Make the Most of Your Busy Season by Increasing Profits in Two Ways

Hopefully you are busy, after all this is the “busy season” for most, so it’s time to really dig in and reap the profits of your business.

Even someone who knows little to nothing about marketing their business the right way is often pretty busy during the spring and summer.

So what I want to talk about today is profitability.  You work hard for your money, But, are you working long days just to scrape by?  Or are you a running a profitable operation?  Can you can pay off any debts you might have accumulated during the slow time?  Have enough left over to float you through any future slow seasons?  Can you afford to hire the help you need?  To maintain your equipment, uniforms, and other aspects of “the face” of your company, so you’re running a quality operation?  If that’s your aim then let’s talk about how to increase profitability.

Basically you have two components influencing your profitability, your sales and your profit margins.  If you are busy, then let’s assume you’re making sales.  But how can you turn your current sales into more profits?

Sell Value Not Price

This is a great place to start this discussion, how to sell value, not price.  I’ve had this conversation with hundreds of cleaners over the years, and hopefully you are not your own worst price resistant client, insisting that your services aren’t worth more.

As a side note I have to tell you that if you are attracting your clients with the right kind of marketing, like the EDDM postcard system we offer for free, then you will be getting prospects calling you that are not price resistant, in fact, they often are ready to book you without even bringing up the subject of price.

But when you make that paradigm shift in your own mind, from just selling your service to providing VALUE and HELPING people, then you will see the value in your own service and give it the credit it deserves.  It really doesn’t matter what your competition is charging, if you can set yourself apart with incredible value, then you will attract those clients who are used to paying a premium for real value.

Think about it, aren’t there plenty of people willing to pay a much higher price point for a car like a Mercedes, who would not consider paying a lesser price to get a Hyundi?  Both vehicles offer safe and attractive transportation, but there is a higher perceived value to the client getting the $90,000 Mercedes, and therefore Mercedes gets that profit.

How can you raise the bar on your perceived value?

Here’s a few ways…

  • Make sure your van and equipment is in pristine shape and always clean.
  • Make sure you and your cleaning technicians well groomed and in clean, neat uniforms.
  • Offer courtesy calls if you’re running behind schedule.
  • Make sure you phone is always answered or that missed calls are promptly returned.
  • Have a website with a very modern look and feel.
  • Offer your clients/prospects price packages to choose from.
  • Offer “green”, low chemical options.
  • Educate your prospects and clients about all the wonderful services your provide and why they can trust you.
  • Everyone in your company should wear shoe covers in a client/prospect’s home.
  • Offer furniture protectors and door covers.
  • Leave behind professional looking “after care” instructions and a “thank you.”
  • Do reminder calls and quality control follow up calls.
  • Send a thank you in the mail a few days after a cleaning.
  • Wow your clients with your bend-over-backwards for them high quality service.
  • Educate your clients and prospects about what constitutes a great cleaning service, what not to allow in their home and what they should watch for to protect themselves and their carpets from getting a shoddy cleaning.
  • Offer a no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee.
  • Send “thank you’s” and gifts to clients who send you referrals.

All of the above will help to set you apart from the “cheap”, blow in and out of their house, companies.  Joe Polish calls quantifies this kind of quality experience into a Before, During, and After model with marketing your business.  Ask yourself how you treat your clients and prospects Before, During and After a sale.

Creating a company that is helpful and builds value will solidify your business so you are in the “relationship” business, so that you’re someone that is looking out for your client’s best interests, and not just in a fly-by-night transaction business.

When you focus on creating THIS kind of exceptional value, then guess what?  You DESERVE to charge more, and your clients will be happy to pay more, knowing that they are getting the best.

And how much should you be charging?  That depends on a lot of factors, but the simplest formula is to look at your cost of doing business, the cost it would be to run a high quality business, and your profitability should be somewhere in the 30-40% margin.

And one of the quickest things you can do to make more money starting today is to do a 10% price increase.  That is an increase that will raise your profitability without scaring away your clients.  However, if you have built your whole business on being cheap, cheap, cheap, then you might need to bump it up a bit more.  In that case, you need to step things up with your marketing so you can attract the right kinds of clients and stay profitable so you can benefit from your busy season as much as possible.

But there is another super way to boost your profits on every job that is a HUGE benefit to your clients.

Your Clients Will Never Get The Benefit If You Don’t Offer THIS To Them…

I’m talking about upsells.  You’re already in their home, they know they need some carpet cleaning.  But, what else can you offer to help them?

Do they need a sofa cleaned?  Air ducts? Tile and grout? Area rugs?  What about re-applying carpet protection?  All of this can be done in a way that isn’t “salesy”, if you just present BENEFITS and VALUE as you offer to help them out with these other things.

You can even offer discounts for the convenience of the add-ons while you’re already in the house cleaning the carpets.  One Piranha Member makes it a point to offer $50 worth of carpet protection for $30 while he’s on every job, and most people accept it, especially after he educates them on the BENEFITS of re-applying it.  (Idea:  Create a one page benefit laden hand-out educating clients about the importance of re-applying carpet protection that you can give out to clients.)

Guess what, it you make this offer to every job and sold 3 jobs per day that’s an extra $90 per day, and if you do the math that averages out to be about an extra $20,000 per year.  And $20K on jobs you’re already cleaning, now that’s profitability!  What would you do with an extra $20K this year?  Even an extra $10K?

Another key way to create value and appeal to your clients is to offer these other services to them into package deals that reflect a discount for buying a bundle.  But really none of these ideas will work for you unless you…

Know Your Numbers

I touched on this already when I talked about setting your prices, but it’s not just knowing how much you need to be charging to be profitable.  This also applies to knowing what is working for you in your marketing so you can focus on that and step it up.  Also, when you know what doesn’t work then you can either throw it out, or tweak it until it does work.  After all, being in business is a numbers game so you even if you need to hire someone to help you figure this out, you need to know your numbers.

I wish you the best in your busy season, if you go out there with the mindset of HELPING people, and educating them on the VALUE of what you are doing for them, you will be able to increase your profitability through your pricing and add on sales.  Remember, this is about relationships, not transactions.  I hope you have a great season!

Joel Cohen,
Piranha Marketing

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Comments (0) May 06 2015

How the Power of Focus Grows Your Income and Your Business

magnifying_glassWhat happens when you use a magnifying glass to focus a beam of sunlight?  You can light something on fire! That’s the power of focusing energy…but what happens when you focus your thoughts?

Many successful professional cleaners have found that the key to their success started when they learned how to focus on the right things. Now think about this, if you focus your thoughts, ideas, and skills in the right direction, you can really take your business to new heights…you’ll be unstoppable, you’ll be on fire.

Let’s discuss a few ways you can really train your brain to focus on the right things to reach your business goals.

Step #1: Reign In Your Thoughts

As a business owners and entrepreneur you more than likely have a lot of thoughts and ideas that bang around in your head throughout the day. Some of these thoughts are productive and some of them might not be.

The first step toward gaining focus is to harness your thoughts. Flush out the thoughts that will really help you to focus and reach your goals and use those ideas to propel you towards success.

A good way to do this is to take just a few minutes a day to focus some of your thoughts and get them on paper. Even if you take just 10 minutes every morning, or block off a nice solid 50 minutes once per week to do this, you will find it is well worth the effort.

When you do this be sure to block out any distractions. Turn off the phone. Close the door. Give yourself the perfect environment for focusing and sorting through your thoughts.

It’s so important to buy out the time to focus and sift through your thoughts, especially today since you are constantly hammered with information overload. Take the time to dial it down and separate yourself from all the noise, just grab a pen and get those thoughts out of your head and onto some paper. That’s when you will start to see more clearly where your real focus needs to be.


#2: Don’t Try to Re-Invent The Wheel

Focusing your thoughts is the first step toward reaching your business and financial goals, but focusing on a plan of action is critical, otherwise you just have a bunch of thoughts on paper going nowhere.

And, don’t worry about re-inventing the wheel here. You can simply do what is already proven to work for thousands of other cleaners like you.

For example, if you have decided to focus your thoughts and efforts on creating an elevated level of service so you can charge higher prices, then your focused actions need to facilitate this. This can include adding additional perks and steps to what you offer. This also involves pre-educating your prospects so they know you offer a higher level of service, so they know when they call in not to simply ask about price, and so they feel like you are worth more than a cheap, on the go cleaning.

Or, if you decided you want to focus on growing your front-end business by targeting specific high-end neighborhoods in your area. Then you need a plan of action to execute this so you get great results in a cost effective way

Or, you want your focus to be on boosting your repeat and referral business then you need a plan to effectively reach your existing clients and create a rock solid bond with them, create more value for them and to rapidly grow your referral business.

Or, if you want to focus on reactivating clients who haven’t used you in a while then you need a plan that gets those clients to want to reuse you again.

And, the real beauty is that you can focus on all of the above and you don’t have to re-invent a whole marketing plan to do this.

That’s because a proven, simple and easy to use plan of action already exists that fits the bill on all of the above, and if you got your hands on some of these system and then simply shifted your focus to the next step you could find your business exploding over the next few months.


#3: Focus On Implementing What Works

Focusing on implementation is vital to your success, otherwise 6, even 12 months will go by and will you really be in any different place financially? No. But you can change that. You can decide that 6 or 12 months from now your business will be booming.

Because if you aim to really focus on implementing proven systems into your business this year on a consistent basis you could change everything.

There are many ways to serve up successful marketing strategies in your market place, both online and offline. By making execution and delivery of proven systems your main focus, you will be focusing on real success.

Don’t let your ideas overwhelm you…keep it simple…choose what you want to focus on and follow through. To quote Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

So focus…and take that shot.



Joel Cohen
Piranha Marketing, Inc.


PS. FOCUS on the right way to get more clients by watching the webinar that Joe Polish and I put together:
“How Carpet Cleaners Get Tons of New High-End Customers Using E.D.D.M…









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Comments (0) May 29 2014

4 Keys To Unlocking Profits With Your Marketing

KEYS_SUCCESSThere are literally thousands of ideas out there on how to market your business but how many of those ideas are any good?

If you’re like most entrepreneurs you probably have discovered what DOESN’T work before you figured out what does work.  And we all know it’s finding what WORKS that is your key to success.

The results that Piranha Marketing has gotten for people over the past 20+ years has proven that there are at least 4 Keys To Marketing Success:

  1. Value Creation
  2. Engagement
  3. Education
  4. Duplication


 #1. Value Creation:

When you are creating and putting value out into the world through excellent, ethical practices and high quality service, you will find that selling your services is much, much easier.

Being a creator of value (instead of only advertising “Low Price”) will set you apart from your competitors in a way that allows you to rise to the top in your market. When you focus on value creation you will be perceived as a high quality business that really cares about the people it serves, as a result you will attract a higher end consumer, be able to charge a higher price for your services, your repeat business will flourish, and your referrals will grow.

WRONG WAY: “We clean carpet.  Only $____.00 per room”

RIGHT WAY:  “Your carpet will be cleaned with the most thorough process you’ve ever seen, it will dry quickly, and stay clean longer – or you don’t pay!  We’ll come to your home and closely inspect your carpeting and so you can get the perfect prescription for it to last the longest…and look the best.”


#2: Engagement.

There are really two kinds of businesses, relationship based and transaction based. In the today’s economic climate, if you really want to succeed and have any kind of longevity, you must be a relationship based marketer.

And this means so much more than keeping up with Facebook and Instagram.  Although those are part of a well rounded marketing plan, true relationship marketing and engagement means you care about your client after the sale is made. Having stellar follow up, above average customer service, and lots of engagement both online and offline will help your business to grow exponentially.


 #3. Education.

Now all of this value creation and engagement needs to be communicated to your prospects, both existing and potential.

When your marketing educates your clients and prospects regarding the value you are creating for them, that’s when your audience shifts away from looking for the lowest price, and that’s when you can transform your business. And this education is best achieved through the most effective way of marketing, direct response, otherwise known as education based marketing.

Piranha’s Free EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) example postcard is a great way to get started!


 #4: Duplication.

Once you have proven direct response strategies in place, then it’s time to duplicate your efforts. When you implement duplication then you can create streams of income from multiple advertising sources. Direct response marketing expert, Dean Jackson, once likened the process of duplication to having little “oil wells” working automatically in the background of your business.  Each one brings in a flow of income, some are gushers and some only produce a little, but they all contribute to your overall success.  The key is that they do the work for you and the combined efforts of these “oil wells” are responsible for the steady growth of a company.

See how EDDM can be one of your “Oil wells” in your marketing strategies


So if you concentrate on value creation…through your high quality, ethical business…engagement…by connecting with your clients both online and offline through relationship marketing…education by reaching your prospects and your clients through direct response methodologies…and then duplication by implementing proven marketing strategies that do the work for you, then you have set up a business with 4 proven keys for unlocking a high profit business that is respected and has longevity.




Joel Cohen
Piranha Marketing, Inc

Get more clients by watching the webinar that Joe Polish and I put together:
“How Carpet Cleaners Get Tons of New High-End Customers Using E.D.D.M…






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Comments (0) May 21 2014