other things. A few of the smaller ones had their own staff to clean windows but most hired outside companies such as yours.

Strip malls vary, you might get some tenant work there, but even many of those have an outside company do all the exterior glass so you should also talk to the management people.

One of the cheapest and most effective advertising methods is the lettering on your truck/van. Like a rolling billboard, so make sure it's done effectively.
I like some of your thoughts and disagree strongly with others. Obviously, you know what you are talking about having been in business for 20 years. I think telemarketing is a complete waste of time and money. The only ones to benefit from it are the telemarketing companies. Another point I concurr with, is to target businesses, but that should be done on a personal level, by creating a relationship with the business owner. This is especially effective if you are already a customer of the business. I recommend spending an hour a week or more if you have the time devoted to going business to business and introducing yourself. Keep coming back on a regular basis without being a pest (smile and have a light conversation). At some point you might win their business. Lastly, I think applying signage to a vehicle is effective if you have the right expectation for it. I don't think as you drive down the road anyone will decide they need you to clean their windows and call you, but if you are parked in front of a business or home and a neighbor sees your vehicle they might just have a impulse to have you service them as well, especially if it is something they have been putting off doing. I would apply stickers to glass or get a wrap otherwise when you remove it from your paint you are left with paint that is more faded in some areas than others.

I don't think papering cars in parking lots is effective, do you track your lead sources to see what is most beneficial? To gain clients I advertised with door to door hangers. It's been about a year since I posted the last one, and I still get calls from those. I always tracked my costs and knew that if I put out X number of flyers I would get a certain amount of replies. Then I factored my cost of the flyers, with my time to distribute and the amount I'd make per job. Based on that I knew how many flyers I needed to distribute to make a living.

I did this for a year making a living for my family of 4 by doing various jobs (computer consulting/repair, graphic arts, printing, curb painting, lawn maintenance) none of which were my regular profession, though that led to me working full time doing computer consulting. Some ads were more effective than others it just depends on your message, product and the audience.

There is a lot of competition for window cleaning residentially. In going door to door I saw the same company flyers ALL the time (Justin Time Window Cleaning) so it must be effective for them.

The door to door controversy is in the perspective of the services offered. Signage is not a real big thing with home owners, but every home owner has windows that need cleaning, and most of them have a 2 story house. The other key difference is that signage is an as needed basis, and windows can be cleaned on a repeat basis. Once you create the relationship with the homeowner it is easy(easier) to set up continued cleaning on a regular basis.

I would also explore other ideas as well. Not to be a self promoter, but I am launching a new advertising service that I can discuss with you if you want to contact me. It is not a multi-level thing or anything strange, just a little different take on something already being done.

Thanks,
Greg
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:32 PM  
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We are in the business selling Tilapia and Fish food. We are small struggling business.We believe in the natural fish no hybrids at all. Our food is as natural as we can get it. We feel if we are raising fish for eating what they eat, we end up consuming so we better make sure it is good food.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:54 PM  
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Originally Posted by MT2sum View Post
We are in the business selling Tilapia and Fish food. We are small struggling business.We believe in the natural fish no hybrids at all. Our food is as natural as we can get it. We feel if we are raising fish for eating what they eat, we end up consuming so we better make sure it is good food.
I'd recommend you fill out your city/state information for inquiring businesses, and add a link to your location in the signature portion.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:59 PM  
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Titusville, Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ama91761 View Post
Its me again. Im writing to get some input. I own a Window Cleaning Business, cant list the name because is would be advertising on the forum, but like most business owners out there we are always trying to figure out creative ways to reach customers. Without customers we would not be in business. I would like to hear your ideas and suggestions. Currently Im going door to door and hanging door hangers and also walking the strip malls soliciting for work. I have picked up some customers, but like any business owner the more customers the merryer. Thanks and I can't wait to read the suggestions.

Elderly folks can't clean their own windows and most prefer clean windows....maybe solicit the elderly and get referrals. Of course give discounts.....
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:29 PM  
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Moreno Valley, Calif
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Telemarketers get zero time from me, Paper on my windshield, never look at it, Something hanging from my door knob I'll look at, but I dont like being bothered by people going door to door. Advertising sections in papers seems to get read too. Small business is tough I'm sure but its your choice of income. Basically if I need a service of some sort I'll do the research myself and decide.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:59 PM  
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Sammamish, WA
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Originally Posted by Rolexor View Post

I don't think papering cars in parking lots is effective, do you track your lead sources to see what is most beneficial?
Greg
Every customer is always asked how they found us. We were spending $1,200/month for yellow pages in 2 books and went to just the free listing as we only got a few calls but never any real work. We found that 30% of all new customers came from our website, most of the rest, 60% from referrals, about 10% from drive-bys spotting our signs. The only marketing I did was in person or letter and that was rare, and targeted specifically to high volume businesses like property managers and parking companies.

The economy has been pretty hard on the sign industry, especially with the loss of developers and realtors that did big housing developments. In my area 5 have gone under in the last two years.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:38 AM  
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Brookshire/Katy, Texas
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one thing you might look into are mailers.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:51 PM  
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Shuswap, BC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyK View Post
Telemarketers get zero time from me, Paper on my windshield, never look at it, Something hanging from my door knob I'll look at, but I dont like being bothered by people going door to door. Advertising sections in papers seems to get read too. Small business is tough I'm sure but its your choice of income. Basically if I need a service of some sort I'll do the research myself and decide.
+1.
Either i pay no attention to it, or try and remember the company name so I know to never deal with them.
Its annoying as heck to have crap left on my car or house.
Try small business publications in your area, or maybe going to a home show, or even sponsoring say a ball team.
I sponsor a ball team and its great advertising being talked about on the local radio and tv station, plus thousands see the company names on the jerseys.
Best of all people get out and have fun because they get to play ball.
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