Be just 1% better than the competition.

I just read some very interesting but true advice I would like to pass on to you.

It is better to be just 1% better for 100 reasons than to be 100% better for only 1.

If you take that philosophy with your business you will see that even little changes make a big difference.

For example if your biggest competitor is always giving a 10% discount to new or referral customers and makes a big point of it in their advertising, then you offer 11%. Not that discounts are the answer, I usually do not recommend them but rather suggest that you give bonus value instead. But you get the idea.

Sometimes you can not out do someone or something by even 1%, take “available by phone 24 hours as day” for an example. But you can offer a faster response time either for a call back or actual booked appointment. But you must be able to follow through on your claims so chose carefully. You could offer a superior brand of stain for deck work instead of the run of the mill that everyone else carries, this does not mean that you do not charge for it, just that you carry and market it as the best in the industry. You can offer free window cleaning with a house wash or complementary gutter cleaning with a roof cleaning. Anything that the customer perceives as you giving that extra 1% over and over during your job for them will make you stand out, get you referrals and more jobs.

Always leave the owners property better then you found it, and I do not just mean on the job you are being paid to do. I mean make sure you pick up all of your trash or even their trash that your cleaning uncovers, within reason. If your service included furniture removal and replacement for a deck or patio cleaning be sure it is put back correctly or better than you found it. It may cost you only a few extra pennies to rinse off those plastic planters, deck chairs or cushions to make them look better. Of course you can always offer side services for a complete through cleaning job on these items first. And you must be willing to do these sort of small jobs that take up extra time before you offer them to the customer. It does you no good to advertise that you offer these services and have to later, while on the job, refuse to do them because you have booked your time so tight that you can not accommodate them. No matter how much pre-planning you do or questions you ask, something else will always come up once you are in front of the customer.

But if you do that extra 1% for customers over and over it will pay off 100 times over.