September 15, 2010
A Window Cleaning Business is guaranteed a short life if it repeatedly commits the 7 Cardinal Marketing Sins. What exactly is a Cardinal Sin? The Roman Catholic Church early in its history divided sin into 2 categories. They were venial or minor, and could be forgiven relatively easily, and Cardinal or major sins, which required much more involvement from the church for forgiveness. I won't go over what the Catholic Church taught were cardinal sins. That way when you hit the pearly gates to meet St. Peter, you can always say... I didn't know!
Here are the 7 Cardinal Marketing Sins in no particular order.
Me centric - A business that is focused on itself will run around telling the public all about its accomplishments, awards, certificates and ego building activities. Most if not all people outside the company could care less. They will virtually ignore your chest pounding , and are only worried about what you can do to solve their problems.
Ignoring past customers - For some reason businesses believe that once a customer has bought they will automatically return for their next purchase. I've had many conversations with business owners, and managers about this one. They seem to believe that people will return without any effort from you.
Not finding out what the customer needs - The biggest mistake I see is people will start marketing a product or service before they know if there are any buyers. For some reason it seems product or service creation comes before market research. The only way to explain this is putting the horse before the cart.
Majority of resources spent chasing after new customers - You see companies spending most of their time and money running after new business. They will treat new customers better than past customers. Many times new customers will get the biggest discounts, free offers, better bonuses.
Not differentiating themselves from competition - Open up any yellow pages, and look in the window cleaning section. You will find that most of the ads look the same. They have the same 2-3 layouts, say the same things and plaster taglines that only have meaning to the business itself.
No reason why - A window cleaning company will not give any reason why you should do business with them. They give no reason for any sales, or discounts. And forget about asking for a call to action. Do not leave it up to your customer to figure out why they should do business with you.
No risk reversal - Most customers feel it is a risk to do business with a company that they have not tried before. They have had bad experiences in the past with companies in many different industries. The customer is afraid something will go wrong, and you will not be there to make it right.
The sad part of this is most companies commit some if not all of these sins. That could be a major reason why businesses struggle to provide the lifestyle owners dreamed a business would provide.
The solution is very simple... do just the opposite of the 7 sins above.
Focus on the customer - Recognize their awards and achievements. Make a big deal out of it, and they will reward you.
Pay attention to past customers - Focus on getting them to return to do business with you time and time again.
Find out what customers want and need - Ask the customer what they want, and provide that product or service. Plus, you'll never have to guess what would be the best product or service to add next.
The most successful window cleaning businesses follow this 7 Marketing Rules and create the business as a result. At Squeegee Pros, we try very hard to meet these goals and sometimes, much to our chagrin, we fall short.
September 29, 2010
Many people, especially in a down economy, choose do it yourself projects around the house to save money. Often times, pressure washing is one project that many people feel they can do without much help. However deck cleaning and staining may be better suited for a professional.
A deck isn't just a wonderful place for you and your family to enjoy the outdoors - it's an investment. Real estate experts often point out that a deck is the easiest way to add square-footage to your home and add an average of $10,000 to a property's value.
Before we begin any work on your deck, we do an inspection to see what work needs to be done and if there is any damage to your wood.Our on-site inspections allow us to see the condition of the wood and to determine if pressure washing will damage it further or if you should do repairs before we pressure wash.
We do not do phone estimates and we recommend that you accept estimates from contractors over the phone. A phone estimate sets up both the home owner and the contractor for failure. If the contractor arrives to do the job and it entails more work than was quoted in the phone estimate, there are only two choices available: 1) tell the home owner that the job will cost more than the estimate or 2) do a poor job to keep the costs within the estimate. In either case, you won't be happy.