The Franchise Alternative [Our Story]
We Started As A Cleaning Franchise Owner:
Our story began 15 years ago when we purchased a janitorial franchise. We had no experience in the cleaning industry and at the time it seemed like a relatively easy and inexpensive way to start a business. The franchise company provided us with new accounts. All we had to do was pay for the accounts and provide the service. It seemed like a no brainer.
All Our Profits Went To Pay Franchise Fees:
After purchasing several cleaning contracts from the franchise company, we realized that most of the jobs were seriously underbid. There was no profit left for us after we paid our employees and franchise fees.
After trying to keep our business afloat for a few years, we decided to sell the franchise and open an independent, janitorial company.
The Sales And Marketing Challenges Of An Independent Janitorial Company:
Starting an independent janitorial business isn’t easy. We knew how to clean, but we weren’t generating enough leads and closing enough contracts to grow our business. We needed a marketing system to generate qualified leads. Fine-tuning our bidding skills to sell more contracts was a must.
Why Cold Calling And Telemarketing Services Didn’t Work:
Initially, we cold called businesses from lists we purchased. This outbound marketing approach failed to produce enough qualified leads. Next, we hired an “expert” telemarketing service with appointment setting experience in the janitorial industry. We found that the leads were “cold” and difficult to close. The ROI didn’t justify our marketing expenses.
The Pitfalls Of Pay Per Lead Services:
Next we tried lower risk pay per lead services. Again, the leads we received were hard to close because most of the prospects weren’t interested in changing cleaning companies. We almost never met the decision maker on walkthroughs, wasted lots of time writing proposals and rarely closed accounts.
Direct Mail Was Hit and Miss:
We tried direct mail after several failed attempts at telemarketing and hired a company with “janitorial marketing experience.”
We followed the company’s advice and sent out a series of three direct mail pieces on several different occasions. Using this approach, we were able to close one account, but the ROI didn’t justify the expense again. We were still searching for a marketing system that would provide a reliable, consistent source of qualified leads with a good ROI.
Finally, A Marketing System For Local Janitorial Companies That Worked
After several failed attempts using outbound marketing techniques, we decided to try a strategy known as inbound marketing. The concept of inbound marketing is pretty simple. Business owners search online to find a cleaning company in their area. They look at the search results and contact one or more companies to provide quotes.
There are various inbound marketing strategies that can produce leads. They include writing blogs, doing SEO (search engine optimization) and or Google advertising (aka pay per click). Some methods take time to get results (e.g. SEO, blogs) while others (e.g. pay per click) offer an immediate way to generate leads and can produce a very high ROI.
In contrast to outbound marketing, which relies on randomly contacting businesses, inbound marketing captures your prospects attention at just the right time: when they’ve decided to hire a new cleaning company and are searching online to find one.
Is Inbound Marketing Affordable?
The answer to this question is a definite YES. But there is one caveat. It’s difficult for someone to get good results with little or no digital marketing experience. To reduce your risk, you should hire a marketing company with a proven track record in the janitorial industry.
We discovered this after hiring two different marketing companies that failed to provide a decent ROI for us. The reason: they had no experience marketing for janitorial companies and were using our money to experiment with different marketing strategies.
We decided to try our own hand at inbound marketing after several failed attempts at outsourcing. It took several years for us to develop a marketing system that produced consistent results with a high ROI. But, once that system was in place, we were able to double the size of our cleaning company in a matter of months!
Local Jani: The Franchise Alternative:
If you’re confused about different marketing strategies at this point, don’t worry. Marketing terms and systems can be complicated. The good news is that you don’t need to become an expert at inbound marketing because we’re here to help you every step of the way.
We offer various types of online marketing services that can get the types of leads you need. Every janitorial company has a unique situation and competitive challenge. We will evaluate what you need to get the best results in your area.
Local Jani’s turnkey marketing program was designed for local janitorial companies of any size. If you’re looking to take your company to the next level or have thought about buying a janitorial franchise, contact us to find out more about our affordable alternatives.
Get a free marketing consultation and start growing your cleaning company today.