Smarta member Lisa Langmead tells us how she launched her cleaning business with next to nothing in the bank.
Hello, my name is Lisa - or Clean Queen as I like to be called.
I dreamt up my company Dust and Vac while cleaning my own toilet of
all places! I stood up and realised that I was actually enjoying
what I was doing. I toyed with the idea of therapy but on the
realisation it would cost too much, I decided to gain money from
this terrible infliction and Dust and Vac was born.
It was all well and good thinking about it but with no start-up capital it was always going to be an uphill struggle. I found a company who let me build a free website then taught myself how to input the html needed - the internet can teach you anything!
Ok the website was dazzling and free but what about the marketing? I collected a few quotes for flyers but all were out of my price range. The truth was I had literally no money to spend on marketing - it's no exaggeration when I say £20 was too much.
Feeling rather despondent, as I binned (I mean recycled) the last of the junk mail I had collected that week, I had my eureka marketing moment! I had just disposed of 11 leaflets and had not even read them. Why? Because they all looked the same - I realised all I had to do was stand out.
I immediately ordered some name labels which my children have in their uniforms (iron on, as I cannot sew) and added my company details to them. I then received some strange looks at the supermarket as I bought up 100 scouring pads. I ironed on the labels and pushed my creations through perspective clients' doors.
The response was fantastic. One man emailed me to say that he thought it was such a great idea and recommended us to his daughter. I gained another client as they saw a friend using my Flyer to wash-up with - the labels are meant to withstand machine washing so they never come off - fantastic!
Total cost of my scouring pad fliers that landed my first clients? £15. The value of trying something different? Priceless.
Find out more about Dust and Vac