Cleaning contracts, especially carpet cleaning, can be a lucrative small business. The reasons are low overhead (relatively speaking) and a large amount of work. In down times like a recession business may trail off, but hotels still need carpets cleaned professionally. Many hotels outsource this task because they only need to do this a few times a year and it would be too expensive to hire staff to do it. For the small business, landing several hotel carpet cleaning contracts can provide a steady stream of dependable income.
Build up your references and experience. Hotels want to see professional experience cleaning carpets for large buildings--namely, hotels. It always helps to have experience in the industry for which you want to clean.
Clean carpets for small and large businesses, and develop enough of a relationship with these businesses that you could ask them to be references. Before you submit their names as references ask them if it is all right to do so. They will appreciate it and regard you as more of a professional.
Approach a few smaller hotels with your services. You can offer them an introductory rate if you feel it might help you gain some business. This is where your networking will pay off. Talk to other business owners and cleaners in the industry to find out who is doing whose carpets and how the relationship is paying off. Find out which new hotels are being built and by whom. most importantly, find out which hotels are being sold to new owners. They will be looking for new contractors.
Visit several hotels, and leave a professional business card and rate sheet with the clerk. Then follow up with a phone call a day or two later to speak with the manager. Continue to canvas the area connecting with hotels that you feel could benefit from your services.
Take out an ad in the Yellow Pages. Many businesses will take out large ads in the Yellow Pages to get new clients. This is especially effective for small, growing businesses. New hotel owners will check the Yellow Pages to find services, including carpet cleaning.
To be successful in networking you should always reciprocate the favor. If someone offers you a tip on a hotel that could use a new cleaner, go out of your way to help him find business as well. He will be more likely to help you the next time.
You may find that you have to take smaller jobs or less desirable jobs before you land the big contracts. Investing in new equipment and training better employees will always give you a leg up on the competition, especially when approaching larger chains.