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Specialize or Generalize Your House Cleaning Business?

Specialize or generalize your house cleaning business?

It’s a saturated market and if you specialize you can grow your cleaning business. Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru calls it side door selling. 

A savvy cleaner will target a specific audience and specialize in one or two areas. Appliance cleaning or garage cleaning are a good specialty. It’s advertising on steroids where you market more than just a maid service. 

Today’s sponsors are Bedicalcare and My Cleaning Connection.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Specialize or Generalize Your House Cleaning Business?

Specialize or Generalize, Freezer With Icy BuildupAll right, on to today’s show which is about specialization. I got an email from a guy who wanted to know, “There’s so much competition in my area. Should I specialize in one or two things?” 

If you are unsure of his question, this is what he means. Should he promote his business as a specialized cleaning company? For example, he only cleans appliances or defrosts freezers as his business. And then maybe a couple other specialties like cleaning upholstery. 

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Answer: Specialize or Generalize Your House Cleaning Business?

Specialize or Generalize, Many House CleanersNow, this is an excellent idea. Yes, the market’s s oversaturated with house cleaners. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s oversaturated with good house cleaners.

Or with house cleaners who specialize in a particular area.

Side-Door Selling

So you are thinking that you want to go in through a side door.

And that’s what I call it, side door selling.

You want to do this instead of jumping right out there and saying, “Hey, I do houses”, instead, specialize or die trying.

You Could Specialize in Oven Cleaning

Specialize or Generalize, Cleaning StovetopThere are a lot of people that they don’t think their whole house needs a professional cleaning. But they know it’s been a long since they’ve cleaned out their oven and they don’t want to do it themselves.

It could even be somebody that’s moving and they know that they need to clean the oven before they leave.

The reasons to specialize your business are many. If you have a flyer that says I do these special projects, yes, that is a great way to get inside the door.

You Could Specialize in Garage Cleaning

Specialize or Generalize, Cluttered GarageThere was a girl in our network who only cleaned garages. And so she had a little sign that would sit out in front of people’s houses while she was cleaning their garage.

And she made it a point to do most of her jobs on the weekend because she had questions that the homeowners had to answer. For example, “Do you want to keep this piece of equipment or can I send it on to the Goodwill?” or something like that?

She would open the garage door and put the little sign out front. Then she would pull everything out of the garage. And then the neighbors would drive by and there’s a person in the garage and that’s not their neighbor.

Specialize: Marketing Yourself

Specialize or Generalize, Mailbox With Newspaper BoxThen they see the sign like this person cleans garages.

And they’re like, “Well, holy cow. My garage needs a cleaning, too.” And so she would only work one neighborhood at a time. While she was there, she would put fliers in newspaper boxes. 

If she met anyone she would have a conversation with them. “Hey, I’m in the neighborhood cleaning one of your neighbor’s garages today. And so here’s my information. If your garage needs a cleaning as well, let me know. I will give you the neighborhood discount.”

Who knows if there was a neighborhood discount, but she got a lot of business.

Expanding Your Services

Specialize or Generalize, Clean Organized GarageNow the truth is, she also did housecleaning. After she did an amazing job with the garages, then people would say, “Wow! You did such an amazing job.”

And she’d say, “By the way, I also do housecleaning if you know anybody.”

A lot of people would look at the work that she’d done and they’d say, “Oh, my goodness. You also clean houses? Well, I’m not satisfied with the house cleaner I have right now.”

Using a Specialization to Build Up Referrals and References

No Soliciting, House Cleaning Woman Wiping CounterDo you see how that just happened? They already had a house cleaner. She wasn’t competing for the housecleaning business.

She came in through a side door and offered something the house cleaner did not offer.

They were happy with the work and with her pricing. So she’d built up this great list of referrals and references. Then she came in through the back door, and she did take a lot of other business away from existing house cleaners.

I Am Not Telling You to Steal Business Away, But…

Specialize or Generalize, Glowing DoorwayNow I’m not suggesting that you go out with the intention of stealing business away. But that’s how we all get our jobs. Someone decided the existing house cleaner they had was not effective.

So whether we like it or not, whether we want to admit it or not, we all take business from other house cleaners. It’s not intentional. That’s not our goal, to knock someone else out of business. 

But if you come in through a side door, you’re offering another service first.

Is it Profitable to Specialize?

Specialize or Generalize, Clean or New OvenA cleaning specialty can be profitable, depending on if you do many houses in the same area.

It would not be profitable to clean someone’s oven and then drive 45 minutes to clean a different oven. That’s not going to be profitable.

But, what you might do pass out a flier in a single neighborhood. The flier could say, “I’m in your neighborhood this week and I’m cleaning out ovens. So if you need your oven cleaned from top to bottom, it’s a one and a half hour process, and I can make it look brand new. Here’s my price.” 

Specialize In a Flat Price

Hands collecting money as service provider not familyYou may have a flat price for an oven because most ovens are the same. They’re about the same size, and we know how much gunk can accumulate inside an oven.

So even if it’s  nasty, you can price your oven at that nasty price and cover all your houses. And even if a particular house doesn’t have an oven that’s that dirty, pricing is going to be about the same.

The process to clean it is going to be about the same. It will be an easy job to budget and actually have a price on your flier. Then when you get to the person’s home, you’ve built a little bit of rapport.

Third Party Endorsements

We love a referral fee at SavvyCleaner.comSome people will be there while you’re doing it. They’ll chitchat with you while you’re cleaning the oven, whatever.

Then you can say, “well, by the way, I also do house cleaning. If you know anybody, here’s my flier.”

They might say, “Well, I don’t need house cleaning. I already have a house cleaner. But I know that my neighbor is not happy with her house cleaner, so let me give my neighbor’s friend.”

Offer a Free Quote

Lady talks on phone“Oh, by the way, while I’m here cleaning your oven, would you mind giving her a call for me? Tell her that I’m in the neighborhood. I could even swing by and give her a quote.”

And they go, “Sure. I’ll do that.” Now it’s third-party endorsement.

The neighbor is going to call their neighbor. They will say, “Hey, John is at my house right now cleaning my oven, and he also does housecleaning. He just did an excellent job in my oven. Would you like him, while he’s in the neighborhood, to swing by and give you a price on your housecleaning?”

And the person’s like, “Well, yeah, sure. Have him come give me a free estimate.”

Specialize and Boom!

Specialize or Generalize, House Cleaner on Floor Talking on PhoneNow you’re already in the neighborhood. You already have goodwill in the neighborhood, and you just got a referral from a job you just did.

So is it profitable? Yes, it is.

It’s profitable if you market it the right way. So should you specialize? My two cents: YES! 

All right. Until we meet again. Leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.  

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

Mattress Encasements to Prevent Allergies –

The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Target Your Audience! Get Out Your Message! Build Your Brand! –

No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses –

No B.S. Guide to Maximum Referrals and Customer Retention: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Plan to Securing New Customers and Maximum Profits –

No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Guide to Producing Measurable, Monetizable Results with Social Media Marketing –

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