Starting Up

Discussion in 'Traditional Window Cleaning' started by vespawho, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. vespawho

    vespawho Active Member
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    Hi all

    Having read loads of posts on here i thought i would say hello and ask a few questions if i may?

    I already work for myself, doing roofing and building work. Personal reasons and the down turn in building has really affected me the last 2 years. And at th ripe old age of 44 my back cant handle the heavy side of my work anymore.
    I used to do about 4 days a month window cleaning 10 years ago when i moved area as a way of getting a regular few pounds.

    So here is my thinking, I really need to have a regular income.
    I need to find a job that is not as heavy on my back.
    But still want to work for myself, i have the ladders, the van and still have my bucket, boab, blade etc.

    I need some new scrims, scraper.......anything else you can think of??
    Any places you recomend to buy from?

    Looking to start canvassing and was thinking of working out the prices ....£1 per window, £2 french/patio doors does this sound about right?
    Im not sure how much to charge for a conservatory, just windows? (say about 12x12)

    My aim would be to earn about £1600 per month......i know its a hard one to say, but approx how many houses would i need, how many hours do people work a week to get that amount .......I appreciate that area's are different, im just trying to get an idea if possible.

    Well sorry for loads of questions!
    oh...just wanted to say what a great place, so much info!!

    Thanks
    James
     
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  2. stevelewis

    stevelewis Forum Addict
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    Hi james welcome mate, right first get yourself a pole so u can trad top difficult to get to windows (wagtails best for pole work)
    Your pricings about right for the windows but if u have georgian pane or leaded windows id add 50p/£1 extra as take a bit longer, u want to try and get at least 200 customers on a 4 weekly round (if average house price is say £10 but obviously depends on your area for pricing structure) if u have a spare bit of cash try and buy a bit of work to give u a good start to build on.
    12x12 conny can be anywhere from £5-£10 depending how many sections it has.
    U can get a 5m Harris decorators extension pole for £15 from b&q mate.
    Hope this helps fella
     
  3. Window Cleaning Rayleigh

    Window Cleaning Rayleigh Well-Known Member
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    Yeah I'd say u are spot on with things there mate, he only thing I'd add is go for some unger liquid, don't get me wrong, fairy does the job, I just find the unger stuff nicer to use! I get mine from the window clean centre online mate.

    With the conservatory as Steve said depends how many sections but I'd go with his prices to. If your ladders are long enough then offer gutter cleaning to, makes me a nice bit of extra each month, I do 4 days window cleaning a week them have the other day spare for gutter jobs or conservatory roof cleans that come in

    Good luck
     
  4. vespawho

    vespawho Active Member
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    Hi Guys
    Thanks for your replies :)
    Its nice to know i am about right on the pricing and thanks for the conservatory price.
    I know its the trad section, but i am also looking at a wfp for the hard to reach windows. prob a trolley system.

    I didnt think, but i already have a pole from my decorating work, so thats a saving :)

    I have a few sets of ladders, and two of then high enough for gutter work. Which i plan to also offer, will be trawling the site to get info on what people charge.

    When i did windows before, i had a few small hotels which paid me there and then, the others would just send me a cheque when done.

    How do you all get your money in now?.....i have seen that some people offer card payment, internet etc........just thinking of ways to not spend hours collecting!

    Again thanks for the help guys :)
     
  5. Posh

    Posh Hero
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    Hi mate. A pack pack is a gd start which you can mount on a trolley & it's cheaper to start with. A lot of us use them on here. To buy the stuff there's a lot of places but to of the biggest is the window cleaning warehouse or the cleaning spot.
    Cash on day, cheques (SAE), bacs or I also believe some use PayPal. I still collect locally & use SAEs for others.
     
  6. vespawho

    vespawho Active Member
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    Thanks posh, i will have a look at there sites.

    SAE is an idea......no excusses for them not having an envelope or stamp!

    Loads of things running around in my head.

    Might drive you all mad with stupid questions, just so helpful hearing advice from you guys!

    Thanks
     
  7. Kips

    Kips Well-Known Member
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    Hey fella.

    Its 6am so I'll keep it brief! When I started out I got loads of stuff, ive now whittled it down to a few 'bare essentials' - this is my trad work 'kit'.

    Pair of waterproof, steel toe cap boots. (Lace em loose so you can slip them on and off for going into customers homes. You will be wearing these all day, in rain, heat, slippy mud and ice, so get a good comfortable pair.)

    scruffs work trousers (these ones http://www.wickes.co.uk/invt/215198 - all the pockets and loops are totally useful and worth the money. plus they are tough.)

    sealskinz waterproof gloves (careful taking these on and off as you can break the waterproof liner easily)

    unger ergotec 10inch squeegee with soft rubber

    unger s channel 6inch squeegee with soft rubber (s channel is smaller handle, you won't use this as often and it sits nicely in the scruffs trousers pocket loops)

    ettore porcupine applicator (holds loads of water, has scrubbing fibres throughout which gets rid of dirt the best)

    bucket on a belt

    unger ergotec 6 inch scraper

    unger bucket. any rectangular one will do tho.

    I just use one of those mountain climbing style carabiner things to hook the bucket on a belt onto my trousers. more comfortable and quick when getting into and out of the van

    As for chemicals, I (and most trad guys on here I think?) swear by ecover. WAY better than fairy. better than anything. Add a dash of white vinegar and you have the best trad cleaning solution money can buy.

    unger microfibre cloth to use as dry cloth (goes into one of the pouches on the scruffs trousers)

    dry scrim (goes into the other pouch)

    poundland microfibre (sill cloth, goes wherever, back pocket usually)

    Thats pretty much it. I like to stay lightweight. When I started I got loads of squeegees and handles, different sizes, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 22 inch ones - but over time i've realised I only really need the 10 and the 6 inch ones. You get fast with time.

    Price wise, I go £1 for normal windows, £2 for big ones, 50p for small ones, and what constitutes big, normal and small depends how I feel on the day

    Good luck! And remember save reciepts for everything you buy, as well as food or lunch, because it's all tax deductable :)
     
  8. stevelewis

    stevelewis Forum Addict
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    Wow that was brief! lol:)
     
  9. Kips

    Kips Well-Known Member
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  10. vespawho

    vespawho Active Member
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    Thanks everyone for your help so far.
    I've been making notes and will be ordering some new bits and pieces to go with my original equipment. Then be getting out there canvasing!

    Also, is there any printers that people use for flyers and Business cards?
    I have used Vistaprint in the past.......any better places?
     
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