Updated: May 10
No matter what you do in life not everyone is going to be a fan. Early in my career I was canvassing a business district right in my hometown and when I entered a certain Jewelry store, the owner gave me the evil eye and was very rude to me when I asked him if he would like his store front windows cleaned. Three weeks later the same guy with a different attitude called because his daughter was planning her wedding at his lake house.
Over the years, my company has engaged in every form of "whitehat" marketing. We do many things, whatever it takes really, to get our brand in front of the right people. What's more, with a background 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 really depends on what I call the "Percent Efficiency of Delivery" (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 return on investment, and of course the content of your value proposal.
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, I don't feel arrogant stating that we have a handle on what it takes to scale a company in this space. The specific numbers and activities we engage in, are, of course, proprietary. Suffice to say that in the a timespan of career I've spent well over a million dollars advertising, all the while tracking the results to gather inside knowledge. Experience informs the Happy Window Cleaning Franchise.
That said, I don't mind sharing some general factors that might actually help someone whose 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. The key is understanding what works and then what proportion of the budget to spend on each item. One must consider staffing, 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. Every industry has normal peaks and valleys. Of course you must learn who your ideal prospect is. Your advertising budget must fit into the price point for your value propositions' which is largely determined by the market that you are in and the level of service that you are able to provide. In some ways this also changes as you grow and have larger overhead responsibilities.
Happy Window Cleaning uses a very specific set of Key Performance Indicators to inform decisions that are always based on real numbers. The general variables are the "opportunity cost" of the advertising, its effectiveness in reaching our target market, along with normal revenue projections and profitability requirements.
It takes thick skin to be in business because people who aren't working along side of 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 overhead and expenses.
However everyone thinks differently and people do have their own preferences in terms of solicitation. 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 irks people, and the larger the company gets the more often our brand rubs up against competitors and 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. Winner do not let haters rent space in their heads. I just thought this article is a good idea and might actually be helpful to those unacquainted with the burdens of success. If I had allowed that kind of feedback to affect our business we would never have had made it to the size we are today.
The fact is that haters will never cease nor desist. And that is okay. If God is for you, no one else can touch you! Customer feedback is essential in the correct context. Just keep in mind that what people say, and what they write about your business are just forms of feedback. As long as you don't slap anyone at your meetings , and you are doing a good job, you probably won't get cancelled. The feedback you really must listen to is exactly how many trips you are regularly making to the bank with deposits.