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MrsC2014

Husband considering career change



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MrsC2014

My husband has been approached by an established window cleaner to buy his round. He has a friend who is a very successful window cleaner and unbeknown to me has been talking with him for months regarding the business, the demand and the potential earnings.

 

We have a 5 year old and he is currently in a warehouse managers job which he finds OK however the shifts are uncertain which does not suit our life at all as I work full time also. 

 

He is so determined and passionate about this possible venture and I support him wholeheartedly but we would like some advice regarding starting up. at this point I am not aware what the price of the round will be and what will be included in this eg equipment but any support or advice from anyone would be so appreciated right now as we are bricking it!!!

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Iron Giant

Without more info it's hard to advise as such, but ultimately upon purchasing a round all you are buying is goodwill unless the cleaner is willing to show your husband the round and introduce him to the customers and also long with an introduction letter as you take over this should help with retaining customers 

other members will be able to advise better on buying rounds, but I would advise you to do as much research on here as possible in terms of covering all aspects and day to day running of a window cleaning business, jobs cleaned on a daily basis isn't money in the bank you can and will be chasing money and have a continual rolling debt of up to 1k or more depending on number of jobs and turnover.

People can get all doey eyed about running their own business, but it's a constant thing it can be all consuming, also no 4 weeks paid holiday or sick pay, if he has the drive and determination to succeed, the sky is the limit and it's a job for life 

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Adman

Has he got the "get up and go" required to motivate himself, even when stuff goes wrong and there's no one around to help or blame? Reason I ask - is that it's weird that you're on here asking for him.  Not a good first sign lol... 

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MrsC2014
4 minutes ago, Adman said:

Has he got the "get up and go" required to motivate himself, even when stuff goes wrong and there's no one around to help or blame? Reason I ask - is that it's weird that you're on here asking for him.  Not a good first sign lol... 

I am asking as I want to know the ins and outs as well and felt like I would get good advice and support off other established window cleaners. Plus I have access to the internet whilst at work and he doesn't.

 

I am suffering with a little anxiety about the whole process so thought I would ask the people in the know.

 

He definitely has got the get up and go especially when it comes to working and supporting us. And he will never have no one around as we are a team I have experience in accounts so will be helping with the admin side and the initial canvassing. 

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THL4KEL

You need to find out the figures, how many customers does the round include, what has he been charging them, how did he collect payment from customers, frequency of the cleans i.e every two, four, six, eight weeks. what method of cleaning i.e traditional or Water Fed Pole. If there is any equipment included.  Is he giving you an established website and telephone number.

 

Then we can give you an idea of how to proceed.

 

Once you have the figures you will be able to compare to his current take home salary as well. q

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Part Timer

I don't know your financial position, your husbands work ethos, what you're paying, what it turns over. I don't even know if it's a traditional or WFP round he's buying.

If it's  reasonably priced, your husband has a good work ethos and your wages can, initially, pay most of the bill's then, in my opinion you currently won't  find a better paying manual job. Like all good things it won't just land in your lap but with very hard work, initially, you will succeed.

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MrsC2014

So just spoken to my hubby it’s a 200 house round which currently pays the guy £1600 a month net. We will have around £10k once we’ve bought the round to keep aside and fall back on when things are tighter or to make sure that if there’s any time off had we still have enough to cover basic bills. My wage is £1800 a month so more than enough to cover our outgoings initially. He’s so determined to make this work he understands how hard it will be all round he’s not a naive person he’s always worked for the last 17 years and wants to make something for us and give us the life he knows he can. 
 

we’ve already worked out that with the contracts his other friends turn down he could add 50+ houses in the next month and then we’ll be canvassing and advertising on Facebook picking up contracts from businesses run by mates.

 

we need to have a proper sit down talk he’s gonna talk to his dad his friend who has a very good round but I think he’s gonna go for it 

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dazmond

remember he ll need a van and wfp equipment and somewhere to purify his water....also has he cleaned a window before?i suggest he goes out with his friend for a few days to see if he likes it.......this could well be great for him,a £1600 a month round is a start and build it up from there.

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scottish cleaning service

I think it would be better if he could go round and help the guy who is selling it. He may buy it and then find out he doesn't like window cleaning.

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solarpanelcleaningltd

Exciting times! Go for it!

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MrsC2014
46 minutes ago, dazmond said:

remember he ll need a van and wfp equipment and somewhere to purify his water....also has he cleaned a window before?i suggest he goes out with his friend for a few days to see if he likes it.......this could well be great for him,a £1600 a month round is a start and build it up from there.

The equipment is offered in the round. I know and the guys earns £1600 he only works 3 weeks a month 4 hours a day so we could easily look to double the round 😍😍

20 minutes ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I think it would be better if he could go round and help the guy who is selling it. He may buy it and then find out he doesn't like window cleaning.

He is going to but that’s not a worry for him regardless of whether he loved it or not the drive to make a better life is so strong for him now. He wants us to have better and do better and do it ourselves. He’s very keen on working for our own future rather than someone elses

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scottish cleaning service
4 minutes ago, MrsC2014 said:

The equipment is offered in the round. I know and the guys earns £1600 he only works 3 weeks a month 4 hours a day so we could easily look to double the round 😍😍

He is going to but that’s not a worry for him regardless of whether he loved it or not the drive to make a better life is so strong for him now. He wants us to have better and do better and do it ourselves. He’s very keen on working for our own future rather than someone elses

 

Remember this job is all Physical, slip, trip, or hurt your back and it can come back to haunt you unless someone else can step in. I hurt my back and was off for a week but i only have 100 customers. Your customers will understand but they want to know what's happening. I'm a week late this month and they were asking what happened to me? All that happened was a mot on the van that took 5 days when it should have only took a day.

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Pjj

I have no idear what prices are like in your area but that works out to an avarage of £8 per job ,it’s ok but never going to set the world alight , are there prices good for your area ???? Also you need to take into consideration the cost of the round , it does sound like it would get him going  though and hopefully increase pricing along the way .

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MrsC2014

There are different jobs that are on different prices but we’ve sort of thought £5 per weekly job

£8 per fortnightly 

£10 monthly

£15 ad hoc prices based on a typical 3 bed semi. 

23 minutes ago, scottish cleaning service said:

 

Remember this job is all Physical, slip, trip, or hurt your back and it can come back to haunt you unless someone else can step in. I hurt my back and was off for a week but i only have 100 customers. Your customers will understand but they want to know what's happening. I'm a week late this month and they were asking what happened to me? All that happened was a mot on the van that took 5 days when it should have only took a day.

I work in financial advice we’ve already got the ball rolling with income protection life cover etc. We know a  few window cleaners who might agree to step in for a short term period and savings to fall onto in case of accident or illness

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scottish cleaning service
6 minutes ago, MrsC2014 said:

There are different jobs that are on different prices but we’ve sort of thought £5 per weekly job

£8 per fortnightly 

£10 monthly

£15 ad hoc prices based on a typical 3 bed semi. 

I work in financial advice we’ve already got the ball rolling with income protection life cover etc. We know a  few window cleaners who might agree to step in for a short term period and savings to fall onto in case of accident or illness

 

I find this game has a lot to do with reliability and trust, price is not that important. That's what I have came to realise, they can either afford it or they can't.

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MrsC2014

All we can do at this stage is put a plan into place based on what the rates are in our area. There are people charging less and some who charge more but we feel that’s sort of middle of the road and we could build a good business on those prices 

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P4dstar
3 hours ago, MrsC2014 said:

I am suffering with a little anxiety about the whole process so thought I would ask the people in the know.

I left a good job to do this full time, my wife was the same. I earned 40k the previous year and was on for at least 36k that year so it was a big risk for us.

 

I can see where @Adman is coming from. It's similar to when you see a parent touting for a job for their child. You instantly question the kids drive. I really wanted this and a family member had previously put me off so I made it my mission to find out everything there was to know and sell it to my wife. If he's got that sort of attitude he will make a success of it.

 

7 minutes ago, MrsC2014 said:

There are different jobs that are on different prices but we’ve sort of thought £5 per weekly job

£8 per fortnightly 

£10 monthly

£15 ad hoc prices based on a typical 3 bed semi. 

Don't panic about what you would charge, too early for that. You will more than likely find you are looking at 4/8 weekly or even 6/12. The first port of call is making sure you aren't buying a pig with some lipstick on. Is £1600 pcm net means £2000 gross then you're in business. If not £8 per month average customer value is a little low. His friend would be better suited to valuing the work if he is a local window cleaner.

 

There are a few risks when it comes to buying work. Number one is that a fair chunk of the customers will drop you straight away. They often don't like being sold like cattle. The second big issue is managing the work. These are paying customers and won't want to be used for training. IMHO the biggest way to fail is to take on something you're not ready for. If you start from scratch and grow a business you grow with it. If you work hard it can grow fast. If you're earning enough to pay the bills this could be a better route depending on how good the work is.

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Haychh
8 hours ago, MrsC2014 said:

My husband has been approached by an established window cleaner to buy his round. He has a friend who is a very successful window cleaner and unbeknown to me has been talking with him for months regarding the business, the demand and the potential earnings.

 

We have a 5 year old and he is currently in a warehouse managers job which he finds OK however the shifts are uncertain which does not suit our life at all as I work full time also. 

 

He is so determined and passionate about this possible venture and I support him wholeheartedly but we would like some advice regarding starting up. at this point I am not aware what the price of the round will be and what will be included in this eg equipment but any support or advice from anyone would be so appreciated right now as we are bricking it!!!


Don't buy a round, that money is better in your pocket and can be spent on marketing, get your own customers its a lot more simple and less easier and the customers are used to your rules, I been trading for 7 years (starting of as part time whilst I had another part time job) and now I deal with over 2,000 clients per month and with 5 vans, if I can do It then so can your husband, If he is really passionate and hungry then he would get the customers himself, it would be better for both of you I reckon, buying a round is hard work and is a lo of hassle my advice would be for you o stay away and start from scratch, I picked up 900 customers last year, It can be done. Good luck

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Cleanco
5 hours ago, Haychh said:


Don't buy a round, that money is better in your pocket and can be spent on marketing, get your own customers its a lot more simple and less easier and the customers are used to your rules, I been trading for 7 years (starting of as part time whilst I had another part time job) and now I deal with over 2,000 clients per month and with 5 vans, if I can do It then so can your husband, If he is really passionate and hungry then he would get the customers himself, it would be better for both of you I reckon, buying a round is hard work and is a lo of hassle my advice would be for you o stay away and start from scratch, I picked up 900 customers last year, It can be done. Good luck

Buying my round was the best thing I ever did. Instant wage, no messing about canvassing or marketing. Also the work is super compact, something you won’t get building yourself in todays market. Yes it was a little underpriced and it’s taken a while to get them up to date and everyone on board with my way of working but I was still turning a good profit from day one even after paying my loan off. Let your money work for you not the other way around. Work smarter, not harder and have all the stress that building a round entails. Every week there’s a post on here by lads struggling to make ends meet because the works not coming in for what ever reason. I’m not saying it can’t be done as many have proved it can, but as they will know it’s a lot of hard work and stress when it doesn’t have to be and you still end up with the same goal. 

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mike007
11 hours ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I think it would be better if he could go round and help the guy who is selling it. He may buy it and then find out he doesn't like window cleaning.

Seems like many think of changing occupation and think Oh I  Know I will become a window cleaner..as though it is the best possible job to have.....IT IS Not.

Yesterday I finished at 11.45 due to the weather, not because I had earned a tonne of money and do not have to lift a finger for the rest of the week...so now I am on catch up...it aint a bed of roses as some would believe. Your not working (weather,lack of customers) your not earning. And each and every customer you have on your books can cancel your service anytime they wish. Reality is your customer is only your customer each time you clean their windows.

Thing is you see windies in shorts on hot sunny days and think that,s the sort of job for me, not on freezing windy days like we have over winter.

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Stevieboy

Don’t think the basic question has been answered yet. Sounds like a traditional round to me. The lady has said equipment is included but not what equipment is included. If it is WFP is making water a problem or not. Again not answered. Not enough basic facts. Remember buying around means a bit of paper with names and addresses on. You can’t buy loyalty. Potentially they could all say they Don’t want there windows cleaned anymore. Especially if the gentleman just takes over and there is no transition. 

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MrsC2014
9 hours ago, Haychh said:


Don't buy a round, that money is better in your pocket and can be spent on marketing, get your own customers its a lot more simple and less easier and the customers are used to your rules, I been trading for 7 years (starting of as part time whilst I had another part time job) and now I deal with over 2,000 clients per month and with 5 vans, if I can do It then so can your husband, If he is really passionate and hungry then he would get the customers himself, it would be better for both of you I reckon, buying a round is hard work and is a lo of hassle my advice would be for you o stay away and start from scratch, I picked up 900 customers last year, It can be done. Good luck

I really appreciate your input however what would be your main reason to be put off buying a round? We realise that some houses may drop us and as a result we have already got a friend designing some cards and leaflets to start canvassing about a month before the guy wants to retire to hopefully start to build up our own client bank. I have already got all my family signed on and his plus after mentioning it to our child minder she has said she would like to be added to the books as did a couple of the mums. Just interested to know what would be off-putting about buying an established round as the response on the thread is mixed. 

44 minutes ago, Stevieboy said:

Don’t think the basic question has been answered yet. Sounds like a traditional round to me. The lady has said equipment is included but not what equipment is included. If it is WFP is making water a problem or not. Again not answered. Not enough basic facts. Remember buying around means a bit of paper with names and addresses on. You can’t buy loyalty. Potentially they could all say they Don’t want there windows cleaned anymore. Especially if the gentleman just takes over and there is no transition. 

it is a WFP system. I haven't had a lot of time to talk to my hubby about it as he was out last night when i got in but he spent a couple of hours with the guy asking questions and he feels confident about it. The advice is more for me I think as it is such a massive change. 

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MrsC2014
2 hours ago, mike007 said:

Seems like many think of changing occupation and think Oh I  Know I will become a window cleaner..as though it is the best possible job to have.....IT IS Not.

Yesterday I finished at 11.45 due to the weather, not because I had earned a tonne of money and do not have to lift a finger for the rest of the week...so now I am on catch up...it aint a bed of roses as some would believe. Your not working (weather,lack of customers) your not earning. And each and every customer you have on your books can cancel your service anytime they wish. Reality is your customer is only your customer each time you clean their windows.

Thing is you see windies in shorts on hot sunny days and think that,s the sort of job for me, not on freezing windy days like we have over winter.

I have been drilling this into him and he understands this but I will continue to drill it into him until he makes a final decision at the end of this month. I don't think the change has come lightly and I'm sure he doesn't think it will be easy I have stressed how hard the work will be and how hard it will be on us as a family. He has some people left to talk to and a lot of thinking to do. 

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scottish cleaning service

To be honest, he should be on the forum asking these questions. You can't be an introvert in this job unless working for someone else. You have to talk to your customers and then they will pass on your number. He needs to go out on some trial days when its raining and windy and see it he likes it. The summer months are a breeze but its the winter months that test your patience. 😉

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MrsC2014
4 hours ago, Cleanco said:

Buying my round was the best thing I ever did. Instant wage, no messing about canvassing or marketing. Also the work is super compact, something you won’t get building yourself in todays market. Yes it was a little underpriced and it’s taken a while to get them up to date and everyone on board with my way of working but I was still turning a good profit from day one even after paying my loan off. Let your money work for you not the other way around. Work smarter, not harder and have all the stress that building a round entails. Every week there’s a post on here by lads struggling to make ends meet because the works not coming in for what ever reason. I’m not saying it can’t be done as many have proved it can, but as they will know it’s a lot of hard work and stress when it doesn’t have to be and you still end up with the same goal. 

I could actually cry at this response as its one of the very few that instils positivity within me. Did you also build on your round or was it established enough to just go with?

Just now, scottish cleaning service said:

To be honest, he should be on the forum asking these questions. You can't be an introvert in this job unless working for someone else. You have to talk to your customers and then they will pass on your number. He needs to go out on some trial days when its raining and windy and see it he likes it. The summer months are a breeze but its the winter months that test your patience. 😉

I am on here to garner some advice and support for myself in this jump gathering facts and information that he is getting from his friends who are in the business already. 

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cleaniac

Buying rounds can be tricky. 

 

The best bet would be to see if the rounds for sale can be backed up with tax returns, and accounts. If he can show at least 3 years consistent performance from the goodwill then it's worth buying and is a quick way into the business.

 

If they cannot, and he is selling a "list" then it's a big risk, and your better off using some of that 10k and going out yourself to get the work. 

 

I will hasten to add, many people think window cleaning will provide financial freedom, and eventually it does. But it will take you YEARS to get to the levels you dream of. Not to discourage you, but be realistic.

 

 

Edited by cleaniac

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MrsC2014
2 minutes ago, cleaniac said:

Buying rounds can be tricky. 

 

The best bet would be to see if the rounds for sale can be backed up with tax returns, and accounts.

 

If they cannot, and he is selling a "list" then it's not worth paying out for. 

 

 

I do know that they can as tom say them yesterday and we are in the process of having the books written up properly so we can do the maths ourselves. At the end of the day this is a guy who has built up a round that pays him what he needs (£1600 net every 3 weeks) and is now looking to retire. It does seem to good to be true and this is what is making me nervous as hell. We are going to chat with our friend who is a very experienced well established windie to help us look over the books and advise too

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cleaniac
1 minute ago, MrsC2014 said:

I do know that they can as tom say them yesterday and we are in the process of having the books written up properly so we can do the maths ourselves. At the end of the day this is a guy who has built up a round that pays him what he needs (£1600 net every 3 weeks) and is now looking to retire. It does seem to good to be true and this is what is making me nervous as hell. We are going to chat with our friend who is a very experienced well established windie to help us look over the books and advise too

 

Make sure the figures are backed up with bank statements & tax returns. Ask for a copy of the full accounts with bank statements. Do not rely on books that cannot be backed up without these as it's worthless without.

 

Also I just edited my 1sr response to add some more value, but you had already replied.

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MrsC2014
7 minutes ago, cleaniac said:

 

Make sure the figures are backed up with bank statements & tax returns. Ask for a copy of the full accounts with bank statements. Do not rely on books that cannot be backed up without these as it's worthless without.

 

Also I just edited my 1sr response to add some more value, but you had already replied.

Thank you for that advice I will put it to Tom that we ask to see the full accounts also. We realise that we may not get to where we want to be for a few years but the thought of being able to build that on our terms not someone else's is exciting and scary as hell. We realise it is a massive leap of faith on our aprt to pick up a round from someone else but I won't allow this to happen without a proper handover. Being in financial services we see client banks being sold all the time and I know just how much people buy into you not just the service you're providing. I have and will continue to lay that into tom to make sure he realises that he cant just turn up one day and say oh hiya im your new window cleaner. He knows he will have to go out to every house introduce himself and build up a relationship of trust. It wont work otherwise and we're both intelligent enough to realise this.

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mike007
3 hours ago, Stevieboy said:

Don’t think the basic question has been answered yet. Sounds like a traditional round to me. The lady has said equipment is included but not what equipment is included. If it is WFP is making water a problem or not. Again not answered. Not enough basic facts. Remember buying around means a bit of paper with names and addresses on. You can’t buy loyalty. Potentially they could all say they Don’t want there windows cleaned anymore. Especially if the gentleman just takes over and there is no transition. 

And what if the person taking over is not a capable window cleaner be it Trad or WFP...not everyone has the shall I say aptitude or skill set do do a decent job on the glass.

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