In the first part of our series on “How To Start a House Cleaning Business”, we shared some fundamental tips on creating your entities, registering with your state, opening bank accounts, and creating a business plan. In this part we are going to look at some tips to help you develop your brand. Once you have developed this strategy you can better understand your place in the market and how you will be getting new clients, and how they will feel about your new brand.
Developing a brand is all about telling the world what you stand for. What makes your business special, and why your potential clients should do business with you versus the hundreds of other choices they may have in the marketplace. Most small business owners skip this step, and to their chagrin, wonder why they flounder in mediocrity. Branding is a lot of things and encompasses so much that their is no way we can cover all of the aspects in a single blog post. We will however share some of the things about what makes the Better Life Maids brand unique, and perhaps even special, in hopes that you can apply some of these principles to starting your own brand. We didn’t not come up with all of these ideas on our own and we will also share some great resources we have used to develop the Better Life Maids unique brand, and how we used these ideas to position ourselves in the marketplace.
First of all, your brand is not just a logo, your colors, fonts, etc… Your brand is your identity in the marketplace. What do you stand for. I think the founder and CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh got this one right on the money. Tony wrote a whole book on the topic as far as I am concerned the brand of Zappos is to deliver crazy good customer experiences every day. One of the things he writes about is the Zappos culture and their Core Values. While they are not the first company to write us such a list of values and place it on a wall, I think they are first company to truly nail it. Zappos provides incredible customer service, and many companies are trying to emulate their culture of excellence. Definitely read Tony Hsieh book Delivering Happiness to find out how Zappos has created a brand by delivering exceptional customer service.
We adopted a similar approach to building Better Life Maids. We wanted to make Better Life Maids all about delivering a house cleaning experience like nothing our clients had ever seen before. If you want to see an example of what we mean, check out our Facebook page. Our co-founder Angela Ricketts wanted to build a company that would stand for something, that would withstand the whims of fads and trends, and would someday come to be know for its values and service. That is why she adopted the Better Life Maids CORE VALUES that still guide us today as one of her first acts when building the brand. Before the first Zappos book hit the shelves, Angela had adopted a similar vision for the culture of Better Life Maids. This vision and these values will stand the test of time. Whenever we are faced with a tough decision, we review the values and make sure that our choice is in line with our values.
So now you can see that we think that branding is more than just pretty pictures, logos, colors, and fonts. But you still need those things as well. This is a big investment when starting a small business and one that should not be taken lightly. Big companies spend countless millions of dollars on what can seem like minor details, but are part of a well thought out plan to connect with their target audience. So two questions arise here. 1) Who is your target audience? 2) How do I properly pick a scheme of colors, shapes, pictures, and more that will appeal to them? These are big questions and again are not going to be easily answered in this blog post. What is important is to decide what niche you will serve, so in this case house cleaning, but you need to drill down even more. Find out about your community. Research who decision makers are. What kind of income will your typical client have. What neighborhoods do the live in. Look for trends in density of income levels. At Better Life Maids we look for areas to serve on the basis of qualified households, and our criteria will be different than yours, but go through the effort to pain this picture of your ideal target market. Drill down even further to your ideal client. Where do they live? Are they male or female? How old are they? What income levels tend to be served by a house cleaning service like the one you are about to create? This is just scratching the surface of what you should be asking, but will hopefully help you start to paint a picture in your mind of your target market, and your ideal client.
One great thing that has happened in the last few years is that developing great branding collateral has decreased in cost, so it is a shame to put less than your best foot forward with a branding effort that looks like you slapped it together without any forethought. Logo Design Guru is a great place to start the process of building a brand, and keeping costs under control. Not only will they help you design a logo, they will give you hundreds of design options to look over. From their you can develop other identity pieces such as a website, letterhead, envelopes, brochures, and much more. I only mention this specific company because we have used them for some small projects and liked the process. Today Better Life Maids has a dedicated design team on retainer with Halski Studios & The Franchise Builders doing the brunt of our branding. However their was a time when our tight budget did not allow us to have a dedicated design team and Logo Design Guru was a great place for us to turn to.
We hope that this post has been helpful to you as you explore how to start a house cleaning business for yourself. If you would like to find out more about Better Life Maids and our unique green house cleaning business opportunity and franchise system, you can download our franchise brochure today. Stay tuned for more articles on how to start a house cleaning business. If you have any questions join us on Facebook or Twitter for the fastest response.