Tips for Effectively Advertising Your Cleaning Business

As the owner of a fledgling online directory, I am astounded at how many businesses don’t provide adequate information on their websites and business listings. A large number of cleaning businesses state their business name and their city location -leaving a great deal of uncertainty as to whether this business is positioned to handle a customer’s cleaning needs. This article will present the proper way for a cleaning business to list their information online, as well as, provide tips for protecting the private information of the business owners.

When starting a cleaning business, or any business for that matter, it’s important to consider the arena in which you are setting up shop. As a service provider, who travels into the homes and businesses of your customers, you have to be able to demonstrate two important things: 1) that you service the area where the job is needing to be done, and 2) that you are trustworthy, honest, and capable to do the job. Your business marketing materials (business cards, fliers, cleaning checklists, and website material) must observe both of these.

To demonstrate that you service the area where the job is, you must state where you are located. The address of your business may not seem that important if you have a service radius of 50 miles. However, a prospective customer may not be able to determine your radius if they don’t know where the center of that radius is. Saying, for instance, that your business is in New York City does not indicate which part of New York City you service -nor does it indicate to the customer that you service their home in Flushing, Manhattan, Queens, or anywhere else in the city and suburbs. It’s too vague.

How do you go about stating your address without compromising the safety of your home or family? The honest answer to this is hard to state for a number of reasons. No matter if you have a home office or a standard business front, safety is always a concern. That’s true for small business and large corporations. If you can’t get over this fact -and list your home office address- then your next best bet is to get a post office box smack dab in the center of where you plan to conduct your business: your service area. This will at least give you the benefit of utilizing the zip code itself -as a zip code is an ideal means to delineate service areas. P.O. Boxes aren’t that expensive and also serve as a way to separate your business mail from your private mail. It’s an investment that will reap bigger rewards.

Finally, listing your address also promotes a sense of trust and honesty to prospective customers. All to often, people are duped by businesses that purport to offer x service. Today’s consumers are smarter and now look for basic identifiers to vet prospective providers (look at the rise in importance of reviews, for instance). Listing your information separates you from scammers. It opens you up to your customers.

So when you go to create a listing on a directory or adding your contact information to your website, take a big step and add your address, email, and other identifiers. It builds trust with your customers, provides a focal point for your service radius, and aides in separating you from bogus companies out to dupe consumers. It’s what establishes you as a business.

5 Basic Steps to a Million Dollar Information Marketing Business Model

Building a million dollar information marketing business doesn’t start with buying the latest article or blog submitting gizmo or list of 5 million subscribers for $27! It also doesn’t start by investing in ever more popular fly-by-night tactics that work today and are obsolete (or banned) tomorrow.

Instead, information marketing millionaires first build strong foundations for success by focusing on developing an effective business model that allows fast growth.

There are five key components this business model must include. All of them are equally important for long term success, stability, and profitability of your business.

Once you have a specific business model mapped out you can identify the specific strategies you want to focus on. This in turn will dictate what specific tactics you need to employ, and what action steps to take to reach your objective of building a million dollar information marketing business.

So let’s explore those five key components of an effective business model.

Component 1 – Generate Traffic

The first step on this model is to generate traffic. You’ve got to have “duplicate-able”, repeatable, sustainable ways to generate traffic.

You can get your traffic for free – but it will take a bit longer to get it. Or you can buy it and have people visiting your website in a matter of minutes.

Some of the free traffic generation strategies include article submissions, blogging, social media presence, like video and audio podcasts and accounts with popular online networking sites including LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter.

And let’s not forget something as simple as a “Tell a friend” button somewhere on each page of your website.

The fastest way to get traffic to your website is to buy it. Bying PPC (pay per click) like Google’s AdWords is probably one of the most known paid traffic strategy, but there are many others.

You can also buy text links, banner advertising, display ads on other people’s sites and blogs. You can also buy classified ads in other people’s ezines and even solo-mailings to other people’s lists of subscribers.

A lot of savvy marketers also use strategic alliances or JVs (Joined Ventured) to quickly drive massive traffic to their websites. While it’s a very effective strategy, it’s not free. Your JV partners will typically want to get a hefty percentage of the sales they generate with their promotions of your site. But – it will be quick!

Component 2 – Lead Generation

One of the biggest mistakes most people make is they try to get a sale too soon! Instead, a much better approach is to generate a lead first, then convert that lead into a paid first-time customer.

Let’s take this one step at a time – converting visitors into subscribers of some sort – a.k.a. “leads”! This is a critical step because it will allow you to continue communicating with people interested in your products or services.

You’ve probably heard that in any business your money and success are in your list, in your database of subscribers and your relationship with them. It’s very important to learn how to get people to come to your site and then entice them to want to give you their name and email.

It used to be enough to just say something like “subscribe to my newsletter,” or “get updates about my business,” somewhere on your website to get people to opt-in to your database. But those days are long gone.

Today you must be really good at presenting great value fast and making irresistible first offers to your visitors to persuade them to give up their contact information. Strategies that still work great include giving your web visitors access to special reports, audio downloads, or informative video and audio presentations.

Obviously the better the quality of your “carrot” and the better your presentation of it, the better your conversion will be. (Conversion is the comparison of the number of people that take you up on your offer and subscribe to your list to the total number of people that visit your website.)

Component 3 – Lead Conversion

Now that you have a list of subscribers – a.k.a. database of leads – how do you convert them into paid customers, someone who would actually gives you a few dollars? Generating that first sale is your lead conversion.

Just like lead generation, lead conversion strategies will vary from business to business, depending on what you are selling and who your customers are. But the key to your success is to systemize and automate this process as much as possible. Let me give you an example.

Think of a service business, for example some like a professional life coach.

Most likely they have no systems in place. Every new client is gained a different way. A conversation with each new prospect is different from others. Every lead is generated a different way. Every lead is converted differently. It’s no wonder their businesses are overwhelming them and generating very little money. There are no systems in place.

Now let’s look at a different professional and scenario; someone like an orthodontist.

Everything is systemized. From the same lead generation mechanisms to how patients get introduced to the doctor’s office to the first experience when they come in, to how they get to meet the doctor, how their initial evaluation is presented and delivered, how the price is quoted and how the treatment is initiated.

Everything is identical for each new patient! Everything is done the same way over and over and over. Everything is a system. And that’s what you are looking for in successful information marketing business model – systemized and automated lead conversion strategies.

Component 4 – Profit Multipliers

Once you generate the first sale, you will sell more products or services to your new customer. It’s important for two reasons. First, you probably have more products and services that can help that client much more beyond what they initially received from you. And second, that’s the way to maximize the success and profitability of your business!

Here are few examples of profit multipliers.

First there is down-selling. Basically what it means is that if someone comes to your website and says, “I don’t think I’m willing to pay $97you’re your multi-media course – and I’m leaving your website,” you present them with another opportunity to purchase a similar product that sells for $47 or even less and say, “Maybe $97 is too much for your budget right now. Can I interest you in getting a similar highly quality course that costs only $20?”

A different down-sale would be to offer a payment plan. You’d say something like this, “If $97 is too much right now, can I make it more affordable for you by letting you pay in three payments of $33?”

Next, there is a cross-sale. If they pay $97 for your first program, maybe they like to add another program that will help them get more value out of their initial purchase, especially if it’s priced attractively. It’s an effective way to immediately increase the size of each initial transaction.

Then there are continuity programs. For instance, if you are a coach you can have a system in place where after the initial first sale of some type of a home study course the customer receives an invitation to join a group coaching and support program for which they would then pay monthly.

And these are just a few simple ideas of what you can do to multiply your sales and profits.

Component 5 -Scalability

Your ultimate goal is to systemize and automate your business so that its growth can be expended beyond your own efforts.

Once you have all of the key components in place, focus on simplifying, systemizing, automating, delegating – in short, you want to optimize your business for maximum performance with minimum efforts.

Then simply start driving more traffic through this “profit machine”, and, if you designed it well, it will work like a charm and continue making you more money. It’s like of like turn the faucet knob on full blast.

So to have an effective business model first you need to generate traffic to your website, then you need a way to convert that traffic into leads, then convert leads into first-time customers, and then use profit multipliers to maximize your sales and profits.

Top Five Benefits of Cloud Computing for Small Business

Many hosted services are offered over the web for a variety of business needs. The general term used to refer to all of these is cloud computing. Cloud computing allows online companies to use resources over the internet rather than build and maintain their own in-house infrastructures.

Cloud computing is a trendy term that can be heard everywhere these days. Simply put, it refers to storing and accessing information and applications over the web instead of getting them all stored on the hard drive of your computer.

Storing or running programs from your hard drive is called local storage. This means that everything you need is physically there with you, making access to data easy and fast, especially for the one computer and the others connected to it through a local network. This was how many industries functioned for a long time before the cloud came along.

The “cloud” refers to the internet. This calls back to the times in office presentations when the internet was represented by a puffy cloud that accepts and gives information as it hovers above everything.

You may be using cloud computing at some aspect of life without realising it. This applies to online services that you use to send email, edit your documents, stream films or TV shows, listen to music, play games online, or store files and images. Cloud computinga makes all these things possible behind it all.

The first services to use cloud computing are a couple of decades old, rising fast so that a wide range of organisations are already using the service. This includes startups to big corporations as well as non-profits and government agencies.

Cloud computing at a glance

According to a study by the IDC, 50% of information technology will transition to the cloud within 5-10 years. Among the industries that rely heavily on data are the financial sector, telecommunications, technology, health care, government, advertising, retail, gaming, energy and data services.

Furthermore, 82% of companies have found significant savings in moving to the cloud. 60% of businesses already make use of cloud-based IT for operations. 82% of companies are also planning for a multi-cloud strategy.

These stats show that cloud computing holds much promise as a rising industry as well as a valuable resource for companies to take advantage of.

Cloud solutions for business

There are three different types of cloud solutions that businesses can choose from to find the best fit – private cloud, hybrid cloud and public cloud. Each offer different features and benefits. But with each type, the end result stays the same: cloud computing can be done wherever you are, at any time.

Private cloud

Private cloud works in industries with concerns for privacy, including medium businesses and more established enterprises that need to meet standards for security and compliance.

One example is IoT companies, such as those who trace customers through their phones. Other examples include health data companies, e-commerce sites that store credit card data, industries with high intellectual property concerns, and companies that emphasise data sovereignty.

Private cloud is managed by an in-house team of IT personnel or by a private host.

Private cloud offers complete control and flexibility, enabling businesses to manage their own dedicated resources within a third party datacentre.

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud is for companies that prefer the security offered by private cloud. This type of cloud solution is best for workloads that are highly dynamic and prone to changeability. This includes enterprises that can be split into two spheres, sensitive and non-sensitive.

Hybrid cloud also works best for businesses with seasonal data spikes, big data processing, and those with workloads involving API compatibility and requiring solid connection to a network. Hybrid cloud takes its name from the fact that it is managed by both in-house and external resources.

This mix of private and public clouds offer blending of such services as Office 365 for email with other applications that businesses don’t want to be made available in a shared environment.

Public cloud

Public cloud is for industries that have a significant amount of data with no major concerns for privacy. Companies that use this service opt for a pay-as-you-go structure. This type of cloud solution is managed by third party providers.

Industries that use public cloud include those in development and testing, development platform, training servers, one-off big data projects and websites with public information, product descriptions and brochures.

Public cloud is perfect for services, applications and storage that are made publicly available as well as those that use shared resources that are managed by the cloud provider.

More benefits in the cloud

Now that you know the different types of cloud solutions available, it’s time to go over the benefits of moving to the cloud. As a growing trend, cloud computing offers many. Here are five of them.

1. Time-saving, on-demand services

Cloud computing features self-service delivery for different types of workloads and needs. What makes it so attractive to businesses is that any service can be available on-demand. This effectively removes the need for companies to maintain in-house IT staff, especially for small businesses, or manage physical computer resources.

Cloud hosting allows users to get access to their files from any device, anywhere and at any time. This means that files don’t get stored in just one computer, enabling faster operations and availability. Storing in the cloud also makes it safer for businesses to protect their files, with faster backup options and recovery in cases of breaches or similar scenarios.

According to TSG, 45% of companies that use private cloud solution in their operations have enjoyed significant reduction of the time it takes to install applications. This time-saving feature enables companies to enjoy faster processes and improve productivity for employees.

Cloud computing can make integration easier for you. A lot of cloud computing applications include an Application Programming Interface (API) where you can find apps that are compatible instead of having to pay to have them customised for you so you can integrate them.

2. Flexibility

One of the biggest benefits offered by cloud computing is its flexibility. People on your team can access files and information that are relevant to work anywhere and on any device. In a highly mobile world, this is especially important.

Moreover, many companies now offer flexible working arrangements, such as remote workers and telecommuting. With cloud computing, employees can access work files even when they are not in the office, making it easier for them to work wherever they are. For small businesses, this also makes it easier for them to easily manage their operations wherever they are.

Increased flexibility and mobility enable businesses to let their employees use the devices they are comfortable with. This can include tablets, laptops and smartphones, helping employees improve their personal productivity.

With this type of elasticity, companies are able to scale up as their computing needs increase as well as scale down when they decrease. This saves them from having to invest in infrastructure that may not be needed later on in time.

3. Lower costs with pay per use

One of the best immediate benefits of moving your business to the cloud is that there is significant financial savings involved. Cloud computing fully makes use of hardware. With virtualisation, the value of the physical server is increased, giving businesses the opportunity to do more with less.

Cloud computing enables businesses, especially startups, to decrease the need for physical space, power usage, IT resources and more. As a result, there is a lower need for installation, maintenance, upgrades and costs for support and hardware. For SMBs, this is a valuable way of saving resources so they can concentrate on online growth.

Cloud-based resources are measured at granular level, which means that users only pay for the workloads and resources that they use. You also don’t need to buy software anymore or pay for someone or a team to update or install the software, manage email or file servers or run backups.

The benefit of cloud computing is that all of the applications and services are taken over by the cloud vendor, instead of you having to be responsible for any of it.

4. Improved collaboration

Productivity is increased by cloud computing due to its accessibility. Since everyone who needs access to files and data can get them wherever they are, there is less need for employees to be in the same room. This is especially relevant for workers or employees who need to travel a lot.

Teams in different locations all over the globe can readily collaborate on projects without needing to actually meet. Easy sharing and real time updates on files are facilitated, and more things will get done with web conferencing for meetings.

Cloud computing lets small businesses grow quickly online. It’s faster, easier and more convenient to sign up for a cloud-based app than to purchase a server, run it, and install software on it. Expansion is cheaper as there is no need to invest in hardware and software for the startup.

Cloud-based applications can also be accessed on common web browsers at any time. This means that users across the company can adopt to the applications without the need for intensive training. This is especially valuable for businesses with employees in different locations.

5. Enhanced security with instant updates

There is increased security for companies as software is automatically updated, bugs are fixed and content is remotely stored.

Those who have doubts on what the cloud has to offer are concerned about the safety of data outside the company’s internal firewall. The truth is, due to the robust security standards established by ISO, safety is increased when cloud solutions are used. Moreover, cloud providers are strictly required to follow the rules.

As a result, risks are reduced when it comes to loss of laptops containing confidential information as well as the threats of hackers. You can also remotely wipe sensitive data from lost laptops and gadgets so nobody else can access them.

When it comes to ensuring security with the cloud service you choose, you need to know first where your data is stored. Firewalls, detection and prevention tools as well as data encryption can help prevent intruders from getting at your information. However, you still need to know where your data goes when you stop with the service or in cases where the cloud provider closes down. Dedicated hardware is what cloud computing providers need to pass the highest security guidelines.

Data backup is recommended to make sure that you can increase your control over your data. Ensure that the data centre you’re using takes security seriously. Find out what security measures are in place in the server and data centre where your data is stored.

Managed services are also a valuable option in making your data and apps stronger. This includes managed antivirus, firewalls and detection tools. High quality cloud providers offer these to allow for better security.

On top of it all, updates, including on security, are automated.

Cloud service providers can regularly update offers, giving customers the most up to date technology possible. This can include software, servers and computer processing power. Customers can avoid wasting their time maintaining systems and updating them once new features roll out. Suppliers take care of those themselves, out of sight.

As a result, businesses can focus on growing their business while enjoying the best that the latest technology has to offer.

To round up, the top benefits you get from cloud computing include:

– Saving time resources with services that you can enjoy on-demand

– Flexibility and mobility of access

– More affordable services with pay per use

– Better collaboration within teams, especially for overseas or traveling employees

– Heightened security measures in place plus automated updates

With the rise of the cloud computing trend, small and medium businesses can now create websites and power up online influence like never before. With many benefits to enjoy, moving to the cloud is an unmissable opportunity for companies.