So finally to start the New Year I'm taking action to start a side business and create some income for myself with the hopes of becoming financially free one day. I am actually setting goals by writing them down and completing each one.
So now i have a small cleaning business ready to go but i am terrified of approaching clients. Its more of a confidence thing since i am starting out for the first time and I do not a have business background. Are there any new small business owners that struggled getting started. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated thanks.
That is the struggle my friend. Getting yourself out there and either getting accepted or rejected. It is all about pracite, and for a business like yourself the practice happens live! How are you getting clients now? What are you offering that is different?
If you want to practice some steps feel free to email me: Allan@allandubon.com and I can jump on a video call with you and we can practice your pitch and I'll give you some advice.
What is your website? '
Thanks a lot for your advice Allan. I just finished getting started setting everything up. I am starting out just doing a combination of sending advertising letters to places I am interested in servicing, and doing walk ins introducing myself and my services.
I am currently working on a website as well. I will definitely shoot you an email.
Art, that definitely can be a tough one. Much of this goes back to our own self beliefs (if you haven't read the Big Leap - would recommend it), our experiences, and how we are wired.
Have you taken the DISC profile yet? If not, would high encourage you too - they have one on Sales and this would probably give you some great insights.
Way to go on writing down your goals! Something that might also be helpful is to write down what would happen if you don't strive for those goals as well as what will happen when you do hit your goals..this may give you incentive to reach down and grab courage and grit by the horns and move forward. Would also encourage you to look at sales as simply serving...do you think your clients would benefit from having you help them put their best foot forward in having a clean work environment for their staff and/or clients? Do you honestly believe you can do a great job in helping them work in an environment they enjoy coming to each day? If so, then go for it. You are simply serving them well. They deserve you!
In working with my coaching clients, we usually take what seems overwhelming to them and then break it down. Perhaps if you took reaching out to your clients in terms as numbers, it wouldn't seem so overwhelming. So, what if you were to pick a number of clients you wanted to reach out to in a month, and then break it down by week, then by day...what would that look like? For example, if you wanted to reach 100 potential clients a month, could you reach out to 25 a week, and 5 a day? How about 20 a month - one client a day, could you do this?
Why not have clients approach you instead? Cold calling can be terrifying but what about doing a groupon or something similar. Targeted facebook ads would also serve you well. The objective is to create a funnel for customers to come to you.
Art, I love this! Just this morning I knew that I had to make a phone call that I didn't want to make. The person I was calling would be the precise opposite of me on the DISC Personality profile--that can be frustrating. I made the call, played to his personality strengths, and the outcome was awesome. No warm fuzzies that I often find myself craving (this person just doesn't do that) but I needed some help and he is going to help me on Friday.
Taking that uncomfortable step is amazing.
I have used the 48 days method with some of my clients that are small businesses, authors, and musicians. They send a letter of introduction to the people they want to serve, then in a few days send their promo package, brochure, or just a one sheet sales page whatever they have prepared for marketing purposes. Then in a couple of days they call to set up an appointment or phone interview to talk about how they can serve the client. This approach works well. I would encourage you to create a system for getting clients right out of the gate. There's no reason to reinvent the wheel use a proven system and tweak it to fit your needs.
Art, I came across your discussion and want you to know you are in good company. Many people, even people well skilled in a profession find that when they have to market themselves, they have a great deal of self doubt. Most of the time the fear is because marketing is foreign to people who have been employees. Most of the time an employer takes care of doing the marketing and the employer is just a representative but that role is changed when YOU are the business owner.
Keep in mind that you are going to be approaching clients who really know THEIR business but not yours. You are the expert here. Start out by offering your potential clients perhaps a chance to try out your services for a period of time before making long term commitments AND realize that any suggestions you can give them about cleaning is a real plus.
Finally if you are setting goals and determined to complete each one, set a goal to contact 5 potential clients a week, but first get your message clear ( clarity about what you have to offer) and practice sharing/selling your message with friends/family until you know they understand how your business can help them and how you are different from your competition. That will help you gain confidence and improve your mindset as an entrepreneur! Please let me know if I can help you in any way. I'm at http://kathybrunner.com
Congratulations Art! That's very exciting. I have to admit that I've had the same thought about cleaning houses. There's something about cleaning a bathroom that's very zen-like for me. (I know, I'm weird.)
This had probably been said, but have you casually announced your side hustle to your existing network? I know I would be much more willing to allow someone I know and trust into my home than a complete stranger.
I'm sure this was mentioned as well, but have you thought about your USP - Unique Selling Proposition? What makes you special? As I've considered it myself, the reason I've never hired someone to clean my own home is that they're never detailed enough. If I ever decided to go this route, that would be part of my USP.
Once you've exhausted your existing network, I would make some simple yet attractive flyers and go door to door. Include your picture, contact information and why you're doing it/what makes you different. Maybe a brief testimonial. You can make beautiful flyers using canva.com. I hear you about not wanting to knock on doors. Here's a little trick, go out when people are out working in their yard, like on a Saturday afternoon. That helps you avoid the intrusive door knocking and gives you the opportunity to have face to face conversations. If you leave a flyer at the door of someone you didn't speak to, hand write a little note - had a great day talking to some of your neighbors, let's chat soon to see if there's a way I could help you too.
And don't forget referrals. Just ask. People love to help people they like. If you find that's not working, you could offer a bonus, like a free cleaning for every 3 referrals, or something. But that's usually unnecessary. Don't forget to thank them.
Let me know if you have any other questions and congrats on taking the first step!