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A business idea is only as good as the way you have chosen to present it to your customers. And how we decide to promote our business and tell about it to the whole world is what essentially a marketing plan is.
As you prepare to launch your new cleaning company, you need a marketing plan that answers a few key questions:
- What consumer needs does this service fulfill?
- Fore what customers are your services designed and suited?
- How are your services better than your competitors?
- What are the long term and short term goals of your cleaning company?
- What different ways will you use to promote and market it?
- How much money are you willing to spend on the company’s marketing and promotion?
As we learn how to create an effective marketing plan for a cleaning company, you will see that each stage answers one or more of these questions and many others.
1. Know Your Business: What Consumer Needs The Business WIll Fulfill?
The more you know about your business – its strengths and weaknesses – and the clearer you are about the business objectives, the more comprehensive and goal-oriented your marketing plan can be. Sometimes a marketing plan is about a single goal — for example, the rebrand of your cleaning company logo. Sometimes your logo is more far-reaching, like a marketing plan to launch a brand new cleaning service.
No matter why you need a marketing plan, be clear about its nature, end goals, and objectives.
A well thought out marketing plan is indicative of a business that knows itself. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to layout in terms of figures, numbers, and facts the nature of your business, what your business vision is ten years down the line, and how it helps your consumers.
2. Niche Target Audience: Who Your Business Serves
Who your prime audience is will drive a large part of your marketing plan. For example, the target audience for a car wash service and a house cleaning service might be quite different. The latter will require you to offer a more personalized service, flexible timings, and the ability to deal with last-minute schedule changes. For the former, your approach will need to be much more fast-paced and professional.
Knowing your target audience will also tell you the communication channels to use. Perhaps a lot of your target audience, working mothers for your house cleaning company, are more active on Facebook. If so, you don’t need to design an email marketing campaign to drive your sales or generate leads.
Similarly, to attract customers for your car cleaning service, a personalized email marketing plan may be the thing that works. A marketing plan that has a grasp over who its prime market is distributes efforts more strategically. Your business stands to gain more benefits with seemingly less work.
3. Know Your Rivals: How Your Cleaning Company is Better Than Others
The niche target markets are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and mature. To convince the potential consumers to buy from you and not from your competitor, you have to offer them something of value that your competitor cannot.
To know the limits of your rival company, you need to know their business almost as well as you know your own. You need to know where their weaknesses lie, the areas that they aren’t paying attention to, and discover opportunities that they aren’t.
It takes time, won’t happen overnight. It also takes a lot of work which you should be willing to put in. But once you have this thorough knowledge, you can create a marketing plan that answers the most relevant customer problems and lets you capitalize on your strengths much more effectively.
4. Marketing Objectives: Short-term and Long-term Goals
For a cleaning business marketing plan to work, or any business for that matter, it is crucial to set some objectives, long term and short term goals against which you can gauge how well (or not) the plan is going. Ideally, your cleaning company marketing plan should cover the marketing efforts, activities, and strategies for at least the first year, if not two.
This approach will help you break down your goals in more strategic compartments, and measure your progress in a much more organized way. For example, the first year to offer discounted pricing for households; the second year, reach out to corporate customers; third-year offer bundled packages; and so on. It will also help you detect flaws and pitfalls, and you can modify your path accordingly.
For the short term goals, you can focus on brand awareness and brand recognition. For long term goals, you should perhaps think about establishing a solid brand identity, increasing profits, and future growth.
5. Budget: Set Aside a Realistic Amount
Your marketing budget and the different marketing channels you’ll use to promote the cleaning business are the two factors that hugely influence each other. How much budget you need depends on how many channels you will use for your concentrated marketing plan. Furthermore, what and how many of those channels will you be able to use depends on your budget.
So sit down with your finance team or accountant and determine a realistic amount on which you can all agree. As we talk more about the different marketing channels in the next point, you’ll be able to have an idea of how much marketing budget you’ll need.
6. Communication Channels: Different Ways to Market the Business
Communication channels for a marketing plan include both the traditional marketing platform and a multitude of digital ones. A comprehensive marketing plan for your cleaning company must involve both.
Before you can begin marketing, traditional or digital, you’ll need to hire a web designer to create a professional website. A professional cleaning website will cost between $3,000 and $5,000, so you will want to budget accordingly. Not having a website will limit your growth opportunities and prevent you from reaching your marketing goals, so you will want to make a website your top priority. Contact one of our Web Designers for a quote.
Depending on your business size, niche market, and budget, your marketing plan should be a balanced mix of promotions through billboards, TV/radio ads, bench marketing, flyers, and the digital channels such as:
- Paid search
- Pay per click ads
- Social media
- Content marketing
- Email marketing, and more.
7. Leverage FREE Directories and Local SEO
Apart from these, one of the most important aspects of online marketing for small businesses and startups is local SEO. For cleaning businesses, especially which is dependent on the neighborhood, they should use local SEO to get as near and accessible to customers as possible.
One way to do this is to get your business listed on major directories, including Google My Business, Care.com, HomeAdvisor.com, and Angie’s List. When your company has a listing in such directories, it would be easy for your customers to search for you the next time they need your services. Select the proper service locations for your business including neighboring towns and outlying cities near to your town. Try to get as many online reviews as possible, which will strengthen your reputation and add to your bag of leads for future business.
8. Contract with competitors
Another way to make your cleaning business accessible to customers is by contacting and contracting with large cleaning companies and franchises in addition to the direct consumers. It may prove less profitable, but expanding your sources of revenue would ensure that you have a continuous flow of customers as well as a steady stream of income. Franchises can also provide a great reference and name recognition to help you grow your brand as a trusted name in the cleaning industry.
9. Use Free Small Business Resources
Cleaning companies are considered small businesses and typically have just one location. Fortunately, there is a multitude of free and low-cost options for small businesses today. For example, Mailchimp offers a free account for small business owners so you can do professional email marketing to customers for little to no cost.
10. Measure your success with Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
It is generally is easy to roll out a marketing plan and measure progress with fewer locations to consider. To measure your plan’s success across each of these different channels, you should set some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). It will help you distribute your efforts and resources more effectively and in a more focused way.
11. Promotional Calendar
Creating an organized marketing plan for your cleaning company will have a higher chance of success only because it produces less confusion among the team, and can be followed through in a gradual process.
Therefore, you will want to create a promotional calendar where the steps of the plan are recorded and presented visually. Documenting your marketing plan in a schedule will help you see whether all the activities you have planned are spread most effectively or not.
12. Launching the Marketing Plan
The launch of the marketing plan is essentially the announcement of your new cleaning business. Therefore, it should be impactful, with a clear message, and must contain your CTA – call to action – asking the customers to take action: to call now and make a housekeeping appointment, or book your cleaning or click on the link to know more.
Make sure that different people responsible for carrying out different parts of the plan are clear about their goals and objectives. Create procedural guidelines, KPIs to follow, and must be consistent in their brand communications, whether they are answering phones, replying to emails, communicating over your Facebook page, or handling your Twitter.
Consistent, and cohesive follow-throughs during each stage of the marketing plan will ensure that your business is a success.
Creating a marketing plan can be quite daunting and complicated, especially if you’re just getting started. But let us assure you that it can also be some of the most creative, intense, and fun experiences of your job as a marketer.
Very few things speak as vocally as a successful marketing plan in your resume.
Brianna Jensen is a content specialist who curates, writes, and promotes content for online businesses. Connect with her to discover a world of content types, fit for your organizational needs.