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OnlyMe

Hi Everyone 👋🏼

I have been reading this forum for a while now, and I’ve got a huge interest in window cleaning but haven’t had the b#### to go ahead YET! 👍🏼 great forum!! Im sick and tired of my job (long hours, **** pay etc) I really would like to work for myself and start up a successful window cleaning company. I’m 35 years old and I want another Crack at the whip, currently my salary is 27k. It sounds like a very rewarding business, and love the fact that nearly everyone on this site as a passion for their business. Obviously you get your chancers in the game, but I would like to go with the professional approach what I have been reading on here, ie) logo, business cards, leaflets, uniform, sign writing van, marketing campaigns etc (sounds like I am being ambitious, but to work for yourself and earn proper money, you have to I guess)  There is so much valuable information on here and it’s like a back bone for the professionals.

 

 

Ideally I would like to get into the WFP side of things. As I think me and the ladders just won’t get on, and by the sounds of it, it’s the future for the window cleaning industry? I have bought some trad gear already, ie) bucket, 12” squeege , applicator, micros, clothes, & scraper. 

I have been practising on my windows and watching you tube videos. (Wagga) - I take it this is a good learning curve

 

Would anyone be able to help me out with a few of these questions? 

 

  1. WFP - to start, would you recommend a trolley (pure freedom) or a back pack?
  2. How many houses would 25l containers do? Roughly
  3. Can I purchase the  water rather than making this -seems complicated? (Will have to read up on this a bit more) 
  4. When canvassing for work, and you get the nod to clean their windows, when would you do their first clean? That day/next day? How do you manage the round? With new customers etc. Because obviously starting out around my full time job ideally you would want to do the new customers the same day? 
  5. Company name? Thoughts. something that’s quirky, or stick to something like JB WINDOW CLEANING SERVICES? what works best?
  6. Don’t want to run before I can walk, and jump in the deep end - but a van? It will be quite daunting competing with other window cleaners in the local area and I’m a newbie. Would that put new potential customers off? 
  7. Should I buy second hand WFP gear to start (budget wise) or go straight in. 
  8. What kind of budget would you say for leaflets, website, business cards, WFP etc. Currently got 1k left over from a loan as a starting point. 

 

I’ve got 100s of questions and I’m sure il bombard you with them and go through the forum looking for answers. 

 

Ps. Hopefully you don’t bombard me with “another new window, here we go” 🙄🙄 

 

Thanks all. 

 

 

 

Why as this come out so big? 😱 @Gav 

 

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Craigmac

I can help you with the business name. It was one I wanted to use but we decided to link the business within our current cleaning company.

 

NOW DONT LAUGH

 

I really wanted this name but the other half thought it to offensive 

 

Window lickers LTD

 

Name is currently available 

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OnlyMe
58 minutes ago, Craigmac said:

I can help you with the business name. It was one I wanted to use but we decided to link the business within our current cleaning company.

 

NOW DONT LAUGH

 

I really wanted this name but the other half thought it to offensive 

 

Window lickers LTD

 

Name is currently available 

😂 very good. Ideally I would like a name before I start on leaflets etc. But window lickers not for me 😂

Edited by OnlyMe

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High-tower

If you are serious about your business buy a van mount, no smaller than 350l ideally 500l+. You may want a back pack too as it will be more convenient than dragging the hose out.

Very approximately 25l will do one 3/4bed semi, but you’ll use much more in the beginning with first cleans and refining your technique.

Yes, spotless water filling stations are springing up all over the country, or sometimes window cleaners will sell water to each other.

Usually arrange to do it a few days later so hopefully you can do a few together rather than keep swapping from canvassing mode to cleaning mode.

I recommend just using your own name as I feel it gives customers piece of mind about who they are dealing with, and there will be dozens of ‘initials’ window cleaning in your town so it can be difficult to stand out.

Buy a van, don’t have to spend mega-bucks, just something tidy and presentable. Customers would prefer to see you in a van as it is all together more professional.

Wfp gear can hold its value secondhand, and be easy to be stung if you don’t know what you are looking out for. There’s not always a huge amount to be saved over buying brand new and as newbie it’ll be easier to get set up, rather than trouble shooting faulty equipment. 

Marketing is a how long is a piece of string question, you might hit on easy patches and get tonnes of enquiries from walk ups or recommendations. Or you may have to slog it out with leaflets and canvassing. I would say to have a budget of around 3x the expected round value this would see you in good shape. Eg £4000 per month, would want £12000 for marketing.

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Jordiebarrett

WFP - to start, would you recommend a trolley (pure freedom) or a back pack?
100% van mount. You can get a trolley and plumb it with quick release fittings to make it portable if you have to, or have it run from the tank in the van.

How many houses would 25l containers do? Roughly
Having done 2 years I would say roughly 2 small houses, 1 large. Although to start it'll be less than one.
Can I purchase the  water rather than making this -seems complicated? (Will have to read up on this a bit more) 
We for example sell out water, if not spotless water are the go to. If you have questions on water then hit me up, not an expert but I know enough to get by. Failing that, Spruce is the man...

When canvassing for work, and you get the nod to clean their windows, when would you do their first clean? That day/next day? How do you manage the round? With new customers etc. Because obviously starting out around my full time job ideally you would want to do the new customers the same day? 
We do fixed dates every 28 days so it's whenever the next day rolls around for that perticular round. 1.5x on first clean or 2x for a one off of the normal 4 weekly fee.
Company name? Thoughts. something that’s quirky, or stick to something like JB WINDOW CLEANING SERVICES? what works best?
N/A, that's all you.
Don’t want to run before I can walk, and jump in the deep end - but a van? It will be quite daunting competing with other window cleaners in the local area and I’m a newbie. Would that put new potential customers off? 
100% get a van. Looks the part and stops the window cleaning doing it for beer money Impression
Should I buy second hand WFP gear to start (budget wise) or go straight in. 
We started with second hand and worked our way up. Not at the best stuff yet but you have to start somewhere.
What kind of budget would you say for leaflets, website, business cards, WFP etc. Currently got 1k left over from a loan as a starting point. 
Social media marketing, canvasser or lead generation but my green pro clean.
 

I’ve got 100s of questions and I’m sure il bombard you with them and go through the forum looking for answers. 

 

Ps. Hopefully you don’t bombard me with “another new window, here we go” [emoji849][emoji849] 

 

Thanks all. 

 

 

 

Why as this come out so big? [emoji33]@Gav 

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OnlyMe

Thanks guys, always good to hear other people opinions, and taking note of them. Thanks

 

re: van mount? - I haven’t got a van yet and someone said to me don’t run before you can walk and start off slowly until you get a nice profitable round going? Then buy a van. Ideally I would love to have a van straight away with the WFP installed etc. But money wise, it’s not an option. YET. 

 

As anyone else else built up a round just by WFP the tops and tradding the bottoms, in their car?

 

 

Other option is leasin a van? Or credit card😬

Edited by OnlyMe
Sp

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Gav
4 hours ago, OnlyMe said:

Why as this come out so big?

All fixed now. 

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Jordiebarrett
Thanks guys, always good to hear other people opinions, and taking note of them. Thanks
 
re: van mount? - I haven’t got a van yet and someone said to me don’t run before you can walk and start off slowly until you get a nice profitable round going? Then buy a van. Ideally I would love to have a van straight away with the WFP installed etc. But money wise, it’s not an option. YET. 
 
As anyone else else built up a round just by WFP the tops and tradding the bottoms, in their car?
 
 
Other option is leasin a van? Or credit card[emoji51]
Hasn't got to be an 18 plate. We've got a 53 plate, bless it. It'll be going to the garage in the sky after this year. However, it is clean, tidy and sign written so hey ho. I've sometimes wondered if you have a brand new van do people wonder if you charge to much or over charge to have got it and look elsewhere?

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OnlyMe
Just now, Jordiebarrett said:

Hasn't got to be an 18 plate. We've got a 53 plate, bless it. It'll be going to the garage in the sky after this year. However, it is clean, tidy and sign written so hey ho. I've sometimes wondered if you have a brand new van do people wonder if you charge to much or over charge to have got it and look elsewhere?

Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
 

Never thought about it like that. I see your point👍🏼

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Dave Shaw
31 minutes ago, Jordiebarrett said:

Hasn't got to be an 18 plate. We've got a 53 plate, bless it. It'll be going to the garage in the sky after this year. However, it is clean, tidy and sign written so hey ho. I've sometimes wondered if you have a brand new van do people wonder if you charge to much or over charge to have got it and look elsewhere?

Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
 

I wouldn’t have thought they would look else where although I used to get some funny looks when I went collecting in my rs4. 

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Part Timer
3 hours ago, Dave Shaw said:

I wouldn’t have thought they would look else where although I used to get some funny looks when I went collecting in my rs4. 

Must admit the few times I've had to collect I went in the Wife's Fiesta, left my Jag at home 😀

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steve garwood
1 hour ago, Part Timer said:

Must admit the few times I've had to collect I went in the Wife's Fiesta, left my Jag at home 😀

Went and did an estimate for a conny roof on my motorbike last Thursday evening. (I’m very friendly with the customer).

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adamangler
21 hours ago, OnlyMe said:

Hi Everyone 👋🏼

I have been reading this forum for a while now, and I’ve got a huge interest in window cleaning but haven’t had the b#### to go ahead YET! 👍🏼 great forum!! Im sick and tired of my job (long hours, **** pay etc) I really would like to work for myself and start up a successful window cleaning company. I’m 35 years old and I want another Crack at the whip, currently my salary is 27k. It sounds like a very rewarding business, and love the fact that nearly everyone on this site as a passion for their business. Obviously you get your chancers in the game, but I would like to go with the professional approach what I have been reading on here, ie) logo, business cards, leaflets, uniform, sign writing van, marketing campaigns etc (sounds like I am being ambitious, but to work for yourself and earn proper money, you have to I guess)  There is so much valuable information on here and it’s like a back bone for the professionals.

 

 

Ideally I would like to get into the WFP side of things. As I think me and the ladders just won’t get on, and by the sounds of it, it’s the future for the window cleaning industry? I have bought some trad gear already, ie) bucket, 12” squeege , applicator, micros, clothes, & scraper. 

I have been practising on my windows and watching you tube videos. (Wagga) - I take it this is a good learning curve

 

Would anyone be able to help me out with a few of these questions? 

 

  1. WFP - to start, would you recommend a trolley (pure freedom) or a back pack?
  2. How many houses would 25l containers do? Roughly
  3. Can I purchase the  water rather than making this -seems complicated? (Will have to read up on this a bit more) 
  4. When canvassing for work, and you get the nod to clean their windows, when would you do their first clean? That day/next day? How do you manage the round? With new customers etc. Because obviously starting out around my full time job ideally you would want to do the new customers the same day? 
  5. Company name? Thoughts. something that’s quirky, or stick to something like JB WINDOW CLEANING SERVICES? what works best?
  6. Don’t want to run before I can walk, and jump in the deep end - but a van? It will be quite daunting competing with other window cleaners in the local area and I’m a newbie. Would that put new potential customers off? 
  7. Should I buy second hand WFP gear to start (budget wise) or go straight in. 
  8. What kind of budget would you say for leaflets, website, business cards, WFP etc. Currently got 1k left over from a loan as a starting point. 

 

I’ve got 100s of questions and I’m sure il bombard you with them and go through the forum looking for answers. 

 

Ps. Hopefully you don’t bombard me with “another new window, here we go” 🙄🙄 

 

Thanks all. 

 

 

 

Why as this come out so big? 😱 @Gav 

 

 

1. If you are deadly serious buy a van and build a van mount from the start. This doesn't have to be expensive, I've just bought a second van and fully fitted itmoit for under a grand including nthe cost of the van. If your set on trolley, buy a backpack and stick it on a £20 trolley. Or pay £500 for one that says pure freedom on it....up to you.

 

2. Roughly 1. You'll soon get sick of running out halfway through a job though, which is why I advise a van mount.

 

3. Yes, but for the sake of a small learning curve you want to bee making your own and saving loads.

 

4. Entirely up to you. I would canvass a week behind, so canvass for next week, and canvass areas so that each week is in the same area.

 

5. Whatever 

 

6. Buy a van

 

7. Buy a brand new pole, best you can afford and a new pump/battery...Tank, d.i. vessel and reel second hand if you can. 

 

8. You would be better spending £10 on business cards and the rest on A van and gear and then canvassing and hitting the free FB groups..  Website and leaflets can come later and can cost as little or as much as you want depending how fancy you want it or just functional.

Edited by adamangler

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OnlyMe

Thanks guys for all the info. Me and the wife was discussing maybe a loan to start up the business. As anyone had any issues / experience of getting loans to to start a window cleaning business - as this could be possibly only way to get a van and the kit etc..I’m not talking 15-20k something along 5-10k.. would this be advisable? As anyone doe this before? As I see it as an investment and not really a debt in the long run.
Thanks


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Clisty1989
25 minutes ago, OnlyMe said:

Thanks guys for all the info. Me and the wife was discussing maybe a loan to start up the business. As anyone had any issues / experience of getting loans to to start a window cleaning business - as this could be possibly only way to get a van and the kit etc..I’m not talking 15-20k something along 5-10k.. would this be advisable? As anyone doe this before? As I see it as an investment and not really a debt in the long run.
Thanks


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Lookup the startup loans scheme. It's government run and you have to jump through a few hoops but it's a good interest rate and less likely to have problems due to it being designed for startups

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Part Timer
On 02/05/2018 at 19:22, steve garwood said:

Went and did an estimate for a conny roof on my motorbike last Thursday evening. (I’m very friendly with the customer).

Well if you turned up in your full leathers how friendly are the two of you 😆

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El Sombrero

I'd definitely go for a van mount system straight away if possible. Using a backpack on a trolley is a great way to get started for minimal outlay, but once the work picks up you'll quickly become sick of filling it up 10 times a day.

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P4dstar
On 02/05/2018 at 09:31, OnlyMe said:

 

  1. WFP - to start, would you recommend a trolley (pure freedom) or a back pack?
  2. How many houses would 25l containers do? Roughly
  3. Can I purchase the  water rather than making this -seems complicated? (Will have to read up on this a bit more) 
  4. When canvassing for work, and you get the nod to clean their windows, when would you do their first clean? That day/next day? How do you manage the round? With new customers etc. Because obviously starting out around my full time job ideally you would want to do the new customers the same day? 
  5. Company name? Thoughts. something that’s quirky, or stick to something like JB WINDOW CLEANING SERVICES? what works best?
  6. Don’t want to run before I can walk, and jump in the deep end - but a van? It will be quite daunting competing with other window cleaners in the local area and I’m a newbie. Would that put new potential customers off? 
  7. Should I buy second hand WFP gear to start (budget wise) or go straight in. 
  8. What kind of budget would you say for leaflets, website, business cards, WFP etc. Currently got 1k left over from a loan as a starting point. 

Ps. Hopefully you don’t bombard me with “another new window, here we go” 🙄🙄 

 

First things first, no one on here will ever give you the ''another new windy, here we go'' treatment so don't worry about that.

 

1 - I would recommend a van system. I've been going a year and thats what I started with but a backpack is a really good investment to run along side.

 

2 - 25L containers go as far as your skill vs the current condition of the windows... Don't worry about how far they go yet but I would get yourself a good few of them. They aren't expensive.

 

3 - A DI vessel is really easy to use. It looks like the base of a fire extinguisher and you plug a hose in and a hose out. It purifies the water well. You need to get over this hurdle, its a lot easier than you would think. If you bought 500L of water from someone and then a bit of much got in the tank or something contaminate it then you have wasted money.

 

4 - Long term you are better off cleaning them later. In my experience this has led to some cancellations because people say yes on impulse but then change their minds later. Yes you will lose the clean but you are better losing the one off clean and just adding regulars to your round instead. I've just finished a day of first cleans, trust me you don't wanna spend your current 'days off' doing that. Some of the chaps use Cleaner Planner. I use an iPad. You will probably be alright with a diary to start with.

I worked around a full time job until a month ago. I filled Wednesdays and Sundays. Worked 7 days a week to ensure I wasn't completely jumping into the abyss.

 

5 - Whatever company name you choose check the domain name is available for it. Search on 123-reg or Fasthosts or somewhere, its easy to do. Once you're set buy the domain name even if you don't build a site straight away. There are companies out there who will find your details and buy it before you do only to sell it back to you at a higher rate later.

 

6 - Don't be daunted by local windy's. Give them the thumbs up as you pass and if they don't return the favour just wave with one finger next time haha 😂 but seriously the customer doesn't need to know how long you've been trading unless they ask. You just need to make sure you aren't another 'all the gear no idea'

 

Go out and get practice. Do friends and family first. Ask for honest feedback, how did you do! There are loads of technique videos available on Youtube. @Green Pro Clean Ltd has a few, search him up. I found some of his vids really helpful.

 

7 - Do everything on the cheap and you may regret it. When you go full time you will need reliable stuff. I would personally just buy new (I did this personally) when this becomes your livelihood you can't afford to be out of action.

 

8 - Build your own website, its really easy to learn, if you wanna have a bash at it drop me a message and I will find a link to a Youtube tutorial for you but I know i've shared it on here before... You can get 5000 leaflets for £40 from Helloprint.co.uk, business cards are cheap there too. DO NOT waste any of your money on Google advertising, absolute waste of money. If you have a local paper then may be worth a few quid popping an advert in, buy some uniforms etc make yourself look the part as you mentioned.

 

All of the above is a compilation of things I have taken from different people (mainly on here) over the last year or so. I'm not that far ahead of you so to speak and I did it the way you are planning to (Full time job, part time windy) Hope it helps.

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Iron Giant
On 03/05/2018 at 14:42, OnlyMe said:

Thanks guys for all the info. Me and the wife was discussing maybe a loan to start up the business. As anyone had any issues / experience of getting loans to to start a window cleaning business - as this could be possibly only way to get a van and the kit etc..I’m not talking 15-20k something along 5-10k.. would this be advisable? As anyone doe this before? As I see it as an investment and not really a debt in the long run.
Thanks


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You could most likely get something like a peugeot partner form the likes of vanmonster or a commercial dealer local to you for less than 5k and 350ltr tank pump etc for less than a 1k . 

Personally I would work weekends maybe using a backpack to start with to see if window cleaning actually suits you as with all things they don't suit everyone so best to see how things before making a big investment

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P4dstar
1 hour ago, Iron Giant said:


You could most likely get something like a peugeot partner form the likes of vanmonster or a commercial dealer local to you for less than 5k and 350ltr tank pump etc for less than a 1k . 

Personally I would work weekends maybe using a backpack to start with to see if window cleaning actually suits you as with all things they don't suit everyone so best to see how things before making a big investment

That’s a good shout. I love it, even when my back feels broken from scrubbing a massive conservatory all day, or when I wake up at 2AM and realise I’ve left the RO on and flooded everything (this morning) 😂

 

I never really thought about people not enjoying it. @OnlyMe have you got any friends who are windys or perhaps realitives of friends. With zero investment they MAY allow you to go out with them and try it out. Some wouldn’t because you will slow them down a little bit I was lucky enough to find a chap who worked for someone else and was happy to show me the ropes

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OnlyMe

That’s my only worry. The decision to get a van and a WFP already installed and parting with money OR to just get a trolley system to get myself going. Like @irongiant says. Rather than parting with 2/3k.@p4dstar I’m going to speak to a window cleaner this week and see if we will take me out with him for a day or 2. I’m buzzing for this.. just want to do the right thing.


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OnlyMe

That’s my only worry. The decision to get a van and a WFP already installed and parting with money OR to just get a trolley system to get myself going. Like @irongiant says. Rather than parting with 2/3k.@p4dstar I’m going to speak to a window cleaner this week and see if we will take me out with him for a day or 2. I’m buzzing for this.. just want to do the right thing.


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P4dstar
5 minutes ago, OnlyMe said:

That’s my only worry. The decision to get a van and a WFP already installed and parting with money OR to just get a trolley system to get myself going. Like @irongiant says. Rather than parting with 2/3k.@p4dstar I’m going to speak to a window cleaner this week and see if we will take me out with him for a day or 2. I’m buzzing for this.. just want to do the right thing.

Unless you know them they are extremely unlikely to take you up on the offer mate, partly because you will slow him down, partly because you are a risk (poor quality work, steal his customers etc) but mainly because you will become the competition... There may be someone on here that could offer you the gig but if not then try a windy from another town. I would offer you to go out with me but I ain't been going that long so i'm not full and i'm miles away (Plus i'm still learning of course)

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Gerry Scrimshaw

For a name, how about “the ladderless window cleaning company” (ex Roald Dahl) [emoji846]


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