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Hi everyone!

 

I've recently decided I'm going to start up as a window cleaner in my local area due to a lack of window cleaners!

 

I have a few questions before I get started. I'm aiming for a mid/end of January start and will try to generate some customers before I start officially!

 

I'm already registered as self employed as I used to have a small gift making business. And I intend to use QuickBooks to make account easier as I go along!

 

I will be starting with traditional method as I feel that I can give a better more personal service to my customer. Plus starting out, my funds are limited.

 

I will be using Facebook, a website and Google to initially generate information for prospective customers before quoting them early January. Good idea?

 

I'll be using my bicycle and a trailer to get around. I'm wondering my best bet for a compact ladder? I was thinking initially an a frame collapsible ladder until I can afford something a bit more expensive. Would that be okay for the first few months starting out?

 

My round will be part time at first. Sundays only as I work full time in the week. I can sometimes do Tuesday days if the weather is too bad.

 

Do you have any tips for a new start up?

 

 

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Welcome mate.  

 

My first tip is don't be up a ladder.

 

Second tip is dont be up a ladder at someones bedroom window on a Sunday. (Someone may punch you off the ladder)

 

Third tip 're: personal service' is that if you work normal hours you'll never meet most of your clients so crack on and use whatever method you want but trad does not offer a more personal service than WFP, just an alternative method. 

 

Forth tip: Stay the hell away from collapsible ladders, way to insufficient for regular use. 

 

Last tip, look up @Beccy.  She built an awesome trailer system to tow with her bicycle to do WFP work 

 

Hope that's not put you of too much. 

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Hi mate

I would stay off the ladders as well but you could check out a guy called trad man on you tube he does high level trad window cleaning using a pole and does how to vids for check out his stuff.

Btw extendable ladders are no good for window cleaning and would be very dangerous even the trade grade ones.

I would have to agree with green wfp is better and I would try and do Saturday cleaning not Sunday.

I don't think any of my customers would be happy to see me cleaning the window during their Sunday lunch.

I wish you the best of luck.

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Ladders are fine, just get a proper set. telescopics are no use. 12ft doubles will do. learn to use them properly, and learn to walk away from jobs where they aren’t suitable.

it sounds like you are starting on a small budget. I wouldn’t waste time advertising online for work in your situation. Your best bet is to get out on foot, knock doors and canvas! That way you’ll hopefully get some reasonably compact work, not spread all over the town. You might pick up some custom from people wanting them clean for Christmas at this time of year. So I’d start ASAP.

Save your money, and get a van and system when you are ready.

dont believe that there’s no competition in your area, window cleaning is fast becoming an oversaturated market, but doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for you too.

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2 hours ago, High-tower said:

Ladders are fine, just get a proper set. telescopics are no use. 12ft doubles will do. learn to use them properly, and learn to walk away from jobs where they aren’t suitable.

it sounds like you are starting on a small budget. I wouldn’t waste time advertising online for work in your situation. Your best bet is to get out on foot, knock doors and canvas! That way you’ll hopefully get some reasonably compact work, not spread all over the town. You might pick up some custom from people wanting them clean for Christmas at this time of year. So I’d start ASAP.

Save your money, and get a van and system when you are ready.

dont believe that there’s no competition in your area, window cleaning is fast becoming an oversaturated market, but doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for you too.

I agree with High tower, and will add, the closer together you custies are the better it will be for, so stay away  from Facebook etc. I would not do Sundays!

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Yes. I've decided at first I'd need to begin on ladders. I've had plenty of experience using ladders etc having worked in the technical theatre industry.
The plan is to canvas the local area
Not entirely sure how I'd get 2 12ft ladders into a bicycle trailer. I was however looking at foldable multi purpose for the time being.
I don't drive right now so a van wouldn't be possible!
I may be able to do sat afternoon and whole of Tuesday's mind you!

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14 minutes ago, windowgleamtrowbridge said:

Yes. I've decided at first I'd need to begin on ladders. I've had plenty of experience using ladders etc having worked in the technical theatre industry.
The plan is to canvas the local area
Not entirely sure how I'd get 2 12ft ladders into a bicycle trailer. I was however looking at foldable multi purpose for the time being.
I don't drive right now so a van wouldn't be possible!
I may be able to do sat afternoon and whole of Tuesday's mind you!

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its a 2 section push-up ladder. you'll not get it on a bicycle, you'll have to sling it on your shoulder and walk. foldable/telescopic/multipurpose/whatever ladders are not suitable for window cleaning, do not waste your time and money on them. a decent quality double ladder will be safer and easier to use than anything else, and in many cases will be lighter to carry than a foldable/telescopic/multipurpose/whatever ladder. 

Also, you are already limited to your potential customer base as you will be working on foot, why limit it even more by having an unsuitable ladders. a 12ft double will be more than adequate for 99% of properties. 

 

I would spend saturday/sunday afternoon canvassing and Tuesdays cleaning.

Edited by High-tower

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1 hour ago, windowgleamtrowbridge said:

I will have a look into getting a 12 footer. To be fair ill be concentrating on my direct local area. I don't expect to make this a full time business until I can drive. But a few houses a week will help financially

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Agree with the comments above.

If you are starting out small scale how about targeting every single bungalow in your area. I didn't realise how many there were in my location untill I went looking.

This is how I started last April. After canvassing for a few weeks I had about 40 customers all single storey, which gives a good part time income. Don't discount dormers either. I have customers who were happy for me to leave the few 1st floor windows they have. There are a lot of pensioners in bungalows that can't do the job themselves.

I'm.mainly trad but have a WFP trolley for upper floors now.

I would leave facebook alone. Could invite trouble.

Best of luck.

 

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Great thing is. I have a large conservatory to practice on and a dog that likes to cover it in grubby paw marks!)

Just took a walk with the dog. 119 single stories within a 20 minute loop with the dog. So quite a small area. Will try canvassing these first!

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21 hours ago, High-tower said:

 

its a 2 section push-up ladder. you'll not get it on a bicycle, you'll have to sling it on your shoulder and walk. foldable/telescopic/multipurpose/whatever ladders are not suitable for window cleaning, do not waste your time and money on them. a decent quality double ladder will be safer and easier to use than anything else, and in many cases will be lighter to carry than a foldable/telescopic/multipurpose/whatever ladder. 

Also, you are already limited to your potential customer base as you will be working on foot, why limit it even more by having an unsuitable ladders. a 12ft double will be more than adequate for 99% of properties. 

 

I would spend saturday/sunday afternoon canvassing and Tuesdays cleaning.

Years ago most window cleaners carried their ladders on bikes. When I first started, and did not drive, I arranged to leave my ladders at a house central to my work, in return I cleaned their windows free. It worked very well until the old lady at the house died, and the son told me to take them away, fortunately I had past my motor cycle test and was in the process of fitting a box side-car on it, which I used for the next few years, just like Wallace & Gromit.

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Years ago most window cleaners carried their ladders on bikes. When I first started, and did not drive, I arranged to leave my ladders at a house central to my work, in return I cleaned their windows free. It worked very well until the old lady at the house died, and the son told me to take them away, fortunately I had past my motor cycle test and was in the process of fitting a box side-car on it, which I used for the next few years, just like Wallace & Gromit.
Ha! That's brilliant! Did you just bungee the ladders to a standard side car?

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Years ago most window cleaners carried their ladders on bikes. When I first started, and did not drive, I arranged to leave my ladders at a house central to my work, in return I cleaned their windows free. It worked very well until the old lady at the house died, and the son told me to take them away, fortunately I had past my motor cycle test and was in the process of fitting a box side-car on it, which I used for the next few years, just like Wallace & Gromit.
Can't see that being legal these days! Haha

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14 minutes ago, Beccy said:

You can definitely fit a ladder on a bike trailer. And a tank and waterfed pole. emoji12.pngf5e9e19db7c53645075d41c926ca19ef.jpge57df9aa37e4d7c987cc7ded7f5e07e2.jpg

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Have you ever considered an electric conversion for this set up to make things easier. I think Its a great solution you have for bike trailer cleaning setup. You must be the most recognisable windows cleaner in your area by a country mile!

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I have thought about going electric not decided against it. I did 18 months with the bike as my only vehicle by which time my round had grown so much I was able to buy a small car and build a trolley system that fitted in the boot for jobs further afield and up steep hills! I now use a mixture of pedal power and petrol depending on the location, distance and how much water I need. I have now bought a van which I'm currently converting, but will always keep the bike as I love and my community loves it. It's very useful for jobs where it's had to get vehicle access

I am indeed very well known in my town and spend quite a bit of time being photographed by tourists... Especially when my boy is with me (I'm a single parent so he rides with me every weekend :) )

The trailer is a Surly Bill flat bed trailer with a diy conversion. The base trailer with hitch is not cheap, but has an impressive payload. The fully laden weight with the ladders and 2 extra water barrels is 31st so it needs to be sturdy. 2400659dfbb0e8ab8cf52f0be795afcd.jpg

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On 30/11/2017 at 10:51, Beccy said:

I have thought about going electric not decided against it. I did 18 months with the bike as my only vehicle by which time my round had grown so much I was able to buy a small car and build a trolley system that fitted in the boot for jobs further afield and up steep hills! I now use a mixture of pedal power and petrol depending on the location, distance and how much water I need. I have now bought a van which I'm currently converting, but will always keep the bike as I love and my community loves it. It's very useful for jobs where it's had to get vehicle access emoji3.png

I am indeed very well known in my town and spend quite a bit of time being photographed by tourists... Especially when my boy is with me (I'm a single parent so he rides with me every weekend :) )

The trailer is a Surly Bill flat bed trailer with a diy conversion. The base trailer with hitch is not cheap, but has an impressive payload. The fully laden weight with the ladders and 2 extra water barrels is 31st so it needs to be sturdy. 2400659dfbb0e8ab8cf52f0be795afcd.jpg

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
 

Fair play to you that is an impressive set up!

Attracts attention in summer I should imagine.

There are plenty of ways to get this job done and plenty of inventive people doing it their way to make it work for them.

No excuse not to get started now windowgleamtrowbridge! 😁

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