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Start-up Marketing For Cleaning Companies

by Traci Isley

Marketing: 1) The act or process of buying and selling in a market. 2) The commercial functions involved in transferring goods or services from producer to consumer.

By now you probably have your required license/s insurance, bonding supplies and equipment, and you’re ready to get started! Congratulations! But how do you get those new clients? Marketing of course! I realize this can seem like a very BIG word for a small company, but in reality it’s not. Marketing can be as simple (and free!!) as telling everyone you know, and meet, who you are and what you do. It can be done through cold calling; you’re already paying a phone bill…use it to your advantage! Keep the calls local and there isn’t any additional cost. There are also sites like this one that offer a free listing for your company! See, 10 seconds into the article and you have 3 viable marketing campaigns and haven’t spent a dime!

Realistically, however, you will need to have some sort of printed materials available to potential clients. I suggest your first marketing expenditure be your business cards. The cost for these is minimal if you keep it simple. There are websites that offer free cards (if you don’t mind having their name or website printed on the back of your card) or you can find reasonable rates at office supply stores using their basic templates. You can even print your own if you are so inclined. Your business card is the foundation of your marketing; it provides all the vital information in a format that says “professional”. You will also need some flyers or introduction letters that you can leave with people, or mail to them, for their reference later on.

The Introduction Letter

The introduction letter is just what it sounds like. It is your business’ “Hello”. You want the letter to reflect who you are, and what your company is about. It can be formal or informal, but should remain “professional”. If you are intimidated by the thought of a “professional business letter”, there are many places to find templates for writing them. The local library is a good source, or a quick search on the web will provide many ideas for wording and professional structure.

The example on the right is a very basic layout for your letter. Remember to keep things very simple at this point. You are saying “Hello” not giving your resume. Your first paragraph should state briefly who you are and what you do.

Using bullet points draws the eye. They are easy to read, and are better able to hold the readers attention, which is what you need! Limit yourself to 3 or 4 bullets. These are the highlights of

your business. In your closing be sure to thank them for their time, and let them know you will follow up at a later time. Something like this: “A member of our staff will call you during the next week to answer any questions you have. If you prefer, you can call us at 555-5555.”

These are the “clinchers” or “attention grabbers” of your letter. These should be brief and to the point.
• We have over 15 years experience in the cleaning industry
• Satisfaction Guaranteed!
• Really unique trait!

Once you’ve written the letter and are happy with it, send it out to the companies you’d like to clean for. Keep an active list of contacts you’ve made and follow up with them. Whether it’s a notebook you update by hand or a computer contact manager, use the list and keep it current.

After the initial contact I suggest calling them. Set an appointment for a “free estimate.” Whether they need your services right now or not, offer the estimate for them to keep on file for future reference. Remember, each contact you make, by mail phone or in person builds a connection between you and your target client.


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Free Maid Service Flyer Templates

Download, print and market with these free residential cleaning company flyer templates. 

Just customize with your company name and number.


Flyers are an excellent tool for expanding on the selling points of your intro letter. They can be fun too! The biggest consideration in any marketing material is the client’s perception of it. Make sure to read it from their point of view before sending it on, what may be funny, or cute, or even TRUE in our industry, can very well be perceived as insulting toward the potential client. I am not saying you should refrain from using humor, just be sensitive to your contacts.

One flyer I read recently said: GOT THE DUST BUNNY BLUES?? WE HAVE THE CURE! They went on to explain the benefits of their “complete” dusting schedule. They targeted people with allergies, improved over all appearance of areas cleaned, and other factors that dust removal effects.

Another brochure I recently read gave information on their 7-point quality guarantee. They stressed client satisfaction, open communications, timely corrections for deficiencies and so on.

A very poor example I saw was this: A cartoon of a woman standing in the kitchen, mop in hand, screaming and pulling her hair with the other. The slogan? “What’s wrong with your cleaning service? I’m the one cleaning it!” The implication was supposed to be that this crazy person with a mop is cleaning your house. That is NOT the way it came across! It sounded like she was already cleaning your house… it was awful.

You will be best served by flyers when you pick a particular quality about your company and expand upon it. Are you family owned and operated? Do you have tons of experience? Are you driven to complete customer satisfaction? Is your focus to provide the cleanest work or home environment possible?

Once you determine what quality to showcase, begin asking yourself questions.
Why is this our focus? What one thing does this accomplish? Can we back up our claim? Why would potential clients benefit from this feature? Then begin your design. The experts say black ink on yellow paper is most eye catching. I urge you to experiment with color until you find what works best for you. Big bold titles, catch the attention of a reader quickly. Your content counts even this early on. If they aren’t interested in this, chances are they won’t continue reading it. So make it count!

Examples of cleaning service flyers

These are just examples. I encourage you to develop a company personality. Find the styles and topics you most believe put you above the rest and get the word out! Marketing… it’s for all of us!