This article is based on a presentation from the 2020 Maid Summit, given by Amar Ghose, CEO & Co-Founder of ZenMaid.com. ZenMaid has been helping hundreds of Maid Service Owners organize, market, and automate their cleaning businesses over the last seven years.
In this post, Amar will highlight how cleaning businesses can diversify their revenue streams with low-barrier revenue options. To see the full video, and get an all-access pass to all of the replays from this year’s event, go to MaidSummit.com
How To Improve Your Maid Service’s Cash Flow By Selling Gift Cards
If anything, this year has taught us that the world can change pretty much overnight. It’s been more important than ever to think about how to diversify your business’s revenue streams and implement strategies that can protect your cash flow when times get tough.
One of our favorite strategies for cleaning businesses to add in an additional revenue stream and create more consistent cash flow is by offering a gift card program.
Let’s talk about the benefits of selling gift cards, and how they can help not only sustain your business but help it grow in the long run.
The benefits of a gift card program
With a gift card program, you open your business up to new ways to make more money and grow your business by maintaining cash flow, increasing your revenue, and exposing your business to new clients.
Maintain cash flow
At first glance, it may seem counterintuitive that gift cards help maintain cash flow. Your first thought might be, “if they’re paying me now, then doesn’t that mean less money later?” For cleaning businesses that have repeat customers, you may question the purpose of selling gift cards if you already know that your customers are going to continue to pay you month over month.
But the truth is that if every single one of your clients buy gift cards before the time of service, it would massively improve your business. The reason is that when someone pays you ahead of the service you provide, they’re essentially loaning you money at a zero percent interest rate.
So even if they are repeat customers, you now have more money upfront to reinvest in your business and give yourself a cash flow buffer. This massively helps with cash flow because it allows you to plan ahead and use that money to potentially grow other areas of the business, such as hiring more cleaners or investing in a new marketing strategy that will pay for itself in a few month’s time.
A new source of revenue
While asking your existing customers to buy gift cards for future cleanings will help you maintain cash flow, you can also market gift cards as a gift to give their friends or family. This will create an additional revenue source because the money you are making from the gift cards is in addition to the money you are making from your repeat customers.
Expand your client base
When your customers buy gift cards to give their friends, family, or coworkers, they are essentially helping you market your business. Of course, your business should already be prioritizing good service and quality cleaning. So when you’re committed to providing your customers with an outstanding experience, they’ll be more inclined to share that experience with their friends in the form of a gift card.
How to market your gift cards
There are a lot of quick and simple ways to market your gift card program. A lot of these strategies might be things you are already doing for your cleaning business in general, and it’s just about adopting new messaging.
Incorporate them into your social media strategy
Once you’ve set up your gift card program, it’s time to let people know. One of the easiest ways to do this is to blast out the information to your followers on social media. You can create specific messaging for your audiences on each platform and then work these posts into your social media strategy throughout the year. Social media should be one of the first places you let people know about your new program as it’s one of the lowest hanging fruit and the perfect way to keep your audience up to date on your services and offerings.
If you have an email list of your clients and leads, another quick way to get the word about your gift card is to send out an email blast to everyone on that list. To incentivize people even more, you can create a special offer for your email subscribers by giving them $5 off or another type of discount to buy a gift card straight from that email.
When creating these emails, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. To simplify these campaigns, feel free to use similar messaging to the posts you create for your gift card program on social media. If you already send out a newsletter to your list, then you can simply add in a section in the newsletter, or even in the email signature letting people know that you are now selling gift cards.
Partner with other local businesses
These days, people in the community are always looking for ways to shop small and support local businesses. A great way to further encourage your customers to support local businesses in the community is to partner up with other companies in your area to create a gift card bundle. Partnering with other service businesses like auto repair shops, dry cleaners, or restaurants can give your cleaning business a boost in exposure. It’ll also help multiple businesses in the community at once.
Create a holiday calendar
When creating marketing campaigns for your gift cards, start by making a list of all of the major holidays celebrated in your area and put them on a calendar. Creating campaigns around specific holidays can ensure that you’re promoting your gift card program regularly and never missing an opportunity. You can use a tool like Canva to create free holiday graphics.
Creating holiday campaigns also allows you to reuse those campaigns year after year. So once you make a campaign for a particular holiday, you’ll be able to run that same campaign every year after only doing the work once.
Create unique and timely campaigns
In addition to promoting your gift cards around certain holidays, pay attention to other ways your gift cards can serve your community. For example, in COVID times, creating a campaign that benefits essential workers can resonate with many people looking for small ways to give back.
You can launch a campaign highlighting how free cleaning can make a significant impact on an essential worker’s life right now and take one burden off of their lives. You can even tie your business to social good by pledging a donation every time someone buys one of your gift cards for an essential worker or someone in need.
What tools do you need to implement a gift card program?
If you don’t currently have a gift card program, you might be overwhelmed by the technicalities of how to even manage gift card sales. Luckily, there is some easy-to-use software on the market that can help you streamline this process.
If you want to put together this system yourself, all you need is a form tool, a way to collect payments, and a way to deliver the gift card.
When it comes to the form to sell your gift card, free tools like Typeform or Jotform work great. Forms that come with a Stripe or other payment integration make this process even easier because you can seamlessly link your bank account to the form.
Use an all-in-one gift card tool
While there are low-tech ways to piece together a process for selling gift cards, some business owners might opt for an all-in-one solution.
After talking with dozens of maid service owners, we at ZenMaid realized just how much a gift card program improved their cash flow and helped grow their businesses. We wanted to come up with a way to make gift cards more accessible to maid service owners.
We also realized that many owners don’t have the time to figure out how to implement a program themselves, so we came up with an easy solution to this problem.
We built ZenGift as an all-inclusive gift card tool that helps maid service owners seamlessly sell and market their gift cards to their customers and new audiences.
When you sign up, you can connect your Stripe account or create one for free. Then, you’ll immediately be able to start creating campaigns for social media and your email list to start selling your gift cards.
ZenGift comes pre-populated with posts and graphics for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram to plug into your social media calendar and sell your gift cards. You’ll even be able to create a gift card shop and embed it on your website to link people to the page quickly.
When you sign up, you’ll get an email on major holidays, letting you know to promote your gift cards for those specific holidays. You’ll then be able to go to ZenGift and use our premade graphics for each holiday along with holiday-specific messaging.
Gift cards can serve as an additional revenue source, help you maintain consistent cash flow, and be a great way to market your business and expand your client base. We hope this helps you see just how valuable a gift card program can be at helping you balance cash flow and grow your cleaning business.
For even more strategies and tips on how to implement a successful gift card program, check out Amar’s full talk from the 2020 Maid Summit. This event, hosted by ZenMaid, is designed specifically to support Maid Services. It features over 40 talks from maid service owners and industry experts. Check out full replays of these talks at MaidSummit.com.
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- How To Improve Your Maid Service’s Cash Flow By Selling Gift Cards
- How to Hire and Retain The Best Employees For your Cleaning Business
Cover image Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels