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Joe G

My first couple of months

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Joe G

Hi everybody, I've found this forum so helpful for my newbie questions and so motivational when I was doubting that window cleaning would work out for me, so thank you to the community for sharing your experiences!

 

I've just started window cleaning a couple of months ago (October 2019) and wanted to share my journey so far. This is my first post btw so hopefully I'll update the thread as time goes on.

 

After working for a window cleaner last year and falling out with him then spending some time working in a fulfillment center (mind numbing) I decided to get myself a WFP setup.

 

System

Bought a budget WFP setup from one of the online retailers for £950 (tank, hose+reel, pump, 27ft pole, RO+DI, flow controller, all connection bits), and got a cheap van..which turned out to be too cheap as I had to scrap it 4 weeks after buying it 😂 so I've currently got a vertical tank laying horizontally in the back of my Megan 🤔yeh I had to remove the back seats to squeeze it in.

Budget system came with a 350GPD RO and DI which works and produces pure water but I cant fit an auto stop to my horizontal vertical tank so I'm currently driving 20 miles to the nearest filling station to half fill my tank the night before each day of customers 🥴

The point is though that I can clean windows.

 

Customers

I joined all the local buy and sell groups on Facebook and made a spreadsheet of their URL and number of members. Three Saturdays in October I posted "WINDOW CLEANER AVAILABLE Please drop me a message if you need a window cleaner" in the 10 groups that have the most members and got 7 customers from there. I made the same post twice in November and got 3 more customers. Then for each new customer I knocked on every house on their street the Saturday morning before the scheduled clean saying "Hi, I just started cleaning the windows on this street, do you need a window cleaner?" which got me to a total of 50 customers, 10 of which dropped off after the first clean.

I don't know if this is normal but I heard a lot of "my window cleaner just stopped turning up" and also "I already have one" from windows that clearly haven't been cleaned all year 🤔

So I currently have 40 customers averaging £11 per clean. All are on 4 weekly as it's all I have offered. Average hourly rate is about £25, but I've not been rushing the cleans.

 

Income

In October I grossed £319 and November £507. When possible I quoted 50% extra for the first clean, like when the customer said "Yes I am looking for a window cleaner!" and there was one inside and outside clean which I charged £40 and ended up spending almost 3 hours on lol.

 

Plan

Keep posting on Facebook and canvasing in the same manor until I have 20x £100 mornings - commitments every day at 1pm mean this will be a morning only job for me.

Buy a working van, and have it inspected first!

 

Thanks for reading my long post :) 

Joe.

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brianbadonde

Good luck fella, sounds like you’re moving in the right direction. As long as every month you’re increasing your earnings until you get to where you want then you’re doing something right 👍🏻

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Martyn

Well done, you have demonstrated drive, resourcefulness and adaptability, these attributes will stand you in good stead.

 

We can all get caught out with a pre-loved van 🙄 I was persuaded to buy a Transit a few years ago, turned out to be a bad idea, not only was it too big for our narrow roads which made it stressful to drive but it was also the biggest pile of silage going.

 

Don't forget the past but look forward, good luck!

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Part Timer

No one said it would be easy but it looks like you have the right work ethos to succeed. Good luck and hope the next update is upbeat and positive. 

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scottish cleaning service

Well done. The people that tend to succeed focus on their business by a step by step process. The folk that throw in the towel tend to focus on the opposition all the time. That's what I have noticed. fwiw

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Joe G

Thank you all for the words of encouragement! I hope you are all well and the cold weather is not hindering anybody!

 

I can't believe it's only been three months since I started this little business, the time is flying and I'm loving it!

 

Progress

I'm now up to 60 customers totaling £648 on a 4-weekly rota, gaining 20 regular customers in the last 5 weeks (plus some one offs and 8/12 weekers). Most of these new customers have come from posting in FB groups and canvassing, but I have also gained a couple via existing customers passing on my number, which I didn't expect to happen so soon! Other highlights are gaining a £54 8-weekly "contract" for three community centers (I attend one of them and know the manager who is doing me a favor really), booking my first commercial quote for a hair dressers [later this week] and hitting £30+ per hour for a few hours.

 

Some of the FB posts I made were links to my website, which has generated 6 enquiries, 4 of which accepted my [top end] quote, and 2 of those opted to pay via GoCardless. FOR SURE I'll be spending some time this month trying to get my website up the google rankings.

 

Purchases

After plugging and unplugging the microbore-hose from the super-tough hose pipe at every clean for the last couple of months, I decided to treat myself to a £35 univalve; and I'm so glad I did! Not only am I saving the ballache of plugging, unplugging, draining, but it's also saving me water and time. Really so glad I purchased that. (ebay)

Also bought a high-vis with "WINDOW CLEANER" and my phone number on the back, uniform level 1 lol. Nobody has got my number from it yet but I feel more comfortable working on the street with it on. (£5 Amazon).

Spent about £15 on traditional gear from Wilkos for an internal clean which got cancelled, but I have the stuff ready now. Planning to do the community center insides free of charge to get some practice.

 

Experience

The experience of this wonderful forum helped me to get two jobs done with confidence this month, one was dried on egg and the other was cement splashes. The egg took a bit of a soak from the WFP and then an ice scraper, and the cement took a spray bottle of pure water and a window scraper. Both jobs went fine with happy customers thanks to the advice of this forum, without which I'd of probably been hauling a bucket of warm soapy water up a ladder and going out of my way to buy unnecessary cement remover! 

 

Cash monies

Grossed £609 in December (+£69 outstanding).

On target to gross £900 in January.

 

Next

Get up to £1000 / 4 weeks to cover my living expenses and then start quoting all of my customers at the top end of my range.

Build back links for my website.

Ask customers for reviews on Google.

 

 

Thanks for reading,

Joe.

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harunh
11 hours ago, Joe G said:

Thank you all for the words of encouragement! I hope you are all well and the cold weather is not hindering anybody!

 

I can't believe it's only been three months since I started this little business, the time is flying and I'm loving it!

 

Progress

I'm now up to 60 customers totaling £648 on a 4-weekly rota, gaining 20 regular customers in the last 5 weeks (plus some one offs and 8/12 weekers). Most of these new customers have come from posting in FB groups and canvassing, but I have also gained a couple via existing customers passing on my number, which I didn't expect to happen so soon! Other highlights are gaining a £54 8-weekly "contract" for three community centers (I attend one of them and know the manager who is doing me a favor really), booking my first commercial quote for a hair dressers [later this week] and hitting £30+ per hour for a few hours.

 

Some of the FB posts I made were links to my website, which has generated 6 enquiries, 4 of which accepted my [top end] quote, and 2 of those opted to pay via GoCardless. FOR SURE I'll be spending some time this month trying to get my website up the google rankings.

 

Purchases

After plugging and unplugging the microbore-hose from the super-tough hose pipe at every clean for the last couple of months, I decided to treat myself to a £35 univalve; and I'm so glad I did! Not only am I saving the ballache of plugging, unplugging, draining, but it's also saving me water and time. Really so glad I purchased that. (ebay)

Also bought a high-vis with "WINDOW CLEANER" and my phone number on the back, uniform level 1 lol. Nobody has got my number from it yet but I feel more comfortable working on the street with it on. (£5 Amazon).

Spent about £15 on traditional gear from Wilkos for an internal clean which got cancelled, but I have the stuff ready now. Planning to do the community center insides free of charge to get some practice.

 

Experience

The experience of this wonderful forum helped me to get two jobs done with confidence this month, one was dried on egg and the other was cement splashes. The egg took a bit of a soak from the WFP and then an ice scraper, and the cement took a spray bottle of pure water and a window scraper. Both jobs went fine with happy customers thanks to the advice of this forum, without which I'd of probably been hauling a bucket of warm soapy water up a ladder and going out of my way to buy unnecessary cement remover! 

 

Cash monies

Grossed £609 in December (+£69 outstanding).

On target to gross £900 in January.

 

Next

Get up to £1000 / 4 weeks to cover my living expenses and then start quoting all of my customers at the top end of my range.

Build back links for my website.

Ask customers for reviews on Google.

 

 

Thanks for reading,

Joe.


Wow u really are doing well ! good to hear, keep at it and if u could... just put your foot down a little bit more and u will reap further rewards ;) all the best mate 

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Paul600

Well done fella you have a good head on your shoulders! I'm just over a year in with my own business and it certainly builds it's own momentum.

 

I got a van for £600 to start out with and it's been as reliable as anything, it sailed through the MOT without even one thing wrong so been very lucky there.

 

I've found that this game is all about tweaking the finer details and making life as quick and efficient as possible, I've seen my hourly rate hit £60 at times last year 😯

 

Univalve is definitely gold. Van mount system is essential for speed I think. I'm now not afraid to quote pretty high as well and to this day still get surprised when people say yes! All ads up to higher earnings per hour

 

I've taken great pleasure in building my business, it's been one of the most satisfying and rewarding things I've ever done, sounds like you are too😁 I'm seriously thinking of leaving my other job and hitting it full time this year if I can summon the courage.

 

I've had good success with FB ads and with Google ads for gutter cleaning recently, brought me a lot of money so might be worth looking into, PM me if you want.

 

Keep going and enjoying your updates 👍

 

 

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Part Timer

Well done but just a bit of a heads up that you hopefully won't take negatively. This is when it starts to become harder as you've got work to do, chase payment, schedule your work etc. As long as you still enjoy it then it will come easy. The fact you've managed to do it in the hardest part of the year to get customers is even more credit to you.

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MCWC

Congratulations on the set up man and looks like it's going will I'm fairly new at this too and haven't thought about leaving the other one yet (we'll thought about it but realistically not possible for now) 

Planning to build to that point in the spring and be able to go full time in summer currently at the 90custys pm averaging at £12.50pc 

Want to have the customer doubled but until that point like op said build my gear slowly and to what suits me need to get auto reel and also I think just going to run with di system as my tds sits at 50/60 out the tap 

 

As part timer said chasing payments is getting a bit frustrating at times but luckily I'm not thst busy I always seem to have to to go collect my money 😂 

 

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Paul600

I've never gone back to collect one payment 😯

I send a reminder but two cleans max then won't call after that, then threaten court action. Done that twice now, one paid up the other end up taking to small claims court for £25 + costs. He got a CCJ served and still didn't pay, couldn't be arsed to take it further so wrote it off. That's the only money I've never received. If they can't be bothered to pay me I will ditch them without a second thought.

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Pjj

Well done your hard work is paying off by end of February beginning of March ones will be more keen to have a window cleaner so Ime sure you will pick up work quite rapidly don’t  forget to promote gutter, facial and soffit cleaning again good money and will boost your work load whilst continuing to build your round . 

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MCWC

Got my first real complaint today customer complained thst the water made her ground wet I kind of to my self of course laughed it off its kind of a package deal water is usually wet lol

 

But she msged me this morning to say that the brush had stained her drive and sent pics now I did her house yesterday at lunch and she said it was like this this morning after kids were taken to school

Obviously only using pure water no soaps bleach or any kind of chemicals and will be doing a check later with hers and anyone I did after hers to see if there is similar outcome

But any ideas guys

received_511602749466840.jpeg

received_188405748940063.jpeg

received_180602413149175.jpeg

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Davy G

Did you plant the green moss on the tarmac as well? And on the wooden fence? I've said on here before that I've often found that some of the people with the tattiest houses can be the most fussy and troublesome. I think they want us to make up for their shortcomings.

 

Conversely, many of my best and most loyal customers are some of the ones with the least wealth. Absolute diamonds.

 

I think I'd be parting company with that customer pdq.

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wezza13
3 hours ago, MCWC said:

Got my first real complaint today customer complained thst the water made her ground wet I kind of to my self of course laughed it off its kind of a package deal water is usually wet lol

 

But she msged me this morning to say that the brush had stained her drive and sent pics now I did her house yesterday at lunch and she said it was like this this morning after kids were taken to school

Obviously only using pure water no soaps bleach or any kind of chemicals and will be doing a check later with hers and anyone I did after hers to see if there is similar outcome

But any ideas guys

received_511602749466840.jpeg

received_188405748940063.jpeg

received_180602413149175.jpeg

 

Tell her it'll dry soon lol.

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dmw

Did you gave a wee in the corner?

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MCWC
On 24/01/2020 at 16:35, dmw said:

Did you gave a wee in the corner?

 Lol no if I did it probably would of dried 

Theres 2 windows just other side of thst gate and there is a little lip that caught all the water but maybe the piddle would of helped with the moss problem

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