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laddergarder

Member
  • Content count

    1,236
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About laddergarder

  • Rank
    Guru
  • Birthday 26/04/85

Personal Information

  • Cleaning Method
    Water Fed Pole & Tradtitional
  • when did you start window cleaning?
    2007
  1. Customer who constantly reschedules

    Thankfully most people I deal with want their window cleaned once a month, and will complain if your too late. But I have also had a few customer like this. Just explain politely that you only offer your service on a monthly basis. There is only a limited number of customers you can fit in your diary, and would rather give there slot to someone else if that isn't what they are after. If you don't there neighbours may think it's ok to mess you about in the same way. I wouldn't give reminder txt either. I just let them know you will be round once a month, give or take a few days depending on the weather. I also ask that customer give me 48 hours notice before cancelling a booking. If you get, "can you give me a miss this time". After you have got all you gear off the van and are just about to soak up the first window. Tell them, "sure but can I ask that you call 48 hours before we are due to cancel. You have already been scheduled in, instead of other clients". If they give a reason, I will let it go, but if it's just give it a miss please. I will make it clear it's monthly or sorry but we don't offer our service, on an 'as and when' basis. If we did, the cost of the service would be far greater. More time on the job, dealing with 6month+ worth of crud. Plus the time and cost of the constant advertising that would be required, if we didn't have contracted monthly cleans, similar to what it's like in america. Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  2. Changes to submitting tax returns

    I am fairy fortunate as my accountant is my wife, and haven't had to pay for accountancy services. As I also run a payroll, my bill annually would around £1000. I know it easy for me to say when I get it for free, but some things are just a cost of doing business you can't be avoided. Over the years the accountancy advice I have had has saved me big time, and would be dubious about leaving it to a software package to handle. The rules just change so much. An accountancy firm can advise on tolerances on different rules like use of home percentages for similar business. Which vans you can get as a straight expense and which will have to go through as capital assets. The government really does make it overly compicated. I don't envy large business who have money going in and out everywhere, trying to plan for tax bills. But it is what it is. Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  3. I think this suborn old git will just respectfully agree to disagree trad man.
  4. I've been cleaning windows for over 10 years. Tradition extension poles are not faster than using a ladder for me. Ladders are definitely the tool of choice over traditional extension poles, unless the window is awkward to get at with the ladder. If that wasn't the case, why is traditional window cleaners up and down the country using ladders all day?
  5. How much per day

    There is always going to be off the books window cleaners out there. But their will also be allot of newbies who just aren't sure what to charge. So I am happy to discuss prices day rates etc to discourage people new to the business under valuing their selfs. There does always seem to be a disparity on here when pricing is discussed, which doesn't always help admittedly. I find two working together can do just about the same as one, if you can concentrate them on group work. For me it's £150 PP Per Day. (west if Scotland). Anyone who thinks thats allot, and is now looking at window cleaning with green eyes. It's not, once you've paid out all your wages, taxes and running cost. Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  6. Changes to submitting tax returns

    It's to stop people running into debt. As it is you pay your tax 9 months after your end. If you haven't made payments on account. With potentially thousands sitting on ballance, business are using it to get by but not making it back in time for the 31st. With the new rules accountants will be able to issue profit warning earlier, hopefully reducing the number of business going out if business. Also allowing small business owner like ourselves to do tax planning a bit better. Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  7. I have read through your post, and the gist is your are struggling to find work in today's Canadian window cleaning market. Honestly, the UK has a very different culture to window cleaning. In the US/ Canada window cleaners will do a more extensive cleaning, once or twice a year, inside & out, tracks, frames, screens. Where as in the UK, windows are usually outside only, and we dont have to deal with things like screen & track cleaning. While window cleaners in the UK will do less, we also charge allot less. Usually around £1-£2 per window on average. Due to the fact we have a similar population to Canada in a fraction of the land mass, our homes are smaller with less windows. Window Cleaners in turn will generally do anywhere from 15 to 30 houses per day, instead of the 5- 10 houses a day you maybe used to doing. I would hazard a guess and say the fact that we have relatively good earner householders living in small homes compared to the likes of Canada, our service is more sellable. If you have a row of 15 small 2 bed houses 7/8 windows each. We can do them around £10 each once a month, and make £150 per day. The home owner depending on where in the UK we are talking about, could be a couple earning cumulatively over 50k a year. So £120 on window cleaning is not too bad. In Canada the same jobs, I would imagine be more like $50+ with potentially a lower overall income. Hence the small market. My advice would be to selectively target houses with a high market value, to get to higher earners, and build a client list that you can call twice a year to sell your service too. Consider mailing a decent flyer to each home owner in your target areas if you are not allowed to mail flyers yourself. You can also look at pressure washing, gutter cleaning etc to give you more chance of finding work, however some type of vehicle would be needed. It will take time to build up that client list you can call your way through, and for some quick cash for a short term effort, window cleaning might not be your best fit.
  8. What van

    I have a transit and wouldn't buy another one due to the problems with rust I have had with it. The Vauxhall viarios don't seem to suffer as bad as most on the rust department. So for me I will be sticking to Vauxhall/Renault vans from now on. Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  9. Amount of customers?

    I have around 750 customers. With an employee. I personally deal with around 350 accounts. However I am running close to 5 weekly at the moment as I am so busy. 300 is a nice number. I like having a little overage, so I can move jobs around a little. For instance to do low down, sheltered work when it's windy. If I only had enough to keep me going for 4 weeks, I wouldn't be able to move things around the way I have to at times. As long as your busy enough to pay your self a wage your happy with, that's really all that counts. Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  10. Cant get any work

    It maybe just a case of travel to another area. Focus on a different service like preasure washing etc. Can you post a picture of your flyer, logo etc... Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
  11. Advice please

    Most grant like that have conditions attached, for example being self employed within 6-12 months, so read the small print. My advice would be to spend £50 on some trad gear, get out targeting shops and bungalows, and low down flats,(using trad extension pole) to get started. Wont be too long before you have a little more money to invest, bit by bit. I would avoid taking on any debt if you can. If you have a vehicle, you can get going with WFP's for around £3-500 for a DIY setup.
  12. I worked for Woolworths for about 6 years when was younger. Started window cleaning about a year before it went bust. When that happened, I really wasn't sure if I could make window cleaning work. A year later, I had doubled my customer base and was looking to employ staff. Maybe ask your current employer if you could go part time, and be upfront about your goals with the window cleaning business. They maybe amicable and accommodate you, to give you a bit more time to build up your customer base. I will take a leap of faith at some point. Get some cash reserves built up if you can, and enough customers to pay yourself a wage you can survive on in the mean time.
  13. Had a cancellation

    I worked on a booking system for about the first 5 years in business. I let people choose there preferred day etc, on a day they would be in, which saved on collecting. I used to only do maybe 30 mins of collecting a week, for the few who didn't wait in. Customer loved it. But it only worked well when I was just starting out. The busier I got, the more hassle it was. Because I had every minute booked out, if I had to move two days of work, through bad weather, I had no where to move them to. So they where starting to get shifted 2 and 3 weeks forward. So I switched to working in a round based system, and doing evening collection. (moving everyone forward a day, if there is a day of disruption) Its more efficient, I dont worry about having to call and rebook 40 customers, to take two days off, I have more flexibility, and because everyone in one area get done at the one time, and dont spend so much time driving about. Going by some youtube videos like 'window wars usa', it appears like a booking system it the more common thing across the Atlantic, however its bigger houses, getting cleaned inside and out, with screens & track cleaning etc, and they only get there windows cleaned a few times a year. Over the years, I have lost hundred of clients, some pass way, some move, plenty of bad payers I've dropped, and the odd unhappy customer also. You wont please everyone. Just do your best, and if you only loss the odd customer now and then, you be fine. I have more work than I know what to do with, new clients have far outstripped the odd ones I have lost, so when someone cancels, I just have the attitude of there loss. I maybe too busy if you change your mind down the line. (i dont actually say that to them). You never know when the tides will change. Just be polite, 'thanks for your business, here is my card if you change your mind' and move on.
  14. Smart Round

    I had a look at smart round but it lacked allot of much needed features IMO. I have been using round partner for a few years now, but I am currently trialing 'cleaner planner' which although is more expensive, its leaps ahead and I am fairly impressed with it, so far.
  15. Employees

    I pay an hourly rate for a fixed 32 hour contract. But I also have a target system where if my staff hit there target for the week, they can go home early. This has worked well for me. On a side note I would mention I only contract 4 days because I can't guarantee much more than that with the weather. Allot in my area just pay a commission. Some as low as 40% on a self employed baises. I know it's not strictly right, but they get away with it. Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
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