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Trad to Wfp changeover, 6months on.


dmw

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3 hours ago, dmw said:

 

So it was around last October I stumbled upon this forum lurked around a bit before coming out of the shadows.

Anyway I'm 48 now and been tradding for 25 years and built a good solid round up from pretty much nothing. It was paying well but I was too busy and was starting to take it's toll physically and mentally and generally wearing me down.

So I was thinking of selling up for a new challenge, or carrying on to do this for the next 20 years

I didn't fancy either as it stood. What if a new venture failed? I've still got a family and mortgage to maintain. So I started looking at "water on a stick method" how does it work as in this neck of the woods it's still quite rare even now, and would the customers accept it?

Anyway the usual advice on here with Wfp is to find your tds, fine I get a quality metre and tested it for around 2 months and it averaged 70 ppm. Happy days, resin only no RO system to buy and maintain.

 

By Christmas now I'm looking at the method I didn't fancy the trolly system because of constant filling recharging battery etc. (And I know many on here wouldn't do it any other way and I appreciate that). But this was the only way I wanted to do it.

 

Now I was using the family car for work and then my wife's car was written off, so she could use mine and I would source a van for work. Looked at leasing and this worked out to be quite expensive for something I would never own.(I expect 10years out of this Van) so I decided I'll buy and have the van fitted out

The advice on here was to get a 500 litre tank, (which does get emptied on commercial s). And I'd need a van to carry it, plus ladders, Di, materials, fuel and all the other paraphernalia that goes with it, and my work consists of many tight streets and awkward parking so Transit sized was out of the question.

Anyhow I sourced a 3 year old Peugeot Partner, just off lease full history and a fresh Mot. The clanger I may have dropped is I chose the dodgy 1.6hdi, though having had it 9 months my mechanic who has looked after my motors for many years says flushing the engine helps and he's looked after another customer with the same engine and it has done 200k trouble free miles, so time will tell, even fully loaded it pulls effortlessly, I'm happy so far.

This is early January by know and me being a reluctant DIY'er starts looking at companies to fit the van out. I was looking at various companies The good the bad and the ugly! And got it down to Xline and Grippatank, The xline was a smart looking unit with a smaller footprint but then I saw the woeful reviews on here and decided if I was going to give someone my hard earned cash I would at least like a bit of help if things went wrong. In the end I went with Grippatank and although it was a grand more than xline I was glad I did.

By now it's early march on a damp cold Wednesday and as agreed the Grippatank boys turn up after a 4am start from their base proceed to fit my van out, and by teatime I've got myself 500 litre double Di setup all safely bolted to the chassis with a pole rack, split relay charger ( which so far hasn't seen my battery charger)! And external twin ports, topped off with Gardiner 25slx. Excellent service, fully briefed handover any questions promptly answered. (Even now). So basically I'm good to go.

 

CUSTOMERS.....There are no two alike are they? How will they react? They pay my wage. so early on I decided I wasn't going to tell them anything , the only inkling I gave out was when I had my van proffesionally signwritten in the February proclaiming "Waterfed Pole Technology" and some started to ask so I politely explained and set the ball rolling.

 

And it's Thursday morning and d-day. Now my initial plan was to slowly implement the rollout. I thought I'd pole the tops and trad the bottom's over the month. And guess what? by the following day everything was getting wfp. It was so much easier, and is to this day.

The feed back from the customer is what makes or breaks us, bearing in mind I also increased my prices (as I always do every other March anyway), the overall result was brilliant I lost about 7 customers out of approximately 330 and I could only attribute 3 who point blank would not accept this method (the other 4 cancelled due to the increase) and have more than been replaced.

 

Any regrets? Yep a couple, out of my hands but my Tds level has a risen to about 125 i think it is because a new estate has been built up the road from me and I they have also swapped over to another reservoir it is costing me about a fiver for a full tank in resin, but at least I'm not on a meter I'll just have to see how things pan out on that one . And 80 quid on telescopic ladders, but find it easier to slide my old set off the roof and a Gardiner backpack which is under my stairs, I've just not needed it, may visit eBay. Oh and the Grippatank pole hose had a few leaks after a few months, so I replaced it with Gardiner yellow.

 

So finally after my long ramble, this is where I find myself after 6 months, I've got my mojo back and making more money for less hours. And I know not everyone will agree with the way I've changed things and it could be done for infinitely less but I'm dead happy with it, and really couldn't have been done without you guys on here, Cheersemoji16.png

 

P.S. anyone thinking of taking the plunge, just go for it.

 

 

 

Well done and thanks for sharing.

 

Our water's tds also fluctuates. The best I've seen it is 79 and the recent worst is 149. The water board had the roads up around our part of the world around 8 years ago and the tap water tds dropped after they finished. It was around 255ppm. Our street supply is still cast iron piping and so why the change happened is anyone's guess.

 

Like you I decide to trad bottoms and wfp the tops. That didn't last long and by the second house I was wfping the bottoms as well.

 

.

 

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Yes, my Tds is 125 and yet 5 miles down the road it's 46 but sourced from another reservoir, I think I'll leave it over the winter and see how it levels out and if I need a ro system it least being on here I've got all the advice I'll need and your input has been really beneficial Spruce.

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Hopefully in the coming months I will go for a backpack system and start wfp. Looking forward to it and speeding up my work is the goal.

Yes since the changeover I've been saving between 8 and 10 hours per week effectively 4 day's work instead of 5. I'm a bit of a flat earther and tried to find every excuse not to, so if I can change anyone can. Also 25 years of ladder work and not hurting myself meant it could have been just round the corner.
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I think the change will be quite easy for me because i'v not had years of experience like the majority of guys here when it comes to window cleaning. Anything that can save time lol 

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2 hours ago, dmw said:


Also 25 years of ladder work and not hurting myself meant it could have been just round the corner.

Thats quite an achievement, most trad windys I know have fallen off at some point, I fell off shortly before switching to wfp (landed in a big bush thankfully) It's good not having that risk anymore though.

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I was trad for 8-9years then switched to WFP about 8 years ago no one had ever seen a WFP cleaner and I remember other cleaner's telling me I was mad and laughing when I told them I had spent over a grand back then. All these years later they have nearly all made the switch.

I would recommend getting a RO it will save you loads of money in the long run, I got mine from daqua.co.uk I have a 300ltr water butt in shed at home which fills while I am at work then transfer every morning into my truck.

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I was trad for 8-9years then switched to WFP about 8 years ago no one had ever seen a WFP cleaner and I remember other cleaner's telling me I was mad and laughing when I told them I had spent over a grand back then. All these years later they have nearly all made the switch.

I would recommend getting a RO it will save you loads of money in the long run, I got mine from daqua.co.uk I have a 300ltr water butt in shed at home which fills while I am at work then transfer every morning into my truck.

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There still aren't that many Wfp guys up here but I chat to the tradders and they seem to be interested in it, but then it's making that big switch that talks themselves out of it.

Customer wise the younger end are so much more accepting of the method and I receive a lot more walk ups off them.

Regarding to ro set up's, I'll carry on on to the spring as I am and monitor my tds levels, I've just heard Redrow have permission to build another 93 homes up the road from me so that ain't gonna help, I think the writings on the wall, and it will save me a fiver a day.
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A lot of trad lads are put off both by the cost and people turning them away, I lost a few clients in the early days and years for various reasons and it can hit you mentally early on as it's a big learning curve and back then their was virtually no one to seek advice from. And it was trail and error for me and working out techniques etc which took a long time.

We all know with hindsight that perfecting the right technique and just moving on from people who don't want wet windows is the way to move forward successfully.

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Since changing over last June I never lost one of my customers and have put around £200 in new customers on the round.

I started off on very sunny day on row of 6 terraced houses all of them OAP's.......they checked them out when dry and declared they were happy and that was a big confidence booster....I still check the odd house to this day.

 

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Since changing over last June I never lost one of my customers and have put around £200 in new customers on the round.
I started off on very sunny day on row of 6 terraced houses all of them OAP's.......they checked them out when dry and declared they were happy and that was a big confidence booster....I still check the odd house to this day.
 

I do the occasional inside clean so I can check the quality of the external Clean. To be honest on certain windows I do get a bit of spotting some times from me, some times from bad seals.
I still think I'm improving and nearly all customers have been supportive and understand the time and cost I've put into it. And it's still the best move I've made.

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We are very pleased to hear it's going well for you!
 
We look forward to working with you in the future!

Yep that's why I chose and recommend you guys for this reason, good old fashioned customer service.
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