Ah…it’s good to be back…

Over the last 3 to 4 months I’ve been relatively quiet on this blog and in staying in touch with window cleaners via my email newsletters. But I’m back, and from this point forward I’ll be staying in touch on a regular basis.

Basically the long and short of it as far as the reason for my absence is my wife started having these massive migraines back in november. Fast forward to january and after lots of testing it turns out she had an AVM which is a malformation in the brain (right temporal lobe).

Right around this time she ended up in the hospital and had a mild stroke. She then had cyberknife surgery to attack the AVM and now it’s just a wait and see game. But right around this time she ended up back in the neuro intensive care unit and we think she threw another stroke.

Anyway…between the back and forth, back and forth (the hospital isn’t local), it didn’t leave much time for staying in touch. So I apologize for that. We were able to continue to provide top level support for my software program (and also add a bunch of new features thanks to my programming team) and I was able to answer all emails and phone calls (if I missed anybody, please let me know) from window cleaners, but as far as preparing newsletters and sending them out, there wasn’t enough time in the day.

Plus I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to preparing my newsletters, so what might take one person a couple hours to prepare, it takes me a week or two. :) But that’s going to end. I overcame being a perfectionist when cleaning windows, so it’ll be no problem overcoming it when preparing/sending my newsletters or posting to my blog.

My commitment going forward is to send you helpful information as it comes in. I talk to a lot of window cleaners and I run into some really good information on a regular basis. Plus I’ll continue to post about things I’ve done in my own window cleaning business. What I did previously was store it all up and then piece meal it all together over a week or two as mentioned. Kind of like being back in school again making sure it’s just right. But from here on out I’m going to send it to you right away. If it’ll benefit you, then I shouldn’t be sitting on it.

So it could be an email with a link to quick blog post that I make which I feel might benefit you. Or it could be a long blog post. There’s just no telling.

Anyway…it’s good to be back. If you need anything, please let me know. Take care and have a great day.

Regards,

Steve

P.S. The Customer Factor is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds and is really getting some great exposure in various forums on the ‘net. This is a serious tool for serious window cleaners (or any service business). If you’re looking for a way to grow your business with an automated software solution, then look no farther than The Customer Factor. Just the emailing and cross marketing features alone will build your customer base. It’s all about follow up and staying in touch, so if you don’t have a quick ‘n easy way to do that, then you simply won’t see the results that you should.

 



To Scale or Not To Scale

Sometimes I’ll get a phone call or email from someone who is having a hard time trying to do it all such as all the marketing, all the actual work, all the customer service, all the follow up, etc.

And there’s no doubt about it…it can be tough wearing so many hats, especially just starting out.

But the biggest hat (and the most important) in the mix which is marketing can be eliminated if you’re willing to invest just a few bucks. We’re not talking about any major investment…just a FEW bucks.

Your business will grow at a snail’s pace if you attempt to do it all. So why not hop on craigslist.org or put a cheap ad in the paper looking for 1 or 2 flyer distributors. It may cost you $35 per person to deliver flyers for you every single saturday, but it’ll be the best 35 bucks you ever spend. Get 2 for 70 bucks and see what happens.

If you have lots of gated communities in your area, then print up some commercial flyers and arm the person with a short pitch (real short. ex: hi my name is so and so and we own <window cleaning company name> here in town. Just wondering if we can provide you a quote to clean your windows), and have ’em walk into various businesses. Although I’ve never been a huge fan of commercial work, they do need clean glass so they need your services.

Some window cleaners have this employee mentality where they’re just flat out afraid to invest any money. I can understand that some folks may not be as well positioned financially as other folks, and that’s ok. We all have to start somewhere. But if you can make some short term sacrifices by moving a few bucks around that you “spend” every month, you can usually free up a few extra bucks in order to “invest” in your business.
Read more…


Christmas Light Installation Service Letter

Christmas Light Installation

I wrote a post recently where I included a couple of new service announcement letters that you can send to your customers when you announce any new service. If you missed that particular post, feel free to check it out.

But this blog post today talks about a letter or email you can send to your customers announcing a specific new service…and that service is Christmas Light installation.

Christmas is right around the corner, so this is the perfect time to let your customers know about it. You already have the ladders, so why not offer this service? It takes no money to get started (either in equipment or in finding customers since you’re working with your existing customer base), and it’s all profit. It’s truly one of those no brainer decisions.

I personally charged hourly for this service and just estimated how long I thought a job might take. I liked to try and get $50 an hour since that was my average hourly cleaning windows. So you could easily make $200 to $300 or more for each installation. It just depends on how big the house is, how many lights/decorations they want to put up, etc. etc.

Anyway…here is a letter that you can send to your customers to announce this service:

Read more…


Private Browsing For Accurate Results

Private Browsing

The other day I posted an article about how you need to be careful when checking your own website’s search engine rankings. If you missed it I’d recommend that you read that first before reading this particular blog post.

Today I’d like to add to the previous post by recommending that IF you do decide to check your own website rankings by typing in keywords you think searchers might be searching for in your area, then you must browse privately.

I’ll explain how to do this in a second, but to provide a little background, google knows what results are valuable to you. It’s very easy really. I mean if you do the same searches and visit the same websites, google considers these websites valuable to you.

So let’s say you search for your website using a keyword (ie: “boca raton window cleaning” assuming you live in boca raton). Your website is on the front page in the #5 spot. You then click through and visit your own site.

Read more…


Don’t Ever Give Up!

I saw this inspiring video and thought I’d post it here. Get your tissues ready. :)

Steve


Be Careful Checking Your Search Engine Rankings!

Happy People

Today’s blog post is all about why it’s very, very important that you don’t check your rankings in google for your website. If you do, then it could actually hurt your rankings.

To explain, there have been some changes to the search engines over the last few months and a couple of those changes involve the bounce rate (how fast a visitor leaves your site) and user feedback.

Ranking highly in google is not only about how many keywords you have on the page anymore or how strong your meta tags are. It’s becoming more and more about how visitors interact with your website.

Let’s look at an example.

Let’s say you’re ranked in the 5th position on page one in google for your keyword of “window cleaning boca raton”. Let’s say that you’re excited about this (certainly understandable), so you check the rankings every day hoping you’ll go up the rankings even more.

So you type “window cleaning boca raton” (w/o the quotes) in the google search box and click search. You see where your site is and you then close the window. You do this a half a dozen times per week.

What you’re actually doing is sending the message to Google that a half dozen times per week NO sites ranking on page 1 for that keyword were enticing enough for you. You didn’t click any of them, did you? Right, so that’s exactly what you told Google. You’re basically telling Google that none of the sites – yours included – should be ranked there because the results didn’t match what you needed.

This will harm your rankings. If you check your rankings just to see what position you’re in and then click away, you could realistically cause your search engine ranking to be lowered. Not good.

Another gauge that google is using to determine rankings is the bounce rate. To put it simply how long does someone stay on your site? At what rate do they click the “back” button? How do they leave your website? Via a link you shared with them, or another way?

Generally, the longer they stay the better… the deeper into your site they get (the number of pages) the better, and if they leave (via a link) following something you’ve recommended, that’s even better.

So let’s say you’re searching for your keyword to check out your ranking as mentioned earlier, but instead of clicking away as talked about above, you do click through into your site. Maybe you want to see if it loads good, whether it’s still there, or maybe you’re just proud of it and want to look at it real quick so you can pat yourself on the back. :)

So you enter your site, check it out for a couple of seconds and then click the back button. That simple act has told google that the site you just visited didn’t have the information you needed. So that’s why you clicked away so fast. So the bounce rate has been adjusted downward which once again can affect your rankings in a negative way.

Let’s look at one more possible scenario where you need to be careful. Read more…


Two New Service Announcement Letters

Happy People

A window cleaner recently asked if I could come up with a couple of letters for him that he can send to his current customers announcing a new service. Below I’ve listed two that you can use.

Hi ,

I hope this letter finds you well. As a valued customer of ours, we felt it was important to send you a notice that Clearly Services now offers an additional service. And that service is dryer vent cleaning.

Getting your dryer vents cleaned regularly is extremely important. More than 15,000 house fires per year are attributed to clogged dryer vents. You can view this short 4 minute video to see the importance of maintaining clean dryer vents:
**video link here**

As our way of introducing this new service to our customers, we are offering a limited time discount special of $25 off until September 30th. Normally we charge $99 for a thorough dryer vent cleaning service, but until September 30 we’re offering this valuable service for just $74!

Please call us at and book your dryer vent cleaning today. Thank you for your business and have a great day.

Best Regards,

Steve
Clearly Services

P.S. I encourage you to view the video above to understand the importance of having clean and unclogged dryer vents. This is definitely not something you want to put off until “later”.

The above letter is assuming dryer vent cleaning is your new service (recommended as it is profitable), but you might be getting requests from your customers to offer any service. If you get enough requests and you decide to offer whatever service they’re requesting, here’s a different letter you can send:

Read more…


5 Tips To Generating Online Reviews

Happy People

Generating online customers reviews is one of the most important things you can do for your window cleaning business. Major companies have a huge amount of exposure online and offline, but smaller companies don’t have the same resources, so leveraging customer reviews can really make your business stand out and it’s very cost effective too (as in free).

With people being so busy these days, it can be a challenge sometimes getting them to take the time to leave a review, so below I’ve listed 5 tips on how you can encourage your customers to leave you a review:

1) If you invoice your customers, make sure you use the invoice space wisely. Don’t just list the job and price info. on the invoice and that’s it. In The Customer Factor, members have a personalization area on their invoices where they can insert whatever text they want to. So again, take advantage of some of the empty spacing on your invoices to include a request for the customer to leave a review.

Read more…


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