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NorthumberlandWindowCleanr

7 Months Starting My Story so far! * LOTS of Tips*



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P4dstar
22 hours ago, Incheck said:

Glad it’s getting you somehwere dude 👍 i currently don’t know if the govenment are still doing it for new entries, my brother mentioned something about the government pulling out from it all. To be honest i don’t know whether i’m here or there half the time, i’ve been considering all sorts but the fact is my mrs is on a carers allowance as well as other benefits, if i move in she’d lose most of her support and the vast majority of everything would have to come from me which i honestly can’t afford at present. With both partners working full time you can get somewhere but a carers allowance doesn’t make up anything near a full time wage so 🤷‍♂️

By the time rent or mortgage/council tax and bills had gone out we’d probably be in the red every month & thats not even accounting for food/clothing etc. 

She will never be able to work full time so the thought is always in my head that i’ve got to earn for the 3 of us, i’m trying hard like but as you can guess....

i’m never all there mentally to be honest in order to think about things logically but i dont let it get me down i keep working and ploughing on, worrying dont get you nowhere. if i can possibly be of any use to this world i’ll try my damdest lol

They definitely are still about mate. Natwest currently offering 2.5% interest. Even if you ain't got the initial £1200 you can open one with £1 and just put what you can in each month. Worst case scenario you never buy a house you can take it out whenever you like.

 

You're in a really lucky position having found this industry. In a full time job you would be lucky to clear £1600 a month. Personally I wouldn't move in with the missus until you guys are financially stable. Above all else you need a plan, some goals to work towards, that will keep you going. Go through your finances and have a look around for better deals you will be amazed what you can save. The kids ain't gonna be young forever and the two of you can carry on with a nice life in your own house with mortgage paid off when they grow up. I plan to have a property abroad, one here in the UK, a nice pension and retire at 55.

 

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Incheck

Yeah it’s not quite working out like that dude. I’m not taking home anywhere near £1600. Our turnover ranges massively, in summer months we generally do between £3500 & £4500, but of course it goes three ways, 33% for me, 33% to my bro, and the rest is there for expenses & future investment. 

In Jan/feb/march turnover drops to between 2&3k, this month so far with the weather we’ve had has been the worst & we’ll be lucky to turn 2k at the end of it. 

I am trying to increase turnover year on year which i am succeeding with & we have been wondering whether to put another van on the road but we need to extra workload to justify putting the van on the road which currently isn’t there. Rounds are pretty static in terms of growth, loads of window cleaners out there + customers are generally still looking for the old £10 a pop job. I much prefer doing gutters, fsg’s pressure washing, one off cleans etc and when someone is willing to pay a rate worth bothering with on the rounds then we’ll take them on. 

Realistcally i’d like to be turning over double what we are in order to make it truly viable as a 2 man business. 7-8k  a month consistently is ultimately what we need to do. Maybe what we should have done at the start is have all our rounds running monthly instead of 6 weekly but then of course you can’t guarantee people would accept to pay the rates on monthly basis. A lot of our work was underpriced at the start as well when we were trying to get on our feet just to get some money in the business. Initially it grew very rapidly in the first 2-3 years, but then we kind of hit a brick wall and getting past 4k per month seems to be like hitting a brick wall but i am working on it.

little un will always be with us mate as he will need care for the rest of his life. 

 

 

 

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P4dstar
10 hours ago, Incheck said:

Yeah it’s not quite working out like that dude. I’m not taking home anywhere near £1600. Our turnover ranges massively, in summer months we generally do between £3500 & £4500, but of course it goes three ways, 33% for me, 33% to my bro, and the rest is there for expenses & future investment. 

In Jan/feb/march turnover drops to between 2&3k, this month so far with the weather we’ve had has been the worst & we’ll be lucky to turn 2k at the end of it. 

I am trying to increase turnover year on year which i am succeeding with & we have been wondering whether to put another van on the road but we need to extra workload to justify putting the van on the road which currently isn’t there. Rounds are pretty static in terms of growth, loads of window cleaners out there + customers are generally still looking for the old £10 a pop job. I much prefer doing gutters, fsg’s pressure washing, one off cleans etc and when someone is willing to pay a rate worth bothering with on the rounds then we’ll take them on. 

Realistcally i’d like to be turning over double what we are in order to make it truly viable as a 2 man business. 7-8k  a month consistently is ultimately what we need to do. Maybe what we should have done at the start is have all our rounds running monthly instead of 6 weekly but then of course you can’t guarantee people would accept to pay the rates on monthly basis. A lot of our work was underpriced at the start as well when we were trying to get on our feet just to get some money in the business. Initially it grew very rapidly in the first 2-3 years, but then we kind of hit a brick wall and getting past 4k per month seems to be like hitting a brick wall but i am working on it.

little un will always be with us mate as he will need care for the rest of his life. 

It sounds like you let it wear you down to much mate. Just remember why you got into this, it isn't to take home £1k. Don't let other bob a job chumps get you down. You've got this, pick yourself up and by the end of the year you'll be where you need to be. Being that you've been going longer than me and helped me in the past I won't get above my station and say anything else here.

 

It must be difficult working with someone else. I came up with the original plan with a friend but he bottled it so I went it alone.

 

With regards to little one you're always entitled to disability support but tax credits and things disappear when they turn 18 so no need to worry about living together then I meant. 

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Incheck

Ahh it’s great working with my bro dude. Apart from the fact we need so much work lol, it really does fry my brain. Time is the toughest thing to guage i still cant get to grips with it now. Getting every day full is a real challenge, we plough through work so quickly and then when you’re finished by one or two oclock some days i’m like damn. A big hiccup is never knowing what you’re getting sometimes. If you’ve got say 20-25 large ish houses on a round and they all have the back done then it can be a near enough a full day, but on those occasions where a few gates are locked it turns in to a short day. That’s part of the reason i’m not so keen to grow the rounds. Also i’m a bit of a steady eddy, i won’t over book and risk not getting somewhere and letting custys down. Should really charge for the whole house if the gates locked but you can guess how that would go down, would probably lose half the custom. 

I’ve never wanted to claim anything, i wish to earn it. In all my working years i’ve had a week and a half on the dole and it was the most horrible feeling ever. Funnily enough i found a job the same day i signed on which is mad. 

Benefits are for people who truly need them and yes little man gets his allowances 😊

Its a tough game this. If you’re a builder and you land an extension job you’re like right, i’m going to be here every day for say...2 months. But trying to juggle jobs that take 1/4 day, half day, 2/3 day is a bit different lol. 

 

 

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Davy G

I work with my son. We mostly do six weekly washes. It suits most customers and allows us to take on more work. Being a very efficient team we have doubled the speed of working over a single operater. We know this because we each have a kitchen timer at our work station and keep a record of the times. They are not timed every time just now and again as a check. The average time is carried forward on our paperwork and allows my wife to plan how much work we can do in a day. All customers are notified the night before and if gates are locked we do what we can get to. Front, and maybe side, and charge about two thirds of the full price. We used to just go away and come back another day but found we were losing too much time and money. Sounds like you're having a really tough time of it Incheck. I hope things get a lot better for you and your family soon. 

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Incheck
40 minutes ago, Davy G said:

I work with my son. We mostly do six weekly washes. It suits most customers and allows us to take on more work. Being a very efficient team we have doubled the speed of working over a single operater. We know this because we each have a kitchen timer at our work station and keep a record of the times. They are not timed every time just now and again as a check. The average time is carried forward on our paperwork and allows my wife to plan how much work we can do in a day. All customers are notified the night before and if gates are locked we do what we can get to. Front, and maybe side, and charge about two thirds of the full price. We used to just go away and come back another day but found we were losing too much time and money. Sounds like you're having a really tough time of it Incheck. I hope things get a lot better for you and your family soon. 

Sounds like you’ve got things pretty organised & under wraps Davy 😎 & i’m glad for you both. It’s great to hear from another 2 man team. 

Everyone has their own challenges in life fella but we can’t just give up we must stride on. I’m actually a really happy guy mate sorry if i’ve brought the crowd down 😊 i’ve got a wonderful family, a healthy ish body, and spring is on the way. No more gale force winds & plenty of work on the horizon lets look at it that way! 

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P4dstar
1 hour ago, Incheck said:

Ahh it’s great working with my bro dude. Apart from the fact we need so much work lol, it really does fry my brain. Time is the toughest thing to guage i still cant get to grips with it now. Getting every day full is a real challenge, we plough through work so quickly and then when you’re finished by one or two oclock some days i’m like damn. A big hiccup is never knowing what you’re getting sometimes. If you’ve got say 20-25 large ish houses on a round and they all have the back done then it can be a near enough a full day, but on those occasions where a few gates are locked it turns in to a short day. That’s part of the reason i’m not so keen to grow the rounds. Also i’m a bit of a steady eddy, i won’t over book and risk not getting somewhere and letting custys down. Should really charge for the whole house if the gates locked but you can guess how that would go down, would probably lose half the custom. 

I’ve never wanted to claim anything, i wish to earn it. In all my working years i’ve had a week and a half on the dole and it was the most horrible feeling ever. Funnily enough i found a job the same day i signed on which is mad. 

Benefits are for people who truly need them and yes little man gets his allowances 😊

Its a tough game this. If you’re a builder and you land an extension job you’re like right, i’m going to be here every day for say...2 months. But trying to juggle jobs that take 1/4 day, half day, 2/3 day is a bit different lol. 

It's a tough nut to crack mate. There are things you can do to organise and improve. What I do is similar to @Davy G. Start a stop watch on each job mate, give it 5 minutes travel time between jobs and keep one day a week for FSG and conny roof cleans. If it rains do these cleans instead. I've worked in the building trade, its not all its cracked up to be. Those jobs often overrun. Simple things like the grab wagon not turning up on time can set you back. If you then lose the next job because you can't start on time or just because the customer cancels then you're out of work for however long it takes to fill the gap.

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Incheck
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, P4dstar said:

It's a tough nut to crack mate. There are things you can do to organise and improve. What I do is similar to @Davy G. Start a stop watch on each job mate, give it 5 minutes travel time between jobs and keep one day a week for FSG and conny roof cleans. If it rains do these cleans instead. I've worked in the building trade, its not all its cracked up to be. Those jobs often overrun. Simple things like the grab wagon not turning up on time can set you back. If you then lose the next job because you can't start on time or just because the customer cancels then you're out of work for however long it takes to fill the gap.

Yes i agree padstar, timing is definitely the key. We do often have a waiting list in the summer so sometimes you can pull a job off that which is useful as people are often happy to have things done early. Sometimes if you need access to a rear garden & they’re out at work thats the only snag. Springs around the corner lads 😎 got to say we had a pretty good winter until march arrived 😂 

van service tomorrow & then it’s time to smash it for all i can give until next winter arrives 💪

Edited by Incheck

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mupps

Inspirational reading and professional too. 👍

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Algie
On 21/01/2019 at 19:21, NorthumberlandWindowCleanr said:

I am on a well earned day off on a long weekend given it is a little chilly today and work is more or less up to date, I thought I would spend an hour giving my window cleaning “story so far”and some inspiration for other who might be starting out in 2019 ! Hope some experienced folk may pick a few tricks and tips up I have learnt thus far

I used this forum a great deal earlier last year when starting out April/May. Not posting and asking but I read, noted and kept researching reading, reading, noting things down and more reading. Also youtube vids and a couple of FaceBook groups, I have learned EVERYTHING. From not knowing a squeegee from a ladder, in just seven months I have built a business paying me a good wage, with good customers, very little hassles, 98% GoCardless, best equipment and the sky is the limit mentality. If I can do it YOU CAN DO IT !

I started out proper in June 2018 after deciding window cleaning would be a viable business due to its recurring & regular work

In no particular order, general random subjects of what I have learned so far, what I did, in these past seven months. Note the amount of capitalised YOU. Hopefully, it will help YOU build

 

  • Firstly, “Work smarter, NOT harder”

Explains itself, but notice how this is a recurring theme in all of the brain dumpings you read below

  • Remember the 7 P's

Proper, Planning, & Practice, Prevents, Pi$$, Poor, Performance”

Noone is an expert to start with. But YOU have to start.

Always YOU need be taking action, Set and write round targets, achievements, dates, targets, where YOU want to be.

A new customer every day ?

X20 new customers a month ?

Drop x250 leaflets every week? The ball is in YOUR court

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

Write it down, visualise what YOU want. Tick things off. See you new customers added. Seeing it and believing it every day, YOU are the only person that stops in the way of getting to YOUR targets You set YOURSELF

 

  • BE ACCOUNTABLE – BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF AND YOUR CUSTOMERS

With the best will in the world many generations of window cleaners have got us painted with a pretty bad and unreliable brush. Break the mould, be the one who is different. Have passion in your business. Dont be like the 'other guys' Dont be the stereotypical window cleaner.

Promise a time, BE ON TIME

Schedule a clean, do the clean

Promise a ring back, CALL THEM back

The saying goes, “It is better to be trusted than liked, Under Promise and Over Perform”

Break a promise and be accountable to yourself, Getting into the habit of GOOD habits

  • Work out what your "needed" daily rate is and work towards it, your first step of action is your first step towards getting it

I don't have kids, big mortgage, debts. So I used for sake of simple maths of working towards making £100 per day my goal to work towards. Im was beyond that in under five months, by ME taking action EVERY day

  • Set a minimum price for your job/time/to park up and get out of the van. AND STICK TO IT !

Again for the sake of simple maths and round numbers, I chose £10 per job, even if it a bungalow or a “fronts only” mid-terrace. It is £10. They dont want to pay £10, I dont want the job. Have it printed in black & white on your flyers/business card “Prices FROM £10” As Del Boy said “What Cant Speak, Cant Lie”

I'm up t'north where lots of £4-£5 houses cleaners still

 

  • Don't chase or accept every job/house/bit of work that comes your way.

Set yourself a profile of house YOU want to do. An enquiry from a centre of town mid terrace with bad parking do you really need it ?

Be prepared and happy to turn down and refuse work that doesn't fit the profile YOU wish to work to.

YOU are the one driving the bus, work on your terms. YOU dont need EVERY bit of work that comes in, a bad job, a bad customer. The power of being able to say NO is a very powerful tool

If you try to get on with another local cleaner, pass work his way

 

  • Price the job as you see fit and STICK TO IT

"The price is £13 a month, if you can do it for £10 we have a deal. Sorry no we don't, the price is £13 you have my details if you change your mind"

  • DOMESTIC – COMMERICAL or MIXED ?

Starting out, I have focused on just doing domestic houses only, no commercials (at present). Since losing one house is not the end of the world, but losing a days pay would be an issue

  • Pick the schedule you wish to work to

I chose to offer monthly (85% core customer base) or bi-monthly (priced at 25% higher). I think the psychology of offering monthly or bi-monthly this sounds better than saying x6 weekly or x12 weekly personally, but that is just my opinion, monthly cleans also link nicely into my next subject

  • GoCardless, Direct Debit sign up is mandatory, not an option. NO GoCardless – NO CLEAN

GoCardless solves on of the oldest & worst pain points of this trade and solves it very well for a tiny cost of the grief and aggregation it takes away - 20p per DD

Since Direct Debits come out monthly in most cases for bills & payments, it makes it an easier sell to the customer, as another recurring monthly bill.  

(quoting a job) "So to confirm Mrs Jones, I will be here to clean once a month, it will be £15 per month paid via Direct Debit.  You'll get a text the night before to let you know I'm coming & to leave the gate open, once I'm done I post you this "we've just cleaned your windows receipt" (hand customer receipt to keep) Any issue you have 5 day window to get in touch for me to resolve it.  If all is good, the Direct Debit leaves your bank 5 days later, just like your Sky or Vodafone bill"

This explains about GoCardless and how it all works, (hands Mrs Jones professionally printed company branded Double side A5)

Where you can, if at all possible get GoCardless get in place prior to first clean. But I tend to do cash or card “n person” on the day of first clean.

ALWAYS try to have the customer there for your “First Clean”. It is as much for YOU to see and judge them as a customer/person. But also for YOU, to sell YOURSELF and YOUR business.

YOU only have ONE chance to make a lasting FIRST impression

"Look the part, image is everything"

Use fivver.com to get someone to design yourself a "brand/image/logo" for yourself & business, your van signage, your clothing(customiseitnow.co.uk) , your custom lanyard (weprintlanyards.com) & ID photo card (photoidcardpeople.com), your professionally printed stationery, leaflets, business cards, compliments slips (vistaprint or instantprint.co.uk).  

When done right ALL branding when on your van, your polo shirt, fleece, ID all aligns & links together that make it so much easier the "sell" the GoCardless sign up as just another part of how YOU do YOUR business, that is often the pain point for others to sell & convert.

It screams professionalism.

Always be working in your uniform when with a customer or potential customer. Be Mr Vanilla – arrive clean shaven, tattoos covered, clean & tidy. You might think your tattoos are FAB a potential customer might judge you as an ex-convict in their mind. ALWAYS be polite, considerate and courteous.

Would you give your bank details up to a someone togged out in sport direct catalogue and trainers?. Probaly not

If you and your van look the part and is a cut above the competition, YOU can have confidence selling your services at a higher price, with a smile on your face

  • ALWAYS go the extra mile to impress on a first clean and do an AMAZING job

but ALWAYS charge accordingly for doing so. You only have one chance to make a 1st impression !

Explain to the customer as "There will be a one-off first clean restoration charge to bring everything back up to gleaming again, as they have not been done in such a long while, this is only due to the extra time, effort, chemicals, pure water used to restore your windows and frames. Your ongoing maintenance cleans every month will then be £15"

By charging this one-off first clean restoration fee, not only are you getting fairly paid for the extra work it also serves as a natural filter to weed out those customers who are really just wanting a one-off clean out of the blue and not interested in an ongoing monthly clean

  • AFTER THE FIRST CLEAN

By doing a superb and awesome job on the first clean restoration, it makes YOUR job SO MUCH EASIER & FASTER upon your return the next month, as nothing ever gets a chance to get really dirty again


First clean out of the way, Explain the GoCardless service in detail BEFORE you leave, offer to answer any questions how it works and leave info leaflets for them to read at their leisure, have an FAQ section on your web page to. Follow up, at the end of the day text from textlocal

#REF: XX NORTH ROAD Hi XXXX, XXXXX your new window cleaner here. Nice to meet you earlier and completing your first clean. As explained, here is the sign up link for the Direct Debit service. All recurring cleans are paid via Direct Debit. Please complete before your next scheduled clean on XX/XX/2019 https://pay.gocardless.com/xxxxxxxxxxxx Regards xxxxxx 07xx xxx xxx www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com

Not signed up to GoCardless in ¾ weeks? a week prior to next months clean, they get from textlocal

#REF: XX NORTH ROAD Hi XXXX, XXXX your window cleaner here. I have your clean booked in the work diary for next week. All my recurring cleans are paid via Direct Debit. The sign up link for the Direct Debit is https://pay.gocardless.com/xxxxxxxxxxxx Regards xxxxxx 07xx xxx xxx www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com

DD Not in place, by clean date. DONT CLEAN - SKIP

But on day of clean (last ditch effort), drop a compliments slip through door hand written saying “Mr(s) XXX, Sorry but your clean has been missed this month as we notice the Direct Debit was not in place as yet. If you would still like a recurring monthly clean, please sign up before XX/XX/2019 and we will add you to next months work. Regards XXXX “

NO GoCardless sign-up – NO CLEAN. Dump, replace and move on.

YOU have made every effort to offer a professional, reliable & safe payment method to them.

Note the language in the text/slip above, it is not open for discussion or debate how its going to be.

By using textlocal as the delivery vehicle of YOUR message of how YOU do business, it doesn't leave it up for negotiation or changes. Textlocal doesn't give them the option to reply to you or weasel out for good reason, YOU are telling them the terms, how it is and how it will work. The payment option is GoCardless and none negotiable

They don't want to use it. YOU don't want their business

  • "Always be looking to drop the worst of your round"  

YOU want as stress-free a business as possible, ANY job that gives you the slightest amount of grief begin thinking of adding them to the binned list, Just as above you having the best chance to make a great first impression. If the customer doesn't make a great impression on you, trust YOUR gut instincts and judgement. 9/10 they'll be right.

i.e. Dog chit in the garden this month, it WILL be there in months to come.

Cant be arsed to clean up the ladders, kids toys, patio furniture in back garden for you coming to quote, it will ALL be there the month

The exposed property next to busy road, front manky this month, it'll be manky next month.

Cancel your quote appointment last minute, they'll think nothing of cancelling a clean in the same fashion

Cant be arsed to leave gate open for you you 3 strike rule, once benefit of doubt front only half price for half job, second time add to ½ price and added to potential bin list. 3rd time dumped, front onlys again and dumped, deleted, blocked

Snotty or Arsey complaining types of customer, are quick to show their true colours to I have found

Just think of Customers are like buses, they come and go. For each one you lose/drop, there'll be another one along in a minute to replace. Even six months in I have binned a few off already


 

  • Small positive tips for finding nice & reliable gem customers

The offer of a brew, if they offer one now they will offer again in future times to, nice in colder months

They walk with you around the property and speak to you when quoting, they take a small interest in your business/family asking questions

They mention they work most days or normally always out through the day (great, in and out quick job no distractions)

Double Drive, (always space for the van)

No locks, on side gates (customer gets bonus points for)

No gnomes, ornaments, wheely bins stored away, soil lights, no pets (extra bonus points)

Use the length of grass in front garden as a guide, since this is the one chore most people still dont mind doing themseleves. A good clean garden will appreciate ongoing good clean windows. Use grass length as a guide of how house proud they are. The longer the grass, the more they couldnt give a chuff


 

  • Only cleaning properties that best suit how YOU want to work. - HOUSE PROFILING

Again building your round how it suits YOU not the customer. I have not seen this mentioned very often on here but I have chosen to only take on jobs that have "a one van stop, all-round access", again building things on YOUR terms.

It soon began to annoy me doing a mid terrace to then have to repack and move van round into alley to do the rear. So I choose not to quote these sort of properties these days.

Remember again it is YOU driving the bus, you are not in the business to make EVERYONE happy.

YOU work on YOUR terms, not there.

YOU are not being forced to accept every job that comes your way.

I now focus my efforts on getting new builds development, established estates, since they are nearly all cookie cutter "same design" type and council semis with gated sides (quick'n'easy, in'n'out 15mins jobs) ONLY

Terraces no interest, work in town centre not interest, high rise not interest, builders clean not interested

Any job outside of this, sorry I dont wish to do it

You may want a totally compact round on your doorstep, price competitively, and continually canvass same area all year ongoing

If your prepared to travel,work slower and doing higher value bigger houses at one house an hour for £25-£40 get looking on rightmove completed for houses £500,000+ in value in the postcodes you want to hit

  • RESEARCH AND RING BACK POLICY”

Linked in with the last point, YOU are the one driving the bus. Don't be caught on the hop or quoting blind over phone.

ALWAYS try be in front of your PC at home with your work diary when you are engaging with new customer on phone

use :

instantstreetview.com

rightmove completed sales

apple maps to view gardens for conservatory potential

A quote call comes in through working day

OK, Thanks I wont be able to quote right now as i'm out working. I have your contact number in my phone. Leave it with me Mrs XX and I will call you back this evening if thats OK, I should be able to give you a quote tonight using my 3D mapping software (sounds posh) at home and schedule a date to visit, can you just text me through the address and postcode please Mrs XXX “ or note the address details if you have pen handy

By getting the address details FIRST you can judge if YOU want to take the job on. It doesn't fit your work profile, call them back (professionalism) “ Mrs XXX sadly, the days we work in your areas are currently full, sorry couldn't be of help this time (refer to other local cleaner you may know if you wish)”

The job does fit your work profile, GREAT you are responding at home, with all your tools & work diary & schedule at fingers, you will have a 90% good idea of house you are dealing with and can give a TBC quote over the phone.

  • CANVASSING & OBTAINING NEW BUSINESS

I have learnt people keep business cards, but will mostly bin flyers.

Trialed just dropping business cards only on a few streets about five months ago and nothing came of it originally at the time, but this past two months I have had four calls from folk on these streets i dropped months back.

Flyers I have found seem to get a a response under x1 week reply from. After that nothing else. So more instant

Also when someone gives you a call ALWAYS ask how they heard about you? So you get to learn what is working and what is not for you

Flyer? recommendation? word of mouth? FB page? local FB group ? saw you van? Google?

  • The BT phone book “name drop” hack

https://www.thephonebook.bt.com/person/

use this to search a potential street you like the look of, add street name add town name, in surname add * which is called a wildcard

https://www.thephonebook.bt.com/Person/PersonSearch/?Surname=*&Location=Newcastle%20Upon%20Tyne&Street=coast%20road

Now on this I know x19 people's “surname / * ”, who is in the BT phone, whos lives on the “Coast Road” in “Newcastle

Mention someone by name can break the ice 🙂

  • Trial different flyers,

make x5 different designs of x500 each in small quantities, and see what works before rather than ordering x25,000 **** ones at once of the same design to save a few bob.

Also ordering small, should the worst happen and your notice a spelling mistake or wrong phone no/email you are not major out of pocket

Note which flyers you drop on what streets/area/postcode. When the work comes in you then know what flyers worked. Always use one type of flyer in one street. So you begin to learn what flyer works and what doesnt

Use googlemaps to print where you are flyer dropping, print the area and use highlighter to colour streets you have done

Use instantstreetview, and virtually walk where you wish to drop BEFORE you set out to check it fits with the house profiles you wish to build your round around or use it to search new areas which have house profiles you would like to work

You quickly learn some flyers work better than others.

Let your customers be YOUR own canvassers, spread the love for you when you do their clean drop them their "weve cleaned ticket" offer them a simple x1 FREE clean for every new customer they send my way. The busy body know it all money saving Queen of the cul de sac has not paid for a clean yet as she keeps finding me work, and we have a joke about it when i call she will pay me one day ! i dont mind. Every new customer is a £120+ minimum pay rise per annum (£10 x12 months) there is no one way single best of getting business, you just need to keep plugging away trying to get business every day by all means possible.

Also just because you have done one street once, don't mean you cant drop there again. People come and go. Renters move out. Folk get new jobs. Retirees move in

One new estate of new builds that are all perfect all round access types that fit my house profile , i leaflet or business card drop there every month, people dont have the memory of what flyers came through their door four months ago. Can you remember which pizza restaurant menu dropped 4 months ago, can you?

Because i want to work this estate i am slowly getting more and more there. The more you are seen in one area, the better chance of work. The more work you get in an area you want to be the more work comes to you, word spreads. The more you are there the more you are seen.

Even if your flyer ends up in the trash, if your leaflet is branded right with you, your work gear and work van. Your logo may stick in their mind ? They may see your van again or you out cleaning neighbours

Also a little tip PRIOR to arriving to a scheduled clean on your round, leaflet drop the neighbours BEFORE starting, The rattle of the letter box, the bark of the dog, the sight of things on the mat and then 10 mins later they see you doing Mrs Jones opposite, they have been soft sold the service already and when they see you if interested they are likely to approach you, making it much easier to seal the deal as they have been soft sold already

Whilst not without it problems and 100% perfect, i have trailed doing flyers with £ prices shown and have had a far better up take rate. As someone know what it is going to cost in black and white, also as del boy says "what cant speak, cant lie". If you can back up a cold call door knock with a “here is our price list we work from” its an easier sell/close

You can use rightmove completed house sales https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices.html sort via most recently sold and there you have a fresh list possible customers, that auto updates ever week. Be the early bird that catches the worm and check every week

  • SMILE, BE HAPPY IN YOUR WORK, SAY HELLO!

Happily working on a customers job in your branded company gear, smile be happy you are on a paying job.

You sense a man/woman walking her dog in your side view, due to pass you take a moment to pause to adjust your pole or work belt and make eye contact by accident, just smile, nod, say Hi or a friendly morning. It is making a personal small connection. Just a small thing and you may have them approach you for a job after fido has parked its breakfast a few mins later

  • THE GARAGE DOOR - UPSELL AT THE END, CLOSING

A perfect way to add a few quid to a job. Once the customer has agreed to your price and ongoing services. You can upsell the cleaning of the garage door for £2 more. Garage doors are big in the mind (lots of work, theyre not), the price seems small (£ kerching good value). Agreed to services, but risk looking cheap for an extra £2 ?

So Mrs Jones, that you all sorted on £15 a month for the windows, frames, sills, front & back door. If you'd like, I can do the garage door each month to for an extra £2 ?

Yes? – GREAT 🙂 £15 job – just became a £17 for an extra 2 mins works £180 per yr to £204 per yr

NO – OK no worries, if you ever need it done just let me know or drop me a message, same price if you need it done

  • USE YOUR MOBILE AS A BAROMETER TO HOW WELL YOU ARE DOING YOUR JOB

The less it rings, you knowing you are doing your job right = good work quality.

If it is ringing for new work and new quotes to do you know your marketing or referrals are working

"to buy or to not buy a round"

For my own reasons above, I started from scratch.

I didn't buy a round and it didn't even enter into my head to buy work starting out as you are the one starting out you want to pick and choose the areas you wish to clean, and also aside from retirement or accident/ill health buying a round I would have it my mind why do they wish to sell it if they are earning good coin from it?

If you are buying chit or underpriced work, paying "x1 to x10" clean premium you are going to be pi$$ed off from day one starting out. If you are doing everything on your terms, you get to be in full control of how you build it.

  • Lead Generation.

I used Darren's lead generation service Green Pro Clean and built a round FAST.

Fresh leads were always there EVERY day, regular as clockwork new jobs just waiting to be sealed.

Whilst nothing in life is 100% perfect, there were messers in there, Jobs in chit areas, wouldn't sign up for GoCardless.

But I picked up some real gems and lovely customers who I'm sure will be with me for years and net me in far more than the original lead cost me. 

My closure rate was about 65%, the other didn't fit around how I wanted to work.

Digital lead generation has built around 50% of my round at a cost of around £3k thus far

  • YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, YOU ONLY HAVE ONE BODY ! A POLE CAN BE REPLACED YOUR BODY CANT – BEST TECH, BEST EQUIPMENT

From my original research and planning, I kept reading the SLX22ft was great for around 95% of jobs and also in back of the van I had a manual clabber hand reel. Great I order the SLX. Worked hard with it starting out but began getting aches, creaks, tiredness, pains in arms and shoulders after four months daily use. I was questioning whether this job was really for me long term. Researched some more and saw top of the range Gardiners Extreme pole were well recommended, seconded by Darren (green pro clean) on a phone call for maintenance cleans

So realised how often, I have the SLX full extended and was only 3 jobs a month. Dropped these three houses and suddenly I dont need a 22ft pole anymore. So adapting my house profile I choose to work on, It then turned to any property that couldn't be done with a Gardiners Extreme 18ft pole doesn't get on the books, again working smarter, not harder and also I can work quick now to. Will I have to say no to people, YES, will I have to turn down three story work YES.

The difference between an 18ft extreme and 22ft SLX is like night and day difference. Use an 18ftExtreme for a maintenance clean, then do the same with a 22ftSLX its like tossing the caber literally

So with my day to day pole upgraded, I conclude the body pains must also comes from the manual wheeling hose several times a day. Next purchase PowerupHD electric reel

Next, lets look how a few more grams could be saved on day to day set up. Carbon fibre gooseneck added and extreme brush heads. More pole weight improvements again. By doing these three lots of upgrades, it allows me to worker faster, longer, with less effort not harder.

I can now do more jobs in a day = £more cash, as such thus far has not costs me ANYTHING ! Which leads me to my next point of discussion, £ money

  • MAKE MONEY WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER - GET THE BEST EQUIPMENT 0%

if you haven't already sign, up for noddle or clearscore and check your credit file.

At a glance it will give you an idea how much of a credit risk you are. It will give you credit cards and your eligibility % of how likely you are to be accepted. If you always pay your bills on time and in good standing there are many option for 0% on purchases for XX of months.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/best-0-credit-cards/

Whilst I have the cash in the bank there, why spend a grand when I dont need to. I saw I was pre-approved & eligible for a 28 month 0% on purchases Virgin Money card

So I have chose to spilt this cost of

Powerup HD Reel = £492

18ft Extreme Pole & carbon extras = £585

£1077 divided over 2 years/24 months for sake of round numbers = just £44.87 per month

OR equivalent of just x4 cleans a month to be using rolls royce top of the range equipment

Not eligible for a 0% of purchases card, look to see if you can get a balance transfer for 0% for a few years, usually costs is just 3% of balance transferred

  • Facebook ads/boosted posts

Not without its problems and messers. But I found uptake rate on paid for ads and boosted posts MUCH better than using local for sale boards/services.

Keep trailing different photos/images and text on a x24 hour £5 boosted post/ad.  some work some don't, trail & error.

When sorting the chosen target interest for the post, I have found using 'gardening' as an interest tends to get folk with very house proud and clean well maintained properties.

Facebook local groups have brought me either the worst of the worst customers or also some total gems. Very hit or miss. Using these forsale boards/ local services groups also leaves you WIDE OPEN for random comments “ooohh he quoted me and he was dead dear him “, competition under cutters “i'll do it for £4”

Your local reputation can be easily tarnished & then be visible to a large number of local people VERY EASILY be warned and you will have little control on policing it & the comments
Use how a customer responds to your messages as a filter into what they are really like.

Avoid single mothers like the plague, worst of the worst.

Bad spelling/grammar, misspelling words, txt spk. adding xxxxxxxxxx kisses to everything, calling people hun/dear, use of Instagram filters/animal ears/glasses in their pics etc ALL red flags to watch for

When they message you a quick look of their Facebook profile you can usually judge what someone is like pretty quick.

Also get off FaceBook messenger ASAP as you've closed the deal. This closes one avenue of them trying to cancel a clean

  • LISTEN” FOR POTENTIAL £ MONEY “RED FLAGS”

Can you leave until after the 30th when I get paid = I dont have a pot to pi$$ in the bank currently until the 30th

My JSA/Universal Credit goes in on a Tuesday, a Tuesday would be lovely thanks = I dont have a pot to pi$$ in the bank currently until Tuesday

Oooohh thats dear , my last cleaner was £x” = I dont value a good reliable service and am not prepared to pay for it

The perfect customer you want is the one who doesn't mention the price/pay day date/day of clean

  • "don't be afraid to travel when starting out"

Your postcode +10 miles AND or /20 mins travel time in ANY direction is what I used.

My first six months I have been here there and everywhere.

Cleaning, quoting as an when work/queries came in. Now, this past month I have had my first major reshuffle of work and squeezed down working x5 days out of x7 down to, x11 working days in a month to complete, an average of x13 cleans per day.

What was previously random and scattered work all around this +10 miles radius of home, now it has made itself into a workable round with jobs now close to each other.

  • ALTHOUGH YOU ARE SELF EMPLOYED TREAT IT LIKE A JOB

You would work 9-5 in a normal office job, be working the same hours if not more on your own business

you reap what you sew. The more you work at it the more you will be rewarded

You are done by 1pm on day, that gives you x4 hours to go chapping doors,

First clean scheduled for 10am, arrive at 9am and leaflet drop the street/area around


In closing,
My current position a few days over seven months in, 160 customers, 157 on GoCardless.
All jobs are one van-stop, all round access.
Bringing in just under £2k a month, ALL work is priced £10 or higher

The average price per job is £13.85  (not fantastic but im up t'north! and there are still lots of "£4 a semi" cleaners here)
To be at this position after seven months I am in a pretty happy spot and pleased with my results so far.

I'm nobody really special or talented so if I can do it I think anyone could!

I am bringing a half decent wage and still have plenty of scope to improve next year
Still lots to learn, still lots of customers to find, still lots of things to try, still have lots of neigbours doors to wrap in the new year, still have lots of new build estates to leaflet drop in 2019

Hope you have enjoy my random brain droppings


 

 

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Davit

Thanks for this post Northumberland, when I read it a few months ago it affected my decision to start window cleaning massively 👍

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