What is the first thing most people think about on day one of starting a business? The very first thing is probably building a business plan and a budget, but after that, most think about getting some equipment to do the jobs. You can’t do any jobs without the equipment required, but you also can’t make any money having all the equipment without having any customers to service. Now, I’m not saying you should have a ton of customers without equipment, but the customer base is the number one priority.
When you first start, you almost have to take every job out there coming to you, that is, if you want to pay your bills and eat every day. Once you get established, you can pick and choose what jobs you want to do, which, to me, is where the fun begins. It could be for a ton of reasons that you fire customers, they are rude, difficult to work with, have to chase the money down, or the house hasn’t been cleaned in 50 years; you name it.
When it comes to building a strong customer base, it doesn’t matter if you are a small company or a large one. Once you get the customers you like from your advertising, the job is now to over deliver, and do everything in your power to ensure they have the best experience with your company. After the job is complete, it’s best to give them a calendar that they can get on every 3 months, 6 months, or once a year. Now on the topic of doubling your customer base in 12 months, this is not the easiest way to do it, but it is the most effective way.
I know a few guys that do no advertising, aren’t able to take on new customers, and are booked every day through the year. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s possible. It’s all in following up, having a good CRM to keep track of your customers, and of course, doing great work. If you have half of your year completely filled, you just need every single one of your customers every six months, there goes your full year completely booked. Easier said than done, of course.
When it comes to advertising, it’s very important to know where your leads are coming from. The goal is to not have to advertise anymore, so once you can find out what is and is not working, you can narrow down what ad space you need to shovel your money into. It’s hard enough trying to double your customer base with ads alone, it’s even worse if you don’t track which lead source is working and which are not. If you’re not tracking, you’re burning your money in some form or fashion.
Another great way to get FREE leads to double your customer base is to ask if you can get 4-5 references of people they may know who would need their windows cleaned once the job is complete. If you can snag a few referrals, those are usually the best type of customers, they already trust you since they have had their friends or family already use you. Most referrals tend to turn into repeats. There is a big difference between customers that are searching for a company, basically shopping around and a customer who already has a company in mind when they think of the service they need to complete.
Once you reach the point of doubling your customer base, you can decide if you would like to expand and hire, and then try and double what you just doubled, or stay at the same place you are in. This could include you staying solo or adding another truck. Most people think when you add another truck you double your profits, which is not always the case. Most of the time, doubling your employees can double your anxiety and stress. I’ve seen countless amount of times when multiple employees walk out the door people don’t know what to do. No matter what you decide, doubling your customer base in a short amount of time is doable with the correct systems and communication in place.