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My cleaning business is slowing down because of the falling economy. What can I do to market to more people and get new clients?

By Kim T. Gordon

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With the falling economy, more and more people are cutting back on things like services. Right now we clean residential properties. We would like to expand and clean commerical properties as well. We had planned to make enough money cleaning residential properties to buy the equipment needed to service commercial properties. But not enough money is coming in to expand. What should we do?

Are you doing all you can to get referrals from current residential customers? Offer an incentive, such as a free cleaning or a percentage off, to all customers who send you their friends and neighbors.�To spread the word, create a coupon or letter with your offer that you can leave behind in each home you clean.

If you clean several homes in one neighborhood, you should distribute brochures and business cards to other homes in the surrounding blocks.� Be sure to refer to your local references--though not by name without express permission.

Another option is to offer additional services to current clients, such as yard maintenance, minor home repairs, food shopping and more.

Kim Gordon is the owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson. Her latest book is Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars.

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