The following article was written primarily for new carpet cleaners that need the all important initial boost to get the ball rolling, but can easily be implemented by business owners at any level.
I came across an older discussion post on one of the carpet cleaning forums today:
“I am starting a new carpet cleaning co. next year and have $30K set aside for advertising. I need some opinions on where that would be best spent. I was thinking of half page ads in all the yellow pages, a website, and direct mailings.”
Read the original discussion here:
It got me thinking: For new business owners, where should you spend your marketing dollars to really get going? Of course most newbies don’t have 30K leftover after dropping most of their money on equipment. Sure, you can get clients by pounding pavement, networking etc., but it is possible to get started advertising with a very limited budget ($100).
The Internet is by far the most cost effective way to jump start a new carpet cleaning business, but you have to do it right. I recommend a combination of craigslist ads and Google Adwords for immediate results.
Craigslist ads are free, but you must stand out and you must have an offer. People searching on craigslist want a deal, but you don’t have to compete with the “Bait & Switch” crowd. Just make sure you have some kind of special or limited time offer. It’s also a good idea to have some graphics and explanation of your services rather than just saying “3 Rooms Cleaned for $89”. Also, give details of your process, show clients that you are quality minded.
Depending on how big your market area is you may need to post articles daily or even 2 or 3 times per day because as new posts come in yours will slide down and eventually disappear.
Get your $100 bill ready! Google Adwords can be inexpensive if done correctly, but you must set up campaigns that target specific searches. Start out with $100 and make sure you limit searches to your specific area and only for Google search results not Google networks or partners. If you don’t set this correctly people from all over the country will click on your ad and waste your money. I also like to set a daily limit so my $100 is spread out over 15 to 30 days.
There is also an art to writing effective ads and it also requires some trial, error and testing. What if you don’t have a website? One of the great things about Adwords is that you don’t even need to have a website to get started, just a landing page. This can be easily created online for free. There are many websites that will help you accomplish this, but for best results have a professional designer or Internet marketer create one for you. Many marketers, including myself will set one up free of charge.
After you get your first few jobs it’s time to reinvest the money into more aggressive advertising with a website, seo, more Adwords, print advertising etc. This is just the starting point, but if done correctly can give you that much need initial boost.