Once you have gone through all steps of starting your pressure washing business, you are ready to start working on a power washing marketing or advertising program. Things like advertising, cold calling, building an internet site, placing yellow page ads, logos, business cards, passing out flyers, signs, and even word of mouth are all components that make up what people refer to as “marketing”. Marketing your business is simply a way of attracting customers to your business instead of them going elsewhere. Think of it as connecting demand to supply. To do this customers have to be able to find you and choose you over other companies. A good marketing program should be:
– It should clearly convey your message
– It should be targeted to your customers
– It should be cost efficient
– It should be labor efficient
– It should be organized
– It should get results
– It should get long lasting results
For pressure washing your potential customer can be anyone who owns a house, boat, car or anything else that needs cleaning. Also, anyone who owns a commercial business. Especially places like restaurants where range hoods need to be cleaned constantly. The good news is that your market is vast and broad. The bad news is that it is difficult to reach individual customers with any type of target marketing. Target marketing is where you find a customer that needs the service and make direct contact with them. This type of marketing is relatively inexpensive. Broad based marketing is where you are reaching out to a large group. This type of marketing is generally more expensive.
Target type marketing for pressure washing can be implemented using market segments. To do this you would establish a type of business you would target. Boat marinas would be an example of this. A google search will help you create a list of marinas and this will allow you to target these customers with some very inexpensive advertising. You will make direct contact with these customers normally via mail or a phone call. The customers in this category have a high potential of becoming customers which is why you will target them specifically.
To reach the other customers such as residential clients you would use a broader based advertising program so that customers that you did not find through your target marketing program could easily find you. I will start with some target marketing ideas and then move on to a broader based approach.
To reach potential customers using a target marketing approach you simply follow these easy steps.
1. Make a list of businesses that typically have items that need pressure washing on a regular basis. Apartments, hospitals, retirement homes, retail stores, car dealers, marinas, restaurants etc.. would be some potential customers.
2. If you need addresses for these customers, go to the property appraisers site on the internet and enter the property address to get the propery owners name and address. This is occasionally out of town which is fine. The owner or manager is normally the one who is responsible for cleaning and maintenance. If they have a management company that handles the property they will often refer you to them. For shopping centers simply call the number on the “for lease” signs in vacant units and send a letter to the management company that handles the facility. For hospitals, malls, factories, etc… use the main address for the establishment and mark it attention “Maintenance Supervisor”.
3. Send a professional letter stating that you power wash. Include your business card and any other information such as your years in business, the jobs you have done, hours of operation, insurance and workers compensation information. Keep track of who you have sent letters to. When you get responses make a note. After a few months send out new letters to those who have not responded.
This type of target marketing will normally result in quite a few jobs. Most will be commercial and many will lead to monthly contracts.
Broad Based Marketing
Some customers are going to be hard to reach with a target marketing program. It will be necessary for them to find you on their own. Broad based marketing does this by making your company information available to customers who look for it. An internet site would be an example of this. I have listed below several ways to get your name out starting from the cheapest way to the most expensive way. Remember to use several methods. The goal is for people to easily find you.
1. Google Local Business. Do a search on www.google.com for google local business and you will get a variety of links that will allow you to put your business on googles local business site for free. When someone in your area types in power washing or pressure washing your business will come up. A map of your location will also appear.
2. Yahoo Local Business. Search www.yahoo.com for local business. Also, do a search for carpet cleaning on yahoo and you will see their section of free business listings. This is similar to the google service and it is also free. Look for the “add business” link at the bottom of the page.
3. Craigslist is a very popular free local classified service. It is available all over the country. It is localized in that there are special craigslist pages for the major cities in the US. Simply advertise on the one for your city or the one nearest you.
4. Business Website. Having your own business website is very helpful and not necessarily expensive. I have used godaddy.com to host some sites with good results. There are also several other good companies that have online web building tools for you to use. Include plenty of content in your website as well as pictures. Make sure the title of your site includes the city you are in so that when people search they find you. You would use something like Superior Pressure Washing and Cleaning Service Los Angeles CA . This lets the search engines know what and where you are. Look at other power washing websites and see how they lay out there sites. You will give you a good idea of how yours needs to look.
5. Local newspaper business directories. Most papers have a business directory that is often inexpensive to advertise in. Put your business in as many as you can afford. It is effective to pay a small amount extra to make your ad stand out.
6. Yellow Page advertising. This was one of the best ways to reach people and also the most expensive. With the internet, yellow pages have become almost obsolete. If you have a business phone you will normally get a free listing. You can pay a little more you can get a bold or larger listing. I personally would recommend an in column type ad
7. Signs on Telephone Poles or the Roadside. Many counties do not allow signs in the right of way but check with yours to see. A sign company can make some small signs for you that say Pressure Washing and then your phone number. If you can do this type of advertising it is fairly effective.
Lastly, bidding jobs is a very important part of your marketing program. Make sure to show up prepared and on time. When doing bids make sure your proposal is neat and professional. Break out the different parts of the job without making it confusing. Make sure the customer has all the information they need to make a decision. Put your business license , insurance and workers comp information on the letter at the bottom especially on commercial jobs.
If you follow these basic steps you should stay as busy as you want to be.