Fishing Wisdom For Cleaning Contractors – Don’t Leave Fish To Find Fish

Last week, I went king salmon fishing on Lake Michigan. I have been an avid fisherman my entire life, but given my unfamiliarity with salmon and Lake Michigan, I chartered a guide to help me find and catch some of these amazing fish. Our captain, Mark, was a former search and rescue Coast Guard officer and regularly competed in salmon fishing tournaments. He knows the water and he knows his fish. After leaving the dock at 5AM, we were on fish by 6. However, after about an hour, the bite slowed down. The temptation to move to another spot was strong, but that’s when Mark told us the number one rule of fishing: “don’t ever leave fish to find fish.” And herein lies so much truth for us as business owners.

We all want to grow our janitorial businesses. And when we think of growth, we always think of sales – new sales. And true enough, we need new sales to grow our business. But we can make a fatal mistake by neglecting our own fields in search of greener pastures. Statistics show that it is much cheaper to keep customers than to acquire new ones. Harvard Business Reviews says that getting new customers can be between 5 and 25 times more expensive that keeping existing ones. Additionally, increasing customer retention by just 5% can boost profits by as much as 25% according to

So let’s get practical. How can you fish in the waters you already have to increase the growth and profits of your company.

  • Price Increases – If you are providing top notch service and your relationship is strong with the client, you should be able to get small price increases over time. These increases go straight to your bottom line.
  • Increasing Scope of Services – Is there the possibility of adding to the daily routine of work you currently perform? Maybe a day porter or cleaning new areas currently not cleaned?
  • Project Work – What extra-bill services could you add to increase revenue and profit? Floor work? Window cleaning? Spring cleaning? Painting? Carpet cleaning?
  • Referrals – Sometimes your best sources of new business are referrals from your existing clients. Reference letters or direct referrals to new clients can be VERY POWERFUL. Do not neglect this source.

So remember, don’t leave fish to find fish. Your best sources of profit are right in your own backyard. In fact, they are your very own customers.


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