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Hyzer373

Starting up working from car with wfp



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Hyzer373
Posted (edited)

Hi everyone I’ve just registered on here as I am looking to start my own window cleaning business and I am looking for some advice or tips.

 

a bit about myself and my situation, I am 32, I have had a very bad 4-5 years in life with depression which made me unable to work, I am now coming out of that, fighting the depression and I want to get back into work, I’ve always dreamed of being my own boss and from research window cleaning doesn’t cost too much to set up, I am a hard worker and want to make this work.

I have a car, my cousin wants to do the business with me so I have a co worker, I have about £500 budget. I am only receiving £75 a week so my aim is to be earning at least £100 a week.

 

I don’t know much about the water fed long poles etc so I’m looking at doing it the traditional way to start off with as I only have a car anyway, So I’m looking at getting some roof racks, ladders, squidgy etc. 

 

A few questions if I may, exactly what items would I need?

im thinking x2 chamois leather cloths, bucket, x2 squidgy, x2 microfibre clothes to dry.

 

Also as I don’t have a van would a water system like this be what I could use if I wanted to in future https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Window-Cleaning-Water-Fed-Poles-Telescopic-Extendable-Clean-Brush-Backpack/263675797461?epid=1961948999&hash=item3d644d5fd5:m:moV_hlSHf1_a1ahvubVpnSg:rk:23:pf:0

 

What is the best way to get customers?

im thinking canvassing and leaflets?

 

how long did it take you to get a good customer base and make some ok money?

 

Is being self employed complicated? Never done it before is it easy to do your own tax returns etc?

 

any other tips or advice are more than welcome many thanks.

 

 

Edited by Hyzer373

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Hyzer373

Anyone? 

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Part Timer
1 minute ago, Hyzer373 said:

Anyone? 

This subject has been covered countless times so you won't get much help unfortunately. You can however find all the info required by using the search bar or scrolling through the relevant section. As for being self employed a phone call to HMRC will let you know what you need to do, they are very helpful.

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Hyzer373

Yeah I understand that some of what I’ve asked has probably been covered in the past but some things I’ve asked may have not and I was just looking for a bit of advice people don’t have to answer every question at length, any help/tips/advice is welcome.

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Rowan

Hi mate , have a look at the Window clean centre in Ipswich for all your trad equipment , i'm sure they do a starter kit ; watch as much youtube as you can on window cleaning. It will be a very slow start , in my experience you'll be about 2 years before you make a decent living from it . That depends on your area and your drive to find work . Good luck.

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Clearview Lee

This is the best time to start up and get the ball rolling with leaflets. 

 

Leaflet, leaflet, and keep leafleting consistently. 

 

Best advice: Little and often. Most go in the bin unnoticed by people who may even be looking for a window cleaner. Some need that second or third reminder you’re about. 

 

Personally, I wouldn’t go into it with anyone else. I can see it getting messy.  I can remember hearing sound advice years ago that said the only ship that sinks is a partnership. I’d go solo, but help each other out. 

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Iron Giant

If you know someone with a ladder I recommend asking to borrow their ladder and doing your own windows first as if you haven't worked off a ladder at height it's totally different once you are at the top of a ladder, I know of lads in the past who wanted to start window cleaning and after going up a ladder sacked it off.

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Skxawng
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Clearview Lee said:

Personally, I wouldn’t go into it with anyone else. I can see it getting messy.  I can remember hearing sound advice years ago that said the only ship that sinks is a partnership. I’d go solo, but help each other out. 

That is true. 1 person is more efficient and can usually earn more on their own. Also people will inevitably have differences of opinion on occasion and can lead to friction if one person doesn't pull their weight.

On the other hand, many costs are divided like van purchase, fitting out and maintenance. 

Also the most important benefit about a partnership is motivation. Many windys who start off alone struggle to motivate themselves to get out when they should especially if they've had problems with depression. A friend of mine packed in window cleaning on his own but managed to get back into it with a 50/50 partnership.

Edited by Skxawng

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Clearview Lee
5 hours ago, Skxawng said:

That is true. 1 person is more efficient and can usually earn more on their own. Also people will inevitably have differences of opinion on occasion and can lead to friction if one person doesn't pull their weight.

On the other hand, many costs are divided like van purchase, fitting out and maintenance. 

Also the most important benefit about a partnership is motivation. Many windys who start off alone struggle to motivate themselves to get out when they should especially if they've had problems with depression. A friend of mine packed in window cleaning on his own but managed to get back into it with a 50/50 partnership.

Yeah, I can totally get that. I have in the past had peeps help me out, and those days have been fun, but in the long run, not for me. When I first started out, it was for a couple of fellas who were best mates. We were in a busy period, and it was one of the dudes Wifes birthday, and he said he was having that day off to take his misses out. That almost ended in fisticuffs!! I think its a good way to fall out with people you ordinarily like.

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Hyzer373
Posted (edited)

Thanks for the advice guys I appreciate it, the person I am going to be working with is my cousin who I’ve lived with for over ten years, we get on very well, he knows it’s my business and he has agreed to work for 25% cut of what work we will do, he is the kind who will do what his told and be no hassle.

Another thing is I have done some window cleaning in the past for a company when I was about 18, I worked for them for like 6 months and I done all the upstairs windows so was on ladders all the time I have no fear of going up ladders.

any more replies are very welcome.

Edited by Hyzer373

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Rowan

Practice first as said on yours , friends relatives etc , just to help get your confidence up when you deal with the wonderful general public.

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Joshyouare

I would say do a bit of practice but don't get caught up on it, neither method is difficult. 

 

Whoever said it will take 2 years to create a decent living for yourself - not sure where they've got that from, and don't let that demotivate you as people have proved countless times before that it can be done an awful lot quicker.

 

I spent ages on traditional, it was just a lot of hassle. Very recently got my WFP stuff, it's so much quicker and easier. By the time you've outgrown a backpack and 6 barrels then you should be able to afford a van. I probably wouldn't buy that kit on eBay. For me it was just a DI Vessel set up so altogether think I've spent 270-300 on WFP equipment, if you make 30 pound an hour then 10 hours of work to afford it all? Very much worth it. 

 

In terms of canvassing, I guess i've done a decent amount in the past few months, leaflets for me have actually been very good. I don't know the conversion rate but it's definitely a lot better for me than some guys have said on here. Think my method will be leafleting from now on - definitely not scared of knocking on doors, but leafleting is just easier for me, and I guess as some say, you don't put them on the spot.

 

Get yourself on GoCardless straight away - non payers are annoying. Read the post pinned in General Chats I think 7 Month Starting Story - great post.

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Hyzer373
1 hour ago, Joshyouare said:

Get yourself on GoCardless straight away - non payers are annoying.

 

Whats this gocardless method, is it setting up a direct debit with customers?

how do you guys go about this, would they need my bank details to set it up? Don’t really like the sound of giving bank details to people I don’t really know. 

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Joshyouare
1 hour ago, Hyzer373 said:

 

Whats this gocardless method, is it setting up a direct debit with customers?

how do you guys go about this, would they need my bank details to set it up? Don’t really like the sound of giving bank details to people I don’t really know. 

Basically, you'd have a link on a website and/or send them the link, which will take them to a simple direct debit instruction. Once you've gone and cleaned the windows you can create a payment and take money from your customer. People use it because it saves them going to have to collect cash, and it gives you control.

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Hyzer373
15 hours ago, Joshyouare said:

Basically, you'd have a link on a website and/or send them the link, which will take them to a simple direct debit instruction. Once you've gone and cleaned the windows you can create a payment and take money from your customer. People use it because it saves them going to have to collect cash, and it gives you control.

Sounds good but I’m not looking at doing a website anytime soon, do a lot of window cleaners collect this way now or most still collect the money in person?

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scottish cleaning service

I prefer to collect in person but my customers are near me and I have less than 100. Collecting is good for forming a bond with the customer but talking means less work. If I had over 100 customers then I would be going cashless by getting them to pay through my website which is another way to communicate with the customer. When they visit the website they can see what add-ons one does. I'm fully booked till April now.

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Hyzer373

Does anyone know a really cheap printing companies for leaflets or business cards?

looking to get a large amount done for canvassing, like 2-3 thousand at a good price.

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Joshyouare
2 hours ago, Hyzer373 said:

Sounds good but I’m not looking at doing a website anytime soon, do a lot of window cleaners collect this way now or most still collect the money in person?

Most modern ones do, I'm not too sure about the older generation of window cleaners - I still see some of them with wooden ladders so I would guess not in some cases

 

For leaflets, I used instantprint, really good service, quality and price - one of the cheapest I could find anyway

 

One thing with leaflets is to post them yourself, I think a few members have had people pay to drop them and their returns have been very very low.

1 hour ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I prefer to collect in person but my customers are near me and I have less than 100. Collecting is good for forming a bond with the customer but talking means less work. If I had over 100 customers then I would be going cashless by getting them to pay through my website which is another way to communicate with the customer. When they visit the website they can see what add-ons one does. I'm fully booked till April now.

I see what you mean but not sure I entirely agree - showing up to their door asking for money means they have to have it there and then, might be a bit of a nuisance if anything for them? Most of my customers say they think it's a good idea and would work for them better.

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Hyzer373
12 minutes ago, Joshyouare said:

Most modern ones do, I'm not too sure about the older generation of window cleaners - I still see some of them with wooden ladders so I would guess not in some cases

 

For leaflets, I used instantprint, really good service, quality and price - one of the cheapest I could find anyway

 

One thing with leaflets is to post them yourself, I think a few members have had people pay to drop them and their returns have been very low.

 

Cheers mate. I for sure will be doing the canvassing and leaflet drops myself, I’m going to knock doors to ask directly and if no answer post a leaflet.

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Joshyouare
2 hours ago, Hyzer373 said:

 

Cheers mate. I for sure will be doing the canvassing and leaflet drops myself, I’m going to knock doors to ask directly and if no answer post a leaflet.

No worries, and that's what I do, when I actually do it, it works quickly - best of luck

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HBM

Hello and welcome to the forum!

 

As for marketing, most of us usually have to find out by trial and error what works in our market area.

 

I think doing physical work such as WC would be good for depression. Best of luck!

 

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Hyzer373

Right, I’m having trouble with roof racks for my car so I’m looking at getting a water fed system but it would need the back pack thing (tank to hold water) with it as I don’t have a van etc, something like this but preferably cheaper and good reviews  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Window-Cleaning-Water-Fed-Poles-Telescopic-Extendable-Clean-Brush-Backpack/263675797461?epid=1961948999&hash=item3d644d5fd5:m:moV_hlSHf1_a1ahvubVpnSg:rk:23:pf:0

Can anyone recommend a good system to buy that’s a decent price and works well? 

 

Edited by Hyzer373

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Joshyouare

That eBay listing you've linked is a cheap pole. You'd probably need to spend a bit more to get something decent. 

 

Backpacks all do the same thing - gardiner do a good one. Think it's just over 100 pounds with tax etc.

 

For a pole, if you're on a tight budget, buy a second hand one in decent condition. That pole on the eBay listing I'm guessing will be heavy and not the best quality - I mean it comes with a squeegee attachment. 

 

Have you thought about how you're going to get pure water yet?

 

What car is it? Most cars have roof racks available.

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dasslr1

alright bud , welcome .   the back pack in the link is fine to use but you will soon get fed up of refilling it (holds 16ltr ). the pole it comes with mmmm is fine for now but its heavy and when fully down is still bigger then 5-6 ft so awkward to carry all day and awkard for doing the bottom windows .cleaning with It all day will strain your arms .   what I suggest and ill try put links up in a min is it make your own trolly system ,get some 25ltr barrels .and a better pole .

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Hyzer373
7 minutes ago, Joshyouare said:

That eBay listing you've linked is a cheap pole. You'd probably need to spend a bit more to get something decent. 

 

Backpacks all do the same thing - gardiner do a good one. Think it's just over 100 pounds with tax etc.

 

For a pole, if you're on a tight budget, buy a second hand one in decent condition. That pole on the eBay listing I'm guessing will be heavy and not the best quality - I mean it comes with a squeegee attachment. 

 

Have you thought about how you're going to get pure water yet?

 

What car is it? Most cars have roof racks available.

 

Do you have link to any good ones?

sorry to be a pain I’m really not sure with backpack systems etc.

I will get water from taps at home then bring a barrel or two in my boot.

there are roof racks that can be fitted but like £90-110, so I’m thinking I’d rather get a system and not use ladders.

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