How did you start out?...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Business' started by wink2202, Oct 8, 2015.

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  1. wink2202

    wink2202 Newcomer
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    Hi all. I'm interested to know how different people started out to get to where they are now. Did you spend lots of time preparing before launch ie, all the best equipment, websites, business cards, leaflets, vehicles with livery etc etc etc. Before even entertaining your first customer?

    Or did you find the customers first... go the minimalistic/learn as you go approach and hopefully build from there?

    Just interested to hear your opinions and experiences




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  2. matt18

    matt18 Member
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    Just do a good job mate, try and keep as many customers long term as possible.

    Build from there.
     
  3. daveyboy

    daveyboy Legend
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    I've done this since i was 16 many moons ago
    When i started for myself the first time i just shoved the ladders on the motor and knocked some doors and then knocked some more and then some more and did not stop until i had enough work..simple as that..1 brass 12" squeegee..1 applicator..black round bucket like the quid ones in asda nowadays..bin bag full of old scrims i had collected over the years and a bottle of fairy
    No leaflets or cards etc
    No marketing plan
    Ended up with a very good round in an affluent part of london

    Just proves that what you get out of it is proportionate to what effort you put in
     
  4. TolishAPurd

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    My handyman business was already established and doing well, and the window cleaning was just meant to be an add on service. So I placed an order for the basic tools. Then I realised that I needed a pole for awkward houses, so I placed another order a few days later. Then I realised that windows came in all shapes and sizes, so I placed another order a few days later for a 10in tbar. This went on for a whole week until I finally had all the gear I needed, and yet no customers. Then I realised that there was no chance I was going to go around collecting money in the evening,so I got a website up and running. By now I had just a few custies and christmas was around the corner, so it was a bad time of year, and a slow start, but come springtime, work just took off. Got myself a killer round now, great payers and nice folk, lots of areas yet compact days, and its growing every week. Wish it was an easy ride, but the early days sucked.
     
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  5. Diwrnach

    Diwrnach Grand Master
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    I was just doing pressure washing and gutter clearing, windows kept getting covered when pressure washing so bought some window cleaning gear to do a good clean up at the end.

    Then a lot of them asked for regular and it went from there.
     
  6. wink2202

    wink2202 Newcomer
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    But do you think if you were to start out the same way now, you'd be just as successful as you were then?


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  7. daveyboy

    daveyboy Legend
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    Definitely
    It may take a while to build it up depending on area but if you try hard enough for long enough you can't fail to get the work
     
  8. Jake

    Jake Grand Master
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    #8 Jake, Oct 9, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
    There's a thread on this that was done a while back mate, check it out, it's a good read (just search for it in the search bar)

    I was like dave, started by walking round my local estate canvassing, used to walk round the houses with my ladder in one arm and bucket in the other, was bloody hard work! Started with 1 customer, that grew to two, and so on... I couldn't afford a roof rack, so walking was the only way at the time,

    But...

    I would do it differently now, I'd have got a website as soon as possible, good business cards and 'windows cleaned tickets' a uniform, and a sign written van as soon as possible as well,

    I estimate my round would have built up 2x as fast as it did, if I'd have done those above things,

    *all this is only possible if you have the money to do so though*

    When I marketed and got all the things above done to a good quality standard, the round suddenly exploded, so the moral for me - don't waste time, go for it and it will reward you sooner!

    However there is a lot of pride in building a round on nothing, I'm sure a lot of us are proud of the way we started, but that doesn't mean it's the fastest way to growth,

    Up to you, either way if your out there canvassing and working, then your round will build up no matter what, but it will be much quicker if you do put the effort in, and do the things listed, also you'll have a lot more chance of picking up well paying commercial work with the website etc... I had zero commercial work, then when had the website done and all the other bits and bobs I've said, I got lots of commercial work, so it was really nice to be expanding in the commercial sector, after years of nothing but houses!
     
  9. daveyboy

    daveyboy Legend
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    Also give a couple of cards to each new happy customer (worth knocking to collect first time if not in when you clean..) little chin wag with em and ask them if they know anyone who needs you can they give them a card
    About 25% of new customers i get actually get me another customer so they actually do some of your canvassing for you
    Must do a perfect job though as I'm sure you will
     
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  10. Diwrnach

    Diwrnach Grand Master
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    I'm getting a constant stream of work from recommendations.
     
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