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Damo

Window cleaning companies merging/partners



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Damo

Good evening guys and girls.

 

Has anyone successfully heard of or better still merged themselves with another window cleaning company or even taken on a partner. 

 

Two local companies near me merged and it wasn't a success and that was window cleaning.

 

Just wondering if anyone has been in this situation.....

 

TIA

 

EDIT - This might do better in "the office" section :) 

Edited by Damo

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scottish cleaning service

Like any partnership, it usually ends in arguments and eventually you want to go your own way.

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Cghwindowcleaning

A very good friend of mine has just merged recently with another company.

They are from different areas so they now cover a much wider area and offer more services.it was also a way of accelerating growth with out taking loans against the business.

Seems to working for them.

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Damo
45 minutes ago, Cghwindowcleaning said:

A very good friend of mine has just merged recently with another company.

They are from different areas so they now cover a much wider area and offer more services.it was also a way of accelerating growth with out taking loans against the business.

Seems to working for them.

 

This is exactly the scenario with me and it would see us covering a massive area. 

 

Early days but I am interested.

1 hour ago, scottish cleaning service said:

Like any partnership, it usually ends in arguments and eventually you want to go your own way.

 

Yeah my dad had a partnership go belly up years ago and hes already given his input on it 😞

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Part Timer

The trouble with partnerships, I'll assume 50/50, is when the partners have different thoughts about what direction to go. A friend of mine was 50/50 in a pub, approx. 15 years ago Cameron's Brewery offered them a million pounds for it. My friend was very keen to sell but the other partner wasn't, so he asked the partner for £500k for his half of the pub and he refused only offering him £250k to buy him out, which he obviously refused. Because their working relationship fell apart so did their pub, probably struggle to get anywhere near £500k for it today.

I think if there are clearly defined targets and responsibilities then it might work, what I would suggest is an independent professional, Solicitor or Accountant, that would solve any major disagreements. It's great going in to a business partnership thinking you'll both be singing from the same sheet, unfortunately it rarely continues like it started, so a legally binding dispute settling agreement, would be high on my agenda.

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scottish cleaning service

Even family partnerships eventually fade. You are much better coming to an arrangement. I heard Arnold Clark and Peter Vardy had an arrangement not to cross the border. In the end it became everyman for himself when you have to feed a monster with size. Window cleaning and cleaning in general is a growing industry. Problems arise when it begins to contract, maybe next year it will go a bit stale. I believe we are in for a recession which may be a prolonged one.

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Iron Giant
12 hours ago, Damo said:

Good evening guys and girls.

 

Has anyone successfully heard of or better still merged themselves with another window cleaning company or even taken on a partner. 

 

Two local companies near me merged and it wasn't a success and that was window cleaning.

 

Just wondering if anyone has been in this situation.....

 

TIA

 

EDIT - This might do better in "the office" section 🙂


I have moved it. I would have thought with a family owned and run business like yours which has been going for a lot of years a merger might be more of an issue mentally, I would guess your dads'  input isn't repeatable on here 

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Damo

I can’t really class it as family run now, too many non family members working with us. 

 

The merger would see my brand staying the same and incorporating the other company. 

 

Early stages at the moment but I think my mind is made up already. 

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P4dstar

I know of a couple of lads who ran a taxi service for nights out (This is a much much simplified version of their business) one started the business offering taxi, entrance to night clubs etc etc etc all in one package. The other lad ran an airport run service. When they merged they tried to run it so the lad who knew taxi's ran the transport and the lad who had contacts in the pub trade ran the entertainment side. Long story short they clashed far too much and one had to go. They remained partners but agreed the lad with contacts in the pub trade would run the show and the other lad went off and did his own thing.

 

If you're in a position where your brand would be maintained and the other would be dissolved into your business then it sounds like you hold all the cards. I would be too paranoid the other partner was just trying to ride the gravy train of my success which wouldn't make for a good working relationship. Not often you hear about smaller tradesman like companies merging, most go for a straight forward buy out option.

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Clearview Lee

The only ship that sinks is a partnership!

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Damo
3 hours ago, P4dstar said:

I know of a couple of lads who ran a taxi service for nights out (This is a much much simplified version of their business) one started the business offering taxi, entrance to night clubs etc etc etc all in one package. The other lad ran an airport run service. When they merged they tried to run it so the lad who knew taxi's ran the transport and the lad who had contacts in the pub trade ran the entertainment side. Long story short they clashed far too much and one had to go. They remained partners but agreed the lad with contacts in the pub trade would run the show and the other lad went off and did his own thing.

 

If you're in a position where your brand would be maintained and the other would be dissolved into your business then it sounds like you hold all the cards. I would be too paranoid the other partner was just trying to ride the gravy train of my success which wouldn't make for a good working relationship. Not often you hear about smaller tradesman like companies merging, most go for a straight forward buy out option.

 

Hes been going a bit less than me but on paper my business has more profit and I’ve just had two years of massive investment really, well nearly 3. 

 

It would see me/us having 10+ vans which is goal I’ve always wanted. 

 

Im meeting him hopefully this weekend so will get a better idea of his ideas/plans. 

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P4dstar
2 minutes ago, Damo said:

 

Hes been going a bit less than me but on paper my business has more profit and I’ve just had two years of massive investment really, well nearly 3. 

 

It would see me/us having 10+ vans which is goal I’ve always wanted. 

 

Im meeting him hopefully this weekend so will get a better idea of his ideas/plans. 

Not many lads on here that can put themselves in your shoes to give good solid advice. It's all well and good us saying ''I would do X, Y & Z'' but until you're staring it in the face you don't really know. I like to think that I would try and buy the guy out and offer him a well paid job as a manager within the business but even that comes with its flaws. I guess the biggest thing it comes down to is the value of each business.

 

Can I ask, who's idea was the merger in the first place?

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Damo
16 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

Not many lads on here that can put themselves in your shoes to give good solid advice. It's all well and good us saying ''I would do X, Y & Z'' but until you're staring it in the face you don't really know. I like to think that I would try and buy the guy out and offer him a well paid job as a manager within the business but even that comes with its flaws. I guess the biggest thing it comes down to is the value of each business.

 

Can I ask, who's idea was the merger in the first place?

 

Not mine bud, I bumped into him while quoting a new commercial near his "patch" lol". We had a little chat and I've massively over taken him now even though he was ahead of me 2 years ago. 

 

I haven't really got the capital to buy him out as I've just bought a house and what money was left has gone into another business as a silent partner.

 

He wouldn't sell anyway and i couldn't afford it.

 

I guess I will know more over the weekend but my accountant has already said this is how businesses fail. IE getting too big too quick.

  

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Part Timer
4 minutes ago, Damo said:

 

I guess I will know more over the weekend but my accountant has already said this is how businesses fail. IE getting too big too quick.

My business experience isn't in window cleaning. My experience in a different industry, and in general most businesses have similar problems, taught me not to do exactly this. You end up chasing, and taking on, work you would never of taken on before but because your overheads are £15k a week you have little option. Your cash flow dictates what jobs you do. 

Hope everything works out well, don't know you but you seem to have done very well in a short period of time. 

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Damo
5 minutes ago, Part Timer said:

My business experience isn't in window cleaning. My experience in a different industry, and in general most businesses have similar problems, taught me not to do exactly this. You end up chasing, and taking on, work you would never of taken on before but because your overheads are £15k a week you have little option. Your cash flow dictates what jobs you do. 

Hope everything works out well, don't know you but you seem to have done very well in a short period of time. 

 

That is EXACTLY my fear/concern. I haven't had to leave Bedfordshire yet most competitors when they get to 3+ Vans seem to go all over the place! I don't know if they're chasing huge contracts or like you say paying overheads/cash flow problems.

 

I've been WC off an on for nearly 17 years but the business in the last 2 and half years has massively grown now. 

Edited by Damo

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Iron Giant
I can’t really class it as family run now, too many non family members working with us. 
 
The merger would see my brand staying the same and incorporating the other company. 
 
Early stages at the moment but I think my mind is made up already. 
You don't like sitting on your hands, always on the up and pushing, your dad and your your accountant giving words of caution [emoji615]️[emoji848]

County Durham Lad

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Damo
6 minutes ago, Iron Giant said:

You don't like sitting on your hands, always on the up and pushing, your dad and your your accountant giving words of caution emoji615.pngemoji848.png

County Durham Lad
 

 

Haha, the signs are there aint they! This time next year............. lol

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Part Timer
1 hour ago, Damo said:

I’ve just had two years of massive investment really, well nearly 3. 

Personally I'd want to see how things go with this before jumping in to bed with some one else. Have your meeting and ask for 3 months to think things through. This should hopefully let you know how your own business will grow with the new investment. It looks from the outside your desire for a big business might have you undervaluing yourself and your business. 

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P4dstar
43 minutes ago, Damo said:

 

Not mine bud, I bumped into him while quoting a new commercial near his "patch" lol". We had a little chat and I've massively over taken him now even though he was ahead of me 2 years ago. 

 

I haven't really got the capital to buy him out as I've just bought a house and what money was left has gone into another business as a silent partner.

 

He wouldn't sell anyway and i couldn't afford it.

 

I guess I will know more over the weekend but my accountant has already said this is how businesses fail. IE getting too big too quick.

  

 I would tell him its a no mate, politely and respectfully of course. I'm assuming you both have a similar sized business of 5 vans. If all is going well why would you choose to share your success, something smells fishy from his end. We aren't in an industry that is saturated so either he can't manage more than he currently has in which case he isn't going to help you grow or he wants to hang onto your coat tails. 

images.png

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Damo
2 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

 I would tell him its a no mate, politely and respectfully of course. I'm assuming you both have a similar sized business of 5 vans. If all is going well why would you choose to share your success, something smells fishy from his end. We aren't in an industry that is saturated so either he can't manage more than he currently has in which case he isn't going to help you grow or he wants to hang onto your coat tails. 

images.png

 

Lots to think about and of all the things you could have posted, you posted a train comment.

 

The business was named after a model railway lol!  

 

Spooky  

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P4dstar
Just now, Damo said:

 

Lots to think about and of all the things you could have posted, you posted a train comment.

 

The business was named after a model railway lol!  

 

Spooky  

Haha legendary. As you said mate the signs are there. I think one day you'll get those 10 vans and wonder why you even considered this.

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JBC88

I don't have a big business but do have experience in a partnership that I got out of with a relative. 

 

Here's alot of things to consider :

 

A business partnership is just like a marriage, it's for the long Haul. You need to be sure you're both compatible as people or it could be the failure of the business. 

 

What's yours and their goals in life and business? 

A person seriously wanting to grow a successful business will have written short & long term goals, sales & marketing targets etc that would give you an idea of how ambitious and driven he is. They won't be content with staying at the same level until they've achieved these goals. 

Do your goals compliment each others? 

If not one of you will likely end up slacking off having achieved your ambitions which could cause friction. 

Alternatively if you both have a similar vision you will drive each other to succeed. 

 

If you are gonna go ahead with it then I would have a written agreement in place including and exit plan if down the line one of you wants out. That way its less likely to cause problems at that stage as everything is agreed beforehand. 

 

Also suppose you both have a similar amount of jobs/round value , don't assume his customers are as good as yours. In my partnership, I had way better customers who paid quicker and lived in a better part of town. I resented his customers cos alot were hit and miss or would pay late but on paper we had a similar amount of work. 

 

It's alot to think about so I would be cautious. 

 

Try to find the capital to buy him out or press on with your goals and forget about it. If you're driven and determined you won't need him to get you where you wanna be and you'll be there in the end, or if you're both driven etc you could get there quicker. 

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Green Pro Clean Ltd

I didnt think you would need this @Damo. Never liked the idea of partnerships. (Neither do GoCardless) 

 

Two questions. 1. Do you NEED to do this?  2. How easy will it be to untangle if it goes pear shape?

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Damo
14 hours ago, Green Pro Clean Ltd said:

I didnt think you would need this @Damo. Never liked the idea of partnerships. (Neither do GoCardless) 

 

Two questions. 1. Do you NEED to do this?  2. How easy will it be to untangle if it goes pear shape?

 

Question 1 is a good question! Answer is probably not. Haven't got a clue if it goes pear shaped it would depend on how he was merged in i guess.

 

I think i am going to offer to buy him out as well, just fish around on what sort of cash he wants. 

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