Let's start this Carfagno Cleaning solo business with a WIN! Last week, I got 5 referrals through my local network (listen to Play Powerball with your Business). The lead from my friend and carpet cleaner, James Hardy, converted to a new office cleaning client! Since this new client is a school, I had to jump through a few more hoops. First of all, I needed to go beyond adding them as a 'Certificate Holder' on my general liability policy. I needed to increase my insurance for this additional customer. This is called 'Additionally Insured'. My current policy provides $2 million of coverage per year at $500 in annual premium. This new client cost me an additional $50, which I count as an expense. I also had to coordinate a cleaning time with the school and their weekend janitor to let me into the building. The school is not in the habit of handing out keys to outside contractors. Spoiler alert: I prayed over this situation as I desire to have offices with the flexibility to clean anytime over the weekend. A few days later, the school made an exception for me and gave me a set of keys! Lastly, this new client is a school for autistic children. I know autism and realize that these students will be on the floor a lot, touching things, and likely touching their faces. Thus, disinfecting of the classrooms and floors was vital. They already had a food & skin safe disinfectant and asked me my opinion for the floors. I researched it and immediately determined it was a bad choice. Why? The title of this episode is "Art Trumps Science". Let's talk science first. The pH was slightly alkaline at 9. The floors are VCT (vinyl composition tile). VCT is commonly used in schools and supermarkets. They are also waxed & buffed on a regular basis to keep a beautiful finish and to protect the tile. My friend James Hardy did the job, so we conferred with him and he agreed. This ph 9 disinfectant had just enough alkalinity to eat away at the wax finish, which would dull it and cause James to come back sooner. Therefore, their disinfectant was a wonderful choice for the refrigerators, microwaves, table tops, door knobs, and light switches, but NOT the floors. I connected with my good friend Mark Lineberry at Universal Janitorial and he recommended the perfect solution. It's called MatPro. The school purchased it and now uses my recommendations for disinfecting and protecting their students and staff. This raised my expertise and trust with the school big time. See! Understanding science is vital. It sets you apart from the basic cleaning service!
Another lead from last week was Mike Thompson of Envoy Mortgage from my MCBA group. Mike is a mortgage advisor. What is that? It means he focuses on what's best for his clients. He coaches and consults them, looking at their lending scenario from a holistic approach. Of course he sells mortgage products too. He's a Go-Giver and his clients ask him to sell to them as a result of his giving approach. Anyway, Mike got back to my estimate and accepted a biweekly option. There's new client #2 for the week!
Steven Hunsberger forwarded my last newsletter to a friend with an IT business locally. He liked my content and wanted to get prices for office cleaning. When I talked to him, he explained that they have a lady for their house and office. But he doesn't think his employees will want to stick with her as they come back to the office in this post-COVID world. He wanted an upgrade to a professional company with insurance and expertise in disinfecting. To be completely honest, he also wanted the 'optics' of what hiring someone of my caliber would do for his team. My newsletter displayed my expertise in the science he was looking for! Thus, I separated from the masses. The estimate went great. I asked if he wanted to impress clients and he said no. But he does want to impress employees and their families (young 30's with kids). Here's where the art comes in! I explained to him that is current cleaner does the basics. That's level one. The next level is to add the science of cleaning. That's understanding what dirt is, how to clean it, and how to disinfect properly. This is level two. Then I explained the top-level it's presentation. I explained the real estate example, where home buyers make the majority of their decision on an emotional first impression. Chris looked at the glass and said. "Oh, like making this glass really sparkle?". I said. "Yes, exactly." I told him the art gives an emotional response and makes the office present really well. Then, I physically showed him this art by helping him rearrange his kitchen by moving his coffee stuff around. It gave more space and he was very thankful. That was a presentation step or an artistic perspective and definitely level 3. He completely understood the 3 levels of cleaning and I summed it up this way.
"As important as the science is, art trumps science every time!"
This is so important and I don't want anyone to miss it. Go back and listen to this episode again to see how I've been able to separate from the basic pool of cleaners with my expertise in the Science of Cleaning. Then I further separated my company from the science experts with my knowledge & experience in the art of presentation cleaning and first impressions. The beautiful thing is this. The more you separate and niche yourself in specialized knowledge, the higher the demand for your services and the higher your prices!
I got the proposal out to the IT company on Friday and got the YES in 2 hours! That's 3 new clients in 1 week! This was literally a $20,000 week in new recurring annual revenue! All 3 new clients found me and chose me 100% because they were looking for the science or level 2 cleaner. But they paid more and chose me because I offered a 3rd dimension. Art trumps science.
Ken Carfagno has utilized SMART goals & accountability to build & optimize two solo cleaning businesses (in 2 states over 16 years) to earn over $60,000 per year profit on 2 cleaning days per week without employees. This podcast will help you at any stage in the journey from starting out to solo to seven figures!