Learn how a small budget can go a long way toward finding new clients

Owners often ask me, “How can I grow my sales on a small budget?” If you are doing a good job of holding onto current clients, you are halfway there. You have built solid relationships with your technicians and your clients.


Word of Mouth

You can take advantage of these relationships by using a marketing and sales tool available to all service businesses. It’s called word of mouth marketing, and it’s more effective than any advertisement. Satisfied clients want you to succeed. Communicate with them often using powerful, positive messages. A quarterly newsletter, mailed directly to all current and selected past clients is an excellent tool, and very cost-effective. Be bold! Ask your client base to refer you to potential new customers. Click here to read an example of one of my newsletters that does exactly that.


Demographic Data

The next tool you need is demographics. You need to know where your clients live. If you have a cluster of customers in a certain neighborhood or apartment complex, chances are excellent that there are more potential clients in these areas, just waiting to hear from you. Once you map out this information, create a postcard style flyer in color, on stiff coated stock, printed on both sides. Here is a sample of our approach. Distribute these to occupants in your target areas. To handle distribution, you can use the postal service or a private service, whichever works best in your marketplace. This is a volume game. We do runs of between six to twelve thousand post cards every month, depending upon where and when we have capacity for new business. Also, repetition is important in these campaigns. We target our best neighborhoods two to three times annually. It works!


An Effective Website

Last, but definitely not least, the internet is an effective and affordable marketing tool. Successful services sell on quality and value, not price. A dynamic, interactive website allows you to really “sell” the benefits of your services. We just rolled out a new site last month, wecleanhomes.com, and included a page called Why Choose Us? If they like the benefits we provide, then potential customers can navigate to another page which lists our services and prices. Finally, they can request a quote if they’re interested. When they do, eleven times out of twelve, we close the deal! Our new site was created using WordPress, a free online platform that provides templates, modules and plugins to help users create a website. We have learned that it’s important to fill our site with content that helps us build trust and authority with current and future clients. Once your site is created, you can maintain it yourself and pay hosting costs as low as $12 per month.


Word of mouth, demographic targeting and a great website are cost-effective marketing tools that can help you build a successful cleaning business. You’ve got the tools, now go find those clients!

Patrick Irwin is president of Windsor Home Cleaning, which he founded in 1978. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, this award-winning company now had forty cleaning technicians plus a full-time operations and finance staff. Click here for more info.

Below are examples of a newspaper and post card-style flyer, which can be cost-effective marketing tools.