Cost To Acquire Customers

We created this free resource to help you plan, forecast and keep track on your business growth and cashflow.

You can see an explainer video below and download the tool with the link below:

The Leaky Bucket Syndrome

Imagine you’re driving around town knocking on doors to get new clients (we cover more on the problems with door knocking later).

This can hard enough as it is.

Maybe you connect with the decision maker but you probably don’t. At least you know the person at front desk.

You made 10 calls and it’s time to head back to the office. Just as you’re pulling in, you look in your mirror and to your disbelief, you see a bunch of dollar bills blowing out from the back of your car.

“How long has that been going on?!” you wonder.

All you can see is money blowing down the street.

If Money Was Falling Out Of Your Pocket, You’d Want To Know About It Too, Right?

At BR Marketing, we work with commercial cleaners and janitorial companies.

We know how hard it can be to work a list of leads and get new clients. But the work doesn’t stop there.

Many cleaning businesses are trying a shotgun approach and hoping that they can work the numbers game. (That in itself can be a problem, because you’re sacrificing quality over quantity and potentially wasting energy on bad prospects.)

But the main problem is they don’t focus enough on what happens after they connect with these people - which is crucial.

Leaky Bucket Syndrome

Leaky Bucket Syndrome

This is what I call the Leaky Bucket Syndrome – when we focus so much effort on getting more “into the bucket” but neglect to make sure that that bucket itself is still full.

While regularly searching for new leads is a good thing, it’s only worthwhile if those leads are being converted into commercial cleaning jobs or high-paying janitorial accounts.

You can get all the clients in the world, but if your systems aren’t set up properly to engage, nurture and serve those clients, then they will end up leaking right on out over time.

And this leak isn’t water either. It’s losing customers, market share and cold, hard cash.

How do you Solve a leaky bucket problem?

You’ve basically got got 3 options.

  1. Plugging the leaks

  2. Adding more water or

  3. Getting a new bucket.

At BR Marketing, we have a system that not only plugs the leaks in your bucket, but we can also provide additional buckets of customers and a tap with which we can control the flow of leads.

How does it work?

You can essentially break down our system into 3 parts:

  1. The Process
  2. The Parts
  3. The People

The Process

You won’t find our processes anywhere else. That’s our secret sauce. We design, build and execute a custom targeting, lead generation, engagement, nurturing and follow up machine that drives results and ROI.

All you have to do is follow the process, speak with prospective clients and schedule your demo or consultation.

The Parts

We use a proprietary business development platform combined with premium software applications to generate consistent client engagements.

The People

Our team are results-orientated and client-focused. Led by Bref McHugh, who has over a decade of business development and marketing experience - our people do what technology just can’t.

And the results of implementing this system correctly?

You’ll have a business development and growth engine that functions smoothly, steadily and effectively – so that you (and your team) can focus on the next job, key accounts and retaining happy customers who refer to others.

Feeling Stuck?

We know from speaking with clients that the same old methods won’t even get you the same results any more.

Grinding out more cold calls, door knocking, flyers, direct mail, networking, or going to more conventions. All of these and many more lack a crucial component - the ability to follow up effectively and to automate the process.

Traditional business models are becoming outdated and current business systems (or sometimes lack thereof) are losing them money.

At the end of the day the leaky bucket is a direct threat to not only growth, but to the very survival of your commercial cleaning company.

It was clear for some of our clients that this could impact the legacies that they hoped to leave for their children.

We want  to help you avoid that - sign up for a free strategy session today.

Leaky Buckets Don’t Lie When It Comes to Raw, Hard Math

How much does it actually cost you to acquire a new customer?


Don’t worry - a lot of our clients didn’t have an answer for that question until they started working with us.

Leaky Bucket Syndrome

It can be anything from 6 - 8 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.

This makes attracting, converting – and keeping – existing leads coming into the business a must for anyone operating in a competitive environment such as commercial cleaning and janitorial.

To calculate your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), you simply add up your sales and marketing costs (for a specific time) and divide by the number of new customers. Your sales and marketing costs should include advertising, salaries, commissions, bonuses and overhead.


So if, for example, your annual sales and marketing costs were $50,000 and you gained 25 new customers, your CAC would be $2,000.

If your average commercial cleaning account generates say $6,000, then paying $50k to add $150,000, which is an ROI of 300%.

You’ll want a low CAC, obviously. But once you establish a benchmark, an increasing CAC will indicate a possible problem with your sales or marketing effectiveness and once you know this, it can be addressed.

Now consider how much more you could achieve (both in your business and at home with your family) if you had a system humming in the background, knocking on digital doors for you

(To access the CAC spreadsheet, please click here.)

To access more resources including Marketing Math & Metrics, click here)

Do You Suffer From Leaky Bucket Syndrome?

These kinds of holes in your bucket are truly draining. Mentally, emotionally and financially.

As Jim Rohn said…

”Either you run the day or the day runs you”

The good news is this: ALL of these things can be solved with the right systems and team in place.

Next Steps

So before you fill up on gas and hop into your car, consider reaching out to us for your complimentary business Strategy Session.

We’ll take 30-45 minutes to go through what you’re doing, challenges you face and opportunities that need to be seized. You’ll gain a clear understanding of what it will take to grow your business to where you want it to be.

You’ll understand how to fix your leaky bucket.

Then we can discuss our process. And don’t worry - we don’t do sales pitches because you are either a fit, or you’re not and either way is OK.

To your success.

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Top 5 Challenges for Commercial Cleaning Companies

Commercial cleaning

A lot of people take the contract cleaning business for granted.

How hard can it be, right?

Maybe they should shadow you for a day…

The work can be demanding enough, but then there’s the ins and outs of finding customers, hiring and training employees, new technology and staying competitive.

Based off conversations with clients and feedback from within the industry, we have compiled a list of the Top 5 Challenges for Commercial Cleaning Companies.

  1. Business Development & Marketing Changes

Getting a steady flow of new jobs and high quality accounts is the lifeblood of every commercial cleaning business but the problem is that most people have no idea how to do it consistently, beyond relying on referrals that trickle through...

Traditional cold calling-whether on the phone or in-person has become much less effective.

Who really has the time today to take a cold call? Most business owners (you included) need to calendar all meetings. To quote Jim Rohn…

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

Another factor is that more and more business owners and building managers have the tendency to select cleaning contractors by doing their own online research.

The good news is that there has never been a better time to rapidly grow your cleaning business! With so many great marketing tools available, and the ability to track and measure success - now is the time that we’ll see the growth of many privately owned contract cleaning companies.

2. The Digital Revolution

Related to marketing changes, internet search platforms like Google and Bing continue to make several adjustments that affect how visitors find businesses, and these changes will continue. Cleaning Contractors must stay aware of these changes and how they impact their online presence.

Businesses can literally change overnight if you are not prepared for changes on these digital platforms.

Make sure that you have an expert on your side to help you navigate the digital playing field. If you feel like you are ready to put your foot on the accelerator and dominate your market, then contact us to see if our process is a good fit. We give our contract cleaning clients a serious competitive advantage.

3. Hiring

The continued strength in the economy this year, has increased the confidence for many cleaning contractors who are more targeting aggressive growth and plan to hire more full-time workers. But with growth can come pain. Hiring can be time-consuming, costly, and a fresh challenge for newer companies.

But as every successful cleaning business knows, employees are critical to your success; after all, it is the quality of their performance that directly determines whether your customers are satisfied or not.

A recent article in entrepreneur recommends to take time and learn as much as possible about effective hiring practices before starting the process.

Look for ways to help staff want to do their best. Train them well, don’t micromanage, and treat them with respect. Provide bonuses and incentives for top performance, and consider offering perks such as flexibility to use company equipment in their own homes.

4. Competition

Let’s face it - people are buying a book on Amazon and starting a new cleaning business overnight.


A report from IBIS World lists 904,718 janitorial businesses in the United States alone!

It has never been more important to be able to clearly articulate your business’s Unique Selling Points (USPs) and what sets you apart from the rest.

To find out how to avoid the trap of becoming just another name on a potential vendor list, book your complimentary strategy session with us.

5. Wages & Benefits

A few years ago, many cleaning companies were concerned with how the Affordable Care Act was going to impact them. Now there seems to be more attention on raising the minimum wage in some parts of the country and such changes can directly affect the commercial cleaning industry, pricing, and profit margins.

Some things are out of our control but we must control what we can.

Are you on course to reach your goals this year?

Set up a free 30 minute strategy session with Bref McHugh, to analyze your business and get a clear understanding of exactly what it is that you need to do in the next 12 months to move your commercial cleaning business to the next level.

Your Business is Being Audited

Marketing Audit

What now?

Do you fly into panic mode, or calmly absorb the news?

Wakeup call: you should be auditing your business

Now I’m not sure if your business is actually being audited, and hopefully not by the IRS anyway.

But let’s talk about the kind of business audits you should be doing, whether the IRS forces them on you or not.

Would you drive cross-country without getting a tune up?

In order to grow our client’s business and really turn the needle to get better results, we’ve got to pull the hood back once in awhile and review current performance.

A lot of clients come to me with little knowledge about their key business metrics. They have a vague notion that they’re not earning enough money, or not getting enough inquiries from potential clients, or spending too much on advertising for the amount of business it’s generating.

Do you know your business’ vital statistics?

As part of our digital marketing audits, we pull back the hood on your business development and marketing activities, and take a hard, honest look at what you’re doing and what results you’re getting.

We help you get get more specific. With most of our digital marketing processes, we can drill down to the dollar and day to see exactly how your business development campaigns are performing.

Here are some questions I ask every client who comes to my company for marketing help:

  • What goals have you set for the year, and how are they going?
  • What challenges do you face in your business right now, and what’s your plan to overcome them?
  • How are you doing relative to the competition? Is someone outpacing you?
  • How much are you growing, in terms of client base, revenue, or both?
  • How are you tracking your marketing efforts and results?
  • What is your marketing ROI (return on investment)?
  • Do you know your CPA (cost for each new customer acquired) and CPL (cost for each new lead acquired)?

For some businesses, gaining clarity on these areas alone can be worth it’s weight in gold.

Why, why, why?

While answers to the above questions are critical in understanding business and marketing performance, they pale in importance to knowing exactly why you are in business in the first place.

What is it that your business needs to deliver for you? What are your ultimate goals as a business owner and how do you achieve them?

Most importantly, are you wasting your two most precious commodities—your time and your money—on business development efforts that don’t work, or that don’t fit your goals?

As a business owner, you make lots of sacrifices. “Shark Tank” investor Lori Greiner hit the nail on the head when she said, “Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week” (source: Business Insider).

The key is to make sure that that extra effort isn’t wasted, and you don’t know that until you audit what you’re doing now.

Cut the Fluff

At BR Marketing, we specialize in results-orientated marketing campaigns. We cut the fluff and find out exactly what we need to do move your business from X to Y so that you can get what you really need to enjoy the lifestyle that you originally invested in.

Get your Free Marketing Audit

Contact me for a quick chat to see if our process is a good fit for your service-based business. We’ll set 10-15 minutes for a quick chat and if it makes sense we can go ahead and provide a complimentary digital marketing audit.

Just send me a message or schedule time right here: Chat with Bref.

We’ll help you get meaningful answers to the questions above (and more), and most importantly, we’ll make sure that you move toward a zero-waste model, where every dollar you spend on marketing is multiplied in terms of your real results.

Unlike an IRS audit, our audits are something you can actually look forward to, as we help you improve on what you’re already doing, or get a bigger bang from your marketing buck.

If it’s been way too long since you looked under the hood of your business, let’s talk.

You deserve to have this year be your best year yet, and BR Marketing would love to help you get there.

Click Here to Apply for Free Strategy Session

10 Tips to Get More Real Estate Leads From Your Website

How to Maximize your digital interactions that result in personal connections

10 Tips to Get More Real Estate Leads From Your Website

‘Developing a steady stream of leads’ - that’s what successful real estate agents want most. 

Sure there’ll be variables within there such as buyer leads, seller leads, desirable transaction values and so on. But it all boils down to closing more deals.

And every good seller knows that in order to close enough deals and reach your commission target, you’ve got to convert enough leads.

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably got solid a solid grasp as to what your closing rates are and how many leads you need to achieve your goals. You're a high performer.

I’ve put together a list of 10 effective ways for you to get more leads from your website right now. Put them into action and let me know what worked best for you.If you don’t have a real estate website yet - don’t worry. Read on and learn; some of these tips can be used on social media, in person and then you can always get a website created.

Personal referrals are golden, but the web is taking over real estate, and it’s time to be proactive and change with it. These tips will show you just how a real estate website can power your lead generation machine.

So let’s get to the fun stuff...

1. Be informative and have fun by posting helpful articles either through your blog or your facebook page. There’s so much that you can write about; from DIY to gardening, community news and local events and everything else related to homes.

2. Get links from your favorite vendors and have them link to you on a resources page. This helps with SEO. Partner with your neighborhood associations and get linked from their websites too.

3. Leverage the power of Social Media, particularly Facebook: Make sure you link to your website to FB and vice should use Facebook to promote your website. Facebook also has a highly targeted advertising system that you can use to attract buyers or sellers.

4. Give First: Start by providing value and then you can get leads back in return. You can create a helpful guide for potential customers such as “How to negotiate the best deal when purchasing your home even in a sellers market”. You receive their contact info in return.

 tips to get more real estate leads from your website

Don't worry, you've got this!

5. Cross promotions with Local Businesses: Chat with some other local businesses that you know and pool together for a contest. Host it on your site or mention it in your blog posts to get people to sign up. Then have the other businesses mention it too.

6. Be personal: Use your website to engage people, connect with them and get your brand across. Have fun and develop some KLT (Know, Like, Trust)!.

7. Add Video: Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Hollywood actor. Just embed a Youtube video on each page and let your video do some educating or pre-selling for you. Seriously, if I can do’ve got no problems. Click here to see a video I shot and posted to YouTube in 5 minutes.

8. Compare and Contrast: I know when we bought our home a couple years back, we (ok, mainly my wife) did a lot of comparisons in the area. Everything from schools to security, restaurants to running paths. Demonstrate your knowledge and compare and contrast the different living options in your neighborhoods.

9. Interview people: As part of your blogging / social media calendar, why not interview community figureheads. School teachers, sports coaches or restaurant owners. This will help generate great content for your website and form great connections for your real estate business.

10. Host Events: An article on real estate marketing wouldn’t be complete without talking about networking. The key here is to make it fun...and not a chore. What kind of events can you either attend or host? I work with a realtor who is passionate about soccer - he hosts socials when there’s a big soccer match on TV. He also sells homes to the soccer fans who come watch these games. Smart.

If you want to separate yourself from the pack of agents that don’t know how to consistently build a strong brand, generate good leads, and refine their closing rate - get in touch with me for a free strategy session. Even if you don’t have a website, we can give you the blueprints to set one up in just a few days.

How To Start a Blog

Blog quickstart

I’ve learnt from experience that the hardest thing in completing anything is just getting started.

Working out.

Moving to a new place.

Cooking a meal.

Starting a business.

A blog is central to your business success for a number of reasons:

  • Build Trust Online
  • Establish Yourself as an Expert
  • Turn strangers into friends
  • Improve Your SEO
  • People buy from people they know.

Anyway, we’re keeping this quick. Let’s go:

How To Start a Blog

  1. Decide what to blog about.
  2. Choose a blogging platform.
  3. Find a host. (We love Bluehost)!
  4. Pick a domain name. (You can do this through host provider also).
  5. Install WordPress.
  6. Design & use your blog!

Your challenge: Start a blog today.

Commit to 15 minutes each day with the goal of writing 100- 250 words. At the end of a week, you’ll have 500+ words and a blog post.

Need more help? Check out this video from Pat Flynn who shows you how to set up a blog in less than 4 minutes.

Good luck!

7 Proven Strategies to Generate Leads for Your Business

7 Steps to generate leas for your business

Ok so you’ve printed up flyers, blasted out posts to your Facebook fans and Twitter followers and you just paid a guy to do SEO and Google AdWords ( but you’re not sure if he’s doing SEO or SEM or both). You haven’t really seen a noticeable uptick in sales inquiries or new appointments that you need to generate leads grow your business.

Don’t worry you are not alone.

Generate Leads

There are hundreds of ways to generate leads and the truth is that it can be head-spinning to try to understand all of them.

Successful small business owners are always trying to increase their customer base and grow their business – having access to a steady stream of leads is critical.

No leads, no luck.

While it will vary by business, a lead is basically a consumer (B2C) or business (B2B) that has ab interest in what you are offering.

Today, we are going to share with you 7 free things that you can do to generate leads for your business and we’ll even throw in a bonus at the end.

1. Blog

I know – you’ve already heard this. But for good reason – it works and it helps generate leads for your business.

But in spite of this, many companies do not have a consistent content calendar. You’ve really got to have a business blog to be successful at streaming traffic through your website and leads through your funnels. Posting once a month is better then never!

Commit to writing 250 words per day.

OK, if you can’t do that just do 100 words bare minimum and by the end of a week you can have a 500+ word blog post. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be your voice helping your customers or commenting on one pertinent and relevant topic.

Schedule 15 minutes per day to write 100-250 words. Just let it out!

For a quickstart guide to starting a blog, read this post.

(Many give up when no results come in the first month or two – don’t let that be you!)

2. Lead Magnet: Give First – Get Later (When They are Ready)

Ok so I know you want to get the leads, but think about it like this…think about some people that have tried to sell you stuff.

There’s the guy who know you for all of five minutes and he’s obviously trying to sell you something. You remember – the guy who tried to sell you life insurance. He lays on the heavy stories about the kids with no parents and you walk away just feeling like crap. “Better to try and avoid him in the future I think”. You want to take care of your family, but there’s a way to do it without feeling like dirt.

Now think about someone who you actually enjoy buying from. You may not even think that they have tried to sell stuff to you, because you probably like them so much. They took the time to get to know you, learn about that is important to you and when the time was right you actually asked them to sell you something.

My wife and I have been married since 2007 (wow, almost 10 years! You can click here to see a picture of us on our wedding day. Tuxes were in!) Even before then, people were trying to sell us houses. Seemed like everyone we met in 2006-2008 was a realtor. As soon as I’d say hello, I’d have a business card in my hand.

In late 2014 we bought our first home. Our realtor’s name is Luke and he has the patience of a nun! He drove us around to tons of houses when we were figuring the whole thing out. But it was what he’d done before we were ready. He took the time to get to know us, he remembered things like Birthdays and anniversaries. He spoke to me about my passion for soccer. Luke always had great resources for us and answers to questions we had along the way. He cared, he provided. We bought.

Now I am not saying wait 10 years to sell! Just get to know your audience a little first.

Give your audience or target customers some up front value. This could be a short ‘insiders guide’ to help them with any decision making they need to do in your industry, or a ‘checklist to increase success in their desired outcome of using your product or service’. To make sure they get it, they need to give you their contact information.

And voila! You have generated a lead. Here’s a practical example:

There’s an online marketer called Bryan Harris – a really great guy who helps entrepreneurs grow their email lists. He provides an incredible amount of upfront free content that help his audience- he has 20+ free resources that people can use and do use to achieve impressive results. You just give him your email address and he sends it to you.

Here’s how it works:

Give them a free resource (aka lead magnet) to help them + they give you their contact information = generated a lead.

You can now communicate with them and (depending on your business model) nurture them on an email campaign, social media relationship or in-person meetings.

Give first. Get later.

(check out Bryan’s website at VideoFruit, featuring tons of resources).

What have you given your customers lately?

3.Use Email Marketing

There are many reasons to use email marketing including lead generation but my favorite is one thing:


Wouldn’t you like to be able to engage your customers and prospects in meaningful dialogue?

Email is such an effective tool to communicate with the people who matter most to your business. It gives you the ability to stay top-of-mind and keep people engaged with your business at every all year-round and you can set up automations to speak to them with relevancy at specific times for your business e.g before the holidays with a sales message, or send them a birthday note.

Here’s 10 more good reasons to use email as part of your marketing strategy:

  • Strengthen relationships
  • Improve communication
  • Build your brand and stay top of mind with consistent emails
  • Track engagements such as open rates, clicks on links.
  • Get feedback on specific products or services
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Provide a personal touch to your marketing
  • Build excitement and give your audience something to look forward to
  • Generate leads!
  • Increase sales by sending a promotional message

4. Attract Leads Using Twitter

Twitter is a short and snappy communication tool that allows you to send out messages (tweets) up to 140 characters long.

Use your tweets to link to specific content (blog entry, site page, PDF, and so on) or a photo or video.

As we have become an incredibly visual society, images help. Adding a picture or video to a tweet extends what you can share past the 140-character limit for tweets.

Again, twitter comes back to conversation and because of the quick cuts of information we can share and comments we can make twitter can be a true form of digital conversation.

Twitter users can also choose to share your content by retweeting. Get a twitter power user with a big following to retweet your stuff and you can reach thousands of people.

On Twitter, you can also generate leads by gathering email addresses from potential customers by using a free twitter card.

Audience members, or leads that have communicated an interest in your business, are what drive your business forward.Once you’ve caught these new email addresses, you can add these potential clients to your email campaigns and continue the conversation on your terms within your platform.

5. Networking

There was a time when I thought of networking as an awkward business-card-swapping interaction at a hotel over an expensive breakfast. Well let’s face it, some organizations still do that.

But if you pick the right event, with the right people and the right conversation, then networking can be one of the most tried-and-tested methods of generating leads.

And, if you do a little homework then networking can be both productive and fun.

Here’s a few tips:

  • Do your research: If you can, find out who will be attending and identify a list of priority introductions.
  • Be confident: Don’t be the guy in the corner on his phone.
  • Grab attention: Just like every lead generation tactic needs to grab attention in the first few seconds, at a networking event you too have a limited amount of time to get on other person’s radar and show that you have a compelling solution. Refine your “elevator pitch”.
  • Engage: So you don’t want to sound like you actually practiced a pitch, you want to be natural and engage with the other person in conversation.
  • Listen more than you talk: Listen to what they are saying so that you can understand their needs and nail your follow up.
  • Build a relationship: You’re not selling on the spot here. Get to know who you are speaking with so that you can develop a relationship.
  • Follow up: Send a personal note or an email referring to where you met. The fortune is in the follow up.
  • Systemize: Once you have done this a couple of times it becomes second nature. To take it a step further you could setup an automated email sequence (see #3) to activate after each new meeting.

Also, networking doesn’t necessary have to be the super formal type. It could be based around something fun that you like to do.

I network every week while playing soccer.

Just make sure that you engage in those conversations that you want to engage in. All of the steps above still apply!

6. Answer a question on Quora

Quora is a room full of questions and answers on specific topics.

The online question and answer community is a place where people can post questions and get advice from others in their industry.

Start by picking relevant discussions where you can chip in with advice and increase the value of the conversation.

When you start to install yourself in a trusted group, you have the chance to benefit in a number of ways:

  • Build your personal and business brand
  • Become an authority
  • Help people in your industry-space
  • Track and analyze results
  • Drive traffic to your website, where you can talk to them

Since most consumers today look for reviews and peer to peer information, a discussion is a high quality forum like Quora can boost your company’s visibility within relevant groups of individuals.

Concentrate on giving honest feedback and advice help and you’ll rapidly observe that you’re building up a qualified audience pool.

One word of caution: Quora is a community-driven site, which means its users are looking for answers, NOT marketing messages. When posting links, make sure you’re providing value for the people using the site.

Don’t be the snake oil salesman.

Be the guy who is known as an expert and authority at what you do.

7. Don’t Forget to Ask – Have a Strong Call to Action

As a young media sales rep, I remember sitting in the car with my manager after a sales call and asking him for feedback. I had done pretty well I thought…great presentation and the client seemed eager to buy. “Don’t forget to ask for the sale” was his friendly response.

I had done everything I thought. A thoughtful, well presented solution to a problem they were having, I had created a good relationship and they said they were interested – we just had to come back next week.

But he was ready then, and I didn’t ask. I remembered from then on to ask for the sale and went on to generate millions of dollars for that company.

When someone visits your website, are you asking them to take action?

When it comes to generating leads for your business online you have to clearly point the prospect in the direction of what you want them to do. They are reading your content or on your website for a reason.

They need direction so let them know. Include a strong call to action.

Do you want a social share of your content? A site visit? Their contact information in return for a lead magnet? A subscription to your page or channel? Maybe you want them to buy now?

Be clear – spell it out and let them take action which will generate leads for you.

Bonus: Quick-Start Checklist for Lead Generation