One year ago, I had just returned from the Total Life Freedom Mastermind Retreat in Gatlinburg, TN in mid-October 2019. My arrogance and pride were exposed to 20 other entrepreneurs from around the country and I was faced with a difficult choice. Do I go all-in to building a new solo cleaning company in the Philly Area and am I courageous enough to share my weekly progress to you, my podcast audience? If you've been a listener to this show for any amount of time, you already know my answer. "YES!"
My update this week takes you behind the curtains as I met with these same entrepreneurs a year later in Pittsburgh, PA. Before I could leave, I had some calendar shuffling to do as the retreat was Wednesday to Friday and I had houses scheduled. Here's what I did. A month before the trip, I connected with each client affected and shuffled them around to keep as many as possible. I was able to move my Tuesday client to Monday, my Thursday and Friday to Tuesday, and another Friday to next Tuesday. I had to cancel one of 5 houses and was able to clean every office over the weekend. It was an insane schedule where I cleaned offices Saturday & Sunday, houses Monday & Tuesday, drove to Pittsburgh Wednesday through Friday, offices Saturday & Sunday! I survived. Here's the point. A solo cleaning business is flexible and the trip was totally worth it!
While I was in Pittsburgh, my pre-scheduled newsletter went out to 100 local subscribers and a few interesting things happened. I was contacted by a Christian publication and radio station about advertising. These outlets found me online and subscribed to my newsletter. At this point, I do not do paid advertising as I don't need it. I'm just amazed that I've been able to build something in a short time that is locally recognized. I'd have to say that my newsletter and attending local networking groups may be the most valuable things I've done in 2020 for my new solo cleaning business. One other piece of marketing occurred while I was in Pittsburgh. My wife was selling some baby stuff on Facebook marketplace. She made a friend, Rebecca, through a sale. Rebecca saw on my wife's profile that we owned a cleaning business and said to her, "I'm in the market for a cleaner!" Teresa asked me what to do. I told her to send Rebecca to my cleaning website, specifically to an article I wrote about how much I charge for cleaning. Rebecca did and loved my website. She filtered herself into my sales funnel and wants me to do an estimate next week. She already knows how much I charge and is okay with it. That's the essence of how my ISO Model Marketing System works!
The Pittsburgh retreat was totally different this year. I was edified in front of the team for my progress in 1 year as I took a solo cleaning business from $25,000 to $80,000 in annual revenue during a pandemic. I was able to develop a comprehensive strategy for the Solo Cleaning School and the Elite Membership offered to accelerate solo cleaners through my system. Plus, I set some new cleaning goals and made some great friends!
One of my new friends is Nick Adams. He blew my mind with how he turned pandemic downtime into a new revenue stream. He owns Nick Adams Photography in Sanibel Island, FL. During the lockdown, he started making drone videos of Sanibel along with local history and culture voiceovers. These videos went viral and it opened the door to Nick starting a local travelers guide to the area. His new travel guide will charge advertisers and grow his photography business. During dinner one night, Nick shared an incredible story about a fancy I had NO idea about. Do you know that some watches cost over $10,000? How about $100,000? More? I didn't at all. Nick owns a few high-ticket watches in the $5,000-$10,000 range. He explained to me that they are an investment and that collectors in expensive watches is a hyper niched tribe. The most mind-blowing example that Nick shared was this one. There's a watch made by Rolex that has carefully selected emeralds on the face of the watch in increments of color that makes a rainbow around the watch. It takes Rolex so long to make one that they may only produce a couple per year. In fact, the waiting list for one of these watches is a mile deep! Nick told me that one investor recently sold one of these watches for $300,000! I asked Nick who buys them. His answer was, "people that can afford them". Then he dropped the hammer and took my mind-blown status another level. Listen closely or you'll miss it!
"Ken, I love watches and study them. It's my hobby and investment (like some collect baseball cards or coins). I was looking for a meet-up with like-minded watch lovers and found none locally. So I started one. I posted in online and a few local businessmen joined me at a restaurant one night. They had their watches in cases, some in portable vaults. These guys are A-players in business and real-estate. The group built up over time. It's not a business networking group at all. We just talk about watches. But recently, one of my new watch friends called me for a big photo shoot. It dawned on me that had a hobby that attracts the elite, brought them together, and now they include me in their circles."
This is so powerful. As you optimize your solo cleaning business, how would you like to be the go-to cleaner for the elite or any other super-niched tribe of people? If you do, the possibilities are endless!
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The Smart Cleaning School Podcast helps cleaning business owners from start-up to the struggling solo to the striving seven-figure get SMARTER in their businesses, reshape their mindset, increase productivity, clear the overwhelm, and get clarity through SMART goal-setting & personal accountability. Ken Carfagno is a lifetime learner and teacher. His mission is to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make.