How to Break into Your Market without Being Rich

Published on September 9, 2015

The Service Industry is hugely competitive. Whether you're jump-starting your cleaning business, or looking to mow more lawns, it's never going to be easy to break into your market.

You're going up against giants here. 

So, as the new guy or gal in town, what are your chances?

Think about every service you use, every day. How difficult is it to get someone to call you back? To send you an estimate? To follow up and give you great service?

Do companies send their best employees that really care about doing a job RIGHT - or do they send the guy who's only there so he can clock out?

This is every market. The reality is that most of your future competitors are not providing world-class service.

Opportunity Knocks in the Service Industry

There is a crack - a small hole in the wall where you can fit through. If 20% of your competitors are excellent - their customers love them, they make lots of profit, they've got fleets of trucks - what about the other 80%?

The other 80% are slacking and falling behind. That's where you come in.

If you really want to break into your market, you have to provide something that nobody else is going to provide: the greatest service in the market. You don't need to have millions of dollars and fleets of trucks to do a job right.

Providing great service will get you noticed; however, it's going to take some time. Think of it as an investment in the future -- you might not see increased profits today or tomorrow, but a few months from now people are going to know your name.


Because most other companies in your field  -- be it lawn mowing, or landscaping, or cleaning -- are all falling behind on their service. Either they didn't have great service to start out with, or they're tired with their businesses.

Take advantage of their downfalls. Separate yourself from your competition - if they all drive white trucks and wear white uniforms, maybe you should go with bright pink. If everyone uses the same door hanger, come up with a better one that stands out.

Focus on one small area - stake out a neighborhood and claim it. Let people know THIS IS YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

Once you claim your neighborhood and do a fantastic job there, people are going to talk about you.

What is the one problem that everyone seems to have with their local mowing or cleaning company (or whichever business you're in)?

  • "They're too slow"
  • "They don't do great work"
  • "They're always late"
  • "They're always rude to me"

ONE of these is probably the biggest complaint in your area. Once you answer that one major complaint, people will talk about how much they love your services. If you can address that one problem, you're going to grow. You're going to break into the market.

Related: Lawn Care Owners: 8 Changes for a Richer 2017

Lisa Marino

Lisa Marino is the Sr. Marketing Director for Service Autopilot. She uses her 17+ years in direct marketing, sales, and product development to push entrepreneurs beyond their limits. She's passionate about helping others grow their businesses through time-tested marketing techniques. When not writing, you can find her belting out a mean Stevie Nicks at a local karaoke night.


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