Welcome to another edition of Strategy Monday! I was recently reading a blog post where the author described what he would do if he lost everything - money, business, name, reputation - everything. And, I started thinking what would I do the day after I lost everything related to my family’s cleaning business - and was only left with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained throughout the years?
Well, that’s what I’ll be talking about today in an effort that my strategy might help you out in case you’re starting from scratch.
So, let’s assume that I woke up tomorrow and I had lost everything. Money, business, name, reputation - everything. And, I was only left with the knowledge and experience I gained throughout the years. What would I do?
Well, to start off: If I really had nothing, except the roof over my head, the clothes on my body, and food to survive. This is what I would do: I’d go to my nearest library. I’d apply for a library card in order to be able to use the computers. (Because I’m assuming I would be without my current computer, laptop, and cellphone).
But, before that you know what? I’d get up at my normal time - 4:30 am. Do my morning routine. And, once I was finished I’d walk to to the closest library.
But, on my way over I’d talk to as many people I could on the street. Now, since it would most likely be some time between 6:30-7:30 in the morning. It is very likely that I would encounter a few - or a lot - of parents walking their kids to school. So, I’d try to talk to as many of them as I could and ask them if they currently had a house cleaning service that cleaned their home on a regular basis. If they said they did, then I’d say “Great! I’m actually starting a cleaning company myself and our very first day of operation will be in a couple of weeks. Now, I can imagine the crew you have right now are great! But, would it be okay if I leave you my number, in case you’d ever like to check out our service?” I’d end my conversation with those prospects by telling them that “we are actually offering a very steep discount for our early sign ups”; just to catch their attention a bit more.
Aftward, I’d continue my path towards the library and let’s assume I get there early and the library is still not open. What would I do? (Actually, I just checked and the closest public library to my house opens at 10 am. Uh-oh) No worries. You know why? It gives me enough time to head on over to my local Starbucks and interact with more people there.
But, wait, I have no money, right? Well, let’s assume that Starbucks will NOT kick me out for hanging out at their outside tables.
Since, I will have taken a notebook for taking notes. I’ll sit down at one of the tables and start drafting a “launch day” promo. Something to the effect of: “Early sign-up discounts”
In the meantime, I’ll also create a 5-point cleanliness checklist - I’ll explain why in a bit.
So, like I said. I would try to interact with as many Starbucks customers as I could and explain to them that I am very close to opening shop and that I’m still taking on new customers and signups. (Now, I want you to be attentive here because I’m making my business appear to be to full capacity even though I still don’t have an actual business. This is a tactic you can use, but only use it if you are bound to deliver excellent service - why? Well, because actions speak for themselves and what do you think is going to happen when you go clean a customer’s home and they realize your service sucks? They’re not going to believe you in the future about being booked to capacity.)
So, once I’m at the library, I would get on their computers as soon as possible.
I would head on over to Weebly to create a free website and all I would create right now would be an “About Us” page, a “Contact Us” page, and “Now Hiring” page. That’s it. Nothing fancy.
In the “About Us” section, I would write a brief mission statement - what am I promising, what and how will I deliver it, and how will I guarantee it? Three sections - brief, but descriptive.
In the “Contact Us” page, I would include my contact information: my full name, cel phone number, and address (I’ll include the address, just because I want to start off building trust with potential customers and since my website is a free site, I want to offer as much info as I can in order for my visitors to start seeing that I actually am a real person and willing to offer as much info about myself in an effort to build trust and business-to-consumer relationships).
In the “Now Hiring” page - I would include a brief “now hiring” section, but I would be specific that we will start scheduling interviews two-to-four weeks out. In fact, I’d put down the dates of when we’ll start conducting job interviews. I will also include a contact form so that anyone who is interested can submit their info and I’ll start creating a list of prospective job candidates.
Now, again, I don’t want my website to take a lot of time - that is I’m just including those three sections right now.
Next, I would head on to Facebook. I would create my Facebook account - my own personal account, not a business account. And, I would start adding my friends and relatives. The minute I start getting accepted by my friends and family members, I’ll start messaging them a “thank you for accepting me message” and with it I’ll include a brief message that will read something like this: "Thank you for accepting me on Facebook. You know what, I’m starting a house cleaning business and would like to know if you’d help me out by sharing this website I’ve created. If you do, I’ll sign you up for one FREE cleaning appointment every year for the next 3 years. All you have to do is share this link and let me know if you’d like me to sign you up for your 3 free cleaning appointments."
This link I would give my Facebook contacts would be a link to the “About Us” page on my newly-created, free website.
At the same time, I’d join as many local groups as I could. I would simply search in Facebook, the name of my city and join any groups that seem like they would have potential customers.
While I wait to see to which groups I’m accepted to, I would Google my local real estate agents. I would get their email contact and I would email them and tell them about my plans to launch my house cleaning company and how I also plan on launching a real-estate partnership. I would leave my business info with them and make a reminder to myself to work on a possible real estate partnership to take on empty homes, homes that are going for sale, or homes that a real estate agent just sold and that might need a move-in cleaning.
Next, if I’ve been accepted to the local Facebook groups, I’d start giving tips on how to effectively and efficiently clean home. I would first provide value to the group and I could always leave a note on every post that I’ll be launching a new house cleaning business in the next couple of week and anyone who’s interest can go ahead and message me directly.
Also, within these local Facebook groups, I’d start mentioning that my soon-to-be launched is looking for quick-learning individuals who might be looking at starting a part-time job with great pay and flexible hours.
Now, let’s assume it’s still early in the afternoon and I want to head on home. On my way, home I’d stop by a few homes (within a 2-block radius from my own home) and I’d, obviously, identify myself and tell them I live a couple blocks away. I’d ask if I can take just a few minutes from their time and ask if they might be needing a housecleaning service. I’d give them my information and tell them that I am creating a “local customer” list with steep discounts for using our cleaning service in two weeks. I’d leave my website and information with them and would take down their contact information if some of them did express some interest or commitment to my future service.
Finally, I’d head home and work on the following: our early-sign up incentives, our local customer benefits, our hiring process, and our guarantee process.
Success requires no special tools or resources, you guys.
I can assure you, you have a lot more than the resources in my made-up scenario. Success is there for the taking. All it requires is for you to start thinking, to start dreaming, and to start taking action.
If I could, hypothetically, do all of this in one day with no resources - imagine what you could do with a good plan and by taking action.
I wrote down this very simple action-packed plan in one sitting and it took me less than 30 minutes to come up with everything that I just mentioned in this episode - as you could probably tell. Maybe some of my ideas made no sense to you, but remember this is an emergency scenario of what I would do on day one. You have more than I did in my scenario. Start dreaming, you guys. And, start taking action. Where do you want to go? Decide and be clear about that objective and start working towards it.
That’s it for today. I wish you an excellent week! And, I’ll catch you on the next episode where you’ll be able to hear our very first interview with Victor Mijango of The Mighty Maids - so, you won’t want to miss that one!
All the best! Catch you on the next episode!
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