Mother's House Cleaning Service will be courting the high income families in Cleanly, WA. We will be attractive to these customers because of our commitment to professional, trustworthy service. We will achieve this high level of service through extensive training and a continuous learning process. MHCS will be qualifying leads over the phone with estimates and more importantly, with in-house meetings. This sales strategy should yield a steady increase in jobs starting from month two.
Our competitive advantage will be based on our large investment in human capital. MHCS begins with a rigorous training program for new employees. At the outset, employees with be trained on how to clean. Granted everyone has some idea on how to clean, but we will show them a methodical way producing a far cleaner home more efficiently. We will then be training employees to work effectively on teams. While there are some households that prefer individual cleaners instead of a team, a request that we are more then happy to oblige, we generally work in teams as they are more efficient. Working efficiently on a team takes training, and through this team training, we are able to make significant gains in efficiency.
The next topic of training involves professionalism. We provide our employees the tools necessary to impress our most affluent clients. Professionalism is a skill that is used throughout the service call, from the way the employee greets and interacts with the client, to the way they clean, to the way they act when they break that priceless vase (which in the inevitable case that we do break something, we have specific guidelines for the employee to follow to resolve the conflict).
We finally train our employees to know what the expectations of our clients are. We will provide them the tools needed to exceed these expectations.
This extensive training, both up front, as well as continuously (called our continuous learning system) builds a trust relationship between our company and the client. It is the bond of trust that will not only earn MHCS the loyalty of that customer but also the referral of several more of their friends. Satisfied customers like to tell their friends about service providers that they are happy with, people like to "spread the wealth" with their friends.
Lastly we will emphasize our use of environmentally sound chemicals. Other companies also use environmentally sound chemicals so this is not a huge differentiation, but it is something that we are proud of, and will be mentioned.
We will also be creating the appearance of professionalism through the use of uniforms and large magnetic sign affixed to the side of the vehicles we use.
The sales process will begin through the qualification of leads generated from our marketing campaign. The marketing campaign will primarily generate leads through interest sparked from our brochures. Someone will call to receive more information about our service, while we will be able to give them an estimate over the phone, we would prefer to be able to get into their home and speak with them. On one hand we would be able to offer them a more accurate estimate. More importantly however, it provides us an opportunity to impress them with our company. We feel confident that since we are dealing with the affluent, who for many services are less price sensitive, are more likely to be impressed with our professionalism, "feel" an immediate trust bond forming, and sign up for the service.
For those clients whom we are only able to speak with over the phone, we will initially quote them a price. Because they are less price sensitive then the general population, we will then detail why our service is priced a bit higher than most. Mother's House Cleaning Service will explain all of the different training systems and methodologies that each employee goes through, and what expectations are reasonable for the customer to form about our superior service. This conversation will leave the prospective customer the impression that MHCS is indeed different from the run of the mill residential cleaning services and that the price differential is justified.
Lastly, we will be qualifying the leads by explaining up front that our service is more expensive. This is not a fact that we are trying to hide. We are setting up an expectation for the customer that they can indeed expect more with our service. This "angle" is based on the assumption that many people are not thrilled with their current cleaning service. Sure they clean adequately, but there is not a trust bond formed as if you had the same house cleaner for 20 years who helped raise your children. This is how we will differentiate ourselves and ultimately win over new customers.
The first month will be used to set up the business. It is unlikely much/any business will be officially transacted. In addition to dealing with legal and accounting issues for the business, office equipment will be purchased and set up. Once the physical office is ready we will then develop the employee policy and procedure manual. Then we will develop our training program. This will take a bit of time therefore it is very important it is set up at the outset, ensuring that it is completed and done properly when there are far less time constraints.
The second month will begin to see some activity. We will begin to field inquiries over the phone and expect to turn some of those into contracts. The first week of jobs will be done as a team, with Sarah and one employee. As the number of contracts begin to pick up at the end of the second month an additional person will be hired to form the first employee team. By the end of month four we will have built up enough demand that a new team of two will be trained and begin working. Having two teams of two will be sufficient until month seven when two more people will be brought on. We expect to remain with a six person head count into mid-year two when we expect to bring on one more team.
The sales forecast is based on the assumption that increased demand will occur at a steady pace. This is based on the assumption that a large part for our new clients after month two will be from word of mouth referrals. The logic is that we will incrementally gain customers as we continue to serve current customers. We will need a couple of visits before we can turn a new client into a referral service. All this will happen steadily and incrementally. This forecast is on the conservative side, it is possible that because we are superior to competing services that things really take off, however, it would not be prudent to take that aggressive of a forecast. It is always better to err on the side of caution.
Mother's House Cleaning Service will have several milestones early on: