Updated: Sep 8
No matter what you do in life not everyone is going to be a fan. Early in my career while canvassing the business district of Ludington, MI, upon entering a certain Jewelry store, the owner was very rude to me when I asked if he would like his storefront windows cleaned. Three weeks later the same guy with a changed attitude called because his daughter was planning her wedding at his lake house. One "President" of a local neighborhood association is notorious for meddling in my canvassing efforts. This tyrant actually chased me down with his truck as I was delivering fliers and told me that I couldn't be in his development. (on the public road). To me, this seems distinctly anti-American. I truly believe that such isolationism if gone too far within a society can lead to trouble. I forged ahead anyway and three of the local residents booked that week. I told the "President" that I hadn't voted for him. Thankfully, not everyone in his kingdom follows his lead.
Over the years, my company has engaged in every form of "white hat" marketing. We do many things, whatever it takes really, to get our brand in front of the right people. What's more, trained in engineering, I have always measured how many prospects came from each form of advertising in our "marketing mix". From a financial perspective, advertising expenditures must be a certain percentage of the top line on the income statement. What is optimum spending depends on the "Percent Efficiency of Customer Acquisition" (In minus out divided by In times 100 = percent efficiency). Along with other factors such as the rate of saturation in a given market, affordability of the advertising based on customer acquisition costs, and return on investment. Of course, the content of your offerings must be appealing to your prospects.
There is such a thing as spending too much on advertising, but you can spend too little as well. After nearly three decades of being in business and having measured what works and what does not in my niche space, it isn't arrogance to state that we have a handle on what it takes to scale a company in our space. The haters have no idea about that nor do they care. The specific numbers and activities we engage in are our proprietary information. Suffice it to say, that in the timespan of my career I've spent millions of dollars on advertising, in every form imaginable, all the while tracking results to gather data. Experience is the thing that informs the Happy Window Cleaning Franchise.
That said, I don't mind sharing some general factors that might actually help someone who's going it alone, just starting out, or is just stuck at a certain level. Here is what you must consider when choosing the mediums for advertising. One must consider the staffing pool, and how many projects your team can manage in a day. Promotions must be launched in a timely manner consistent with known cycles, i.e., the beginning, ending, and duration of your highest earning seasons. Look for constraints and optimize all of your systems, with standardized operating procedures. The key is understanding what works and then what proportion of the budget to spend on each item.
Every industry has normal peaks and valleys. Of course, you must first learn who your ideal prospect actually is. You can't depend on haters or gatekeepers to tell you who might want your services. An advertising budget must fit into the range of market-driven price points for such value propositions' (which is largely determined by geography). but the price point is also affected by the level of service that you are able to provide. Your direct costs and overhead will change as you grow.
Happy Window Cleaning uses a specific set of Key Performance Indicators to inform decisions, based on real numbers. The general variables are the "opportunity cost" of the advertising, its effectiveness in reaching our target market, normal revenue projections, and profitability requirements.
It takes thick skin to be in business because people who aren't working alongside us in our space have no idea what it really takes in terms of advertising, overhead/administration, and operations, to make a few bucks after those expenses. The haters will complain about the people who sponge off the system and in the same breath deny you fair trade.
However, in fairness, everyone thinks differently and people do have their own preferences in terms of the solicitation acceptable to them. The truth is that our staff sometimes fields nasty phone calls, about our advertising, we receive hate mail, mean-spirited texts, and even threatening emails! It happens more now that we are getting to be a bigger company. Sometimes our advertising delivery mechanism irks people, and the larger Happy Window Cleaning gets, the more often our brand rubs up against competitors, their loyal customers, family members, friends, and associates. Here is the thing, if we stopped receiving hate mail that would truly worry me. It would mean that we are not doing enough to get our name out there.
There is no way that I would ever allow the haters among us to influence my business decisions. Winners do not let haters rent space in their heads. We just sprinkle some sugar on our sour grapes and get back to work. Keep in mind that If I had allowed that kind of feedback to affect our business we would never have made it to the size we are today. Marketing requires a certain amount of gumption.
The fact is that haters will never cease and desist. And that is okay. If God is for you, no one stand against you! Of course, customer feedback is essential but one must consider the context of its content. Just keep in mind that what people say, and what they write about your business are legitimate feedback but motivations for that can and do vary. As long as you are doing a great job delivering value to those who seek it at your trade, you probably won't have a problem. The feedback you really must listen to is exactly how many trips you are regularly making to the bank with deposits. If you live to old age you are going to need a retirement fund.