As Elite has written about in a previous blog post, it is incredibly valuable to build a diversified portfolio of commercial clients. It is important, because servicing the right balance of clients will give you consistent revenue streams throughout the entire year. Beyond this, commercial clients are also relatively predictable, because large contracts are planned out months in advance.
In this post, we will break down 4 types of commercial clients Elite looks to attract when building a diversified commercial portfolio. By leveraging these clients, Elite was able to increase revenues by over 20% across all franchise operations in 2021.
Elite holds several contracts with municipal governments across Ontario. Cleaning the windows on city hall and utility buildings, or pressure washing sidewalks and bus shelters all are examples of city contracts. This year, our Kingston location was able to land a contract to pressure wash all of the downtown sidewalks multiple times throughout the summer. It also included pressure washing select bus shelters. Finally, the contract includes an hourly rate for us to perform graffiti removal for the city.
The last part of the contract – graffiti removal – has led to thousands of dollars in additional revenue. Because we worked to build a strong relationship with our contacts they know that they can rely on us when they need a graffiti fix ASAP. Even though there are other companies that can perform graffiti removal, we’re the ones that get the call.
This single contract with the city will likely contribute over $75,000 every year for the next 3 years.
And that’s the beauty of municipal contracts. They’re local, they’re generally multi-year, and they’re almost always looking for you to be able to pick up some extra work. Municipalities have no shortage of work to get done in a year, which means they think favourably towards companies that help them chip things off of their list.
Working diligently with municipal clients will almost always lead to more work. At minimum, the exposure from cleaning municipal buildings and property will build your reputation and credibility within the community.
Commercial Property Management Clients
Property managers can vary from a single property to hundreds (and potentially thousands). The best part about these clients is that they book services in for Spring and Fall, because property managers generally have an obligation to the residents to clean the windows on their property yearly. On top of this, these clients will book months in advance. They do this because they set up their budget spending towards the end of the calendar year. Because these clients book so far in advance, we can stagger them throughout the season so that the workload is more evenly distributed.
Typical services include: window cleaning, gutter cleaning, pressure washing and select odd jobs.
Towards the end of the season, we expect somewhere between 70-80% of the property managers that we service to request gutter cleaning. This gives us a nice bump of work in the Fall, which can carry our workforce until the end of our season.
Lucky for us, Canadians love construction.
General construction, as well as new buildings and subdivisions means a lot of new glass. On top of this, the glass is extra dirty (from paint, caulking, cement, other building materials, etc.) which means that we charge more for post-construction cleaning. The glass also needs to be cleaned before the homes are occupied.
Let’s re-frame that last sentence.
By working directly with home-builders, Elite is able to get its foot in the door of a neighbourhood BEFORE the homes are occupied. This is a perfect example of commercial work fueling long-term residential work. Why wouldn’t a homeowner call the company that made the windows perfectly clean the very first time?
Storefronts and Local Businesses as Commercial Clients
Our last set of commercial clients is one of the best ways to increase your local presence. And that’s for three reasons.
First, storefronts and local businesses get an incredible amount of foot traffic. Because Elite uses a water-fed pole system, and the system looks unique, our technicians spend a lot of time showing passerby’s how it all works. Working in high foot-traffic area increases the chances of landing new job opportunities in the field.
Second, association with other respected businesses is one of the best ways to build credibility. When you clean the windows on a BMW dealership, or any other business, think about what that means. It means the owners trust you with a part of their image. We also leverage this strategy online. By building a visual portfolio of all the commercial businesses we service across our entire operation. Check out our commercial services page here to see what that looks like.
Third, storefronts and local businesses are the clients that are most likely to set up weekly or monthly cleanings. This leads to recurring revenue streams throughout the entire year.
Closing Thoughts on Growth
Combining these 4 types of clients in a commercial portfolio will grow your window cleaning business. As an example, Elite was able to increase revenues by over 20% across all franchise operations in 2021. This growth comes from both residential and commercial, but it is commercial that provides year-round stability. The beauty of residential and commercial is that they exist in a symbiotic relationship with each other.
By leveraging commercial relationships, you increase awareness, leading to additional residential leads, and vice versa. The principle is simple, and the mechanics are broken down above.
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