1. How do I get new business?
1st you need to have a clear business plan. Part of the business plan you will need to indicate the type of jobs you will be chasing. This will help you to narrow down your search list and target your preferred market.
2. When do I employ staff?
Employing staff can be difficult and place a financial strain on your business. Do you get the work before staff or retain staff and hope you get the work? You need to have an on-boarding process in place where you can have a selection of qualified workers ready for the time you are awarded new business.
3. How do I advertise?
Advertising can be achieved in multiple ways. The most effective person selling your business SHOULD be you! Face to Face with the correct marketing strategy. Social media and search engine platforms will require different marketing skills and content writing.
4. Who can I talk to?
Reaching out to discuss your business can feel very personable. You need to develop trust with the other party and ensure they have the same morals and goals as you. Some people, although sound good on paper, may not be the right fit for you. The person you are talking to about your business does not necessarily need to come from your industry. All business owners have similar struggles. Giving others your hard-earnt information can be difficult and sometimes like getting blood from a stone. You need to remember; it can be embarrassing letting your defences down and expressing your limitations as a business owner.
5. Why will no one give me a chance?
When approaching a new potential job lead, you need to remember they do not know you. You are trying to sell your services over a competitor and you may all have the same sales pitch and price is the only difference. Remember to add value to your services. Sell them the dream, do not sell yourself. (No-one wants to talk about you, people want to talk about themselves). Understand their pain points and help them understand how your company can remove the pain for them.
6. Do I need training and where do I go?
Continual training is key to growth and success. Understanding as many aspects of owning, running, and developing a business required constant changes and growth strategies. Working to a structure and repeatable program will help grow and develop a strong base for your business. For additional growth and expansion, the development of new structures and repeatable programs will need to be implemented. Growth with the business owner and staff = continuing education and training. CARSI is developing an online platform to ensure the growth in your business can be managed and supercede your requirements for continual growth.
7. What training do I need?
Look at your current model and try breaking down each of your offered services. Can you add additional value to the client without adding additional costs. E.G can you pick up rubbish and cigarette butts around the entrance of the building? Can you offer a service to pressure wash the concrete walkway to the front door every 6 months, etc. These services may only require some additional in-house training and changes to your cleaning programs. Further education when specialising will be required depending on the task. Look at requirements for OH&S training, working at heights, etc.
8. How do I learn to upsell?
Upsell; to increase sales. Additional services for your client. How to; selling can be looked at as hard selling — cold calling, pressuring into a service, or soft selling — advise provided, brochures left behind, video marketing, etc. Remember the most expensive cost for a business is labour. Once you are already onsite, the cost to acquisition a new lead is diminished. A good tactic for upselling is a soft approach. Leave a brochure behind with your additional services, ensure your receipt shows your additional services and you can also supply a free quote for additional works you think may interest your client.
9. How do I charge more for my services?
The formula for pricing a job correctly is easy. You need to understand the cost of the acquisition to understand your businesses hourly charge rate:
- advertising costs
- business costs including office space, admin, phones, vehicle, maintenance, fuels, etc.
- labour time including getting to the claim, on the claim, returning from the claim
- materials and chemical costs
- and other cost
If you do not understand your “Cost of Business” you can quickly go broke. Now you know the cost of business, you need to sell the value of your services. Once you can clearly advice your clients of the exception value for money for your services (and you believe this) you will be able to cost jobs appropriately. Australian laws prevent companies from under paying their staff. Do not let your company get caught in underpayment. It is better to lose a good quote than to win a bad quote.
10. Can I add additional services without spending any further funds?
Growing your current business with the tools you already have can be as simple as re-educating yourself on the applications of your tools. Most tools are designed to have several different functions. It may be an opportunity to contact our supplier, introduce yourself, and ask for further demonstrations. Some time you may need to think outside the box. There are many things cleaners can offer with only their own two hands. Rubbish pickup and keeping high traffic areas cleaner would be a couple.
11. Is it better to be “The Boss”, an employee, or a sub-contractor?
All have advantages and disadvantages. Being “The Boss” can allow you to have more time for other things during the working day only if you have set your business to operate without you. Not having the worries of when I am going to get paid for that job, where is the next job coming from, how am I going to pay for advertising, etc. can be a whole lot less stressful at times. Not everyone is suited to become a boss and not everyone is suited to be bossed. As a subcontractor, you need to play both sides of the fence. You need to be the boss of your enterprise as well as the employee. Job security is not as a direct employee, but you are able to have more freedom and pick and choose your work load.
12. Do I need to build a business strategy and is it important?
All training is relevant to your business strategy. You need to have a clear outlook at the present and future growth in your business. Think about this analogy; you can fill your car full of gas and just drive. Without a plan or destination, you may get there somehow, but you will get there quicker if you have mapped out your trip. The same in business. Map out your business trip, it can and most likely will change as you go on your journey, but hopefully it will cost less to reach your goal. It is very important.