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Start up costs.



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P4dstar

I would buy,

 

Tank and frame £420

Ratchet straps £30

John Guest tubing and connections, bolts for the tank, Pro 26 connections, O Rings and jubilee clips etc £100ish

Hose reel £200

Leisure battery £110

Protectakote and various bits to mount things to the un-plied floor £100

RO System £650

Bag of Resin £75

Pole £300

Various Brush heads £200

Uniform £50

Leaflets £50

Business cards £20

Pump and controller £170

Cloths, scrim, buckets etc £100

Trad equipment £50

IBC Tank £50 - But look for one that has only been used for pure water if possible as they're a nightmare to clean out

Transfer pump and hose £60

DI Vessels £100

Various meters for the RO £100

Water containers £50

Backpack £100

 

I make that £3085 but to be exactly where I am now It would include...

 

Gutter vac £600 (Which I would buy again)

Pressure washer (Which I wouldn't buy again) £400

 

 

****EDIT****

 

Stick another £500 on top for things that have just come into my head like van sign writing, univalve etc.

Edited by P4dstar

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scottish cleaning service

It all starts to add up especially when you buy things and then need to upgrade. Its better if you know someone in this game who can help you out. I had no one, so I just kept buying squeegees till I got the right one, must have a collection by now. The forum is good for telling you the market leader with equipment.

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dmw
 
Absolutely.
 
Knowing what I know now I would get a van and setup on hp.
 
Then spend the 10k I had to invest on lead gen and canvassing etc.
 
10k spent on gear is such a waste.
10k is not really wasteful when it's tax deductible.

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Part Timer
2 hours ago, dmw said:

10k is not really wasteful when it's tax deductible.

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But it's still costing you 80p in the pound, so you're still £8k out of pocket 

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adamangler
3 hours ago, dmw said:

10k is not really wasteful when it's tax deductible.

Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
 

 

You are missing my point.

 

I would rather spend 8k on advertising and 2k on gear than 2k on advertising and 8k on gear

 

Money spent on advertising is also tax deductible.

 

And spending money just to avoid paying tax is just plain daft logic.

 

 

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Iron Giant
16 hours ago, P4dstar said:

Thanks dude, that's really kind.

 

I've spent thousands. Probably £10k+, I prefer not to think about it. If I started again tomorrow I reckon I could do it all again on 3K plus the van with exactly the same kit I have now.

 
Not at all it's some achievement to build a business as you have in 18 months, I've never had any serious drive or ambition but I manage to get by 😀 having no kids has most likely been a factor 

Edited by Iron Giant

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Green Pro Clean Ltd

£0 

 

That was my exact start up cost (round before this one) didn't have a penny, not even a vehicle.  Borrowed a neighbours ladder and applicator and squeegee from a mate on commercial vans.  Would literally walk the streets knocking doors and doing on the spot cleans. 

 

Yeah sure I've spent plenty since as I've grown and now employ and have also franchised my company but the original question was what were the start up costs. 

 

  

 

 

Still got that jumper @steve garwood 😁

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P4dstar
2 hours ago, Iron Giant said:

 
Not at all it's some achievement to build a business as you have in 18 months, I've never had any serious drive or ambition but I manage to get by 😀 having no kids as most likely been a factor 

Thats the thing about window cleaning. You can start and push hard or take it easy. You can pump money in or start with nothing like @Green Pro Clean Ltd says. Everyones business is different and everyone has different plans and ideas of success. I don't want to work alone forever, I plan to have a second man working with me, then a second van, get another working with me, 3rd van etc etc etc. Some lads only want a round of 400 customers, bring in 4-4.5k a month and have an easy life. Perhaps is I encounter the problems @adamangler has then I will think differently about growth but there is only one way to find out.

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RWCleaning

Window cleaning can be whatever you want it to be, if you want a part time job earning a few hundred a week it can be that, if you want a full time but simple life job and good money it can be that, and if you want to run a big business, loads of staff and bring in some pretty serious money long term it can also be that. 

Pick which one you want, aim for it, and try to enjoy it 👍

 

 

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Green Pro Clean Ltd
56 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

Perhaps is I encounter the problems @adamangler has then I will think differently about growth

 

I'm going to speak totally out of turn now but......  the main problem @adamangler has is that he is a super nice non-confrontational sort of fellow.   I say this having met him personally and worked a couple of jobs with him back when.  Adams personality is not suited to the 'put on the size 11s and stamp down the authority' which is needed once in a while with growth.  

 

Never hire anyone that you aren't willing to fire as soon as the weather changes or the mood suits!   Distinguish well between friends and employees and be sure to keep the two seperate. 

 

This does not mean do not be friendly with an employee, nor does it mean don't give some work to a friend, but I would only give work to a friend 'truly in need' as opposed to a hiring a friend that thinks it may be 'a laugh' or 'nice to work with a mate'  Only hire a friend if they are in true hardship - even then I would prefer to loan them cash on a long term deal. 

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scottish cleaning service

I would now say 1,000 flyers at £35 was the best money I have spent on window cleaning. I even believe they are better than my website. The reason, I targeted one street where I have two customers. Must have posted 100 flyers and I got 2 great customers. After first cleans I got £30 from the two customers and this week I received £15 so the flyers are paid for themselves. You can also target a specific area where you are working or want to work. Checkatrade and website have got me work but its miles away with no continuity.

Flyers for me all day long!

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adamangler
8 hours ago, Green Pro Clean Ltd said:

 

I'm going to speak totally out of turn now but......  the main problem @adamangler has is that he is a super nice non-confrontational sort of fellow.   I say this having met him personally and worked a couple of jobs with him back when.  Adams personality is not suited to the 'put on the size 11s and stamp down the authority' which is needed once in a while with growth.  

 

Never hire anyone that you aren't willing to fire as soon as the weather changes or the mood suits!   Distinguish well between friends and employees and be sure to keep the two seperate. 

 

This does not mean do not be friendly with an employee, nor does it mean don't give some work to a friend, but I would only give work to a friend 'truly in need' as opposed to a hiring a friend that thinks it may be 'a laugh' or 'nice to work with a mate'  Only hire a friend if they are in true hardship - even then I would prefer to loan them cash on a long term deal. 

 

 

This year i employed a few guys, mainly part timers.

 

Although im not sure about the super nice bit, i must have become more brutal because i sacked one guy after a week!

 

Its true i did encounter problems @P4dstar but i think thats totally normal, theres always going to be problems. First chap i employed was a good worker but left to go on his own after a couple of months. Then i had the useless guy for a week, then i had a part timer for a few months but i couldnt get him to work to the quality i wanted...was getting complaints from poor work after he had been shown 100 times.......But here is where @Green Pro Clean Ltd has a point, i did find it difficult to give him a bollocking as it were and subsequently i have to wear some of the blame fro him not doing a great job....its easy to be too friendly with workers.

 

But its all been a learning curve, from recruitment, to payrol and employment law ive learnt a lot. Ive also learnt what to look out for and more importantly what does and doesnt work.

 

Ive also developed a system now for generating new work, i know how much 2 men can turnover and what my profit margins need to be etc.

 

Looking forward to next year to push on, grow and get a full timer on the books.......i think this part is key to finding a good un, full time hours.... at the moment i have a part timer helper on a zero hours contract

 

 

 

 

Edited by adamangler

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P4dstar
4 hours ago, adamangler said:

 

 

This year i employed a few guys, mainly part timers.

 

Although im not sure about the super nice bit, i must have become more brutal because i sacked one guy after a week!

 

Its true i did encounter problems @P4dstar but i think thats totally normal, theres always going to be problems. First chap i employed was a good worker but left to go on his own after a couple of months. Then i had the useless guy for a week, then i had a part timer for a few months but i couldnt get him to work to the quality i wanted...was getting complaints from poor work after he had been shown 100 times.......But here is where @Green Pro Clean Ltd has a point, i did find it difficult to give him a bollocking as it were and subsequently i have to wear some of the blame fro him not doing a great job....its easy to be too friendly with workers.

 

But its all been a learning curve, from recruitment, to payrol and employment law ive learnt a lot. Ive also learnt what to look out for and more importantly what does and doesnt work.

 

Ive also developed a system now for generating new work, i know how much 2 men can turnover and what my profit margins need to be etc.

 

Looking forward to next year to push on, grow and get a full timer on the books.......i think this part is key to finding a good un, full time hours.... at the moment i have a part timer helper on a zero hours contract

 

See that's where you went wrong, never employ a @Part Timer 😂😂😂

 

But on a serious note it is difficult to give a blocking out, especially if you have no experience in doing it. I'm quite lucky that in nearly every job i've had since the age of 19 i've been a supervisor or a manager so i've gained a lot of experience in managing people. The relationship needs to be set out from the start. As soon as you head down the route of being ''friends'' with an employee and or letting anything slide then it becomes neigh on impossible to come back from that. Employees who have been allowed to get away with things will start playing the victim as soon as you start pulling them up on something, if you control the relationship from day one then you have a lot less issues to deal with.

 

What I have spouted above is pretty much from years of training courses I have sat through and in practice it isn't that easy for most kind hearted people!

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adamangler
7 hours ago, P4dstar said:

See that's where you went wrong, never employ a @Part Timer 😂😂😂

 

But on a serious note it is difficult to give a blocking out, especially if you have no experience in doing it. I'm quite lucky that in nearly every job i've had since the age of 19 i've been a supervisor or a manager so i've gained a lot of experience in managing people. The relationship needs to be set out from the start. As soon as you head down the route of being ''friends'' with an employee and or letting anything slide then it becomes neigh on impossible to come back from that. Employees who have been allowed to get away with things will start playing the victim as soon as you start pulling them up on something, if you control the relationship from day one then you have a lot less issues to deal with.

 

What I have spouted above is pretty much from years of training courses I have sat through and in practice it isn't that easy for most kind hearted people!

 

It would be easier if they are out on their own.

 

I work 2 man which means for me it's important to get on with the person you are working with.

 

There's nothing worse than sat in a van all day with someone you have nothing in common with and there's no conversation, it's really awkward.

 

 

 

 

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P4dstar
8 hours ago, adamangler said:

 

It would be easier if they are out on their own.

 

I work 2 man which means for me it's important to get on with the person you are working with.

 

There's nothing worse than sat in a van all day with someone you have nothing in common with and there's no conversation, it's really awkward.

 

Is that why you only worked with @Green Pro Clean Ltd on a couple of jobs 😂😂 Nah, to be fair you're 100% right mate. The extra income from another person isn't worth spending your working day miserable!

 

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Green Pro Clean Ltd
1 hour ago, P4dstar said:

Is that why you only worked with @Green Pro Clean Ltd on a couple of jobs 😂

 

It's cause he couldn't handle the £75 per hour rates for subbing.  Felt he was taking advantage

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dazmond

i originally spent £1200 on a van,ladders,scrims,etc back in 1993 and paid £80 for a very small round(2 days a month)which quickly turned into one days work (the work was that bad!😀).........

 

25 years on ive spent over 30k on my current set up including diesel heater,new van,xtreme poles and electric reels......basically the best window cleaning equipment on the market to make this job as easy and stress free as possible......

Edited by dazmond

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dazmond

the problem with buying cheap older  vans and equipment is you have to keep changing your set ups every few years or so...i cant be bothered messing about any more...its ok when your trad but with wfp you need a decent new or newish van and a decent reliable system....hopefully my van and system will last me many years now relatively trouble free.... 

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adamangler
On 08/12/2018 at 14:02, Iron Giant said:

If someone hasn't cleaned a window before and has with respect neither real drive and ambition to run a successful window cleaning business then saying get a van on HP and spend 10k on a system, lead gen etc, this is something that needs fixing in one's mind from the outset @Chris33 & @P4dstar  are very good examples of people with a serious amount of drive and ambition and have built rounds from nothing in the last 2 years and been newbies to window cleaning. 

 

There's more than one way to skin a cat. 

 

You can start with nothing and knock doors for a year and build a great round.

 

Or you can spend money on things such as lead gen and canvassers to do it for you.

 

Not everyone is comfortable knocking doors or has the know how to market successfully online.

 

There comes a point in business where if you want to grow further and doing it all...the canvassing , cleaning, advertising, SEO etc becomes a huge burden.

 

Investing money in the right areas is the smartest thing any business can do. It's what all businesses are built on. So many people are scared to spend money because they only see the short term.

 

And notice i didn't say spend 10k on a a system I said buy a cheap van and spend 10k on gaining customers...spending 10k on a van when starting out is about the dumbest way to waste money. Spend 10k on green pros lead gen would be a very sensible way to spend it, instant round, instant income, instant profit. 

 

My point still stands if I had 10k in the bank and was starting again I know exactly how I would spend it and would have a full round in months, of course I could knock doors 24/7 and have a full round in months but that's not me and that's far too much hard work.

 

But that's the difference between a noob and someone who has experience, I know what I could do with 10k a new starter won't and will blow it all on an ionics setup. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

 

Edited by adamangler

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dazmond

i agree adam....i started with very little outlay,you need the customers first...once you have a solid base of customers and a good paying round then you can think about upgrading your equipment if you so wish to make the work easier......

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steve garwood

This can work both ways. Those who have been members on here for years might remember me posting many years back about selling half my round and my second van to one of my best friend Danny.

He had worked with/for me for 6 years before I sold him that round.

We always got on well and he’s still running that round successfully, I have a big lump sum in the bank and we are still great mates.

I now have a worker (jake) who I also get on great with. He is on the lash with us tonight.

The point I’m making is, if you have a mate that’s a grafter and reliable, it can work 🙂

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P4dstar
8 hours ago, adamangler said:

Not everyone is comfortable knocking doors or has the know how to market successfully online.

Agreed mate. Spent years in sales before I did this and i've come across so many people who just can't sell, their brains just sometimes ain't wired for it. Some people take the rejection personally. During my first couple of years I didn't understand these people, I was very flippant of failures and saw them as weak people (Sounds much worse when I write it down). In order to become a manager I had to learn how to get the best from people and weed out the people who just couldn't do it. On here I see a lot of old school lads telling people to just go and knock doors, it's the fastest way to get work. Might be for them but not for someone else.

 

I had no issue knocking a door and talking to a random. I did however have a lot of time wasters from it. It's about working smarter not harder. For me I was chasing my tail canvassing so I knocked it on the head eventually. I got a good response from social media so I used this a lot. Tried paid advertising and didn't get anywhere near the return I was getting from unpaid both through Google and Facebook. Leaflet drops might work for you, canvassing might work for others. In some areas banging an advert in the local paper might be the way forward. Every person and every area is different.

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spruce
13 hours ago, P4dstar said:

Agreed mate. Spent years in sales before I did this and i've come across so many people who just can't sell, their brains just sometimes ain't wired for it. Some people take the rejection personally. During my first couple of years I didn't understand these people, I was very flippant of failures and saw them as weak people (Sounds much worse when I write it down). In order to become a manager I had to learn how to get the best from people and weed out the people who just couldn't do it. On here I see a lot of old school lads telling people to just go and knock doors, it's the fastest way to get work. Might be for them but not for someone else.

 

I had no issue knocking a door and talking to a random. I did however have a lot of time wasters from it. It's about working smarter not harder. For me I was chasing my tail canvassing so I knocked it on the head eventually. I got a good response from social media so I used this a lot. Tried paid advertising and didn't get anywhere near the return I was getting from unpaid both through Google and Facebook. Leaflet drops might work for you, canvassing might work for others. In some areas banging an advert in the local paper might be the way forward. Every person and every area is different.

 

It is amazing how the world is changing. The younger generation seem to look for everything on Facebook and Google searches for their local area services. Us older ones are still of the mindset that the best way to gain customers in the area you want to gain them is to knock doors in that area. The steam of leaflet drops is long since over imho. In general, the motor trade gave up on them 15 years ago as the return wasn't worth the cost.

 

You raise an interesting point regarding door knocking. I'm not 'afraid' to knock doors but my son won't unless we are together. I don't understand this tbh. What are the chances of the door being answered by someone with a gun who shoots you at random? The worst case is someone shouting no and slam the door. I've never experienced that. Its not even a sales pitch that a window cleaner has to give to convince the home owner to buy their product. "Hello sir/madam. Sorry to disturb you.  I'm a window cleaner looking to grow my round in your area. May I ask if my window cleaning services and an estimate be of interest to you?" (Sales people still love to use the words "free estimate" or "free quote/quotation" but I think the 'free' has run its course now.)

 

He must be prepared before he goes knocking on doors. He needs to know what the going rate is for a window clean in that area. Due diligence is a most important aspect in a window cleaners tool box. He needs to have a price list clearly in mind and work with that. He should have done this anyway before he decided to become a window cleaner.

I'm from the North East and we try to aim for £10 for a 3 bed semi in our area. But there are some mainly council areas where the local bucket brigade still charge £4 or £5 for a window clean. I'm wasting my time canvassing this area as I don't want that business.

Now I know of 3 window cleaners from Teesside who have rounds in Cambridgeshire. They tell me they charge £24 for a 3 bed semi in that area. If I didn't know the going rate and quoted NE prices if I moved there, I would be a busy fool.

 

Back to canvassing. The windie needs to be well dressed as first impressions will mean more than any spoken word. He also needs to be polite, considerate and courteous.

 

I believe that a newbie window cleaner needs to focus every waking minute on growing his business. If he drives past someone cleaning their windows in 'his' area, stop the van and ask if he can offer his services. I've done that and got a customer we had for many years after that. He can't let an opportunity slip by. As his round develops and he does a good job, he can ask for referrals from his existing customers. Clean a house and when finished knock the neighbours.  If he is cleaning a house and the neighbours are in the garden, talk to them. We have a couple on our books now who had flagged us up as their future window cleaners 10 years ago. He always cleaned his own windows but always said when he could no longer do it they would employ us. (That was a joke between us as he is younger than I am.) I always greeted them when cleaning their next door neighbour and exchanged pleasantries.  He had a heart attack a few years ago now and decided that climbing ladders to clean his own windows was no longer safe.

 

We had a salesman when I worked for Bosch in South Africa who had a different mindset for that era some 35 years ago. He would work the phone and count to number of "noes" he got. His experience told him that he needed to get 11 "noes" and the 12th call would be a "yes." In our open plan office we could hear him counting off the "noes". It was like he welcomed them. He was estatic the one time when he got 2 "yeses" in succession after just a couple of calls. I will never forget that.

 

The best motivation for knocking doors is when you have no money left to pay the rent or mortgage and feed the family. Ask @Green Pro Clean Ltd. My late younger brother was a chain smoker and couldn't give it up. Then one day he ended up in hospital for a few days with severe Angina. That was the motivation for him to stop smoking. But the damage was done and he died of a heart attack 9 years ago.

 

 

 

 

Edited by spruce

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P4dstar
4 hours ago, spruce said:

The best motivation for knocking doors is when you have no money left to pay the rent or mortgage and feed the family.

Absolutely brilliant advice Spruce. I highlighted this one sentence as I think this is where the men are separated from the boys. We live in an entitled society where people know the welfare state will fund them if they can no longer be ar5ed to support themselves. We claim no benefits even though we would probably be entitled to a little tax credits at least at the moment. I rely on nobody to fund me but there are far too many people who do. If you're of this mindset you will find it very easy to quit!

 

I was trying to explain to lads who are afraid to knock doors that there is another way. I hope this doesn't get confused with an easier way. Leaflet drops in my experience deliver a 1-2% return. If someone thinks they can whack 100 leaflets out round an estate and get a full round they will fall flat on their face. I personally find canvassing gives a better return if you do it in a street you already work, in sight of the van. Cancellations are still too high for me to push this as a primary source for new customers though. The other one that worked well is dropping leaflets and then returning a few days later to knock the door. Took my mate with me, he knocked one door and the guy had the leaflet in the porch, when he said he wasn't interested he asked for the leaflet back 😂

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clear view of silverton
Absolutely brilliant advice Spruce. I highlighted this one sentence as I think this is where the men are separated from the boys. We live in an entitled society where people know the welfare state will fund them if they can no longer be ar5ed to support themselves. We claim no benefits even though we would probably be entitled to a little tax credits at least at the moment. I rely on nobody to fund me but there are far too many people who do. If you're of this mindset you will find it very easy to quit!
 
I was trying to explain to lads who are afraid to knock doors that there is another way. I hope this doesn't get confused with an easier way. Leaflet drops in my experience deliver a 1-2% return. If someone thinks they can whack 100 leaflets out round an estate and get a full round they will fall flat on their face. I personally find canvassing gives a better return if you do it in a street you already work, in sight of the van. Cancellations are still too high for me to push this as a primary source for new customers though. The other one that worked well is dropping leaflets and then returning a few days later to knock the door. Took my mate with me, he knocked one door and the guy had the leaflet in the porch, when he said he wasn't interested he asked for the leaflet back [emoji23]
Out of all the leaflets I put out they seem to book in a mth or so later where as door knocking they book straight away I don't like door knocking but then I've never needed to I would if I had to.

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