CHAPTER 8-: This is the eighth chapter of “The Complete Guide to Starting a Cleaning Business.” Modern day business methods are much changed from the entrepreneurial practices of the yester years. Back in those days, you could have fared really well among your competitors by simply providing the most excellent service in the community that you were working in.
Today, service based businesses have expanded beyond the confined notion of attaining success through quality services. Business nowadays is as much about the image that you create in the consumer society as it is about being the absolute best at what you do. You can hire the most efficient cleaning staff in the city, you can accumulate the best cleaning products available in the market and you can have a faultless marketing agenda to your credit. However, none of these can bring in the gold unless you construct a business identity that people will marvel at.
What is a Brand Identity?
The concept of a business identity is quite ambiguous to most novice entrepreneurs. In their opinion, a business identity is perhaps no more than getting a catchy name for a business and having an eye candy logo that will lure in consumers. Names and logos matter greatly in both the short and the long run, however that is not all there is to having a business identity. The construction of a business identity can be divided into two categories. The first is called the preliminary business identity construction. The second is the advanced business identity construction. Both are crucial to the development and survival of your business in the ultra competitive cleaning service industry.
Is Brand Identity Creation Important for a Cleaning Business?
Some cleaning service business owners may not even feel the need to establish a business identity simply because society does not value cleaning service companies enough. Regardless of whether you are earning the respect or acclamation of society or not, your job as an aspiring entrepreneur of the future is to keep breaking the conventions and coming up with innovative ways to negate the effects of negative perceptions towards the cleaning service industry. Just because your job revolves around keeping the houses and offices of other people clean, does not mean that your organization is any less professional or corporate from an insurance coverage company, a bank or a stock broker. If anything, those high and mighty institutions are able to function properly due to the maintenance provided by cleaning companies around the city and the country just like the one that you are hoping to create.
Steps to Creating a Brand Identity for your Cleaning Business
Before you can establish a business identity, you need to first be content and proud with the kind of business that you are running. Society may look down upon cleaning service businesses, but the onus is on you to change the mentality of society and prove to them that a cleaning service company is as big a deal as any of the other glorified organizations in society. It is with this pride in your heart that you can progress towards the initial steps of establishing a commendable and admirable business identity that will push your cleaning company forward into the realms of success and brilliance.
1. Select a Memorable Name and a Tagline
The first step towards creating a business identity is undoubtedly selecting a name and tagline for your business that will make a statement and force people to pay their attention to your cleaning services. The name you give your business is basically the identity the business will carry. That is why it is important to ensure that you do your research before naming your business. Aside from the fact that you are required to choose a name for your business when you approach the corporate affairs commissions to register your business, you are also expected to build your business brand and building your business brand starts with your company’s name.
If you are in the cleaning industry, you just have to be deliberate with the name you choose for your business. The truth is that, people or potential clients are supposed to get an idea of the nature of business you are into once the name of your company is mentioned or when they see your company’s signpost or logo et al.
Hence, your goal for Choosing a name for your business should be to choose a name that will help you attract clients to your business; a name that will make it easier for you to sell your brand to your potential clients and the community at large. The truth is that if your business name sounds unique and likeable, you won’t struggle to get it on the lips of people.
Tips for Choosing a Brand-able Name for your Cleaning Business
This all comes down to brainstorming. If you have business partners who are investing in your cleaning service company, then sit down with them in a brainstorming session and come up with stylish, catchy and slightly attention “demanding” (not attention seeking) names that will be suitable to your brand of business.
a. Don’t Pick a Name that’s Too Generic-: When naming your business, you have to be careful about not selecting a word or phrase that sounds too generic or common. The name must not also be too revealing of the nature of your business. For example, Jefferson’s Office Janitorial Services is perhaps the most boring, redundant and open name that you can think of.
Cleaning Business Name Ideas
With that being said, choosing names that are vague and full of mystique can also turn out to be a bad idea. An example of such a name would be “Spotless Radiance”. The word spotless radiance itself can serve as a very good tagline for your advertisement campaign. However, it does not qualify as a proper name for your cleaning company mainly because it is not possible for most people to relate this name to a cleaning business and hence they will be left confused and misguided.
Try to think of a name that is closely related to your business, is uncommon and does not give away the full details about your services. “Mop N’ Wipe,” “Shavonne Cleaning Agency” or “Mops and Brushes Limited” are examples of perfect brand names for janitorial services. It is short, it is catchy and very simply to pronounce. In other words, names such as these are a winning formula for securing the attention of the general masses and thus allowing potential clientele to gravitate towards your cleaning business.
- Never Chose a Name that is too long-: The rule of thumb when shopping for a name for your business is to choose a name that is short enough for people to remember. If you choose a name that is too long, people will find it difficult to remember the name. If your business name is long as a result of the number of people who own the business, then it may be advisable to use abbreviations instead of making use of the full name of the business owner. If you noticed companies like UPS, CNN, BBC, and LG et al, they choose to brand their companies with the initials of the company’s name and it is working for them. You can adopt same style if the name of your company seems longer than usual.
- Do Not Give Your Business a Name that is Difficult to Pronounce-: The idea of naming your business is to ensure that people easily remember the name of the business. The truth is that, if you give your business a name that is difficult to pronounce, people will hardily remember the name. Give your business a name that is easy to pronounce; a name that sounds pleasant to the ears.
- Study the Trend in Your Country and the Globe before Naming the Cleaning Company-: Another important factor that will help you when shopping for a catchy brand-able name for your cleaning business is to study the global trend or the trend in your country before choosing a name for your company. It is important to follow the norm; to choose names that meet best practices in your industry.
- Choose a Name That Will Be Evergreen-: It is important to state that things changes with rapid astonishment and what is in vogue today will become obsolete tomorrow. So, when you are shopping for a name for your cleaning business, ensure that you choose a name that will be evergreen. Do not choose a name that will fade with time, or a name that will sound archaic in ten yeas time.
- Consult Brand and Advertising Experts to Help You In Choosing a Name for Your Cleaning Business-: By all means, if you have the financial capacity, consult brand and advertising experts to help you choose a name for your business. The truth is that, these people know the names that can easily penetrate the hearts of your target market simply because of their extensive research and first – hand experience. You can suggest names to them and they will help you tweak it to conform to international standards. Their fees are moderate and you can pay them not just to choose a name for your cleaning business, but also to help you sell your brand.
2. Get an Office Address, a Phone and an Email
Once you are done with the name, the next course of action for you is to obtain an office address, a phone number, a fax line and an email address for your business. These are a must have for any business that aims to be successful for even a short period of time. If you do not let your customers contact you or find out about you personally, then they will be deterred from subscribing to your cleaning services. When seeking a location for your cleaning business, it is preferable to find a place where you will receive maximum exposure to people who can be classified as potential clients. There is absolutely no point of opening an office for your cleaning service in a location that is filled with outlets and offices for high tech electronic gadgets. Perhaps you could choose a location where there outlets of electronic appliances for cleaning. Whichever the case is, make sure you get your location absolutely spot on.
3. Design a Logo for your Cleaning Business
The next thing that you need to be concerned about is creating a business logo. This is quite similar to finding a name for your business. The best advice that anyone can give you is to not go overboard with the logo. Find a picture or a symbol that encapsulates the essence of a cleaning service, and one that does not come off as too flashy or pretentious. The logo should have just the right amount of visual appeal to hook in the attention of the consumers.
4. Get your Business Cards Designed and Make Sure They Follow your Brand Sequence
Once you have the name and the logo selected, the most sensible thing to do next is order business cards. This is another area where you will be required to break some societal conventions and norms. People owning or working in the cleaning service industry are not known to dish out business cards like corporate hotshots. However, this does not change the fact that business cards add a touch of class and professionalism to your organization. They also happen to be the most subtle form of advertisement that you can hit your potential consumers with.
Now, with the business cards, you need to fall back on the creative butterflies in your head once again. Since you are in charge of a cleaning service company, ordering ordinary business cards that resemble that of any other financial, engineering or academic institution will be of little benefit to you. Try to incorporate a material and a font in your business card that screams “cleaning service” in every direction. This will impress the people that you hand out the cards to and uplift your company’s “brand image”.
The business cards should be soon followed by business stationary. Do not confuse your business stationary with your business equipments. Those equipments will be made use of in the job sites by your cleaning staff. The business stationary on the other hand covers anything and everything that you and your business managers, administrators and accountants will need to keep the operations running smoothly from inside the office.
5. Get a Website and Create a Social Media Presence
If you had been reading this a decade ago, then perhaps there would be no need to inform you about the significance of an online presence in establishing a business identity. Today, we live in the age of the internet. We live in a world that is connected by social media in nearly every way imaginable. Therefore, it becomes imperative for entrepreneurs, regardless of their field of business, to take advantage of this social media explosion that we are a part of at the moment. Who is to say that cleaning service businesses cannot eat a slice of this delicious social media pie?
Running a website for your company is considered pretty rudimentary by most experts. Nowadays, you are also required to have a social media page, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, to stay connected with your clients and your potential clientele. The more active you are on social media, the more engaged your audience will be in your business. This is all a part of a plan of spreading your roots and tapping into new gold mines. In other words, using social media is one of the simplest and easiest ways of establishing a solid brand or business identity.
6. Be True to your Words, Protect your Reputation
These were some of the lighter aspects of constructing a brand identity. However, once you are able to achieve recognition and reputation for your cleaning company, it is your job to hold on to it at all costs. Brand identity can be lost as soon as it is gained. The slightest lapses of concentration can result in your cleaning service company going out of business. To prevent such disasters, you need to focus your resources on advanced business identity construction.
7. The first order of business (no pun intended) is to designate responsibilities among your employees
The entrepreneur is not the only person who is responsible for upholding the business identity of a cleaning service company. The workers need to do their part as well to ensure that the company maintains its status as one of the best cleaning services in town. Make sure that the employees are well informed about their roles and responsibilities with regards to the corporate identity of your company. Make them feel as if they are a part of something bigger than simply a desk job or an office or house cleaning job.
8. The next course of action is engage in the sharing of information
This is the era of information sharing. More information is being passed on to the masses today than it ever was before in the history of humanity. Hence, the ability to communicate to people, both inside and outside the company, about your brand is pivotal to constructing your business identity. If people are not aware of what exactly it is that you do and stand for, then they will not be interested to pay for your cleaning services. Whenever a client approaches you and requests any form of service that you offer, make sure that you fill him or her in on intriguing information about your company’s mission and vision. This will add a more personal touch to your relationship with the client.
Keeping an eye on the communications that are drawn up by your employees is something that you need to pay close attention to as well if you want to maintain your business identity. Whenever an employee in your cleaning service company is communicating with others about your business, make sure that your company’s identity is well represented in his or her words. The last thing you need is for your employees to spread false information about your company. That will damage your company’s reputation beyond repair.
9. Be aware of your surrounding
The last but not the least important aspect of advanced corporate identity construction is being aware of your surroundings. Make sure that you have sufficient knowledge about the kind of approach that rival cleaning companies are taking with regards to having a business identity. The objective is to improve on their positives and take lessons from their negatives. Also, protect your cleaning company’s brand identity from being imitated or replicated by short term glory hunters.
Building a brand identity involves transforming your cleaning service business from a mere ordinary company to a well recognized and reputed brand in the community or city. Stay true to this goal and you will not find it too difficult to receive the recognition and respect that you and your cleaning service company deserve from others.