Janitorial Business Marketing Fundamentals

The basis of any marketing program in the janitorial industry must encompass every available vehicle. The marketplace is too competitive to rely on old stand-bys that worked in the past. The companies that are experiencing solid growth understand the current market.

Old line companies that do not understand the market have seen growth stagnant or stand still. Failure to understand the current competitive landscape will yield disappointment and waste valuable limited resources particularly in a small or start-up in today’s market.

The vehicles that MUST be employed include the traditional ones of;

1. Networking through professional associations

2. Telemarketing

3. Direct mail

4. Fax follow up

5. Personal sales calls

6. Public relations ie; writing for local media, volunteer programs, community involvement.

Now with the wide spread use of computers these vehicles MUST include;

1. Email campaigns

2. A significant web presence (optimized) which includes a web site, a response device, an on going blog updated twice weekly, video/audio links (NO cheesy, home made videos, they will only HURT)

3. A unique selling proposition ( a position that differentiates one company from all others )

4. A social media presence

All of the vehicles must be employed and then integrated to work together. No one vehicle will work all by itself and each vehicle cannot be pulling in separate directions. Using one or two will not work effectively, period. Not having them integrated will not work either. Now here’s the really important piece, just one or two methods worked at one time. Many great companies were built with just networking or just personal sales calls.

The old standard vehicles of advertising just won’t work any more and if the truth be known, they never did work that well. Newspaper advertising is dead. TV and radio never worked for commercial janitorial services. In some markets good sized office buildings get three to four sales calls before lunch. There has been a five fold increase in the number of janitorial companies over the last 30 years in the United States.

One reason is a proliferation of janitorial franchise companies and prepackaged “success” kits sold on the internet. The secret of the janitorial franchise business is that the money paid to the franchise company eats into what was once profits and individual franchise owners are little more than employees with no benefits. Insiders admit that a master franchise owner or the franchise company itself is a license to steal.

The days of 4 TV channels is over as are the days of horse and buggys, THINGS CHANGE. Some folks recognize the changes and some are stuck in some nostalgic fog. That’s why today you see 60 year old guys running around with pony-tails, ear rings and Jefferson Airplane Concert t-shirts, that punctuate every sentence “faaar out”.

You have two choices, recognize the current reality or “keep on truckin'” down nostalgia row and you too can wind up in a multi-colored, VW microbus covered with daffodils and peace signs, broken down on the interstate, which will definitely NOT be “faaar out”!

Ed Selkow