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vinny8467

New Business - Somerset (Any Help Gratefully Received)

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vinny8467

Name : Ady

 

Cleaning Method : WFP

 

Years cleaning : 0

 

Area : Somerset

 

About me : Hi all, i have just quit my Senior Operational Management job for a large Logistics company after they tried to double my workload for ZERO pennies!! I have been sat behind a desk now doing Operational Management for some very large companies for the last 20 years and it is time to get off my ar5e!

 

I have been thinking about doing this for a long time now and have just bought a van, ordered myself a WFP system which is being fitted next week and then i will start looking for work.

 

It is my intention to clean Windows, Soffits, Fascias, Gutters, Signs, Solar Panels and Conservatories.

 

I am also going to buy an Industrial Pressure Washer for cleaning of Decking, Patios, Driveways, Paths and Block Paving and a Gutter Vacuum for cleaning Gutters (funnily enough!!).

 

If anybody has any good advice on the best ways of establishing new customers, pricing strategies, marketing, decent companies for Web design, Leaflets, Business Cards or any other useful information and advice, please comment on this post as any help will be appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Ady

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vinny8467

One thing i forgot to mention, if anybody can recommend good suppliers of H&S equipment ie signs etc, please do so

 

Many thanks

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Andykarlaxxx

For web designs talk to a geezer called dodger on here, very very good web deigner, his work speaks for itself

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Dodger

Hi ady welcome to wcf, you're in the right place for help with anything mate and I hope it all goes well!!

 

Sent from my XT890 using Tapatalk 4

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Andykarlaxxx
Hi ady welcome to wcf, you're in the right place for help with anything mate and I hope it all goes well!!Sent from my XT890 using Tapatalk 4

And there he is.

 

Real talk, hes done most peoples websites on here and the results are sweet as.

 

Whoever agree's please kindly donate a reputation point to andy !

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Smurf

Welcome Ady...

 

Best have a good read on the forum as plenty of helpfull information to get you started.

 

Though I will say as you put it 20 years sat on your **** it's going to be a real shock to your body as this job can be really hard graft. Money wise you may struggle to come even close to what you earned in the past. On the bright side you will be your own boss and have the option to earn as much or as little as you would like.

 

Good luck with your new venture :Image9:

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HotWash Window Cleaners

How did you decide on window cleaning with no experience?

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HotWash Window Cleaners

I reckon that you have seen window cleaners and thought I can do that, it looks easy.

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Smurf

It's easy to wash a window hotwash but as we all know like any manual labour job it's repedetive and can be bloody hard work as I'm sure Ady is aware.

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HotWash Window Cleaners

If it was easy why have a forum for all those problems people encounter. It's easy to clean windows badly. You cleaning many windows these days smurf? I am sure that you could write a book on the problems associated with window cleaning.

It's easier when you are experienced.

I would suggest getting some practical experience before choosing a career change.

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Smurf

Just for the record I had no practical experience and simply learnt as I went along. Also may I add without the help of forums when I started.

Being practical minded, logical in my approach to overcome problems, persanable and not frightened of hard work done me just fine.

These days there is some much information available on the net that anyone without experience can do this kind of job with a bit of practise.

I think the skilful part of running a small business is winning quality profitable work that no one can teach you to do.

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mark m

Where abouts are you vinny in somerset I am based in bridport only 10 from the somerset borders if you are local you can out with me and I will show you the ropes

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vinny8467

Hotwash

 

I considered many different options for my career change, all of which included NOT working for anybody else and an office job. After researching opportunities and discussing with lots of people locally, it transpired that there was a common theme of Window cleaners coming a few times and then not coming back. This was using the traditional method of course. I also need to do something physical to keep more active etc.When i enquired about my WFP system, the guy himself had been in the trade for 19 years and suggested expanding the service offering, hence my imminent purchase of an Industrial Pressure Washer and a Guttervac.

 

I appreciate your comments about experience, BUT, please tell me how you get experience without doing the job and persevering??? As a youngster, this was the biggest blocker to my career progress as i would attend interviews to try and develop my career and they would say, "what experience do you have"? which was of course none, which ended in being many unsuccessful interviews. As an Operations Manager for many local companies, i decided that i would not impose this ethos and approach on any of my applicants as it was unfair, and i am pleased to say that some of my most successful applicants had NO warehousing / Logistics experience whatsoever, but had lots of skills and experience from other employment to bring to the role. ALL i did was give them the chance and it pays off.

 

I am aware of the pitfalls of the job etc but am prepared to give it a go and have invested in decent equipment etc. Smurf hit it on the head for me as I am practical minded, logical in my approach to overcome problems, personable and not frightened of hard work so i WILL BE FINE. I earnt £40k + but was not happy and it made me ill so what's the point in continuing in this environment. I will give it a go, get amongst it and if it doesn't work, i can say i tried.

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vinny8467

Mark M

 

Thank you very much for your kind offer mate, much appreciated. I had a look at your website last night which looks very good. I am in Yeovil and would love to come out with you as it has to be said, i do feel a little apprehensive at the moment as it is a complete change for me so it would be good to touch base personally for some advice etc

 

Kind regards

 

Ady

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mark m

No problem Ady I am looking after the kids at the moment so I am only doing half days so it would be a good time as I can show you how to clean windows in the morning and then explain how it all works when we get back if you want to pop round only 45 minutes up the road

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Guest OoO

Thread cleaned up.

 

Play nice girls.

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adyspurs

Hotwash

 

I considered many different options for my career change, all of which included NOT working for anybody else and an office job. After researching opportunities and discussing with lots of people locally, it transpired that there was a common theme of Window cleaners coming a few times and then not coming back. This was using the traditional method of course. I also need to do something physical to keep more active etc.When i enquired about my WFP system, the guy himself had been in the trade for 19 years and suggested expanding the service offering, hence my imminent purchase of an Industrial Pressure Washer and a Guttervac.

 

I appreciate your comments about experience, BUT, please tell me how you get experience without doing the job and persevering??? As a youngster, this was the biggest blocker to my career progress as i would attend interviews to try and develop my career and they would say, "what experience do you have"? which was of course none, which ended in being many unsuccessful interviews. As an Operations Manager for many local companies, i decided that i would not impose this ethos and approach on any of my applicants as it was unfair, and i am pleased to say that some of my most successful applicants had NO warehousing / Logistics experience whatsoever, but had lots of skills and experience from other employment to bring to the role. ALL i did was give them the chance and it pays off.

 

I am aware of the pitfalls of the job etc but am prepared to give it a go and have invested in decent equipment etc. Smurf hit it on the head for me as I am practical minded, logical in my approach to overcome problems, personable and not frightened of hard work so i WILL BE FINE. I earnt £40k + but was not happy and it made me ill so what's the point in continuing in this environment. I will give it a go, get amongst it and if it doesn't work, i can say i tried.

Hi Ady,

 

Good luck with what your new venture,ignore some of the negativity and stick at it and I'm sure you'll do well.

 

From Ady

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Guest Solar Steve

Hi mate. Welcome to a whole new world! I find this forum gives some good advice with some genuine people. Others on here are the doubters and the sceptics. You will find out which are which as you go along.

 

I've been window cleaning and UPVC cleaning for 17 years. I set up the business the day after I left school, crucially, with no previous experience! That's 8 years from ladders and 9 years WFP. I have done gutter cleaning for 16 years, from ladders, with a pressure washer, with a gutter vac and from a cherry picker. I have been pressure washing drives etc for 8 years and sealing block paving, tarmac and the like for 4 years. Lastly, I've been solar panel cleaning for 6 years. Solar is no longer an add on for my business it is now a separate business and makes up about 50% of my turnover.

 

How would I advise you proceed? Start out window cleaning and UPVC cleaning as you have done. Citrusol, virusol or a similar chemical will speed up those UPVC jobs. You will probably find you will need to buy new shirts! if you are a bigger fella, you will lose weight. if you are a smaller fella, your neck and shoulder muscles will grow and your collars will get too tight!!! :-)

 

Then move on to pressure washing. Contact a company called Smartseal and get on one of their training courses. It's one of the best £75 investments you will make. Ask to speak to Nigel or Nick and say I recommended them to you. The whole company and level of service they offer you as a contractor is awesome. I recommend pressure washing because you can easily do it on your own.

 

Gutter cleaning, after using a pressure washer and a vac, I find is still easiest and quickest from ladders. However, I never do them on my own. I always have on of the employees foot the ladder or I foot it for them. The controversy from other forum members may start there, but will really kick off on the next bit! ;-)

 

Solar. We were the first UK-based window cleaning company to be advertising solar panel cleaning on our website years ago. Solar panel cleaning seems to be very controversial among the window cleaning fraternity.

 

Firstly, a lot of people who owns a WFP seems to think he can clean solar panels. I would beg to differ and I feel I have strong and valid reasons to say so. Just because I own a set of screwdrivers, does not make me qualified to re-wire a house. Having the right equipment to do a job, does not mean you know how to do a job safely. Solar IS potentially a lot more dangerous than window cleaning and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. There is not electricity flowing through a window when you are cleaning it. There are health and safety implications which cannot easily be overcome on some sites. Those who say 'just clean em and you'll be fine', do so out of ignorance and lack of information.

 

Secondly, it is much easier when building a business to walk down roads canvassing for window cleaning and build a monthly round of clients who will give you a steady income than it is to have solar panel cleaning as an initial revenue stream. They are cleaned more infrequently and getting into the solar community is hard. Just because you see 20,000 panels in a farmers field does not mean you will canvass it and get it. The farmer probably does not even own them and may not be allowed to tell you who does.

 

By all means pursue solar, I say that to everyone, but make sure you know the H&S implications first.

 

Others will have opinions on this as you will see. However, having researched solar panel cleaning in depth for over 6 years, we have put ourselves in a position to look after some of the largest contracts available in the UK, are looking to have the UK's first accredited solar panel cleaning training course and also are soon hoping to begin researching the effects of solar panel cleaning on a microscopic level with professors from the CSER.

 

Lastly mate, have a good look around our websites. They rank extremely well on google for their search terms. One is window cleaning driven, one is driveway driven and one is solar driven. All of the content is ours, including all the pictures. It will give you a good idea of how good your business will be 12 months from now.

 

I wish you all the best mate. If you have any questions, fire away. Using the search box at the top right is a good way to get quick answers too.

 

Steve.

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Bingo

Steve, when will your training course for solar panels be available.

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Guest Solar Steve

We are gathering detail at this stage. Then it will be placed in module format. That will be a quick part of the process. Then it will need to be perhaps amended, then approved and accredited. I imagine it is still 12 months away. It's not a quick process. It has to be right.

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Smurf

Good post Steve

 

Regarding gutter clearing don't be fooled into thinking great I have a guttervac so will not need to use ladders as unfortunatly it is sadly not the case on most jobs you will get. The safest kit I have found for ladder work is get an ankalad fitted to your gutter clearing ladder & use a microlight stand-off that is designed to rest on roofs. That way you don't need someone to foot the ladder as Steve mentioned. Even though I use a guttervac aswell they are not great for the likes of unblocking downspouts and badly blocked guttering so I find it quicker to do by hand.

 

To overcome the overhang in this example pic would be near impossible to do safely with a normal standoff

[ATTACH]3531.IPB[/ATTACH]

 

Also that ladder set up comes in very handy for awkward guttervac jobs and I use it a lot for conservatory roof cleaning too so is money well spent in my book.

 

[ATTACH]3532.IPB[/ATTACH]

With the ankalad deployed can use the ladder free standing too away from the conservatory guttering to gain enough height to wfp deep clean hard to reach areas like the points bits etc on this one.

[ATTACH]3533.IPB[/ATTACH]

 

Regarding marketing and what services to start promoting firstly I would suggest while you are learning your new trade skills get someone like dodger to sort you out with your company branding and most importanly a good website covering all the services you want to offer. Doing so first will act as your business card on the net. Next depending on what you want to push get flyers made up and go knocking doors. Simples

 

Hope this helps?

 

P.s Best you learn how to trad windows aswell as you will need that skill for interior work etc.

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macco

Good luck to Vinny - Whilst I agree with Hotwash now because i started out like Vinny and it was a lot of hard learning and knocks but it seems you have a mentor which is great and I know your attitude will get you afloat. Just shows how awful some of these jobs are if your prepared to drop from £40000 salary all safe.

You have based some of your research on stories of window cleaners coming and packing in after a few months. You get bad customers and the other side of the story here is they cant get any money off Mrs Smith who is never in, Mrs Jones decdes she wants 2 monthy not monthly, Mr Bean decides he wants his done with a letaher and so it can go on.

 

Also don't expect all customers to welcome you with WFP, they can be crazily irrational. One bloke loooked so nervous and worried every time I went i packed in for his health, his wife was happy but not him, kept asking why are you not drying it off, kept explaining but gets on your nerves.

 

One thing I have leant about window cleaning its finding the right customers for the right window cleaners.

 

abbeyclean.co.uk

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Guest Djent

Very interesting thread for someone like me who is considering a similar move from corporate middle management to something I own and can hopefully grow.

 

I'm based in Liverpool and if theres a local mentor who is prepared to share some experience then please get in touch .

 

Apologies if this is deemed to be hijacking this thread ..

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vinny8467

That's fine Djent, good luck also .....

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Guest Djent

Appreciated Vinny - I wish you every success with your new career path ..

 

- just to comment - I've also had great results with enthusiastic but inexperienced people in moving from one discipline to another - its the energy they bring, hunger for new challenge and paying back your trust in their abilities irrespective of their experience ..

 

Please keep some sort of blog going around your progress - Im sure there will be many who are interested ...

 

cheers

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nearlyclean

Hope it all works out for you Djent and ady (vinny8467) Looking at H experience on another post how he has 350 plus customers in less than 18 months

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Aqua-pure Portadown

Vinny. , good luck in your new career path, I too give up a well paid job .

I live in N.Ireland and worked in the management side of the construction industry in central London (earning upto 60k ) give it up to be close to my family and got a van and wfp setup ,started last sept with one customer (my auntie lol) .

ATM I have approx 250 regulars , pvc and gutter jobs on the go all year round !

Have never been happier ,a little bit poorer :-( but happier!!!

 

Don't forget there is loads of work out there you just have too look for it !

 

There is only one bit of advice I would give you ( as a newbie myself) work out what your prices are and stick to them and never undercut someone to get a house ,you will hate doing that house every month knowing you are doing for less than you should be !!!!

 

Enjoy the outdoors :-)

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