Having determined through market research that a huge opportunity for a specialist commercial cleaning products supplier exists in its immediate area, RapidClean Forster Tuncurry (NSW) is poised to capitalise on its inherent strengths. Established just two years ago as A Lot Of Hart Cleaning Supplies, the business joined RapidClean in August 2010.
Its principals, Michael and Michelle Linhart, have a wealth of cleaning and general business experience having previously operated a contract cleaning firm and a financial advisory service.
“We did a survey that indicated some 89% of Forster Tuncurry region commercial and industrial end-user customers bought from ‘box movers’ who move through town but have no base or community relationship.
“Apart from us, there’s just one other specialist cleaning supply shop,” noted Michael Linhart.
The Linharts, who at this stage are the only employees, are assessing what infrastructure and staffing they need to expand their operation.
“The recent RapidClean conference was extremely valuable in that we were able to learn and listen to advice from fellow members on how best to take this business forward,” Linhart explained.
RapidClean Forster Tuncurry presently services a wide customer base that includes contract cleaners, clubs, laundromats, and motels.
Its product portfolio includes RapidClean, Tasman, Septone and Whiteley chemical brands; Dovinat and Papeterie paper; Hako and Nilfisk equipment; and Oates, Sabco and Edco jansan lines.
“We are committed to increasing our machinery offering and we have engaged a local service agent to provide support. The ‘box movers’ cannot offer much in this segment but we can,” Linhart emphasised.
He believes the secret to a successful business is delivering good service and back-up, and “then the products will sell themselves.”
The Linharts are no slouches on the marketing front. In fact, they demonstrated at the RapidClean conference just how cost-effectively a small business in a regional area can promote itself.
“We started broadcasting a television campaign on Southern Cross 10 last October, which was complemented with a gratis radio campaign that kicked off the following month (November 2010). We then followed the TV and radio with press ads in the local newspaper,” said Linhart.
RapidClean Forster Tuncurry is also deriving immediate marketing and operational benefits through its RapidClean group membership. “Being part of a national group brings with it numerous buying and selling advantages,” Linhart commented.
As well as a growing email database for use in ‘e’ marketing, RapidClean Forster Tuncurry is building an internet site, which it expects will be up and running by mid-2011.
“Having a large un-tapped market is terrific but it also will bring with it challenges. Right now Michelle and I are exploring a myriad of management options we could use to grow the customer base and turnover. We don’t want to die wondering,” enthused Linhart.