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My start up plan :)

harunh

Well-known member
Messages
10,382
Im only 21 years old and ive always wanted to start up my own shop (conveniance store) But im only working part time 2 days a week at a taxi call centre company.

But ive gathered its getting hard for me to save money and in my area their is not many empty shops available that would run well.... So ive looked at window cleaning and think its great in every way. I really think it would suit me /emoticons/smile.png

I will be getting a estate astra van with a trolley system. The trolley system will contain a DI unit so my water will be purified of course /emoticons/smile.png Tthe system carries 25L I will also have 4 extra containers that i will carry in the van as well so i will always be stocked up /emoticons/smile.png

I will be working from mon-fri 5 days a week.

I think having a trolley system will be less hassle for me as i can just carry it around. Weight is not a problem to me. Im a pretty strong lad and enjoy carrying heavy stuff ! haha

Once my business ticks over i will then look in to expanding my trolley system or even look in to a van system?

I will have business cards and will send a lot out. I will put them in all local shops besides the counter and put signs up in all local stores across the area

I will have my own facebook page ( I think this is essential to business in this day in age ) Also i will install my own website. And i will have my company name and my number on my van. I always am clean and i will make sure i make my van look clean at all times. I will do all the account work my self.

I am also using the pole system /emoticons/smile.png So no ladders ! Lol

I will have to get used to the pole... so i will just go out and do my familys windows for free for a few days or so /emoticons/smile.png

I can see my business picking up after 2,3 months once ive done all the door to door work. I will try my best to be busy as possible during my 5 days of work. I

I will also go door to door and i will never give up. I think i can provide a great service to all my clients. i will take a note of their name and their birth date.

When its the birthday i will send them a birthday card saying happy birthday from your window cleaner /emoticons/smile.png haha

I believe that to have a strong customer base you have to do things like this /emoticons/smile.png it earns you respect as well as getting you more work /emoticons/smile.png

What do you all reckon ?

 

chip

Well-known member
Messages
1,327
your head seems on your shoulders. go for it. something to bear in mind which may seem insignificant is the van. astravan's have no headroom in the back, and i can see that being a headache(no pun intended) putting barrels in and out. berlingos and kangoos etc have a bit more height while still being a small van and you can move about in the back of them.

 

harunh

Well-known member
Messages
10,382
I dont mind having a astra cos ill just lay it down in the back /emoticons/smile.png

Im going to get some markings sorted in the back sorted out so what ever i put in the back will not roll all over the place ! /emoticons/smile.png

Some people have the same trolley i am using they carry 4 extra tanks and have a normal car... they fit everything back in a normal estate car... and put 2 tanks in the back seats i seen it on youtube ! lol

 

laddergarder

Well-known member
Messages
1,534
Location
Greenock, Scotland
You sound a bit like me five years ago buddy. I dont know about the birth date thing, I find it hard just to keep phone numbers up to date for my customers but each to there own.

My honest opinion based on what you have wrote is that you are going to jump in a little too quickly, and maybe don't fully realise how long it can take to build up a window cleaning round. The reality of it is that if you spend allot of money on vans, van signage, websites, and business cards e.t.c then you may actually make a loss the first year.

I have no idea how much you have put aside for this, but my advice would be to leave off with the website and van signage for now, until you are a little further along. Although you can get cheap decals and low cost hosting, is it something that really wont generate you allot of business, and when things are really tight as you just start out, you want to be spending that money on equipment that you really need.

 

Posh

Well-known member
Messages
5,707
Location
Cambridgeshire
I agree. Altho I'd admire your enthusiasem I think your trying to run before you can walk. If it was that easy everyone would do it. Believe me it takes a while to get a round going and definatly more then a few months but hey give it a go and wish you all the best.

 

harunh

Well-known member
Messages
10,382
I agree. Altho I'd admire your enthusiasem I think your trying to run before you can walk. If it was that easy everyone would do it. Believe me it takes a while to get a round going and definatly more then a few months but hey give it a go and wish you all the best.

I understand where your coming from... Im not trying to run before i can walk though.... Im just confident thats all... i believe every 15 houses i go to i will get 1 job out of 15 /emoticons/smile.png I have a lot of time on my hands as well /emoticons/smile.png thats what makes me even more confident ! Im just going to be canvassing like mad.

Im going to target the good areas in my town. Ill stick it out in 1 area for like 2/3 days cover a lot of houses /emoticons/smile.png Then move on to the next area.

Their is a load of new estates that have just been shot up in my town. i will be heading down their....and no they are not council estates. I dont want anything to do with council estates because i hear a load of stories that people dont end up getting money from them ect....

I believe having your trading name and phone number is important. Just think if you pop around to Asda or something and someone is bound to see your van and take your number down every now and then /emoticons/smile.png

 

Matty H

Member
Messages
788
I agree. Altho I'd admire your enthusiasem I think your trying to run before you can walk. If it was that easy everyone would do it. Believe me it takes a while to get a round going and definatly more then a few months but hey give it a go and wish you all the best.

I understand where your coming from... Im not trying to run before i can walk though.... Im just confident thats all... i believe every 15 houses i go to i will get 1 job out of 15 /emoticons/smile.png I have a lot of time on my hands as well /emoticons/smile.png thats what makes me even more confident ! Im just going to be canvassing like mad.

Im going to target the good areas in my town. Ill stick it out in 1 area for like 2/3 days cover a lot of houses /emoticons/smile.png Then move on to the next area.

Their is a load of new estates that have just been shot up in my town. i will be heading down their....and no they are not council estates. I dont want anything to do with council estates because i hear a load of stories that people dont end up getting money from them ect....

I believe having your trading name and phone number is important. Just think if you pop around to Asda or something and someone is bound to see your van and take your number down every now and then /emoticons/smile.png
Out of interest, where do you live and roughly how many people live in your town / city?

 

harunh

Well-known member
Messages
10,382
Middlesbrough.

Its a small town.... but i know theirs plenty of work out their for me to snap up /emoticons/smile.png

Theirs work in every area to be snapped up you just have to know what your doing

 

laddergarder

Well-known member
Messages
1,534
Location
Greenock, Scotland
1 in 30 sounds optimistic, but regardless, it takes as long as it takes, you definitely have the right at***ude, which I hope you still have after a few months. Allot of people get disheartened when the realise how tough it can be to build up work. I can be done, but it takes allot of time.

When I first started I borrowed my girlfriends car, bought about £40 worth of cheap trad gear out of home base, and went knocking doors. I was working part time, doing about 30 hours a week shelf filling in the mornings and evenings, then window cleaning through the day.

As I there was a limit to how many hours I could work I built up about £1000 a month in my first year, then I was made redundant when the company I was working for went into administration, during the peak of the recession. I put my time into again with flyers and door knocking, and built my round up to £2000. During that time I was threatened twice by other window cleaners, but I continued and I took someone on with me, and doubled my round again over the following two years, I have now been cleaning windows for five years, and have just employed my second member of staff, I have two vans(not sign written), website, we all wear uniforms etc.

Over the past few years I have been threaten probably about a half dozen times, every one I told to carry out there threats of f*off as I was busy. I had one coward phone up and my girlfriend(now wife) answered and he told her I was working in "his" area, and that he would call me back later(he never did).

When I just started out, I worked every hour I could, and never spent a penny of the money I earned, I lived off my part time wage and invested it all back in to the window cleaning business. It was hard, and I had to make allot of sacrifices, I stared down guys twice my age and size when I was your age, and told them to f*off and carried on working in "there" areas, after being threatened.

I guess what I am trying to say is that is not as easy as you think, and sometimes it is very tough, sometimes you wont like it, but it will be worth it, and it is possible, but it wont be without its challenges, so be prepared for that.

Also, get an accountant to do your tax return please, unless your are a qualified accountant, there is a allot you wont know about, what you can and cant claim, capital gains, writing down allowances etc. There is more too it, but it will save you money of you let an accountant look it over. I think it cost about £150 to £200. But you can claim things like use of your home for water, electricity and they be experienced enough to tell you what percentage you will get away with, things like that.

 

harunh

Well-known member
Messages
10,382
good story lol no one would start me /emoticons/smile.png You just gotta blend in and be casual and start talking to them ect thats how it works these days

you done well for yourself mate

 

James

Active member
Messages
845
Good job on wanting to start your own business. It takes alot of motivation to get started & I'm pleased for you. Have you got any idea on what pole/filteration system you will be using?

James.

 

Posh

Well-known member
Messages
5,707
Location
Cambridgeshire
You can get the magnetic signs from vistaprint to start with for your van. I started with these and left them on everywhere I went and your dead right I got a lot of custys through them just by parking up in tescos or asda. They really worked.

 

laddergarder

Well-known member
Messages
1,534
Location
Greenock, Scotland
they will promise allot, but there really isn't any guarantees as to how much work they will get you, some may also uncut the current window cleaner to get the jobs. They tend to have groups of guys that go out and do it together, so can cover larger areas quickly.

 

laddergarder

Well-known member
Messages
1,534
Location
Greenock, Scotland
Yeah my personal opinion is you will put allot of peoples noses out of joint, but that really wouldn't be my main concern. I would rather have properly priced work and make profit, than have a round full of under priced work and be very busy making no profit.

Most will have there own pricing structure, so you really wont have a say on how they price. If time is of the essence, why don't you employee a pall temporary over the summer to go out with you, show him how you want it priced, and pay him X1 the cost of cleaning as commission on top of min wage. I would be cheaper than buying a round, and you could choose which areas/streets you want to canvas.

Also the problem, with undercutting, is the other window cleaner will likely offer to match the price when they come back round, to keep the job. So really no guarantees there.

 

laddergarder

Well-known member
Messages
1,534
Location
Greenock, Scotland
yeah that kind of thing get on my goat, how exactly are you supposed to know that it is there customer, really what they are saying is I don't want you putting out flyers at all, well tough, you will have compe***ors what ever industry you work in, window cleaning is no different.

 

James

Active member
Messages
845
i just tend to put flyers out for my work not as good a response rate as knocking but i can cover a lot more area quicker if i get a decent response rate from an area ill follow up by knocking on a few doors. Ive had a few other windys ring me up saying its that ive posted flyers to there customers and i just respond by saying im not out to undercut you and if youre doing a good job youve got nothing to worry about, even had one bloke apolagise and say good luck after having a rant at me
Your kidding me right? Other window cleaners have rang you up saying you've posted flyers to my customers? Welcome to the world of business my friends, it's not all fun and laughter.

James.

 
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