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P4dstar

Help me gain some direction please chaps!



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P4dstar

So for the last year now i've been on here learning about WFP cleaning. I've gone from nothing to having a van and customers. I've built the round up to approx £500 PM while working a full-time job. I've waited until now to go full time cos i've got a wife and 4 kids to support. I am going into work tomorrow and handing in my resignation for my long standing 35k a year job to go full time. In the last few weeks thanks to the wonders of social media and a lot of walking and leaflet dropping I have doubled the round size from 250ish to 500ish and want to take the plunge. First question is, would you guys think I am making the right move at the right time of year? (Which was the aim)

 

Marketing wise so far I have;

  • Built a credible website and just started an ad campaign with Google which is set to cost £25 for the first month and up to £125 a month after that.
  • Got a bunch of reviews on Google that ensures anyone local searching for a window cleaner finds me near the top
  • Listed myself on Yell, Yelp, BT Phonebook etc (And got reviews on some of these)
  • The van is sign written and I have embroidered uniforms and business cards etc.
  • Got a Facebook page again with a bunch of reviews and easy links to contact.

 

And to make sure I'm not another 'all the gear, no idea' I went out for free with a mate who showed me the ropes, watched youtube videos, took advice from seasoned veterans on here & practiced on friends and family before I actually started cleaning. This seems to have worked as I get some glowing reports and reviews about my works.

 

I guess I am now facing the fear of the unknown. I cannot continue a job that I am putting on the back burner for Window cleaning. I need to bring in 2k a month to pay the bills and intend for this to be much bigger and much better but for that I need to quadruple my business by the beginning of June.

 

I am mostly looking for advice on where I go from here. From mid May I will be full time. I went to try canvassing as I have worked in sales for years but found in this area over 70% of the houses have 'no cold caller' signs so I resorted to leaflet drops. This is no exaggeration either, I picked up yellow pages deliveries this week and dropped my leaflets with them, over 1000 doors and I kept count as I went, over 700 no cold caller signs!!

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Green Pro Clean Ltd

Rule 1: When a house has a sign that says 'No Cold Callers' knock on the door. 

 

Only twice in thousands of doors have I had that sign pointed out. 

 

Rule 2: When they point out that sign tell them thats why they have dirty windows. 😉

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Part Timer

All I will say is I don't know your area and I don't know you. I do however wish you all the luck you require and say if you work as hard as you can as often as you can then you should succeed. 

Going self employed is a brave move and I tip my hat to all those that do. 

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P4dstar
Just now, Green Pro Clean Ltd said:

Rule 1: When a house has a sign that says 'No Cold Callers' knock on the door. 

 

Only twice in thousands of doors have I had that sign pointed out. 

 

Rule 2: When they point out that sign tell them thats why they have dirty windows. 😉

Thats some serious brass balls you got there dude. If I had the cash I would come to you guys for canvassing for that very reason haha.

 

Seriously 10 years in sales and I wouldn't be able to bring myself to do it :1f602:

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P4dstar
3 minutes ago, Part Timer said:

All I will say is I don't know your area and I don't know you. I do however wish you all the luck you require and say if you work as hard as you can as often as you can then you should succeed. 

Going self employed is a brave move and I tip my hat to all those that do. 

Thanks dude. You have been a regular help over the last year.

 

My issue isn't working hard. I've worked 7 days a week between the 2 jobs since October. I will wake at 5 and sleep at 10 if thats what it takes.... I guess because I've written off canvassing on the next part of my journey I don't know how I will fill those hours. Should I just drop leaflets? I seem to get one customer for every 100 leaflets... Except the ones with the yellow pages, they were a waste of time! I'm looking for small tweaks of advice that have worked for others I guess.

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Pjj

If you already have 500 customers I would have thought you should be earning good money and as a sole trader that would be enough depending what type of properties they are price and frequency sounds like you have done well it’s a big leap of faith going self employed: I was in a dead end job and went self employed about 30 years ago never looked back best thing I ever did , you have to be self motivated to make it work it’s not for  everyone but it sounds like you have been working towards this for a while Ime sure you will succeed go for it 

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P4dstar
Just now, Pjj said:

If you already have 500 customers I would have thought you should be earning good money and as a sole trader that would be enough depending what type of properties they are price and frequency sounds like you have done well it’s a big leap of faith going self employed: I was in a dead end job and went self employed about 30 years ago never looked back best thing I ever did , you have to be self motivated to make it work it’s not for  everyone but it sounds like you have been working towards this for a while Ime sure you will succeed go for it 

Yeah not 500 customers... £500 worth of regular cleans man haha. I would kill for 500 customers haha

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Pjj

Door knocking is the way ahead they see you for what you are rather than a faceless piece of paper face to face contact with the potential customer works well that’s how I built up my buisness I personally would never reply to a flyer could be any old pikey but if you see the person talk to them you you get a feel for them and trust is started , also recommendation is also a valuable thing we get 50+ % of all new jobs this way now 

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Tuffers

Welcome to world of being self employed. You will now eat sleep and breathe window cleaning. Your life will now exist of window cleaning 24 a day. You will sometimes go to bed happy, sometimes you will go to bed worrying because you lost a customer today and you're wondering if you did something wrong and will this be a downward spiral? You will now have to be on your toes 24/7, looking out for earning opportunities. No holiday pay, no sick pay, tax returns, the list goes on but sometimes you have to take the leap.

 

Good luck!!

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Pjj
7 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

Yeah not 500 customers... £500 worth of regular cleans man haha. I would kill for 500 customers haha

 

 

Ah ok got the wrong end of the stick , still it’s a good start keep up the good work 

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Suhrly

I have to admit I did wince a little bit when I read you're leaving a £35K a year job with all the benefits of being employed on top ie. holiday, sick pay etc etc. Like Tuffers said above it's not easy, when you're self employed you never seem to get time off. If you're not out grafting then when you are at home it's on your mind. For me anyways. Planning the next day, sorting accounts or just simply worrying about customers. Saying that it has amazing benefits....working for yourself choosing what hours you want to work. I would hate to go back to being employed. But good luck mate I wish you all the best and all I would say is I hope you have a bit of cash tucked away just in case something happens like falling sick and you're not able to get out for a week or two.

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Iron Giant

Not sure about the Google advertising I tried it years ago and never got a single job some people just click paid adds for the hell of it and a £125 a month is good wedge of money to use up in your situation. As you are just staring out as such get out canvassing everyday that you can this will be more successful for you than paid adds and flyers. 

I would certainly look at getting as many clients signed up to GoCardless as well, as you will know what money is coming in week after week instead of chasing debts and hoping you will get enough money in  plus keeping your running costs down.  

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P4dstar
9 minutes ago, Iron Giant said:

Not sure about the Google advertising I tried it years ago and never got a single job some people just click paid adds for the hell of it and a £125 a month is good wedge of money to use up in your situation. As you are just staring out as such get out canvassing everyday that you can this will be more successful for you than paid adds and flyers. 

I would certainly look at getting as many clients signed up to GoCardless as well, as you will know what money is coming in week after week instead of chasing debts and hoping you will get enough money in  plus keeping your running costs down.  

Well I am only really set to spend £50 as I had a £75 free voucher for Adwords. The ad has a link directly to call so we shall see. Realistically if it doesn't bring in any customers in the first fortnight I would drop it as soon as the free money is spent and only be £25 down.... I will let you know how this works but I appreciate the advice, I'll stay safe with it. I guess I would expect 10-15 customers a month for it to be sustainable.

 

I have GoCardless but I need to work on my pitch. Have had a lot of people wrinkle their nose at direct debit. I let them pay by PayPal for the first clean and then offer direct debit for future cleans but I have had a few say 'the link isn't working'.... like sure, so it works for every other customer but not you..... On the other hand the ones who do use it love it!

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P4dstar

Thanks for the positive messages chaps, really appreciate it. Felt a little like I was staring into the abyss last night but this morning I feel pumped and ready!! @Suhrly £35 actually only equates to 2k after the tax man has his cut so I have time to build it up, just need to get to 2k a month by June.

 

I find I already live this job. Everyone I talk to I shamelessly plug it haha. I sit up until 2am sometimes doing invoices and working one the website.... This has become my passion already. I love the job, the customers are great, I am providing a good example of a hardworking person to the kids! I've been self employed before but only on freelance contracts for building firms so this is my first long haul blast at it. Genuinely could not have got this far without the support of everyone on the forum, really really appreciate it guys.

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spruce
9 hours ago, Part Timer said:

All I will say is I don't know your area and I don't know you. I do however wish you all the luck you require and say if you work as hard as you can as often as you can then you should succeed. 

Going self employed is a brave move and I tip my hat to all those that do. 

 

I was forced into window cleaning with no job, but I doubt I would have given up a well paid job with 21 days a year holiday to become a window cleaner. However, I also realise that jobs aren't for life any more, so what seems to be good today may completely change tomorrow.

 

Then that can also be said for this industry as well. Just a bad fall (a slip on black ice) can cause an injury that will affect you for the rest of your life, especially if you hit the back of your head on the road or a curb stone.

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BigFoot

Never pay attention to no canvassing stickers. The way I look at it is I’m not pressure selling. I’m gone with a smile if they say no thanks. You can thank gas and electric, wall insulation, conservatory sales people twisting old mrs Williams arm for the last of her savings. Half the time the older people don’t want you to go as they’ve had no human contact for a couple of days, the warning signs should read ‘may keep you talking for a while’ then I’d be more likely to skip the house : )

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Dr Squeegee

It's more than achievable mate. I got made redundant from a 36k job last autumn, and came back to window cleaning full time in a new area (Did it full time years ago, and have done weekends since). I pretty much spent December in Vegas, but hit it hard in the new year and my business is more than doubling every month. I'm back to the 36k money now, and still growing. As others have said, you have to live and breathe it now. Do that and it comes naturally. While you're out, be that sociable guy that just chats to everyone and always have a smile on your face. Let people get know you and like you. 

 

Also, you'll have to put up with the missus complaining that "all you do is talk about your work now" 😂 Just let her know that you need to live and breathe it while you grow as well. 

 

Keep up the hard work and get out the door every morning, and don't come back until it's dark. Best of luck 👍

 

One more thing! Price correctly from day one. Don't undersell yourself. I made that mistake to begin with and it slowed the progress. Listen to what these guys have to say re that. 

Edited by Dr Squeegee

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BlueClearChoice

Good luck mate. Your taking a risk leaving a job paying 35K a year. But just think of you really go
Strong on this. You will be your own boss. Start work when you like finish when you like. And I find there is no better feeling Cleaning a house and knowing all that money is going to you and not your boss.

Defo starting at the best time of the year. I only work part time too as I don’t have another work to go full time either. Best of luck I’ll keep a look at for your post.


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ksp

I think you’re taking a massive risk at the moment unless you have some money behind you which I’m assuming is why you’ve said before June. I’ve been doing 7 day weeks myself though so can see why you feel like you need to do it. Did you ask about reducing your hours or putting in a formal request for flexible working hours?

You’ve doubled to £500pm in the last month but I’ve found myself that the first 3 cleans is when you find out if they’re really ‘regular’ cleans or just someone who wanted a one off so I’d take that in to account.

I’ve found google adwords worked well for me in spurts although If too many people are running ad campaigns for the same service the cost per click jumped up massively. If you’ve not done it I’d get in contact with k in Kent to do SEO work on your site.

Good luck and I hope it all pans out well for you.






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P4dstar
2 hours ago, Dr Squeegee said:

One more thing! Price correctly from day one. Don't undersell yourself. I made that mistake to begin with and it slowed the progress. Listen to what these guys have to say re that. 

Haha literally just walked back in from a job where i've done just that. I'm looking at the windows and going thats £15 for a regular clean but £22 for today.... The guy was trine salvage 10k worth of windows that ain't been cleaned in years with a quick 20 quid window clean... could have been worse though

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P4dstar
1 hour ago, ksp said:

I think you’re taking a massive risk at the moment unless you have some money behind you which I’m assuming is why you’ve said before June. I’ve been doing 7 day weeks myself though so can see why you feel like you need to do it. Did you ask about reducing your hours or putting in a formal request for flexible working hours?

You’ve doubled to £500pm in the last month but I’ve found myself that the first 3 cleans is when you find out if they’re really ‘regular’ cleans or just someone who wanted a one off so I’d take that in to account.

I’ve found google adwords worked well for me in spurts although If too many people are running ad campaigns for the same service the cost per click jumped up massively. If you’ve not done it I’d get in contact with k in Kent to do SEO work on your site.

Good luck and I hope it all pans out well for you.






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Not really got any money behind me but i'll be working a 6 week notice period and paid in April and May. Im picking up the 500 a month plus any extras in between too. I believe in the statement 'if you don't risk anything, you risk everything'. I'm not working the PAYE job today so I made the decision to resign tomorrow which will mean I get a full wage for both months as they pay us on the 15th.

 

I've worked in finance for the last few years and the FCA strangled the company I work for. My hopes of progression were seriously put back. The company may not even survive. I figure, i'm 33 years old and I've spent the last ten years in sales making a living and getting by. One year you're top dog and then they throw your targets up and squeeze the life out of you. I want to retire when i'm 55 and my current situation while a safe wage is not driving me towards that goal!

Edited by P4dstar

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BigFoot
30 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

Not really got any money behind me but i'll be working a 6 week notice period and paid in April and May. Im picking up the 500 a month plus any extras in between too. I believe in the statement 'if you don't risk anything, you risk everything'. I'm not working the PAYE job today so I made the decision to resign tomorrow which will mean I get a full wage for both months as they pay us on the 15th.

 

I've worked in finance for the last few years and the FCA strangled the company I work for. My hopes of progression were seriously put back. The company may not even survive. I figure, i'm 33 years old and I've spent the last ten years in sales making a living and getting by. One year you're top dog and then they throw your targets up and squeeze the life out of you. I want to retire when i'm 55 and my current situation while a safe wage is not driving me towards that goal!

@P4dstar love the goal of early retirement 55. My goal is to retire youngish with a residual income though it took a major blow a few years ago that I’m still financially recovering from that lead me to sell my second property that was going to be a major part of my retired income. My goal is to travel and live. Until then it’s flat out saving, investing and working my nuts off. Nice goal!

Edited by BigFoot

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CM Cleaning Services

Goodluck with your jump full time I did exactly that june 2017 gave up a full time job , salary , company car etc and took the leap with nothing but a £200 van .... I financed my wfp system took out insurance and knocked doors day in day out and 9 months later I'm here with around £1200 worth of regular customers on the windows , building on my wheelie bin cleaning customer numbers , a new office cleaning contract and branching into builders cleans full scale...

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RWCleaning

Go for it mate, plenty have been there and done it. There’s definitely the work out there if you’re offering upvc cleaning etc, so it’s up to you how well it works out, which is a nice self feeling actually! Perfect time of year to canvass & build.

I’ve done maybe 5/6hrs (hardly anything really) of posting&canvassing in the last 3 weeks, picked up five 8x weeklys & a 6x weekly. All well priced and quoted for 2 more which I’m expecting to get 1 of them. Then doing a gutter clear & clean ‘one off’ this Saturday. Stay positive, work hard and remember... “Stay off my patch” haha

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