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Camberley Window Cleaning

I just started window cleaning (WFP)



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Camberley Window Cleaning

Hello all! This is my first post on this forum, I am a new window cleaner in the Camberley/Surrey area. I just freshly started after a year of debating when to start, I had to resign from my full time employer because they owed me 2 months salary, I took action against them and I am waiting for the Employers Tribunal to schedule a hearing.

 

I am using a Water Fed Pole and a backpack which I carry at the back of my car(Citroen Grand Picasso). So far it's working well, but I can already see the issues of having to refill all the time when more customers join in, so I will be getting a water tank in the future.  

I have been getting weekly jobs, mostly from Facebook groups, and a few from canvassing. I have also made a website (which needs a lot of work and SEO) you can have a look here: https://www.camberleywindowcleaning.com/

 

I canvass on evenings after 5:30 PM and Saturdays after 11AM. About 2-3 hours each time. I am having a hard time getting daily jobs which is the goal, as I want to work 5 days a week ideally.  So any advice on this or on anything will be much appreciated. I am new to this, it's my first time being self employed and there's a lot of new things that I need to learn. 

 

I will be posting updates on how everything is going, I firmly believe than in a year from now I will be in a much better position than right now.

 

Thanks very much in advance for all your help and advice.

 

Matt

 

 

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spruce
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Camberley Window Cleaning said:

Hello all! This is my first post on this forum, I am a new window cleaner in the Camberley/Surrey area. I just freshly started after a year of debating when to start, I had to resign from my full time employer because they owed me 2 months salary, I took action against them and I am waiting for the Employers Tribunal to schedule a hearing.

 

I am using a Water Fed Pole and a backpack which I carry at the back of my car(Citroen Grand Picasso). So far it's working well, but I can already see the issues of having to refill all the time when more customers join in, so I will be getting a water tank in the future.  

I have been getting weekly jobs, mostly from Facebook groups, and a few from canvassing. I have also made a website (which needs a lot of work and SEO) you can have a look here: https://www.camberleywindowcleaning.com/

 

I canvass on evenings after 5:30 PM and Saturdays after 11AM. About 2-3 hours each time. I am having a hard time getting daily jobs which is the goal, as I want to work 5 days a week ideally.  So any advice on this or on anything will be much appreciated. I am new to this, it's my first time being self employed and there's a lot of new things that I need to learn. 

 

I will be posting updates on how everything is going, I firmly believe than in a year from now I will be in a much better position than right now.

 

Thanks very much in advance for all your help and advice.

 

Matt

 

 

 

Welcome.

Its tough to begin with finding customers that aren't someone elses rejects (messers.) You will find to begin with its 2 steps forward and one backwards.

Just keep going and don't give up.

 

If your existing customers are happy with your service and clean quality, ask them for referrals. Simply ask them.  "Do any of your friends or relatives who live nearby need a window cleaner?"

When you have completed a customer knock a few doors up and down and ask them if they need a window cleaner. "Hi, am a window cleaner and have just finished cleaning Mr and Mrs Gibson's windows at No 20. I'm looking to grow my round in your area and wondered if you were looking for an honest, reliable window cleaner?"

 

Try to look for additional work from your current customers. Conservatory roof cleans, gutter cleans, etc. Can you add a couple of £ to clean the garage door when the clean the windows? Every bit helps until you get established.

 

Canvassing takes time. Somedays you get nothing and other days you might hit the jackpot.

 

Try to clean houses on main routes on a Saturday when you have a better chance of people seeing you clean.

 

I appreciate you are using the family limo, but you might try and get it stickered up to advertise your services. Most people will see a car in the street as private and take little notice of it. That's me. If a van is parked in the street I get curious.

 

 

 

 

Edited by spruce

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maxbruffell
Posted (edited)

Nice work mate! I’m in your area but mainly cover farnborough to farnham and fleet so the other side to you!

I sometimes get the odd enquiry from your way that’s a bit far for me so if I do I’ll send them your way!

 

In fact i've just sent someone from crowthorne your way!

 

Good luck

Max

Edited by maxbruffell
Updated

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MCWC

Hi there I have just started too and still working full time so am trying to do everything at the min lol so going to my work having some family time and trying to canvas and also do the few customers that I am getting at them min. 

 

Not complaining as it just the start of the process to be fully self employed and I'm sure everyone one finds the beginning difficult. 

Surprisingly though I am finding dealing with knock back easy kind of just count it as one no down means the yes is closer lol

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Perryb91

How you doing mate, welcome! Same boat as you only a few months in but its defo starting to pick up now so stick with it. I have found that people that shut doors on you will slowly start coming up to you when you clean their neighbor's and see your good work (I sometimes drag out the fronts just to be seen if people are out) 

 

Facebook ads have been ok if you time when you do them, my attitude is more people look on facebook then they do at leaflets through the door with the added bonus I ain't gotta walk for hours for little responses.

 

My canvassing timings are the same as yours 6pm-8pm weekdays and 11am onwards on weekends. When you start to pick people up it will help when you canvas that area as they will keep seeing you and your work which gives them confidence. 

 

@maxbruffell I recognise you from training school! Think you were a few courses behind i was 14/18 how you getting on mate what station did you get??

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maxbruffell

@Perryb91 haha how funny! Yeah I was on 15/18 I’m at Kingston green watch, how about you?

im trying to build a round near the station for between nights also to reduce a bit of travel. How’s the windows going for you?

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MCWC
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Perryb91 said:

How you doing mate, welcome! Same boat as you only a few months in but its defo starting to pick up now so stick with it. I have found that people that shut doors on you will slowly start coming up to you when you clean their neighbor's and see your good work (I sometimes drag out the fronts just to be seen if people are out) 

 

Facebook ads have been ok if you time when you do them, my attitude is more people look on facebook then they do at leaflets through the door with the added bonus I ain't gotta walk for hours for little responses.

 

My canvassing timings are the same as yours 6pm-8pm weekdays and 11am onwards on weekends. When you start to pick people up it will help when you canvas that area as they will keep seeing you and your work which gives them confidence. 

 

@maxbruffell I recognise you from training school! Think you were a few courses behind i was 14/18 how you getting on mate what station did you get??

Good to hear that after a few mo ths it picks up a bit I've been at it 2 weeks properly the although three weeks ago I asked friends of they wanted a free wash just to make sure that the equip was working and hoping some of their neighbours saw me at it and asked for work not so lucky that time but I did tell friends that if they want anoter free clean then get me 2 customers beside them as if I have to go up to do theirs then I would like to make the trip worth it lol so hopefully that pays off in a week or so

 

Do u find advertising on Facebook any good to u I have been putting up posts and sharing them in all the local groups and only really getting a few nibbles (if it wasn't so quick and easy I would say it was a waste of time) best results from knocking doors so far 

Edited by MCWC

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Perryb91

I get a few from facebook ads but nothing beats going out and picking up customers, I like it because I can profile them there and then where as with facebook can hide the crazy 🤣. I will always use the ads because I call it passive advertising, my names getting around while I'm doing other stuff. Strangely i steer clear of the groups on mine as whenever someone posts on there with a, I need a cheap.....plumber,mechanic and god knows what else I think it devalues someone's business so they are not the ones I want. Early doors though wont do any harm just to pick the odd one up so your seen on the road regularly and you'll be flying. 

@maxbruffell and I'm Croydon blues mate loving it! Windows fits in perfect with days off. Dont wanna hijack the fellas post so good luck mate take it easy 😉

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MCWC

Yea that's the idea as I'm still working full time if I pick up 1 customer everytime I go out I'm happy although getting the one doesn't stop me from going through another hour of knocking doors

 

Brother said well if u get one then head home but y would I I planned a couple of hours canvassing so y stop when I get one yes 

 

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spruce
2 hours ago, MCWC said:

Yea that's the idea as I'm still working full time if I pick up 1 customer everytime I go out I'm happy although getting the one doesn't stop me from going through another hour of knocking doors

 

Brother said well if u get one then head home but y would I I planned a couple of hours canvassing so y stop when I get one yes 

 

 

Exactly. These days work 'doesn't grow on trees' like it once did. What you are looking for is an area that was serviced by a window cleaner who 'suddenly stopped coming' for whatever reason. We had one who just retired and didn't tell anyone. We also had a window cleaner fall from his ladders and he sustained life changing injuries.

Another had a mental breakdown when his wife died and just couldn't cope anymore.

 

I know this may sound heartless - I don't mean it to be - but if you hear of this when canvassing, don't feel bad about asking if the householder knows any of his old customers. If you get directed to another neighbour, go knock that door and ask them the same question. Most of our customers know whose windows we clean in the area.

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MCWC

Kind of understand what u r saying although I don't think I would have said it (out loud atleast lol) 

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spruce
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, MCWC said:

Kind of understand what u r saying although I don't think I would have said it (out loud atleast lol) 

 

Unfortunately the guy who fell off his ladders was fully aware of the risk he was taking when there was better alternatives with wfp.

 

But he just couldn't see himself investing in wfp when trad cleaning had so few expenses. He has learnt from his mistake the hard way. Do I feel sorry for him? Yes I do, but that still wouldn't stop me canvassing his area if I was sure he wasn't coming back.

 

I fell off my ladder cleaning a first floor large bay window. I just stepped off the ladder as if I was on the first rung off the ground. To this day I can't explain why I did that. I was fortunate in that I landed on soft ground. That was my warning shot. It helped me make the correct decision. I was reminded of my mistake as I hurt bad for weeks.

 

The windie whose wife died. I cleaned the mother's bungalow for years before she died. Daughter in law had this window cleaner. She decided to call me when she realised that this guy wasn't coming back. I said that I would clean her windows on the provisor that if her window cleaner did come back then she was to start to use him again. She agreed to that and I believe I couldn't be more fairer to a fellow window cleaner who has fallen on bad times than that. I've been doing those windows for about 8 years now.

 

 

 

 

Edited by spruce

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MCWC

That does seem fair to him 

I think in my area I am aware of definitely 3 window cleaners so I'm guessing there is probably a few more I'm not aware of 

But if I plug away and get lucky that someone "leaves an opening" for me I will be able to quit where I am in a few months if I could only get some time off and I could make a dint in some of the canvassing that needs done

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spruce
Posted (edited)

Over 15 years ago my son was given a small round to do on a Saturday. He worked full time Monday to Friday in a warehouse.

This round consisted of houses that had side washrooms so the access the rear windows we had to go over the washroom roof and take the ladders with us.

 

My son just couldn't be asked after doing this for a couple of months as the motivation to do two 'jobs' quickly wained. I ended up helping him and then doing them for him. When I lost my job in the motor trade (thankfully) those houses were a basis to start window cleaning full time.

 

We then changed over to wfp and a women stopped me in the street and asked if I cleaned windows in the next town. She wanted her mothers windows cleaned as her window cleaners had stopped coming. I did the flat and I hadn't finished when 6 people came up to me in the street asking me to clean their windows as well.

Their window cleaners were a couple of lads, one thin and one fat. Little complained that he did all the ladder climbing because fat couldn't so did the bottoms. Little believed he did the majority of the work and it wasn't fair that they split the money 50 50. So they argued and split up dividing the round equally between them.

 

Large got this portion of the work but couldn't do it because he couldn't climb a ladder. They did get back together 9 months later and tried to pick up where they left off, but our current customers chased them off.

 

My experience is to just keep plodding. Sooner or later it will come good if you put the effort in.

 

Edited by spruce

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scottish cleaning service

Exactly, look at me for instance. I was laughed off this forum because I only had 20 customers. I have been going only 2yrs and never looked for any customers. I just take one day at a time because I have other odd-jobs to do. Yesterday I picked up 2 bungalows at 15 each a month. First thing I tell the customer is that I am not cheap but I am good, reliable and trustworthy, now I have 80 customers and it takes me nearly a week to get round them all. I have found the best way to get new customers is when one is out doing the job on a Saturday, that's when I get new enquires. :1f609:

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MCWC

80 customers in 2 years is that normal??

 

I was hoping to get that within months was settling myself to be able to get 40 to 50 in the next couple of months so I have 1 full days work every week and then add to it by doing some evening work untill that gets to much the compress into 2 full days work and keep scaling that way obviously trying to place customers that are in the same area at the same time. 

 

I need to be hitting 100 plus before I can realistically attempt to go full time at it and hoping that I can do the most of this soon as the dark nights are rolling back in 

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Iron Giant
Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, scottish cleaning service said:

Exactly, look at me for instance. I was laughed off this forum because I only had 20 customers. I have been going only 2yrs and never looked for any customers. I just take one day at a time because I have other odd-jobs to do. Yesterday I picked up 2 bungalows at 15 each a month. First thing I tell the customer is that I am not cheap but I am good, reliable and trustworthy, now I have 80 customers and it takes me nearly a week to get round them all. I have found the best way to get new customers is when one is out doing the job on a Saturday, that's when I get new enquires. :1f609:


Let's set things straight shall we, you weren't laughed off the forum, at times you were laughed at and lads had a poke at you shall we say, this was because the way in which you worded your replies deemed to be advising newbies how to gain business of 100's of clients was basically tell them to sit back relax and the work will come rolling, what you failed to mention was you are a older than some on here and have the good fortune of a very good fire service pension and you have never really looked to gaining 100's of regular window cleaning client's, hence 80 client's in two year's. 

What we need on here right across the board is transparency and honesty, well worded questions and replies, which gives anyone asking a question a good reply and will hopefully answer there question and give them a better understanding of something they may well be scratching there head with, hence they come on here to ask. 

There is doubt in the last 2 years you have run a good successful business, along with windows and add on's and for that I doff my my cap to you, as you have changed my perception of you and no doubt a few others. But keep the job right 

 

Edited by Iron Giant
grammar

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Tango
19 hours ago, spruce said:

I said that I would clean her windows on the provisor that if her window cleaner did come back then she was to start to use him again. She agreed to that and I believe I couldn't be more fairer to a fellow window cleaner who has fallen on bad times than that.

 

I've refused to quote jobs when they say they already got a windy and as I'm walking away they'll ask "how much?" - my answer is "sorry you've got a window cleaner and i'm not going to take their work!"

 

Yes I could do with the work but I don't want to have someones financial collapse on my hands. That extra £10-15 might be their kids pair of school shoes etc.

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Davy G
8 hours ago, scottish cleaning service said:

Exactly, look at me for instance. I was laughed off this forum because I only had 20 customers. I have been going only 2yrs and never looked for any customers. I just take one day at a time because I have other odd-jobs to do. Yesterday I picked up 2 bungalows at 15 each a month. First thing I tell the customer is that I am not cheap but I am good, reliable and trustworthy, now I have 80 customers and it takes me nearly a week to get round them all. I have found the best way to get new customers is when one is out doing the job on a Saturday, that's when I get new enquires. :1f609:

I was enjoying your post... Until the mention of working Saturdays. 😊

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Davy G
52 minutes ago, Tango said:

 

I've refused to quote jobs when they say they already got a windy and as I'm walking away they'll ask "how much?" - my answer is "sorry you've got a window cleaner and i'm not going to take their work!"

 

Yes I could do with the work but I don't want to have someones financial collapse on my hands. That extra £10-15 might be their kids pair of school shoes etc.

I agree totally. We're all trying to get by. My answer would be the same. The only exception is if they explained that they were rude, rubbish or unreliable. I've taken on work for all those reasons. I have only taken on work when they're regular was ill on the understanding that they would have him back when he was able to work again. 

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spruce
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tango said:

 

I've refused to quote jobs when they say they already got a windy and as I'm walking away they'll ask "how much?" - my answer is "sorry you've got a window cleaner and i'm not going to take their work!"

 

Yes I could do with the work but I don't want to have someones financial collapse on my hands. That extra £10-15 might be their kids pair of school shoes etc.

 

We pretty well know which windie does what in our area. If a walk up asks for a price to see if they can get a cheaper deal I will always refuse to quote. If they want me to quote then they have to get rid of their current window cleaner first. I also tell them that 'so & so' is a lot younger than I am and I'm not going into a price war as he has the energy to win every time.'

A had a lady ask me if I would clean both hers and her neighbours flat. I asked if she had a window cleaner and she said no. So I quoted and then received a telephone call from another windie asking if it was me who pinched his work as his customer had cancelled.

 

I apologised and went around to this customer and explained that I quoted based on a lie and that I wouldn't be cleaning either of their windows. So she phoned the other windie up and asked he continue. He refused and dumped both of them. 😁

 

Edited by spruce

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Iron Giant
1 hour ago, Tango said:

 

I've refused to quote jobs when they say they already got a windy and as I'm walking away they'll ask "how much?" - my answer is "sorry you've got a window cleaner and i'm not going to take their work!"

 

Yes I could do with the work but I don't want to have someones financial collapse on my hands. That extra £10-15 might be their kids pair of school shoes etc.


I am going to quote 5 properties tomorrow in a small street of 8, they are not happy with their current cleaner as he does a poor job, these are nice detached houses and bungalows, I am looking after myself and my family no one else's 

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MCWC

I agree and disagree maybe because I'm only starting out I don't want to make any enemies but I'm sure it will happen over time once thery get to know me lol

 

But the facts are that it's up to me to pay the bills not the guy down the road

 

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Camberley Window Cleaning

Well! thank you all for your comments, It's interesting to see everyone's different point of view.

 

Just a quick update on something that happened to me, a lady asked me to clean her conservatory, the conservatory had a cheap looking plastic roof( I don't know how to describe it), not the normal pvc or glass panels. I also had another lady with a tiled conservatory roof. It took me ages to clean this, it looked a lot better when I finished but I wasn't 100% happy with the finish (She was very happy with the job) It hadn't been cleaned in 10 years. There was a garden of moss growing on the roof. It took me about 3-4 hours. Do you guys charge more in general for these kinds of conservatory roofs? 

 

On the other hand.. I had a conservatory that was too tall for my step ladder and I had to turn down the job...ouch. I need to install some roof bars and get a proper ladder.

 

 

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Tango

I try to avoid conservatory roofs.. by that i mean i don't actively pursue them but if someone asks i won't refuse it as long as they're happy with my price. The damn things take forever and find them mentally draining even if they do pay reasonably well. My preference is windows and doors only. Anything else is slightly out of my happy zone.

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ks789
21 hours ago, spruce said:

 

We pretty well know which windie does what in our area. If a walk up asks for a price to see if they can get a cheaper deal I will always refuse to quote. If they want me to quote then they have to get rid of their current window cleaner first. I also tell them that 'so & so' is a lot younger than I am and I'm not going into a price war as he has the energy to win every time.'

A had a lady ask me if I would clean both hers and her neighbours flat. I asked if she had a window cleaner and she said no. So I quoted and then received a telephone call from another windie asking if it was me who pinched his work as his customer had cancelled.

 

I apologised and went around to this customer and explained that I quoted based on a lie and that I wouldn't be cleaning either of their windows. So she phoned the other windie up and asked he continue. He refused and dumped both of them. 😁

 

 

🤣😂 omg, this is what happens to slags I suppose. 1 widow cleaner should be enough for anyone, not enough for her lol 😂

Just now, ks789 said:

 

🤣😂 omg, this is what happens to slags I suppose. 1 widow cleaner should be enough for anyone, not enough for her lol 😂

Erm, window cleaner, not widow cleaner, sorry.

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dazmond
On 06/08/2019 at 17:01, Tango said:

 

I've refused to quote jobs when they say they already got a windy and as I'm walking away they'll ask "how much?" - my answer is "sorry you've got a window cleaner and i'm not going to take their work!"

 

Yes I could do with the work but I don't want to have someones financial collapse on my hands. That extra £10-15 might be their kids pair of school shoes etc.

i think your being silly....i wouldnt bat an eyelid if i were you.......if you need the work,you need the work......any person who asks you to clean their windows and they already have a windy are obviously not happy with their current cleaner.....go ahead and quote and take the job on

 

youll find out over time that other window cleaners will take the odd job off you from time to time for whatever reason...it works both ways....

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dazmond

ive picked up 4 jobs in the last couple of months from 2 window cleaners who work the same area as me and i know them well.....the customers were just not happy with their service and quality of clean,one even moaned to me about one of them being  miserable too!😁

 

i took all 4 jobs on no problem without a second thought......👍

 

 

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Camberley Window Cleaning

Hi all!

 

Just sharing some updates as I said I would, It's been quite busy since I started but so far it's been great. I have 25 regular customers, which is just 75 away from my target of 100 customers in a year. I have been using a backpack but as I am getting busier I realise that is more practical to get a tank and do it properly. I'm also thinking of getting a better ladder, I almost had an accident cleaning a conservatory roof, as the ladder that I have (second hand) slipped out on the water, luckily it didn't slip completely. I have read that this one is meant to be good so will give it a try https://www.screwfix.com/p/mac-allister-4-section-aluminium-multipurpose-ladder-4-25m/2962x 

 

For canvassing I have been using VistaPrint and BananaPrint for my business cards and flyers, so far VistaPrint seems to have better quality, but slightly more expensive. Does anyone have a trusty supplier with a good price? Also thinking of getting some stickers on my car for marketing. 

 

Thanks all!

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Dino

Well done on your progress so far.  I only started in June and now have just over 65 customers.  I think I have dropped about 14, mostly none payers.  So take the rough with the smooth.  I got disheartened when I got my first few messers but after a while things come right.  Just expect to get through a lot of time wasters.  

 

For canvassing I just use vista print.  I knock the door, if they are not in I put a leaflet through the door.  I am still getting business from people phoning up 2 months after I dropped leaflets.  I am starting to manage my customers expectations, its a juggling act but I enjoy it.  

 

Regarding the earlier comments about taking other window cleaners work.  In 2 months I have had a couple of walk ups asking for price comparisons.  I owe nobody any favours I will always quote.  I know one guy tried to undercut me.  If the customer wants to pay less then who needs them eh?  Lets face it, with constant canvassing you can replace them.  I see my round like a bucket with a hole in it where customers drip out the bottom of my round and I gotta keep topping up the bucket.  Its all about the bucket....keep it full!!! 

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