Decision time

Discussion in 'Water Fed Pole Cleaning' started by Danfire, Sep 5, 2015.

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  1. Danfire

    Danfire Well-Known Member
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    Been tradding for a couple of years and need to make a decision about where I take the business from here. Window cleaning is not my full time job, it gives me about three days a week which is about as much as I can handle. I've got someone starting next week, that should allow me to take on a few more customers (or drop my workload a bit). What I need to decide is; is it worth making the investment in a van and wfp setup? Even with a wfp setup I would not want to be working more than two or three days per week, if it was my full time job it would be a no brainer. What I need to know is how much extra can I realistically be expecting to earn with the wfp setup?
     
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  2. Tuffers

    Tuffers Hero
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    I found that after I got used to WFP my hourly rate doubled. Would I go back to ladders? No freekin chance!
     
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  3. daveyboy

    daveyboy Legend
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    You must have been slow at trad then Tuffers :whistle:

    I have a better hourly income now i made the switch though

    I would start with a diy trolley and expand on it if needed as for normal houses it is good enough..and a lot cheaper
     
  4. Tuffers

    Tuffers Hero
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    You must be slow at WFP then Davey :p
     
  5. Green Pro Clean Ltd

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    Why do you insist on asking impossible questions Danfire? And it's not just Danfire there are plenty that do it.

    If you buy this if you buy that how much more money will you make? How long is that piece of string? Is today the day I win the Lottery? Who the hell knows?

    You think you are now in a position to take someone on yet window cleaning is not yet you full time occupation, why oh why would you want to take on someone to do a task you are not yourself fully yet committed to?

    What area do you live in? Is it a $hit hole where £4-5 per house is all you can expect or is it all footballers mansions where you can charge £100 per job?

    I used to have a lad here called Micky, demonic tradder, he WILL NOT use WFP as he does not consider that true window cleaning, he will only trad on his ladder.

    When working for me he would turn out an average of £32 per hour, 6 hours per day £192 per day, I paid him £10 per hour lets say we put aside a very generous £32 for petrol, vehicle costs replacement scrims and the likes and I still profited by £100 per day from Micky.

    So in short if you hire Micky to work for you and buy a WFP set up you will make nothing cause he wont use it, if you give him a squeegee and ladder he will earn you £100 per day profit providing you can find the work for him.

    At what point do you dip into your other jobs earnings to pay your lads a bit when the weather is so bad they cant work? Cause if they aint earning they aint eating and they aint staying!

    Can you canvass enough work to warrant an extra lad? Even if you have him cheap, say £50 per day 4 days per week you need to pay him £200 per week, £800 per month (based on 4 week month) so including fuel tools etc he is probably costing you closer to £950. That's £11'400 per year just for a lad to help out a few days a week.

    So at £10 per job that is 95 new customers you need to solicit on a monthly basis JUST TO PAY the new guy before you have earnt a penny.

    Are you willing to take care of his taxes and NI payments every month, the law has changed, now even with just one part time employee you will have to have a pension plan for him.

    I now truly believe for all the extra **** you have to go through just to get one lad on the books there is no point if you just want a little help, you may as well trim down so you can manage.

    If you are going to take on one, you may as well plan to take on 50 cause at the end of it the paperwork is still about the same.

    I once made a quip about why bother when chatting to a cleaning chap that told me his boss had 300 employees out there cleaning floors at £7.50 per hour, at the time minimum wage was £6.25 per hour, I made the point of why waste the effort for just £1.25 per hour? He replied he doesn't, he makes the effort for £375 per hour. That is when the light bulb went on in my head.

    Well that's my advice for what it's worth.
     
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  6. daveyboy

    daveyboy Legend
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    I agree with a lot of that Green but he is a fireman so as long as it hasn't changed since my mum left the service he will do 2 days 2 nights and 4 off
    All the firefighters i know work a 2nd job of some sort as it is an ideal job to do that with. .couple days and then 2 off like we would for a weekend
     
  7. Danfire

    Danfire Well-Known Member
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    That's a possibility, I use a backpack for windows I can't access off ladders. If I invested in the equipment to make water I could try doing it all from the backp
    Thanks for the reply Green, that's given me some food for thought, I will try to answer some of your points and explain my situation; I live in a pretty affluent area where folk seem to be quite happy to pay a decent rate to have their windows cleaned. There seems to be no shortage of new people phoning me up or approaching me when I'm cleaning to get theirs done as well, it would appear that quite a few cleaners have retired or moved on and as each new job comes in it leads to all the others that the previous cleaners did. Even though the window cleaning pays at least double the hourly rate of my full time job I'm so long invested into a pension scheme that I have to see it through so can't Jack it in and go full time cleaning. I've got to the point where I'm struggling to keep up with what I've already got hence taking on a self employed partner. What I was trying to calculate was would it be a financial advantage to have the expense of the van and WFP setup when at best I could only get it going for three days per week. If, as some have suggested, I could double my hourly rate, ie WFP is twice as fast then the numbers could add up, I am confident I can generate the extra clients. Hope that explains things a bit clearer.
     
  8. daveyboy

    daveyboy Legend
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    If you used a backpack on a trolley with a decent amount of hose then doing whole houses is a piece of cake..i use a pump and battery in a box on a trolley with a 25l drum and that is quick
    I am getting a van and going to have a tank in it but use a diy trolley as my van mount..will all be good quality parts but there are so many houses with parking or access issues in this town it is easier a lot of the time to just take trolley through the house or walk it down the road rather than trying to use a big reel of hose
    That way the trolley comes out when needed or stays in the van as my pump setup if using from the van
    This is how some guys i know do it and works well
     
  9. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    As Green said earlier, you have to be fully committed. You are either pregnant or not. You can't be half pregnant.

    What you are doing is cleaning windows for pocket money, albeit a higher hourly rate than you current job.

    What happens if you generate the work and then your new employee (forget partner) leaves you to develop his own round so he can pocket everything he earns? It becomes your reputation on the line, not the employee's.

    As an employer, you now have to pay toward pension and other benefits. The cost of employing goes up even more.
     
  10. Green Pro Clean Ltd

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    Excuse me for not connecting the dots as far as current occupation goes.
    I have nothing but admiration for those in your profession.

    HOWEVER next time you are putting out a blaze in a restaurant kitchen please clean up after yourself, I'm still snorting soot a week later! :p

    With new pension laws for employees pensions should be transferable. Perhaps approach a local accountant as they will give you a free 30 minutes consult and they will know about the pension side.

    Partner = no no. They think they are then entitled to part of everything you have built . Are you willing to risk that?
     
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