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Norfolk Newbie

Two man set up...or not?



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Norfolk Newbie

Hi all, a newbie here looking at setting up a new business with a mate. But we’re still unsure whether the 2 man route is the best road to go down.

In your experience - will we find enough work?

 

 

 

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Part Timer

Welcome, a bit of basic research in your area should quickly determine if there is. Spend a few weeks knocking on doors asking if they want their windows cleaning. If the vast majority say they already have a window cleaner then you might struggle. If you get a positive response then you should be OK. All I would say is if you're both currently employed then either both go part time or just one packs in to start the build up. 

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Teaboy

If you want it bad enough you’ll find it no matter what.

Working with a mate you have to find twice the work but in theory have halve the bills


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In a business like this I must admit going into partnership with a mate would be low on my list of ideals asking for issues at every opportunity


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Norfolk Newbie
Welcome, a bit of basic research in your area should quickly determine if there is. Spend a few weeks knocking on doors asking if they want their windows cleaning. If the vast majority say they already have a window cleaner then you might struggle. If you get a positive response then you should be OK. All I would say is if you're both currently employed then either both go part time or just one packs in to start the build up. 

Thanks for the reply. We live in a busy area and have spoken to another fella who recently set up who thinks there’s plenty of business out there. But I like your idea of knocking some doors [emoji1303]
How long would you say it should take to get to a decent customer base?
Also, our ‘master plan’ is to build the round enough so we can get another van and work separately under the same business name...but a wider area. Does this sound logical or am I way off?



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Part Timer

I wouldn't start as a partnership, this is where your friendship will be stretched. Also, hopefully, in the future you will have to cross the VAT threshold bridge. As 2 separate sole traders you will struggle to get anywhere near that figure. As for time scale all I will say is that depends on how hard you work and how good of a job you do. 

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Iron Giant

You say mate, it would have to be your absolutely best mate as to people can have 2 very different mindsets to business.

Or the same which could be a downfall also as I know 2 lads who spent far too much time in the bookies and one left the business with nothing and got a job no doubt his wife was the catalyst once she realised after years that they should have had more money.

County Durham Lad

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Norfolk Newbie
You say mate, it would have to be your absolutely best mate as to people can have 2 very different mindsets to business.

Or the same which could be a downfall also as I know 2 lads who spent far too much time in the bookies and one left the business with nothing and got a job no doubt his wife was the catalyst once she realised after years that they should have had more money.

County Durham Lad



Well hopefully that won’t happen!
In fact, I’ll have a tenner on it that it won’t! 🤣
Thanks for the advice though mate. All helps [emoji1303]


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Robt100

Whereabouts in Norfolk are you? Myself and my wife have just set up in the Norfolk area ourselves, though we are still getting things off the ground at the moment, so can't be too helpful regarding where windys are needed etc

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Norfolk Newbie
Whereabouts in Norfolk are you? Myself and my wife have just set up in the Norfolk area ourselves, though we are still getting things off the ground at the moment, so can't be too helpful regarding where windys are needed etc

Hi, in the Norwich area. Very early days as yet. How’s it going for you?


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Robt100

@Norfolk NewbieWe're just south of Norwich. Got a couple of jobs in the city but for us its easier to be out in the sticks a bit more as that's where we are located. It's going a bit slow at the moment, though that's mainly down to my brother-in-law falling off his ladder whilst cleaning trad, fractured his elbow so we are currently covering his work in Suffolk as hes the sole earner and has a little'un. But each time we've been out canvassing we have at least 1 new customer, so its coming together.

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Norfolk Newbie
[mention=7066]Norfolk Newbie[/mention]We're just south of Norwich. Got a couple of jobs in the city but for us its easier to be out in the sticks a bit more as that's where we are located. It's going a bit slow at the moment, though that's mainly down to my brother-in-law falling off his ladder whilst cleaning trad, fractured his elbow so we are currently covering his work in Suffolk as hes the sole earner and has a little'un. But each time we've been out canvassing we have at least 1 new customer, so its coming together.

I’m glad to hear you’re finding customers. Hopefully they keep coming [emoji1303]


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Im based in norfolk too, if you need any help give me a shout

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That’s a fantastic offer, thank you so much!
We’ll probably be bombarding you with questions very soon [emoji1303]


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Part Timer
5 hours ago, Norfolk Newbie said:


Hi, in the Norwich area. Very early days as yet. How’s it going for you?


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I do a 6 monthly job in Norwich, not far from the Cathedral. Did it on the 13th of this month. Due again in March 

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Iron Giant
16 hours ago, Norfolk Newbie said:


Well hopefully that won’t happen!
In fact, I’ll have a tenner on it that it won’t! 🤣
Thanks for the advice though mate. All helps emoji1303.png


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The point I was trying to make is that 2 mates together can be the downfall of a business they skipped work far too much and would drop days instead of working, I appreciate that set up costs will be halved between the two of you so this would make it easy initially but you have to really consider if it will work  😉

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Norfolk Newbie
Whereabouts in Norfolk are you? Myself and my wife have just set up in the Norfolk area ourselves, though we are still getting things off the ground at the moment, so can't be too helpful regarding where windys are needed etc

Hi again,
How’s business going? Hopefully all is good!
Quick question...how are you finding the filtering of water being in the hard water Norwich area? Do you need to change filters very often?


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tnwindowcleaning

Hi again,
How’s business going? Hopefully all is good!
Quick question...how are you finding the filtering of water being in the hard water Norwich area? Do you need to change filters very often?


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Hi mate all is well thanks, im mainly trad so i buy my pure at the moment. I know the guy i get it from does struggle from time to time what's your tds where you are i think its 350 here in watton

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RobDivision

If it were me, I'd highly caution against the 'Friends with (business) benefits) route. Take this from someone who has worked with friends / family in small businesses before. It's always lead to nothing but trouble. Though, to be fair, your mileage my vary! Best of luck with it all!

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Green Pro Clean Ltd

Never work with friends or family.  Just my personal advice.  

 

As for is there enough business?? Easily.  The wifes lead gen company is flat out from Glasgow to Isle of Wight and Manchester to Newcastle.   People cry out about competition but we are so far off of anywhere being saturated yet that there's more than enough to go round.     

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dmw
Never work with friends or family.  Just my personal advice.  
 
As for is there enough business?? Easily.  The wifes lead gen company is flat out from Glasgow to Isle of Wight and Manchester to Newcastle.   People cry out about competition but we are so far off of anywhere being saturated yet that there's more than enough to go round.     
I had my older brother work for me once, and after a few months thought he new everything and tried to tell me how to run the show.
Needless to say I had to let him go and he has been rather cold towards me ever since.

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Dave Shaw

Deffo true, I started off on my own as a business partner with a good friend that didn’t end very well. I currently have an employee which is an old friend and all seems well as we both know where we stand authority wise. Also for people who don’t work with friends if you employ your obviously going to socialise at some point out of work and at what point do you class them as a friend and when you do is that time to get rid?


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Daniel Perkins

Worked with my father and my uncle for for the last 20 odd years and never any hassle, very different people but try to look after each other. We are all sole traders but help each out. An extra body is an extra body, the goal is the same, be smart and make money. Have been arguments along the way but nothing major. They are both in the 70's and still cracking on with work. Been my safety blanket for a long time now and vice versa but they won't be doing it for much longer. I will get a shed load of work when they pack it in, so that is something that I will have to plan for, extra bodies will be needed.

 

I do get why people say never work with friends though, can ruin a relationship.

Edited by Daniel Perkins

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Norfolk Newbie
Worked with my father and my uncle for for the last 20 odd years and never any hassle, very different people but try to look after each other. We are all sole traders but help each out. An extra body is an extra body, the goal is the same, be smart and make money. Have been arguments along the way but nothing major. They are both in the 70's and still cracking on with work. Been my safety blanket for a long time now and vice versa but they won't be doing it for much longer. I will get a shed load of work when they pack it in, so that is something that I will have to plan for, extra bodies will be needed.
 
I do get why people say never work with friends though, can ruin a relationship.

The best reply I’ve had! Thank you so much for your time to reply. Very positive! Keep up the great work mate!


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Clisty1989

I've found over the the years  personally the closer you are the harder it is to work together. Something happens in work that boils over to social life and visa versa. 

However one bonus is that if your having a tough time, either family emergency or under a lot of stress if you know eachother well enough then it can be an advantage. I work with my father in law, I see him out of work and although we talk, we don't go to the pub and properly socialise, but when my kids have appointments or are ill, or my mother in law's bad (my son has special needs and she's in a wheelchair) we both know the score and we can take time off without asking, and the other will keep going. Or we both end up off as dealing with the same thing

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Incheck

I work with my bro and don’t think i could trust anybody else, we are of the same mindset. We have had a few off moments with one another in the past but who doesn’t, it can just as easily happen with an employee. The good times far outweigh the off moments.

Not that we have the work there to employ someone full time but i’ve never liked the idea anyway. I just don’t think i could tolerate the casual sickness.
I’m very very lucky to have a second man, some of the positions i’ve seen solo workers in on ladders makes my stomach churn. The second man gets you out of so many awkward situations as well. Footing ladders, lifting washers, assistance with maintenance, assistance with driving , parking, loading/unloading/a second mind when you lose your memory, got stuck in a mud hole once and needed the push, little things every day that make life so much easier. I’ve worked on my own before and the number of times i found myself saying “god if i only had an extra pair of hands”



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Daniel Perkins

As regards the 2 man setup, what would the minimum size tank people would recommend for a 2 man setup & if I got a one man setup, which is the way I think i will go how hard is it to switch to a two man setup? I have been looking at the 325 di compact from WCW or the likes as the van i will get will be Caddy or Transit LWB. SureClean in northern ireland do the GrippaMax systems too which i'm interested in. Up to now i have been using the PF trolley and DI vessel out the back to fill the containers... it's a tough task lagging those containers around i'm not going to lie.

 

I think for me in the next few years when father and uncle retire, having another body with their own mode of transport would be much more beneficial than having a 2 man setup with the one van. I finally got car repaired after the insurance company dragging their heels for months so I am now on the look out for a van & van system. Unfortunately over in Dublin, i have only options of going up north to SureClean or across to Wales to WCW, both would be the closest places to go but still ridiculous that I can't get a setup in this city, joke!

Edited by Daniel Perkins

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