Guy Kawasaki, a business guru "evangelist" who got his start working with Apple Inc., suggests that business owners seeking new clients should be willing to give something away for free to win new business. 
This can apply to cleaning contractors now that spring has arrived.  The spring and summer months are traditionally when contract cleaners begin marketing their services and often they can win a new customer over by offering a "freebie" at the start of service. 
However, one freebie service that new customers frequently ask for is also the one that is the most labor-intensive and difficult: grout cleaning.
But, having a grout cleaning strategy in place can make this freebie a bit easier. According to Sara Thurston with Nilfisk, manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment and the U.S. Products line of jansan portable extractors, the following are key components of a grout cleaning strategy:
 • Before beginning work, make a list of all products and equipment needed.
 • Select a time and day that will least inconvenience building occupants and help you avoid interruptions. 
 • Post warning signs around work areas, even if you are the only one working. 
 • Make sure there is adequate ventilation. 
 • Remove all movable items from the area. 
 • Dust mop, sweep, or vacuum the floor.
 • Place towels around door entries to absorb liquid so it does not damage carpeting or exterior floor areas. 
 • With chemicals mixed per manufacturer's instructions, pre-spray one 10-by-10-foot floor area at a time; do not let the chemical dry.
 • Use cleaning equipment designed for cleaning tile and grout floors.
 • Once cleaned, evaluate the floor's appearance and repeat earlier steps if necessary.
Cleaning professionals have many options as to grout cleaning tools and equipment.  According to Thurston, there are brushes as well as different types of floor machines. Dual-surface carpet extractors that pressure wash tile and grout floors can also prove very effective.
"With a grout cleaning strategy in place and the right equipment this 'freebie' can be faster and easier, and makes a very good first impression."