Nectarine Clean

From Operating in the Red to 1500% Increase in Revenue

The Problem

Time was of the essence for the owner of Nectarine Clean. He had poured thousands of his own money into a cleaning company in Chicago and had changed the business multiple times before deciding on kitchen exhaust cleaning. 

 

Although it is a valuable niche, he was still hemorrhaging money. We had met by chance through a mutual friend and agreed to help him create value innovation for his business.

Business Strategy

We did a complete analysis of the company from operations to which social media they were using and everything in between. We found that there were no systems in place, labor costs were high, and kitchen exhaust cleaning was too risky especially with competition driving prices lower and lower. Since the majority of customers were restaurants, we decided it would be best to remain within that vertical. 

We chose to utilize the Blue Ocean Strategy to Eliminate, Reduce, Raise, and Create a new market for Nectarine Clean. One of the cornerstones of our own business model, we felt this would be perfect for Nectarine Clean.

Eliminate

We decided to remove any services that we considered:

  • High risk or too much liability
  • Needed more than one employee
  • Had a low ROI

After careful deliberation, we eliminated kitchen exhaust cleaning, restaurant deep cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, drive thru cleaning, graffiti, and all residential services. 

 

We also got rid of the use of ad platforms such as Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Thumbtack (costing over $100/week on sending, not winning, bids alone). We did away with the need for a physical location by only utilizing what could be fit onto one truck. Finally we removed any service under $250 to establish a minimum travel rate, which gives us more focus and time on the clients we would rather have. 

Reduce

  • We cut the marketing budget by 80% to only pay for high quality pocket-sized flyers, business cards, and $5 ads on Craigslist (3 ads generated $750). We reduced noise by narrowing our sight to a few marketing channels.
  • We decreased spending on supplies by purchasing only inventory that could be used for multiple services, such as sodium hydroxide for cleaning concrete and removing grease. This made tracking inventory easier and was much more time efficient. 
  • Finally, we automated most of the menial work that needed to be done and set up guides for outsourcing to independent contractors only when needed to save even more time and money.

Raise

We knew that most restaurant owners and general managers have a lot on their plate, no pun intended, so we aimed to make entire process fast and smooth. 

  • First, was combining the sales and fulfillment processes into one. We set up a system so the owner could do his scheduling, invoicing, and service agreements right from his smartphone. This was a huge benefit to our client because he could close the sale, finish the job, and get paid in the same day eliminating paperwork and cash flow issues. 
  • This also raised the standard that his customers expected. They want instant results and to feel that they are receiving tremendous value. Saving them precious time so they don’t have to stay after work to catch up speaks volumes.

Create

We then set out to create a new market. After exhaustive research we hit gold: 

 

Restaurant Equipment Detailing 

 

  • Commercial kitchen appliances, such as ovens, were being used for months or years without being cleaned properly. This adversely affects the taste of the food which could result in unhappy customers, bad reviews, or even trouble with the Health Department. 
  • When the equipment does get cleaned, the business often needs to close and use staff, who are unskilled, to do it by hand with scrapers. 
  • This takes many hours and carries a high risk of workplace injuries. So we designed a system to do this using chemicals and pressure washing thus reducing time and transferring the liability to Nectarine Clean. 

CREATING A 

NEW MARKET

But a business relying solely on a service that happened once or twice a year isn’t a very good model, so we sought to expand our reach. We thought of potential non-customers- businesses who either use power washing services because they have to, they purposefully choose not to use them, or have never thought about it due to being in a distant market.

 

We decided to target non-traditional businesses that could benefit from Nectarine Clean’s services:

  • Food truck vendors, who need kitchen exhaust cleaning and up sell a truck wash, both which could be done with an owner-operator.
  • BBQ catering and smoker distributors who needed cleaning done between events or rentals.
  • Commercial kitchen hood installers who buy/sell/install used ventilation systems and have employees cleaning them by hand.
  • Outdoor restaurants with concrete patios and outdoor furniture (patio umbrellas, awnings, etc.) that needed upkeep from constant traffic and spills.
  • Refrigerated trucks that delivered food to these restaurants and needed to be cleaned after every delivery to be compliant with federal regulations.

 


MAKING A DECISION 

IMPLEMENTATION

During this process we saw a lot of overlap with the hospitality, property management, contracting, and transportation industries. We deduced that by providing only services that can be offered to these markets, we would be able to streamline inventory management cutting costs dramatically. And while expanding our target market to include new non-customers, we should be able to increase profit margins exponentially.

 

We put everything together and chose to re-brand Nectarine Clean as a mobile pressure washing company for businesses within the food industry:

 

  • Hospitality (restaurants, hotels, food trucks, catering, and equipment distributors)
  • Contractors utilized by hospitality or property management companies
  • Property management companies that rent to hospitality or hire contractors
  • The transportation industry that moved the goods from warehouses to the restaurants. We hoped that this could even grow to expand into agriculture! 

 

Their value proposition became:

  • Efficient, painless, automated, and paperless. A modern tech savvy spin on an old trade.
  • Niche experts in food industry cleanliness 
  • Giving stressed business owners and their employees a new solution to saves time and prevent workplace injuries
  • A relationship manager – if they knew all the contractors, they can be a resource to help a restaurant who needs a contractor, etc. And thus establishing themselves as a valuable asset.

DIGITAL MARKETING

After implementing strategy, we figured out a price point for services, built the inventory management system, a sales system, and got the business up and running. Now it was time for getting the word out to businesses. We wanted to use only 4 channels: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and email marketing.

Facebook

Our research indicated that for the new business model Facebook would not be a good engine because their algorithm restricts business posts unless you pay. We decided to link our Instagram updates into the free groups that didn’t restrict views, however Facebook was our least used channel.

LinkedIn

We wanted one more social media channel to offset stepping back from Facebook. We chose LinkedIn, an incredibly under-utilized resource that put Nectarine Clean directly in front of decision makers. We wanted to use that as a channel to promote content and establish relevance as an industry innovator. 

Instagram

Surprisingly pressure washing itself is also incredibly visual, often generating thousands of views on platforms such as Reddit for being “Oddly Satisfying” to watch. This was our strongest channel as we acquired followers of some of the most notable restaurants in Chicago.

Email Marketing

Finally, our main approach for generating leads was utilizing simple, personally written, cold emails. We generated high quality leads and plugged them into our sales system and the results greatly exceeded expectations.

Results

Within the first two months we saw sales begin to grow and halfway through the second month Nectarine Clean landed their largest client to date. Within 12 weeks we completely turned the business around and they were able to finish the first year off profiting.


~1500% increase in revenue

 

Sales cycle length shortened by nearly 70% through a targeted approach

 

 100 high quality and organic Instagram followers of our ideal demographic in less than a month

 

Saved thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenditure from labor, inventory, and marketing

 

Want to find out how we can help differentiate your business? 

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