Getting over that first big growth plateau as a janitorial company can be a big challenge. You have gotten the company off the ground, but maybe you been stranded somewhere between $300k and $700k per year in revenue and just can’t seem to get over the hump. If you’ve watched any of my videos or read any of my articles you will know that I’m a big fan of chasing larger accounts to help achieve your growth goals. Small accounts are necessary in those early growth stages, but amassing large quantities of small accounts can present significant operational challenges. Additionally, it is hard to make noticeable growth strides via small accounts. But how can a small company land large accounts? Let me offer a few tips to help you compete with the big dogs.
Talk The Talk
This may sound simple and trite, but when you are talking to a prospective customer, don’t talk like a mom and pop company. Use the language of the company you want to grow into. Instead of “Joe our floor guy” or “my wife who handles the books” use phrases like “our project crew” and “the accounting department.” You want to project the image that they are expecting. This is not being deceptive, but just changing the way you talk.
Walk The Walk
In a similar manner, you want your proposal, website, and delivery to exude the same professionalism, look, and feel the customer has come to expect. This does not require a massive marketing budget to pull off. Rather, you need a clean, sleek proposal and website. Check out what your larger competitors are doing to help you get an idea of the changes you should make.
Use Your Smallness As A Relational Advantage
Finally, don’t be afraid to use your “smallness” as an advantage. A simple fact of business is this: you will likely be able to provide a higher level of service and attention than your larger competitors for two reasons. One, the account will be so important to you that you will be highly motivated to see it succeed. Second, since you have fewer customers and as the owner you are more involved in day-to-day operations, your operation lends itself to more intimate contact with the customer. Big customers who have been burned by the “big dogs” often view this as a positive, all other things being equal.
Don’t be afraid of those bigger accounts. You can land them! I’ve done it, others have done it, and you can too.