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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 25/04/18 in all areas

  1. 27 points
    NorthumberlandWindowCleanr

    7 Months Starting My Story so far! * LOTS of Tips*

    I am on a well earned day off on a long weekend given it is a little chilly today and work is more or less up to date, I thought I would spend an hour giving my window cleaning “story so far”and some inspiration for other who might be starting out in 2019 ! Hope some experienced folk may pick a few tricks and tips up I have learnt thus far I used this forum a great deal earlier last year when starting out April/May. Not posting and asking but I read, noted and kept researching reading, reading, noting things down and more reading. Also youtube vids and a couple of FaceBook groups, I have learned EVERYTHING. From not knowing a squeegee from a ladder, in just seven months I have built a business paying me a good wage, with good customers, very little hassles, 98% GoCardless, best equipment and the sky is the limit mentality. If I can do it YOU CAN DO IT ! I started out proper in June 2018 after deciding window cleaning would be a viable business due to its recurring & regular work In no particular order, general random subjects of what I have learned so far, what I did, in these past seven months. Note the amount of capitalised YOU. Hopefully, it will help YOU build Firstly, “Work smarter, NOT harder” Explains itself, but notice how this is a recurring theme in all of the brain dumpings you read below Remember the 7 P's “Proper, Planning, & Practice, Prevents, Pi$$, Poor, Performance” Noone is an expert to start with. But YOU have to start. Always YOU need be taking action, Set and write round targets, achievements, dates, targets, where YOU want to be. A new customer every day ? X20 new customers a month ? Drop x250 leaflets every week? The ball is in YOUR court "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" Write it down, visualise what YOU want. Tick things off. See you new customers added. Seeing it and believing it every day, YOU are the only person that stops in the way of getting to YOUR targets You set YOURSELF BE ACCOUNTABLE – BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF AND YOUR CUSTOMERS With the best will in the world many generations of window cleaners have got us painted with a pretty bad and unreliable brush. Break the mould, be the one who is different. Have passion in your business. Dont be like the 'other guys' Dont be the stereotypical window cleaner. Promise a time, BE ON TIME Schedule a clean, do the clean Promise a ring back, CALL THEM back The saying goes, “It is better to be trusted than liked, Under Promise and Over Perform” Break a promise and be accountable to yourself, Getting into the habit of GOOD habits Work out what your "needed" daily rate is and work towards it, your first step of action is your first step towards getting it I don't have kids, big mortgage, debts. So I used for sake of simple maths of working towards making £100 per day my goal to work towards. Im was beyond that in under five months, by ME taking action EVERY day Set a minimum price for your job/time/to park up and get out of the van. AND STICK TO IT ! Again for the sake of simple maths and round numbers, I chose £10 per job, even if it a bungalow or a “fronts only” mid-terrace. It is £10. They dont want to pay £10, I dont want the job. Have it printed in black & white on your flyers/business card “Prices FROM £10” As Del Boy said “What Cant Speak, Cant Lie” I'm up t'north where lots of £4-£5 houses cleaners still Don't chase or accept every job/house/bit of work that comes your way. Set yourself a profile of house YOU want to do. An enquiry from a centre of town mid terrace with bad parking do you really need it ? Be prepared and happy to turn down and refuse work that doesn't fit the profile YOU wish to work to. YOU are the one driving the bus, work on your terms. YOU dont need EVERY bit of work that comes in, a bad job, a bad customer. The power of being able to say NO is a very powerful tool If you try to get on with another local cleaner, pass work his way Price the job as you see fit and STICK TO IT "The price is £13 a month, if you can do it for £10 we have a deal. Sorry no we don't, the price is £13 you have my details if you change your mind" DOMESTIC – COMMERICAL or MIXED ? Starting out, I have focused on just doing domestic houses only, no commercials (at present). Since losing one house is not the end of the world, but losing a days pay would be an issue Pick the schedule you wish to work to I chose to offer monthly (85% core customer base) or bi-monthly (priced at 25% higher). I think the psychology of offering monthly or bi-monthly this sounds better than saying x6 weekly or x12 weekly personally, but that is just my opinion, monthly cleans also link nicely into my next subject GoCardless, Direct Debit sign up is mandatory, not an option. NO GoCardless – NO CLEAN GoCardless solves on of the oldest & worst pain points of this trade and solves it very well for a tiny cost of the grief and aggregation it takes away - 20p per DD Since Direct Debits come out monthly in most cases for bills & payments, it makes it an easier sell to the customer, as another recurring monthly bill. (quoting a job) "So to confirm Mrs Jones, I will be here to clean once a month, it will be £15 per month paid via Direct Debit. You'll get a text the night before to let you know I'm coming & to leave the gate open, once I'm done I post you this "we've just cleaned your windows receipt" (hand customer receipt to keep) Any issue you have 5 day window to get in touch for me to resolve it. If all is good, the Direct Debit leaves your bank 5 days later, just like your Sky or Vodafone bill" This explains about GoCardless and how it all works, (hands Mrs Jones professionally printed company branded Double side A5) Where you can, if at all possible get GoCardless get in place prior to first clean. But I tend to do cash or card “n person” on the day of first clean. ALWAYS try to have the customer there for your “First Clean”. It is as much for YOU to see and judge them as a customer/person. But also for YOU, to sell YOURSELF and YOUR business. YOU only have ONE chance to make a lasting FIRST impression "Look the part, image is everything" Use fivver.com to get someone to design yourself a "brand/image/logo" for yourself & business, your van signage, your clothing(customiseitnow.co.uk) , your custom lanyard (weprintlanyards.com) & ID photo card (photoidcardpeople.com), your professionally printed stationery, leaflets, business cards, compliments slips (vistaprint or instantprint.co.uk). When done right ALL branding when on your van, your polo shirt, fleece, ID all aligns & links together that make it so much easier the "sell" the GoCardless sign up as just another part of how YOU do YOUR business, that is often the pain point for others to sell & convert. It screams professionalism. Always be working in your uniform when with a customer or potential customer. Be Mr Vanilla – arrive clean shaven, tattoos covered, clean & tidy. You might think your tattoos are FAB a potential customer might judge you as an ex-convict in their mind. ALWAYS be polite, considerate and courteous. Would you give your bank details up to a someone togged out in sport direct catalogue and trainers?. Probaly not If you and your van look the part and is a cut above the competition, YOU can have confidence selling your services at a higher price, with a smile on your face ALWAYS go the extra mile to impress on a first clean and do an AMAZING job but ALWAYS charge accordingly for doing so. You only have one chance to make a 1st impression ! Explain to the customer as "There will be a one-off first clean restoration charge to bring everything back up to gleaming again, as they have not been done in such a long while, this is only due to the extra time, effort, chemicals, pure water used to restore your windows and frames. Your ongoing maintenance cleans every month will then be £15" By charging this one-off first clean restoration fee, not only are you getting fairly paid for the extra work it also serves as a natural filter to weed out those customers who are really just wanting a one-off clean out of the blue and not interested in an ongoing monthly clean AFTER THE FIRST CLEAN By doing a superb and awesome job on the first clean restoration, it makes YOUR job SO MUCH EASIER & FASTER upon your return the next month, as nothing ever gets a chance to get really dirty again First clean out of the way, Explain the GoCardless service in detail BEFORE you leave, offer to answer any questions how it works and leave info leaflets for them to read at their leisure, have an FAQ section on your web page to. Follow up, at the end of the day text from textlocal #REF: XX NORTH ROAD Hi XXXX, XXXXX your new window cleaner here. Nice to meet you earlier and completing your first clean. As explained, here is the sign up link for the Direct Debit service. All recurring cleans are paid via Direct Debit. Please complete before your next scheduled clean on XX/XX/2019 https://pay.gocardless.com/xxxxxxxxxxxx Regards xxxxxx 07xx xxx xxx www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com Not signed up to GoCardless in ¾ weeks? a week prior to next months clean, they get from textlocal #REF: XX NORTH ROAD Hi XXXX, XXXX your window cleaner here. I have your clean booked in the work diary for next week. All my recurring cleans are paid via Direct Debit. The sign up link for the Direct Debit is https://pay.gocardless.com/xxxxxxxxxxxx Regards xxxxxx 07xx xxx xxx www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com DD Not in place, by clean date. DONT CLEAN - SKIP But on day of clean (last ditch effort), drop a compliments slip through door hand written saying “Mr(s) XXX, Sorry but your clean has been missed this month as we notice the Direct Debit was not in place as yet. If you would still like a recurring monthly clean, please sign up before XX/XX/2019 and we will add you to next months work. Regards XXXX “ NO GoCardless sign-up – NO CLEAN. Dump, replace and move on. YOU have made every effort to offer a professional, reliable & safe payment method to them. Note the language in the text/slip above, it is not open for discussion or debate how its going to be. By using textlocal as the delivery vehicle of YOUR message of how YOU do business, it doesn't leave it up for negotiation or changes. Textlocal doesn't give them the option to reply to you or weasel out for good reason, YOU are telling them the terms, how it is and how it will work. The payment option is GoCardless and none negotiable They don't want to use it. YOU don't want their business "Always be looking to drop the worst of your round" YOU want as stress-free a business as possible, ANY job that gives you the slightest amount of grief begin thinking of adding them to the binned list, Just as above you having the best chance to make a great first impression. If the customer doesn't make a great impression on you, trust YOUR gut instincts and judgement. 9/10 they'll be right. i.e. Dog chit in the garden this month, it WILL be there in months to come. Cant be arsed to clean up the ladders, kids toys, patio furniture in back garden for you coming to quote, it will ALL be there the month The exposed property next to busy road, front manky this month, it'll be manky next month. Cancel your quote appointment last minute, they'll think nothing of cancelling a clean in the same fashion Cant be arsed to leave gate open for you you 3 strike rule, once benefit of doubt front only half price for half job, second time add to ½ price and added to potential bin list. 3rd time dumped, front onlys again and dumped, deleted, blocked Snotty or Arsey complaining types of customer, are quick to show their true colours to I have found Just think of Customers are like buses, they come and go. For each one you lose/drop, there'll be another one along in a minute to replace. Even six months in I have binned a few off already Small positive tips for finding nice & reliable gem customers The offer of a brew, if they offer one now they will offer again in future times to, nice in colder months They walk with you around the property and speak to you when quoting, they take a small interest in your business/family asking questions They mention they work most days or normally always out through the day (great, in and out quick job no distractions) Double Drive, (always space for the van) No locks, on side gates (customer gets bonus points for) No gnomes, ornaments, wheely bins stored away, soil lights, no pets (extra bonus points) Use the length of grass in front garden as a guide, since this is the one chore most people still dont mind doing themseleves. A good clean garden will appreciate ongoing good clean windows. Use grass length as a guide of how house proud they are. The longer the grass, the more they couldnt give a chuff Only cleaning properties that best suit how YOU want to work. - HOUSE PROFILING Again building your round how it suits YOU not the customer. I have not seen this mentioned very often on here but I have chosen to only take on jobs that have "a one van stop, all-round access", again building things on YOUR terms. It soon began to annoy me doing a mid terrace to then have to repack and move van round into alley to do the rear. So I choose not to quote these sort of properties these days. Remember again it is YOU driving the bus, you are not in the business to make EVERYONE happy. YOU work on YOUR terms, not there. YOU are not being forced to accept every job that comes your way. I now focus my efforts on getting new builds development, established estates, since they are nearly all cookie cutter "same design" type and council semis with gated sides (quick'n'easy, in'n'out 15mins jobs) ONLY Terraces no interest, work in town centre not interest, high rise not interest, builders clean not interested Any job outside of this, sorry I dont wish to do it You may want a totally compact round on your doorstep, price competitively, and continually canvass same area all year ongoing If your prepared to travel,work slower and doing higher value bigger houses at one house an hour for £25-£40 get looking on rightmove completed for houses £500,000+ in value in the postcodes you want to hit “RESEARCH AND RING BACK POLICY” Linked in with the last point, YOU are the one driving the bus. Don't be caught on the hop or quoting blind over phone. ALWAYS try be in front of your PC at home with your work diary when you are engaging with new customer on phone use : instantstreetview.com rightmove completed sales apple maps to view gardens for conservatory potential A quote call comes in through working day “OK, Thanks I wont be able to quote right now as i'm out working. I have your contact number in my phone. Leave it with me Mrs XX and I will call you back this evening if thats OK, I should be able to give you a quote tonight using my 3D mapping software (sounds posh) at home and schedule a date to visit, can you just text me through the address and postcode please Mrs XXX “ or note the address details if you have pen handy By getting the address details FIRST you can judge if YOU want to take the job on. It doesn't fit your work profile, call them back (professionalism) “ Mrs XXX sadly, the days we work in your areas are currently full, sorry couldn't be of help this time (refer to other local cleaner you may know if you wish)” The job does fit your work profile, GREAT you are responding at home, with all your tools & work diary & schedule at fingers, you will have a 90% good idea of house you are dealing with and can give a TBC quote over the phone. CANVASSING & OBTAINING NEW BUSINESS I have learnt people keep business cards, but will mostly bin flyers. Trialed just dropping business cards only on a few streets about five months ago and nothing came of it originally at the time, but this past two months I have had four calls from folk on these streets i dropped months back. Flyers I have found seem to get a a response under x1 week reply from. After that nothing else. So more instant Also when someone gives you a call ALWAYS ask how they heard about you? So you get to learn what is working and what is not for you Flyer? recommendation? word of mouth? FB page? local FB group ? saw you van? Google? The BT phone book “name drop” hack https://www.thephonebook.bt.com/person/ use this to search a potential street you like the look of, add street name add town name, in surname add * which is called a wildcard https://www.thephonebook.bt.com/Person/PersonSearch/?Surname=*&Location=Newcastle%20Upon%20Tyne&Street=coast%20road Now on this I know x19 people's “surname / * ”, who is in the BT phone, whos lives on the “Coast Road” in “Newcastle” Mention someone by name can break the ice 🙂 Trial different flyers, make x5 different designs of x500 each in small quantities, and see what works before rather than ordering x25,000 **** ones at once of the same design to save a few bob. Also ordering small, should the worst happen and your notice a spelling mistake or wrong phone no/email you are not major out of pocket Note which flyers you drop on what streets/area/postcode. When the work comes in you then know what flyers worked. Always use one type of flyer in one street. So you begin to learn what flyer works and what doesnt Use googlemaps to print where you are flyer dropping, print the area and use highlighter to colour streets you have done Use instantstreetview, and virtually walk where you wish to drop BEFORE you set out to check it fits with the house profiles you wish to build your round around or use it to search new areas which have house profiles you would like to work You quickly learn some flyers work better than others. Let your customers be YOUR own canvassers, spread the love for you when you do their clean drop them their "weve cleaned ticket" offer them a simple x1 FREE clean for every new customer they send my way. The busy body know it all money saving Queen of the cul de sac has not paid for a clean yet as she keeps finding me work, and we have a joke about it when i call she will pay me one day ! i dont mind. Every new customer is a £120+ minimum pay rise per annum (£10 x12 months) there is no one way single best of getting business, you just need to keep plugging away trying to get business every day by all means possible. Also just because you have done one street once, don't mean you cant drop there again. People come and go. Renters move out. Folk get new jobs. Retirees move in One new estate of new builds that are all perfect all round access types that fit my house profile , i leaflet or business card drop there every month, people dont have the memory of what flyers came through their door four months ago. Can you remember which pizza restaurant menu dropped 4 months ago, can you? Because i want to work this estate i am slowly getting more and more there. The more you are seen in one area, the better chance of work. The more work you get in an area you want to be the more work comes to you, word spreads. The more you are there the more you are seen. Even if your flyer ends up in the trash, if your leaflet is branded right with you, your work gear and work van. Your logo may stick in their mind ? They may see your van again or you out cleaning neighbours Also a little tip PRIOR to arriving to a scheduled clean on your round, leaflet drop the neighbours BEFORE starting, The rattle of the letter box, the bark of the dog, the sight of things on the mat and then 10 mins later they see you doing Mrs Jones opposite, they have been soft sold the service already and when they see you if interested they are likely to approach you, making it much easier to seal the deal as they have been soft sold already Whilst not without it problems and 100% perfect, i have trailed doing flyers with £ prices shown and have had a far better up take rate. As someone know what it is going to cost in black and white, also as del boy says "what cant speak, cant lie". If you can back up a cold call door knock with a “here is our price list we work from” its an easier sell/close You can use rightmove completed house sales https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices.html sort via most recently sold and there you have a fresh list possible customers, that auto updates ever week. Be the early bird that catches the worm and check every week SMILE, BE HAPPY IN YOUR WORK, SAY HELLO! Happily working on a customers job in your branded company gear, smile be happy you are on a paying job. You sense a man/woman walking her dog in your side view, due to pass you take a moment to pause to adjust your pole or work belt and make eye contact by accident, just smile, nod, say Hi or a friendly morning. It is making a personal small connection. Just a small thing and you may have them approach you for a job after fido has parked its breakfast a few mins later THE GARAGE DOOR - UPSELL AT THE END, CLOSING A perfect way to add a few quid to a job. Once the customer has agreed to your price and ongoing services. You can upsell the cleaning of the garage door for £2 more. Garage doors are big in the mind (lots of work, theyre not), the price seems small (£ kerching good value). Agreed to services, but risk looking cheap for an extra £2 ? “So Mrs Jones, that you all sorted on £15 a month for the windows, frames, sills, front & back door. If you'd like, I can do the garage door each month to for an extra £2 ? Yes? – GREAT 🙂 £15 job – just became a £17 for an extra 2 mins works £180 per yr to £204 per yr NO – OK no worries, if you ever need it done just let me know or drop me a message, same price if you need it done USE YOUR MOBILE AS A BAROMETER TO HOW WELL YOU ARE DOING YOUR JOB The less it rings, you knowing you are doing your job right = good work quality. If it is ringing for new work and new quotes to do you know your marketing or referrals are working "to buy or to not buy a round" For my own reasons above, I started from scratch. I didn't buy a round and it didn't even enter into my head to buy work starting out as you are the one starting out you want to pick and choose the areas you wish to clean, and also aside from retirement or accident/ill health buying a round I would have it my mind why do they wish to sell it if they are earning good coin from it? If you are buying chit or underpriced work, paying "x1 to x10" clean premium you are going to be pi$$ed off from day one starting out. If you are doing everything on your terms, you get to be in full control of how you build it. Lead Generation. I used Darren's lead generation service Green Pro Clean and built a round FAST. Fresh leads were always there EVERY day, regular as clockwork new jobs just waiting to be sealed. Whilst nothing in life is 100% perfect, there were messers in there, Jobs in chit areas, wouldn't sign up for GoCardless. But I picked up some real gems and lovely customers who I'm sure will be with me for years and net me in far more than the original lead cost me. My closure rate was about 65%, the other didn't fit around how I wanted to work. Digital lead generation has built around 50% of my round at a cost of around £3k thus far YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, YOU ONLY HAVE ONE BODY ! A POLE CAN BE REPLACED YOUR BODY CANT – BEST TECH, BEST EQUIPMENT From my original research and planning, I kept reading the SLX22ft was great for around 95% of jobs and also in back of the van I had a manual clabber hand reel. Great I order the SLX. Worked hard with it starting out but began getting aches, creaks, tiredness, pains in arms and shoulders after four months daily use. I was questioning whether this job was really for me long term. Researched some more and saw top of the range Gardiners Extreme pole were well recommended, seconded by Darren (green pro clean) on a phone call for maintenance cleans So realised how often, I have the SLX full extended and was only 3 jobs a month. Dropped these three houses and suddenly I dont need a 22ft pole anymore. So adapting my house profile I choose to work on, It then turned to any property that couldn't be done with a Gardiners Extreme 18ft pole doesn't get on the books, again working smarter, not harder and also I can work quick now to. Will I have to say no to people, YES, will I have to turn down three story work YES. The difference between an 18ft extreme and 22ft SLX is like night and day difference. Use an 18ftExtreme for a maintenance clean, then do the same with a 22ftSLX its like tossing the caber literally So with my day to day pole upgraded, I conclude the body pains must also comes from the manual wheeling hose several times a day. Next purchase PowerupHD electric reel Next, lets look how a few more grams could be saved on day to day set up. Carbon fibre gooseneck added and extreme brush heads. More pole weight improvements again. By doing these three lots of upgrades, it allows me to worker faster, longer, with less effort not harder. I can now do more jobs in a day = £more cash, as such thus far has not costs me ANYTHING ! Which leads me to my next point of discussion, £ money MAKE MONEY WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER - GET THE BEST EQUIPMENT 0% if you haven't already sign, up for noddle or clearscore and check your credit file. At a glance it will give you an idea how much of a credit risk you are. It will give you credit cards and your eligibility % of how likely you are to be accepted. If you always pay your bills on time and in good standing there are many option for 0% on purchases for XX of months. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/best-0-credit-cards/ Whilst I have the cash in the bank there, why spend a grand when I dont need to. I saw I was pre-approved & eligible for a 28 month 0% on purchases Virgin Money card So I have chose to spilt this cost of Powerup HD Reel = £492 18ft Extreme Pole & carbon extras = £585 £1077 divided over 2 years/24 months for sake of round numbers = just £44.87 per month OR equivalent of just x4 cleans a month to be using rolls royce top of the range equipment Not eligible for a 0% of purchases card, look to see if you can get a balance transfer for 0% for a few years, usually costs is just 3% of balance transferred Facebook ads/boosted posts Not without its problems and messers. But I found uptake rate on paid for ads and boosted posts MUCH better than using local for sale boards/services. Keep trailing different photos/images and text on a x24 hour £5 boosted post/ad. some work some don't, trail & error. When sorting the chosen target interest for the post, I have found using 'gardening' as an interest tends to get folk with very house proud and clean well maintained properties. Facebook local groups have brought me either the worst of the worst customers or also some total gems. Very hit or miss. Using these forsale boards/ local services groups also leaves you WIDE OPEN for random comments “ooohh he quoted me and he was dead dear him “, competition under cutters “i'll do it for £4” Your local reputation can be easily tarnished & then be visible to a large number of local people VERY EASILY be warned and you will have little control on policing it & the comments Use how a customer responds to your messages as a filter into what they are really like. Avoid single mothers like the plague, worst of the worst. Bad spelling/grammar, misspelling words, txt spk. adding xxxxxxxxxx kisses to everything, calling people hun/dear, use of Instagram filters/animal ears/glasses in their pics etc ALL red flags to watch for When they message you a quick look of their Facebook profile you can usually judge what someone is like pretty quick. Also get off FaceBook messenger ASAP as you've closed the deal. This closes one avenue of them trying to cancel a clean “LISTEN” FOR POTENTIAL £ MONEY “RED FLAGS” Can you leave until after the 30th when I get paid = I dont have a pot to pi$$ in the bank currently until the 30th My JSA/Universal Credit goes in on a Tuesday, a Tuesday would be lovely thanks = I dont have a pot to pi$$ in the bank currently until Tuesday “Oooohh thats dear , my last cleaner was £x” = I dont value a good reliable service and am not prepared to pay for it The perfect customer you want is the one who doesn't mention the price/pay day date/day of clean "don't be afraid to travel when starting out" Your postcode +10 miles AND or /20 mins travel time in ANY direction is what I used. My first six months I have been here there and everywhere. Cleaning, quoting as an when work/queries came in. Now, this past month I have had my first major reshuffle of work and squeezed down working x5 days out of x7 down to, x11 working days in a month to complete, an average of x13 cleans per day. What was previously random and scattered work all around this +10 miles radius of home, now it has made itself into a workable round with jobs now close to each other. ALTHOUGH YOU ARE SELF EMPLOYED TREAT IT LIKE A JOB You would work 9-5 in a normal office job, be working the same hours if not more on your own business you reap what you sew. The more you work at it the more you will be rewarded You are done by 1pm on day, that gives you x4 hours to go chapping doors, First clean scheduled for 10am, arrive at 9am and leaflet drop the street/area around In closing, My current position a few days over seven months in, 160 customers, 157 on GoCardless. All jobs are one van-stop, all round access. Bringing in just under £2k a month, ALL work is priced £10 or higher The average price per job is £13.85 (not fantastic but im up t'north! and there are still lots of "£4 a semi" cleaners here) To be at this position after seven months I am in a pretty happy spot and pleased with my results so far. I'm nobody really special or talented so if I can do it I think anyone could! I am bringing a half decent wage and still have plenty of scope to improve next year Still lots to learn, still lots of customers to find, still lots of things to try, still have lots of neigbours doors to wrap in the new year, still have lots of new build estates to leaflet drop in 2019 Hope you have enjoy my random brain droppings
  2. 24 points
    spruce

    Window cleaning

    I dreamt I was cleaning windows this morning. I looked at the reflection of the sun on the glass and saw this. Sorry lads, couldn't resist. It's our 45th wedding anniversary treat.😊
  3. 17 points
    P4dstar

    Do what you've always done, get what you've always got!

    11 months ago I became a full time window cleaner. At the time I had 45 customers. Here I am a year on and I have 275-280 customers (Too much effort to count them all nowadays) a few guys on here have told me how amazing this achievement was etc but in all honesty I missed the targets I set myself. I plodded through the winter. I decided to focus my efforts on organising my round and getting things in order through the winter so come March I could concentrate on growing the customers etc. I have set myself some pretty tough targets, wanting to get 210 net customers by the start of winter, This would take me to 450 total customers. I had a good look how I plan to do this, searched loads of options up from canvassing to Lead generation and a few obscure ideas too. Then I got to thinking, i'm looking for something new and I don't need to. Last year was good, I built a lot from nothing. If it wasn't for the lack of organisation I could have pushed on and hit all my targets. This same week a year ago I was out delivering leaflets with a friend. We did it with the yellow pages so they paid us to do that and we just dropped a leaflet on the top of each one. A fair amount of customers came from that and I followed up with canvassing streets where I got work from the leaflet drop. I advertised on Facebook and got some good results from that. This years plan.... Leaflets - I've no time to deliver them myself anymore, certainly not in the scale I did last year. I've got a young chap to deliver leaflets for me, this week he delivered 2250 which has customers trickling in nicely. I reckon last year we delivered 4k leaflets in total so i'm already half way there in a week. Canvassing - I'm going to knock doors where the work is already or where it comes in as and when i'm working there. I have found canvassing blindly gives nothing but messers, canvassing where I worked last year wasn't too bad. Facebook - I've stopped throwing my name into the hat on FB posts. Customers seem to do it for me but I feel when I do it I seem desperate. I've started advertising again on the local for sale and discussion groups etc. This is all things I did last year, tweaked a little and I get a lot more regular walk ups so i'm set up to win I think. What I will say is this is area dependent. There is a distinct lack of reliable windies in the area. Leafleting round here gives me 1-2% return, just 3 miles down the road the return is 0.5-1%. The canvassing seems to be the same no matter where you go if done to the neighbours of where you already work. I no longer consider myself a noob, still pretty new to the industry but I hope the above is of some use to the completely new guys. I thought it would be good to do a ''one year on'' type post but I plan to be so busy this coming month I won't have time to so ''11 months on'' it is haha. Lastly, thanks for reading the long story by the way, thank you to everyone who has given me support and help along the way. I won't tag people because i'll forget someone but the regulars on this forum are the absolute salt of the earth, I wouldn't be where I am without your help. I owe so many beers out it would probably bankrupt me!
  4. 15 points
    TJTOPCAT

    Information on Gutters Poles Set for a fraction of suppliers costs

    Ok so as promised, here is the information regarding Aluminium Gutter Poles as sold by a number of suppliers. Do not be mistaken, these poles are the very identical product and I have previously sold them myself and have used them for a number of years. A 20ft set is currently selling for £35. If you need to go higher simply by more sets. So they killer question, what are they and where do I get them.... [emoji16][emoji16]. Simples, they are on eBay and what you need to search for is... 20ft Aluminium Flag [emoji626] Poles. [emoji106]. When you receive them you can throw away all the related flag parts and keep the poles. Then go on auto silicone hoses website and buy yourself a 135 degree silicone bend. 51mm o.d. http://www.autosiliconehoses.com/silicone-polyester-reinforced-hose-51mm-135-degree-elbow-15-colours.html Some 47-51mm T bolt host clamps. http://www.autosiliconehoses.com/silicone-hose-shop/hose-clips-clamps/t-bolt-hose-clamps.html If you want to connect to standard vacuum hose then buy a silicone reducer. http://www.autosiliconehoses.com/silicone-polyester-reinforced-hose-straight-reducer-51mm-to-38mm-15-colours.html I hope that you all find the above of interest and can benefit from it and save a fortune in the process. [emoji106] [emoji6] Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  5. 15 points
    Beccy

    Celebrating....

    5 years cleaning windows! It's my business's birthday today. Can't quite believe how fast it's gone. Started off with me, a bike and a baby, and moved on all the way up to a full van setup, staff and a kid in his second year of school 😂 I don't come on here as often as I should, but without you guys I don't know if I'd have made it out of the starting blocks, let alone 5 years. So thank you , thank you , thank you 😎
  6. 15 points
    Alex Gardiner

    gardiner poles!!

    Just to clarify for all of our customers - you can still call us on the phone & you can still speak to someone on the phone if you really need to :) However the method for accessing our Customer Service team has changed somewhat. Previously it was a lottery when you rang up with some clients always getting through and others getting an answer machine. Now all calls are routed to an answer phone message - at this point if you really need to speak to someone you can leave a message & our team will call you back to talk through your issue or order if a phone call is needed. Why have we taken this step? Several reasons: 1. The volume of customer service calls we are receiving in the last 4 months has grown dramatically. Most days we now have in excess of 500 individual callers ringing in. Most calls need more than just a few minutes discussion so can consume a lot of phone time. 2. Call volume tends to bunch together at peak times with in excess of 150 calls per hour at popular times. With just 4-6 operators on the phones it is simply not possible to talk to & call back all within minutes at peak times. 3. The new system allows for more informed operators to call clients back. This is because before we return your call we can look up the details of your technical query or your order details & are subsequently better able to answer your query or assist you in the most efficient method. This ultimately saves clients time on the phone & frees up our operators to assist more clients. We know we can’t please all of the people all of the time, despite our best efforts. However we believe that this new method will help us provide higher quality & more efficient customer service.
  7. 14 points
    steve garwood

    Who is working on the 24th?

    I think anyone considering working on Boxing Day doing domestic cleaning is a bit tactless. Christmas is a time when a lot of people want to relax with their families, probably don’t want some Herbert spoiling their piece and quite. Plus I think it makes you look desperate. Just my humble opinion
  8. 14 points
    Green Pro Clean Ltd

    Advice on build your own system

    You dont think it a touch offensive to cone to a forum full of people that clean windows for their LIVING and ask how you go about cutting them out the picture?
  9. 13 points
    spruce

    Should Spruce Have A Special Status

    I'm just glad that I can help anyone who needs it. I don't ask for a fancy title or anything like that. I don't deserve that. I'm just one of the many 'cogs' in the gearbox on this forum who try to help others. I owe the water fed pole system for being able to earn a living these last 15 years because, without it's existance, I probably would be dead by now. I'm grateful for that. When I started wfp window cleaning I knew nothing and there was very little information out there. There was 2 of us in this area who went wfp and we bounced off each other and tried to learn from each others progress and mistakes. I can understand how newbies feel when they first start out and feel for them because I haven't forgotten my early window cleaning beginnings.
  10. 13 points
    NorthumberlandWindowCleanr

    What customer numbers is classed as good round

    I'm not the most active poster here, but I am in a position now where my experience and feedback from this past six months starting up may be useful I used this forum a great deal when starting up reading, reading, noting things down and more reading. So great to give a little back to the community I started up in June 2018 after deciding window cleaning would be a viable business due to its recurring & regular work In no particular order what I have learned, did, this past six months 1. Work out what your "needed" daily rate is. I don't have kids, big mortgage, debts. So I used for sake of simple maths of working towards making £100 per day my goal to work towards. 2. Set a minimum price for your job/time/to park up and get out of the van - again for the sake of simple maths £10 per job 3. Don't chase or accept every job/house/bit of work that comes your way. You are the one driving the bus, work on your terms. 4. Be prepared and happy to turn down and refuse work that doesn't fit the profile you wish to work to. "The price is £13 a month, if you can do it for £10 we have a deal. Sorry no we don't, the price is £13 you have my details if you change your mind" 5. I have focused on just doing domestic houses only, no commercials (at present). Since losing one house is not the end of the world, but losing a days pay on one job is 6. Pick the schedule you wish to work to, I chose to offer monthly (85%core customer base) or bi-monthly (priced at 25% higher). I think the psychology of offering monthly or bi this sounds better than saying x6 weekly or x12 weekly personally 7. GoCardless, Direct Debit sign up is mandatory, not an option. Since Direct Debits come out monthly in most cases for bills & payments, it makes it an easier sell to the customer, as another monthly bill. (quoting a job) "So to confirm Mrs Jones, I will be here to clean once a month, it will be £15 per month paid via Direct Debit. Youll get a text the night before to let you know I'm coming & to leave the gate open, once I'm done I post you this "we've just cleaned your windows receipt" (hand customer receipt to keep) Any issue you have 5 day window to get in touch for me to resolve it. If all is good, the Direct Debit leaves your bank 5 days later, just like your Sky or Vodafone bill" This explains about GoCardless and how it all works, (hands Mrs Jones professionally printed branded Double side A5) 8. "Look the part, image is everything" use fivver.com to get someone to design yourself a "brand/image/logo" for yourself & business, your van signage, your clothing, your custom lanyard & ID photo card, your professionally printed stationery, leaflets, business cards, compliments slips. All branding links together that make it so much easier the "sell" the GoCardless sign up. It screams professionalism. If you and your van looks the part and is a cut above, you can have confidence selling your services at a higher price 9. ALWAYS go the extra mile to impress on a first clean and do an AMAZING job, but charge accordingly for doing so. Explain it to the customer as "There will be a one-off first clean restoration charge to bring everything back up to gleaming again, this is due to the extra time, effort, chemicals, pure water used to restore your windows and frames. Your ongoing maintenance cleans everything month will then be £15" By charging this one-off first clean restoration fee, not only are you getting fairly paid for the extra work it also serves as a natural filter to weed out those customers who are really just wanting a one-off clean out of the blue and not interested in an ongoing monthly clean 10. By doing a superb and awesome job on the first clean restoration, it makes YOUR job SO MUCH EASIER & FASTER upon your return the next month, as nothing ever gets a chance to get really dirty again 11. "Always be looking to drop the worst of your round" You want as stress-free a life as possible, any job that gives you the slightest amount of grief begin thinking of adding them to the binned list. i.e. Dog **** in the garden this month, it WILL be there in months to come. The exposed property next to busy road, front manky this month, it'll be manky next month. Snotty or Arsey complaining type customer quickly show their true colours to Just think of Customers are like buses, they come and go. For each one you lose/drop, there'll be another one along in a minute to replace. Even six months in I have binned a few off already 12. Only cleaning properties that best suit how YOU want to work. Again building your round how it suits YOU not the customer. I have not seen this mentioned very often on here but I have chosen to only take on jobs that have "a one van stop, all-round access", again building things on YOUR terms. It soon began to annoy me doing a mid terrace to then have to repack and move van round into alley to do the rear. So I choose not to quote these sort of properties these days. Remeber again it is YOU driving the bus, you are not in the business to make EVERYONE happy. You work on YOUR terms, not there. You dont have to accept every job that comes your way. I now focus my efforts on getting new builds & estates, since they are nearly all cookie cutter "same design" type and council semis with gated sides (quick n easy, in n out 15mins jobs) 12. "buy or not to buy a round" For my own reasons above, I started from scratch. I didn't buy a round and it didn't even enter into my head to buy work starting out as you are the one starting out you want to pick and choose the areas you wish to clean, and also aside from retirement or accident/ill health buying a round I would have it my mind why do they wish to sell it if they are earning good coin from it? If you are buying **** or underpriced work, paying "x1 to x10" clean premium you are going to be pi$$ed off from day one starting out. If you are doing everything on your terms, you get to be in full control of how you build it. 13. Lead Generation. I used Darren's lead generation service and built a round FAST. Fresh leads were always there EVERY day, regular as clockwork new jobs just waiting to be sealed. Whilst nothing in life is 100% perfect, there were messers in there, Jobs in **** areas, wouldn't sign up for GoCardless. But I picked up some real gems and lovely customers who I'm sure will be with me for years and net me in far more than the original lead cost me. My closure rate was about 65%, the other didn't fit around how I wanted to work. Digital lead generation has built around 60% of my round at a cost of around £3k 14. Facebook ads/boosted posts - Not without its problems and messers. But I found uptake rate on paid for ads and boosted posts MUCH better than using local for sale boards/services. Keep trailing different photos/images and text on a x24 hour £5 boosted post/ad. some work some don't, trail & error. Facebook local groups have brought me either the worst of the worst customers or also some total gems. Use how a customer responds to your messages as a filter into what they are really like. Avoid single mothers like the plague, worst of the worst. Bad spelling/grammar, misspelling words, txt spk. adding xxxxxxxxxx kisses to everything, calling people hun/dear, use of Instagram filters/animal ears/glasses in their pics etc ALL red flags When they message you a quick look of their Facebook profile you can usually judge what someone is like pretty quick. Also try to get off facebook messenger ASAP as you've closed the deal. 15. "learning the trade" Prior to six months ago, i had never cleaned a window in my life. Six months I am content cleaning windows on 7 bed detached £1,000,000+ houses. Darrens videos on youtube Green Pro Clean have helped me no end with the tricks of the trade. So grateful for all his content his has produced. I have learned EVERYTHING from youtube, this forum and a couple of facebook groups. Every question has been asked before and there is an answer for it to be found. Learn to use the search function and read read read. A mind is like a parachute it works better if it's open! 16. "don't be afraid to travel" Your postcode +10 miles/25 mins travel time in any direction is what I used. My first six months I have been here there and everywhere. Cleaning, quoting as an when work/queries came in. Now, this past month I have had my first major reshuffle of work and squeezed down working x5 days out of x7 down to, x11 working days in a month to complete, an average of x13 cleans per day. What was previously random and scattered work all around this +10 miles radius of home, now it has made itself into a workable round with jobs now close to each other. In closing, My current position a few days over six months in, 148 customers, 144 on GoCardless. All jobs are one van-stop, all round access. Bringing in just under £2k a month, ALL work is priced £10 or higher. The average price per job is £13.17 (not fanatastic but im up t'north! and there are still lots of "£4 a semi" cleaners here) To be at this position after six months I am in a pretty happy spot and pleased with my results so far. Im nobody special or talented so if I can do it I think anyone could! I am bringing a half decent wage and still have plenty of scope to improve next year Still lots to learn, still lots of customers to find, still lots of things to try, still have lots of neigbours doors to wrap in the new year, still have lots of new build estates to leaflet drop in 2019
  11. 13 points
    A Pane In The Glass

    My 2nd van

    So started tradding in 2016 in my golf Aug 16 started in my vw golf Aug 17 1st van (berlingo) Aug 18 2nd van (partner) ready for the road this week X1 employee on the books with another starting spring time 500 customers all on 5 week cycles... finally realising how far I've come. Built my business up from nothing This time next year I will only be covering sickness n holiday, tweaking the business. With one last push the dream is realised. Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  12. 12 points
    Incheck

    Safety first - live to clean another day

    Whether you’re a newbie or an old timer, give it a quick read guys. don’t wish sound like a snowflake saying this but i really don’t want to see any of you guys hurt! A few jobs i’ve been on recently i’ve needed my wits about me. Working at Low heights is just as dangerous & requires just as much concentration as higher elevations. i’m particularly talking about working on flat roofs, or in gardens on an incline with deep steps, etc. Its very easy to get carried away, walk backwards a step or two and next thing you know you’re gone. Or if your working alone on a flat roof, its a bit too breezy, next thing you know your ladders gone and you’re stuck up there for hours. You may say “oh only an idiot would do these sort of things” but i bet these things are happening day in day out in various trades. Rushing due to under pricing is a big cause of accidents. If you’re on a job where you cant physically lift things on your own, factor in for a second worker, or find jobs that are easier to do alone. If you need high access equipment, either get it or don’t take the job on. Use reputable scaffolding companies. There have been a few local deaths due to either scaffold collapses or falling from scaffolding over the years. Don’t take on jobs at poor rates where you’ve got to bust a gut in 6th gear to make it worthwhile. If you need a second body, factor the wages in to your quotations. Likewise, if you’re driving round like a lunatic at 50mph because you’re over booked, then you probably aren’t charging enough and you put every other road user and pedestrians at risk. The phone doesn’t have to be answered now, especially when driving! I can’t stress enough how important safety is. I just hope this reminds people to be sensible. Often there is no second chance where any kind of accident is concerned. Cheers
  13. 11 points
    R wcs

    Another reason Why I enjoy my job

    Two reasons why I goto work every morning 1, money 2, customers like this
  14. 10 points
    mupps

    Window cleaning (more than just window cleaning).

    At the ripe old ge of 59 (60 this year) I have been runing my window cleaning business for around 7 years. I have a good customer base and all of my customers are great to have as regular cleans. Over the years I have been in many managerial rolls - sales manager - product trainer - team leader - hire shop manager - wedding photgrapher, and I also had a marketing company selling corporate clothing/business stationary. Window cleaning came along as a part time few hours a week while I was trying to make my mind up what I really wanted to do as a living later in life. After running the window cleaning business for the past 7 years I have never turned back! The customer base grew slowly at first but then created it's own momentum enabling me to make a good living. I have always been a believer in giving a good service in whatever business I'm involved with or whoever you work for. I have found that over time with this business window cleaning is more than just cleaning peoples windows. You build up over time a good rapport/relationship with the customers and give them a service that they look forward to everytime you turn up on a regular basis. Customers always love a chat and are always pleased and grateful for the service provided. It is one of the services in their lives that isn't something that they have to have - unlike like running costs of their homes utility bills/food etc. It is a luxury that they are paying for and something that they can see what they are getting for their money. I am really happy and proud to have a lovely customer base, and really enjoy getting up in the morning for work knowing that it will be another day dealing with people that appreciate the service that I can give. Window cleaning is an important service for a lot of people out there and to the ones that take pride of their homes, we are a great add on!!
  15. 10 points
    Green Pro Clean Ltd

    A toast to the death of democracy

    Well here we are the night before the deadline and guess what we're not getting out . There's a surprise I did not vote to leave if there was a deal. I did not vote to leave if there is no deal. I simply voted to leave . I was told that I would only have one chance in my lifetime to have this vote there would be no second referendum, that the voice of the people would stand and that the decision of the people is what would be carried through. It never ceases to amaze me that the ones that seem to believe that they stand for democracy are the biggest opponents of this democratic process . It's only a democratic process if they win the vote. So here I sit them night before the deadline when a can of my favourite cider and I raise a toast to the death of democracy as we know it. Forget goodbye to Europe it's goodbye England for this land of ours is no more that is clearly obvious that we have no say regardless of what they say as to what our future will hold.
  16. 10 points
    Den

    More gone than gained my choice.

    The last couple or so weeks, I have done another Cull getting rid of the skippers, bad payers and the mishogs approx 10 clients. So far this year I have gone to quote probably 8 jobs only taken on 2 my choice again got another one to quote this morning will see how these fairs out for the future. feels good knowing that all my works now will nicely priced and the customers are decent not miserable gits almost makes me wanna go to work 😂
  17. 10 points
    Green Pro Clean Ltd

    One to walk away from

    This here is a valuable lesson that only comes from experience. Lads newer to the industry or those that aren't so busy may well be tempted at the lure of a fat payout. Like yourself @Pjj I wouldn't touch this either. Too much grief and graft for a one off, even if you get a scratch waiver the jobs never going to be 100% the customer will sign the waiver and still think you're some miracle cure which you aren't, you're a window cleaner. Too many fall into a trap of taking these jobs only to learn the hard way that they either loos on time or on reputation if the customer decides to bad mouth you afterwards even though the damage is from the builder. This is a defo walk on by. I never understood the make life harder for yourself jobs.
  18. 9 points
    Chandlers

    “ I don’t like the water method”

    Got a little fed up today so decided to change a few houses from trad to wfp. No problems with 80% of customers. 1 old lady says I don’t like it when you use that machine that’s not what I’m paying for” to be honestly love i thought. You pay for your windows to be cleaned the end result is the same so wtf does it matter to you? Cant understand why some people are in the dark ages! Your windows are not worth me risking life and limb funnily enough. And besides this is the modern way to clean isn’t it? Most effective. Safest. You wouldn’t tell a Gardner to not use an electric/petrol mower because you don’t like that method. No gardener is using his 1 inch toe clippers to mow the lawn. No carpenter is going to be using a hand screwdriver to put in 8 inch bolt screws. No he’s going to use an impact driver as that helps him/her out. Why should window cleaning be any different. The world moves on! Wouldn’t ask an office building type worker to hand write 50 copies of the same document. No you use a printer/copier. Another customer. Now ex custy says. I don’t like the mess..... I paused. I said what do you mean the mess? The water that’s left all over the floor. She said well in around an hour or two that will all be gone just like natural rainwater. I didn’t even bother. I said ok. No problem thanks for the business let me know when you want to continue again. Good luck getting a trad cleaner for 45 windows plus roof lanterns! Rant over aha! Have a great day all.
  19. 9 points
    Den

    First one of the year

  20. 9 points
    steve garwood

    "Can we leave it this month" AGAIN

    I had one on Tuesday that told me she is going back to work full time, and if I want to keep her as a customer, I would have to do her windows on a Saturday. I asked her why she doesn’t work weekends. Her reply was she chooses not too. My reply was, well that makes two of us, nice knowing you
  21. 9 points
    Part Timer

    Leave My Windows

    All of this I do this you should do that is fine if you're established and have a full round. There are probably loads on here that are relative newbies that don't like the knock backs but have little option as earning £80 a year off one customer, instead of £120, is better than earning nothing. When they are full then hopefully they will dump the rubbish but support those that can't afford the odd knock back, something I think the established on here forget they did in their early days.
  22. 9 points
    Part Timer

    Whats the longest pole - 90ft Job

    Very sorry but I can't actually believe someone comes on here asking for advice how to clean up to 90'. If you don't know how to do it safely I suggest you walk away from the job.
  23. 9 points
    Pjj

    Softwashing job from today

    very old cheap plastic badly stained but came up very well customer was very happy with the results
  24. 9 points
    Green Pro Clean Ltd

    Help pricing this

    Sorry luv, not for us thank you! She can not seriously expect you to quote a job you cant see and if your aiming for any sort of professionalism you shouldn't even be entertaining pricing a job you cant see.
  25. 8 points
    steve garwood

    "Can we leave it this month" AGAIN

    Yes it is her decision, but her decision to mess you about. How would she like it if her boss said, ‘not this week love, don’t need you and your not getting paid’ Were not ‘on call’, just dump em and fill up the round with people that are happy to see you. On the point of ‘I try to minimise contact with customers’, I also disagree with that. I make sure I build a friendship with almost all my customers. They know my wife and sons names although they have never met them. To them I’m Steve the window cleaner, not just the window cleaner. This is why I rarely get cancellations, they don’t care if someone can do it for five pounds less as it’s me they want to see and do the work 🙂
  26. 8 points
    Tuffers

    Stretches/Warm up - Before days Window Cleaning

    I tend to roll out of bed instead of sitting upright and twisting. I'm an old fart you see so I need to save the old back 😂 Apart from that I do sweet fa.
  27. 8 points
    Moor

    Van Setups - How to organise

    I have an expert which is the same as the dispatch. I have it organised like this
  28. 8 points
    M&J WINDOW CLEANING

    First week

    Hi again..so my guest first week on this site and can I just take a few minutes to thank everyone who has commented and gave very valuable advice. The best thing about this site is that the advice coming forward is useful, valid and more importantly non conflictual. Facebook gets argumentative...here it's simple and relevant. Great place... loving it!!!! Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  29. 8 points
    M&J WINDOW CLEANING

    CANVASS SUCCESS...!!

    What a day..!! To merely admit that it's only day 2 officially, I did a clean for the wife's parents. This went well, £15 and a repeat order..add next door to them asking, then an hour's canvassing around my cul de sac and bagged 6 more, I'm building and have 15 clients already..!!!!!! I'm buzzing [emoji16][emoji16][emoji16] Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  30. 8 points
    Pjj

    Finally got van fitted out!

    I we have two side loading doors and this is how we have our pole racks fitted ,it’s very easy to do and doesn’t cost that much very easy diy job , changing to wfp will be a sharp learning curve and initially you will be a lot slower with first cleans just take your time give the frames a good scrub getting into all the nooks and crannies the extra time taken on the first clean will pay dividends in the long run
  31. 8 points
    Clarkus84

    Loving the forum!!!!

    Hey guys, So before the summer I decided I was sick of working for other people,making them money while I'm out busting my balls.so started putting a plan together to start my own business window cleaning, pressure washing etc.slowly I'm starting to get more work in,I'm getting faster at what I do and am feeling a lot more confident.just wanted to say thanks to everyone on the forum.if it wasn't for here I'd be lost.it's always good to know I can come here for any advice needed.starting to do upvc cleaning this week as an add on and gutter clearing too.I've decided with the days getting shorter I'm going to cut down my days with my full time job and really start to push on.couldn't do it without the confidence I've gained from here. Cheers guys!!!!
  32. 8 points
    spruce

    Pricing too high?

    Pricing will vary from area to area even in the south where prices are better than they are up here in the north. Pricing is all about what a customer's perception of what the job is worth and how desperately they need you. Price too high and they will retain your services for a bit and then dump you, possibily when someone cheaper comes along. I've never found the pricing per window works as it gets very confusing keeping a running tally in your head especially when you are being followed around by the customer talking. When starting up we tried to understand what fellow window cleaners were charging for a standard 3 bed semi. Then we would add a bit for access issues and more for a conservatory. We had a rough price for a small, medium and large conservatory and added that to the house clean. Then we would try to roll the price up. So a £14.00 job became a £15.00 quote. A £17.00 estimate became a £20.00 quote. The advice I got was that if you got about 40% of the quotes you gave then you would be about right. If you got 60% then you could be under pricing. If you are getting all the quotes then you are too cheap but if you get none then you are too expensive. So when starting off you really need to ask a fellow window cleaner what the going rate is for a 3 bed semi. Most window cleaners would be happy to share that info with you if you add that you don't want to be an under cutter. Pricing could also depend on your needs. So if you have to get a customer base quickly, then you might consider quoting lower to get your foot in the proverbial door. Once you start to get your round established and you gain a reputation, then you would increase prices gradually in small increments. How much canvassing will you need to do? Depends on the area and the satuation of window cleaners covering that area. Canvassing is a numbers game in the same way sales is a numbers game. You could go out and spend 3 hours canvassing and get no response. You could then go out the following evening and get lots of new customers. When I first started I aimed for 16 to 18 only 3 bed semies a day maintenance cleans before running out of water. I was younger in those days. (First cleans take much longer so you need to charge extra for that first clean.) That's 2 to 3 an hour in summer. In our area, we found that customers are sensitive to time taken and price charged. They tend to judge a quality clean by the length of time it takes. When son in law cleaned with us I got a few complaints he wasn't cleaning properly as he went through the work like a dose of salts. Every inspection of the complaint was unfounded as the windows were spotless. We now have that work covered by a young couple who are also very fast. But they don't do a good job unfortunately. The number of customers you need will also depend on your clean frequency. If you clean every 4 weeks then you will need a smaller customer base than if you cleaned every 8 weeks for example. I would suggest you offer 4 and 8 weeks period. Charge more for 8 weeks than for 4 weeks, say 50% more.
  33. 8 points
    rugbywolf

    FAST & EFFICIENT WINOW CLEANING SYSTEM

    I have decided, after a long time now, to show how I do window cleaning. It's different from any other way, although it is Traditional. I put it out on You Tube last week, and it has been met with a good response.
  34. 8 points
    Alex Gardiner

    Gardiner package

    Hi Craig We do not offer a starter package. We have considered this over the years, but there are so many variables to be considered that we instead offer excellent value products that clients can put together themselves into a setup that exactly meets their needs.
  35. 7 points
    Rowan

    Working in the rain.

    I'm sure this has been discussed to death over the years , some work in the rain , some have the day off ; personally i do what ever i can inbetween showers . I find it's a good way to find out your good from your bad customers as well . I had a Lady ?, today tell me i was mad to be trying to clean windows in this weather , i've only cleaned her windows once before . She told me i should come back and clean the windows when i knew for sure it would stay dry , so i've crossed her off my list . I need to make a living all year in Scotland it rains every other day.
  36. 7 points
    Green Pro Clean Ltd

    "Can we leave it this month" AGAIN

    1 skip no biggie, more than 1 in a row without good reason: building extension etc then I sack them off. Got me to thinking with Tuffers other post. We have had 2 cancellations and sacked off another 6 since the start of thr year as they are repeat messers. We don't feel the loss however as we grow rapidly with canvassers out 5 days a week and our lead generation program we replace them in a heartbeat. It can be demoralizing losing a customer when you're starting up but grin and bear it, take it on the chin and move on. Wont be long before more come your way.
  37. 7 points
    Green Pro Clean Ltd

    Employee Contract

    I happen to have met Charlie Mullins through my best mate whom is also a London based plumber (does not work for Charlie but in same circles) Charlie is a shrewd 'del boy' character that will duck the system wherever possible, the fact that the court found against him shows that what he is doing is not generally agreeable with common legal practices. The fact he got dragged to court was because although he had given loads of work to someone 'self employed' when that 'self employed' person all of a sudden did not find things going his way he started to cry and shout about it, pretty much biting the hand that fed him. Now before I carry on I will say that I feel qualified to comment on this as I am an employer and as well as employees (full time on the books) I also have part time staff (on the books) and subcontractors I can call on and franchisees so I have spent considerable time and and effort researching the subject, hiring accountants and engaging lawyers to draft contracts etc However having said that I have no intention of discussing the law of the matter but more the moral and ethical side of the matter. Would you go to work for a 'Zero Hours Contract' No guarantee of any work this week however if I feel like throwing you a bone you have to come running at my beck and call failure to do so will see you in breach of your contract and (although not legal) treated unfavorably regarding hours in the future? You Wouldn't go to work under such conditions so why expect someone else to do so? With all the information available on government websites and helplines it is really not difficult at all to work out someones PAYE (even easier if like us you let the accountant deal with it). Are you really so lazy that you'd rather spend your time watching East Enders than putting in an hour a week to sort out the Tax and NI of one of our most valuable assets? You're going to advertise for someone that has all their own gear, van and knowledge of how to do the job and keep your customers happy. This person is obviously no catch as they have 'All the gear and no idea' or they have exactly one idea -- nick your client base! Regardless of your 'agreement' because if you're too lazy to deal with their tax and NI then I will bet a bottle of Johnny Blue you never bothered to consult and contract and Lawyer to draft you a contract. You expect them to turn in every day as long as the weather is OK for work but be happy with not earning anything if the weather is a bit rough and they cant get out today. I'll tell you exactly what they're doing the first day they realise there's no money coming in.... looking elsewhere for another job! Our employees are all on the books, all on full time contracts, all on a guaranteed 35 hour week, £8 per hour. £5 per day for every job list completed complaint free, £10 per day for every job sheet completed above a certain monetary value (No I wont tell you their targets) £10 for each new 'walk up' customer they sign up and £10 per week for keeping the van clean and 5.6 week paid holiday per year. I have one lad making an average of £150 in bonus alone each week but guess what? I'm earning more thanks to the effort he puts in day in day out. (Yes for those doing the math he's taking best part of £1800 gross pay per month) They make decent enough money each month that they are happy and I get to retain motivated, quality ASSETS! If we have a run of weather that is too bad to work then I'll just take it on the chin and they'll still get their basic pay, it's not their fault mother nature is a fickle mistress. It wasn't until I realized the value of quality employees treated right by a business that I really started to grow. Thanks to an understanding of hiring the right people we will treble what we did last year. This has all helped with a couple of things. 1: I get to spend my time working on the business and not for the business, I haven't actually cleaned a window in nearly 3 months. 2: It has made us an actual business. What I mean by this is I could sell my business tomorrow as a working asset where a new owner could walk in and take over and due to the staff it will continue to run as smoothly for them without me here. That's a real asset. If I had carried on just looking for casual help, 'self employed' subs, zero hours grunts the sole value of the business would be the round and tools, same as if I had just stayed on the tools. Many out there don't want to be an employer and simply want to have a good round and in my book there is not a thing wrong with that but if you are at a stage where you are thinking you need to hire due to work-load but don't want the responsibilities of being an employer then start by culling the dregs of your round, have a price rise to drop a few whilst earning more or sell off a portion but don't mess others about with nonsense like zero hours and 'self employed' subbing etc I personally feel it's a little disrespectful. Now I know there's going to be a whole slew of 'Yeah well you know nothing, my mates dads auntie bangs this bloke that plays golf with a fellow who says......' and the likes but remember, above is simply what I think and how I operate. Nothing more. I have no special skills and in fact except for Rope Access, Driving Licence and Rescue Diver I don't have a single qualification to my, no GCSE not even a CSE wouldn't know what a BTEC was is you slapped me in the face with one. What I do have though is the time and patience to learn and a willingness to do it as well as I can so please believe me (if you bothered to read this far) if I can do it anyone can! I'll leave this with one final comment. I have always paid people smarter (more interested) than me to do the things I don't want to / like to do. Accounts / Web Development / Contracts etc. Makes life a hell of a lot easier
  38. 7 points
    TJTOPCAT

    advice on letter please

    Just one point to remind you that gocardless is not a foolproof way to guarantee to payment. If they haven't got the funds in their account then it will get bounced back as a failure. Sometimes this can be as frustrating and time consuming in showing them that the payments failed. If customers late pay or don't pay then far better to show them that you mean business and after sending a polite, please pay by a certain date etc within the next 7 days you will apply an admin charge £40 and take them to small claims court which will incur a further £25 charge. Result: they pay you or you actually do it and apply online to small claims court. I had a customer who owed £15 and £10. £25. I did the above and they promised to pay both amounts. They did not pay, I kept there text messages as evidence. Applied on line to small claims court. Successful. They then had 31 days to pay now £75. No payment. They now have a CCJ against them for that amount. That will **** there credit score up big time and I will now look to enforce it. All that because they were another customer who thought oh it's only £10 and its only the window cleaner. [emoji848][emoji189] Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  39. 7 points
    ks789

    Have a goodun all of you!

    Prob wont be on here for few days, dont have smartphone so just tap on here at home on pc, so just to wish all of you windys a great festive holl and all the best to all of you. Great bunch of lads, even if we have the odd diff of opinion, dont mean a thing. Have a goodun, and mind how ya go. kev
  40. 7 points
    Eddie dragon

    Think They all out to wind me up this week.

    Only two days in an they both full of annoying people. Started with one yesterday. I turned up to find a painter starting his prep to paint frames. Big house big windows all broken up into tiny squares. I left a note for customer and set about next door. Painter comes over, she's not cancelled m8 crack on an clean the windows. Basically he wonted me to do his prep work. I wasn't having any of that. He got a bit narky over me refusing to clean. (customer wasn't unhappy, would have been if I had cleaned an billed). Then some mothering law looking after a house decided to have a go as I didn't dry the windows. Could not explain that they dry clear or that I have cleaned said windows same way for two years. Left the property with her still saying I threw water at the windows and am ripping people off. (only just managed to stay professional and polite.) got blocked in a drive by ignorant builders loading rubbish from next door. One of my best paying jobs just installed two kissing gates so access to back now loads of fun. First job this morning I spent ages getting a minging conservatory nice and clean. As I finished up the front of the house he started cutting the hedge throwing **** all over still wet conservatory. Thought sod it and posted the invoice. Finally got into a descusion about who's fault so who's responsible for said cleaning. Plus cost of said cleaning. Customer set up activity table infont of big patio doors. Little darlings have painted doors with pva glue, paint and possibly perminent marker. She was genuinely shocked that I would charge more as its my job to clean the windows. ( it's so hard to stay professional and calm sometimes) so that's my rant over, hope the rest of the week goes smother and everyone's out at work out of my way.
  41. 7 points
    Green Pro Clean Ltd

    What do you know, another problem

    Ermmm no. Just tell them it's WFP or no if you want to go WFP. 'Converting customers' is a thing of the past when you're building a new round. Only applies if you're buying old trad rounds or converting your own existing work. As for 'walk before you can run' again I disagree... paying out for bits of this and bits of that only to need to buy more later and then tell your customers the methods etc have changed is pointless. If you can get a loan to set up why not borrow less? Get a van and system on lease from Window Cleaning Warehouse / The Cleaning Warehouse or Grippa I think it's around £300 per month and just borrow enough to cover the first years payments whilst you build up?
  42. 7 points
    Robbo

    Van Setups - How to organise

    Here's the rear of my Toyota Hiace.
  43. 7 points
    Incheck

    Career change advice

    I’ve mainly had active/physical jobs. After a short spell on the phones it was clear that i was never cut out for office/computer/desk work. So for ten years i bounced between various chef jobs (was good at it but usually very high stress levels & very unsociable hours, not something i fancied a lifetime of) . qualified plumber as well so had a few spells doing that on & off. I then qualified through fast track on gas and really struggled, i wasn’t very experienced and worked for a company for a short time, it didn’t end well. The pressure was too much, especially when working away for sometimes a week at a time on site, in places like slough (council estate work, wasn’t pleasant at all) kind of had a nervous breakdown at the end of that. Never fully found my feet in anything for one reason or another. age 25 i was like right, time to wipe the slate clean and start over, better late than never. My brother who was 19 at the time had just been made redundant and things wern’t looking too promising for him, so we decided spur of the moment we’d go in to something together while we were both still young. So we thought, right, ...what can we both do. Ding ding. Window cleaning. No training, straight in to it 2014 been at it together since. It has it’s pros and cons as does everything, but year by year it’s got stronger and stronger, we don’t make brilliant money but we try our damnedest! Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  44. 7 points
    spruce

    Finally got van fitted out!

    Totally the opposite. Each one of us can benefit from seeing someone else's setup. You might have an idea that someone else can incorporate into their system. For example, many years ago another cleaner just showed an innocent photo of the inside of his van. His poles where mounted on the side of his van (inside) with gutter brackets. I've used that way for the past 12 years and doing the same with the replacement van I'm kitting out. Someone else showed a photo of his van with pole holders secured to the roof of his van. I liked that idea so looked at doing the possibility of doing the same, but find using gutter brackets the best solution for me and my circumstances. The other beneficiary is you. Some one might see a better way to do something.
  45. 7 points
    Part Timer

    Leave My Windows

    One of the ways I can get twice the price of the local trad guys is by selling the service, part of which is informing them I'll be there tomorrow.
  46. 7 points
    steve garwood

    Taking Holiday leave.

    Been on this forum for years and on this day, on this subject I’ve never read so much cobblers. All this ‘catching up’ and ‘five year diary’ 🙄 We get round every 6-7 weeks. So 6-7 weeks before I’m going away, I just tell the customers I’m going on holiday and will be late round next time. We never try to ‘catch up’, just pick up where you left off. As Darren commented, it’s lost earnings but that’s the price you pay for being self employed. Remember, a lot of the time we pay a lot less tax than PAYE, so look at that as your holiday money. I been abroad twice this year without a single complaint from a customer. All this ‘got to be on time, or on a certain day’ just puts unnecessary pressure on yourself. Relax, take holidays, the customers won’t die because of dirty windows 🙂
  47. 7 points
    Green Pro Clean Ltd

    Nationwide Window Cleaning. How???

    Here's an example. I used to work for a commercial firm that had the contracts for Greg's the Bakers, Premier Inn Hotels, Nationwide Building Society, Toby Carvery etc etc....... All contracts are negotiated through some bod at head office. This person never leaves head office is simply there to negotiate the lowest possible price for highest possible return for shareholders. At local level branch managers don't care as they have an order to follow from HQ which is pretty much 'do as we tell you to do' So the nationwide firms send somevpoorly trained min wage bods out to clean..... branch manager signs to say they been and HQ pays out the least amount of money possible. Vince and I used to drive 2.5 hours to Skegness. 30 mins for an ice cream. 5 mins to do 2 front doors on nNationwide building society and 2.5 hours drive back. 6 man hours at £8 per hour. £48 for a job that our firm got paid £9 for. Worth it? Not to you and I but when you have EVERY nationwide high street business on your book sooner or later it becomes worth while. We used to do every Greg's in Leicester town centre. 5 branches in and out 40 mins. That's where the money starts to add up. For self employed small lads like us I still believe the profit lies in residential and not commercial so I stay away from commercial.
  48. 7 points
    Pjj

    Self cleaning glass roof

    This is a job we did today the roof is self cleaning glass I know some say that it’s difficult to clean and rinse this type of glass it took 1.5 hours to do that included the guttering behind the roof and that on the end of the house that overhangs it , also the temperature was 26 so this didn’t help but end results I think look ok
  49. 7 points
    Nudel

    In or Out first?

    Outside first, then you can check your work from inside after.
  50. 7 points
    Green Pro Clean Ltd

    How many customers do you have and want?

    Not to put a pin in your balloon but the number of customers is of no importance, the monthly figures is what you need to be looking at. Let's say for now (and for arguments sake) you want a monthly take of £2500 per month and your average is £10 then you need / want 250 customers to get there. Of course don't mistake take for profits. if you want £2'500 profits you probably need to do closer to £3k per month.
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