One of the first questions I am asked about starting an office cleaning service is, “How do I get ‘leads’ (addresses to mail to) for my initial contact?” There are many approaches to 'lead generation, from simple mailings to telemarketing and using lead generation firms (I don't use them).
This is a subject I deal with in great detail in my ebook Marketing Chapter, (Free when you subscribe to the newsletter) but let me give you a couple of ideas here:
The FREE approach-
First, pick a “type” of customer you want to focus on. For instance, let’s start with real estate offices, mortgage and title companies. They were a favorite of mine in the beginning. In fact my very first BIG commercial janitorial account was a real estate office. I still have that account and over the years as they have moved and grown we’ve cleaned 6 different buildings and branch offices of that company!
Choosing real estate, mortgage, or title company offices when you are new to the business is a great ides for a profitable home-based, start-up enterprise because the offices are generally small and basic in design: some offices, some cubicles, bathrooms and a kitchen or break area. This means they are quite easy to bid. So even if you make a mistake bidding the job, it’s only a small mistake.
Start by typing “Realtors” or “real estate offices” into Google along with your zip code or geographic area. This will generally bring back many results from which to choose.
All you do after that is take the addresses that you just you found online and start addressing envelopes with Office Manager and the rest of the address. Then insert a letter introducing your company, as well as a flyer and a business card.
The PAID approach-
Now we’ll talk about paid leads from a mailing list company. This approach means you will pay a service for access to and use of a mailing list. You can build custom mailing lists that will give you as many potential leads as you wish to purchase. The cost depends on how many you wish to purchase. The more you get, the cheaper the cost per unit.
If you don’t know where to start, Google ‘mailing lists’. There are many choices and you can narrow them down by Zip Code. You’ll be able to get free quotes from several different companies. Just fill out a short form to get prices.
The benefit to the paid option of getting mailing list leads is that the process can be a lot quicker. You just download the list in some cases and then do a mail merge and you are ready to roll. No time-consuming hand writing of addresses, it’s all automated.
I started with the free approach and targeted several dozen companies. Using the paid approach, I can easily target hundreds of companies in the same amount of time. If you are tight on money go the free route, but if you have cash to work with then renting a list may be a real time-saver for you.
As I've said many times, whether you are looking for part-time work to pay the bills, or want to continue to work a little after retirement, an office cleaning business may be the perfect solution.