Finding Work

Even though our goal is to acquire accounts at the lowest possible advertising cost, it also should be our goal to acquire accounts that, once we’ve signed them up, require as minimal amount of costly equipment as possible. You’re looking for companies that generally are under 2,000 square feet and 95% carpeted, where the only tiled floor areas are in the washrooms, the entry way and a possible kitchenette. There actually is work out there that only requires a satisfactory home vacuum, basic washroom and furniture cleaning supplies, a mop, and window equipment. True, when you start a job, you’ll probably have to clean the carpets and perform some floor maintenance. But a floor machine for this initial cleaning can be rented for as little as $25.00 for the time that you’ll need it.

Often referred to as Office Centers / Centres, Parks, Campuses or Tech Centers, this tight grouping of companies typically do not have warehouses, the primary culprit behind quick and excessively soiled carpets and other office damage. Warehouse workers, you’ll find, are generally indifferent to the condition of the office areas – and it always shows. Without a warehouse, once the carpets are cleaned, the need for re-cleaning with expensive equipment could wait almost two years, although I would recommend a mid-year bonnet buffing.

Office Centers almost always have a directory in front making these select properties easier to identify. Looking at the directory in the above picture, we are able to count 40+ companies on this property. Just acquiring and servicing aquarter of this property could potentially provide you a comfortable income far exceeding that of working a dead-end job for someone else. As the white arrow in the picture on the left indicates, many of the entry doors to these companies have mail slots which makes placing your flyer that much easier. If they do not have a mail slot, then you will have to place your flyer between the space of the door and the door jamb as shown by the yellow arrow, If you’re flyer is composed on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper as mine are, you’ll have to fold it like a letter so that it’s held securely between the door and door jamb space. If you’re concerned for the condition of your flyer left outdoors to the elements like this, then use an envelope. I have never used an envelope because I feel it an unnecessary expense. The key is to never place a flyer between the door and door jamb when it’s rainy or windy.

You must understand that office centers generally have 90 percent occupancy and that these companies are all presently using a janitorial service. Your challenge is to find the company or companies within a Center that are not pleased with their present service. But most companies will tolerate their present service until an alternative is brought to their attention, hence the saturation of your flyers. if the present service sees your posted flyer, they’ll simply throw it out as well as remove them from their other accounts within the Center. They might even remove those flyers posted from all the other companies’ doors, even those companies that they don’t service just to keep you from gaining any advantage and momentum within the Center.

So when’s the best time to place flyers in doors? My observation has been that the majority of Janitorial services begin their shift as early as 5:00 p.m. in the late afternoon until 3:00 a.m. in the morning. Passing your flyers out during these hours is a sure way to lose them. Police heavily patrol residential and commercial properties after 2:00 a.m. until they resume traffic duties at 5:00 a.m. Until you are actually working within a Center and are knowledgeable of the hours that your competitors keep, the best time to pass out flyers is between 5:00 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. in the morning. These hours pretty much assure that you will not lose your flyers to competitors or invite unwelcome suspicions of the police. The best time to pass out flyers is during the mornings of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I avoid Friday because peoples minds may be more focused on the weekend than on their work or the facility they work in. When they come back on Monday they may have forgotten your flyer or its potential impact. Certainly do not pass out flyers on Saturday and Sunday. You will surely lose to every janitorial firm scheduled to service during the weekend (which all are).

In office janitorial, there is no more expensive job in initial layout of equipment and supplies to you than the maintenance of vinyl tiled flooring (or VCT). Chances are, you’ll be expected to completely strip and refinish this floor within a week of acquiring an account like this. Then, once a week, you’ll be expected to buff this floor either by spray buffing with a machine operating at 175 to 350 rpm, or with a burnisher operating at 1000 to 2400 rpm (propane burnishers can operate at even higher rpm’s). I would encourage a beginner with no experience to outsource the strip-and-refinish project. But be sure to watch them do this so you get an idea what all is involved. You should, however, buff it every week on your own (more on this later). Or, you can simply bypass a company of this size until you can afford a vinyl tiled floor of this size. There are plenty of smaller, easier-to-maintain, companies out there.

Oh, look! A new Office Center is going up. When you see an event like this, claim it as your own. By this I mean to visit this property weekly to witness the progress. One, if you’re interested in performing construction and post construction clean-up, stop by the trailer on site and ask if they’d be in need of such services, or ask who you should call to make the same inquiry. Two, as soon as you see carpeting being installed in a section of the Center, it’s usually a sign that a company has just leased a space. Begin inserting flyers because a company representative of the lessee may stop by regularly to witness the progress of his or her office. Your flyer will probably be sitting on the floor or on a ledge for him to take with him. The chances are very good you’ll be called in to bid. Thirdly, once the company starts moving in, along with continued insertion of flyers should you still need to get their attention, you can also in this instance make an unsolicited sales call during the day as the employees are setting up their new areas. It may even be welcome that someone has come in and saved them the time of looking for a cleaning service.

In closing, flyers are the most productive means in becoming intimate with the type businesses you are pursuing. It is also the most inexpensive approach in terms of having your name, number and message land on someone’s desk. A few well chosen words, clean layout, home printer, even a decent copying machine with which to run off a few hundred copies, and I can’t think of any reason why anyone cannot find work within a month’s period. Believe you can pick up every business within each Office Center. With unwavering confidence, you’re sure to pick-up at least one. You grow from there.

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