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Looking To Take My Current Business Into Pure Water Window Cleaning


C&S Window Newbie

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C&S Window Newbie

Hi all i'm new here and this is my first post.

So getting straight into it, as mentioned i own a business already that business does everything from painting and decorating to gardening but i find my self in limbo mainly being opened up by Covid -19. The maintenance side of things is great but the margins are very tight like most trades there really congested and alot of the time you find your self wasting your time quoting jobs you are almost certain you wont win due to them being time wasters. 

For a few years i have wanted to branch out to pure water window cleaning. currently we offer gutter clearing, repairs and replacement sofits and guttering but like mentioned i have wanted to get into the window cleaning side. this isnt to be greedy or control the market its to do a job i enjoy again my first thought was maybe 2 days on the maintenance , 1 day on gardening and 2 days on window cleaning.

Thats where my thoughts are and again only thoughts but my questions are....

Already having a business Facebook page, website, google my business, yell and google ad words campaign but there all tailored round the Maintenance side do i just add window cleaning as another service when i already offer mainly everything in property resignations ? or do i buy a new domain and build a website and Facebook business page as a off spring of my maintenance business but the maintenance business being the trading name but that comes with head aches it being a new site with no seo or ad words campaigns and no reviews etc etc.

I haven't made any moves yet everything is up in the air dont know if to build a system and see if it hits off or to dive straight in and get a van mounted system but that has a headache as i use that van for my maintenance business and my gardening.

Please be kind as im here for advise and a chat with people who have achieved where i want to get, just because i have a business already i dont claim to know more then anyone else i just dont enjoy doing maintenance and property renovations 6 days a week.

Look forward to hearing back from you all and thank you in advance.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, C&S Window Newbie said:

Hi all i'm new here and this is my first post.

So getting straight into it, as mentioned i own a business already that business does everything from painting and decorating to gardening but i find my self in limbo mainly being opened up by Covid -19. The maintenance side of things is great but the margins are very tight like most trades there really congested and alot of the time you find your self wasting your time quoting jobs you are almost certain you wont win due to them being time wasters. 

For a few years i have wanted to branch out to pure water window cleaning. currently we offer gutter clearing, repairs and replacement sofits and guttering but like mentioned i have wanted to get into the window cleaning side. this isnt to be greedy or control the market its to do a job i enjoy again my first thought was maybe 2 days on the maintenance , 1 day on gardening and 2 days on window cleaning.

Thats where my thoughts are and again only thoughts but my questions are....

Already having a business Facebook page, website, google my business, yell and google ad words campaign but there all tailored round the Maintenance side do i just add window cleaning as another service when i already offer mainly everything in property resignations ? or do i buy a new domain and build a website and Facebook business page as a off spring of my maintenance business but the maintenance business being the trading name but that comes with head aches it being a new site with no seo or ad words campaigns and no reviews etc etc.

I haven't made any moves yet everything is up in the air dont know if to build a system and see if it hits off or to dive straight in and get a van mounted system but that has a headache as i use that van for my maintenance business and my gardening.

Please be kind as im here for advise and a chat with people who have achieved where i want to get, just because i have a business already i dont claim to know more then anyone else i just dont enjoy doing maintenance and property renovations 6 days a week.

Look forward to hearing back from you all and thank you in advance.

Self employed decorators are still fully booked up in the North East, as are plumbers and electricians.

Anyway, IMHO you need to focus on one service and develop that. You can't do any business justice if you have all your fingers in different pies.

Going into window cleaning with a van mount is expensive even if you have a van already. You have to work hard to develop a good round. You will start by picking up other window cleaners customers they have dumped because they are messers/late payers etc. It will feel as though you are taking 2 steps forward and 1 backwards. It takes time, hard work and effort to get a round to a place where you can earn a living from it.

Online advertising seems to work for some but not everyone. I'm old school and knocking on doors and asking for customer referrals was the only way to grow our business unless you have the financial backing to buy an established round. When we started we were also looking for additional work such as internal cleans, conservatory roof cleans, gutter clearing and fascia, soffit and gutter cleaning. Now I wish I had just stuck the window cleaning.

Window cleaning is also a skill that takes time to master. I often wonder how many new ones who first post on this forum are still window cleaning. They pop up, ask a few questions and they never visit the forum again. Did they expect this to be an easy peasy job?

I'm also not sure that now's the time to be looking at a business shift. I'm a long time window cleaner and I'm concerned about what customers/business will be left when we start work again in earnest. On Saturday we started back up again and had 12 houses to do. 3 have postponed/cancelled and one house of the 9 we did looks unoccupied even although there is furniture inside. I knew they had divorced but we continued to clean with no issues as the ex wife lived there. That looks like a 33% drop out rate. I appreciate its early days and one day might not be indicative of our overall customer base.

If I lost 1/3rd of our work we could still manage, but many new ones can't. If we lost 1/2 of our round that would be a serious situation.

 

Edited by spruce
  • Agree 3
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C&S Window Newbie

Hi Spruce,

Firstly Thank you for your reply very much appreciated i take on board everything you say i really do. As a maintenance business we are fairly busy or was before covid 19 but like all the trades we dont know what work is going to be about while we recover from covid. When i started the business it grew from me working weekends while holding down a full time job but when the customers was coming more and more regular i quit my job and went limted. for 3 years i have really enjoyed it but now i have had time to reflect and consider what i want to do moving forward i dont think that is maintenance hense why i posted on the forum.

Like i said before its not like i woke up one morning and thought i want to be a window cleaner ...... its come from firstly wanting to learn the pure water cleaning and from customers asking if we cover window cleaning (planting the seed). in an ideal world which we all wish it was i would do just window cleaning but things are never that simple are they? ive had thoughts of maybe getting chas registered and get my self listed with facilities maintenance covering only pressure washing, window cleaning and shop front but again they already have there go to contractors who slip them a nice bonus every year. then i thought do i really want to be employing people still all the hussle and bussle of making sure we have enough work for say 4 lads , payment runs covering sick phoning 4 times more customers etc etc.

So in a nut shell i do want to get into window cleaning scale down the maintenance or even sell that business then put serious effort into building the cleaning business. but marketing,systems,wages etc need a back bone so will need to keep running the maintenance side of things until a time comes where i can do just cleaning. so the point of the post was to ask how people would go about that transition of no customers or gear to marketing to websites and naming.

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19 hours ago, C&S Window Newbie said:

So in a nut shell i do want to get into window cleaning scale down the maintenance or even sell that business then put serious effort into building the cleaning business. but marketing,systems,wages etc need a back bone so will need to keep running the maintenance side of things until a time comes where i can do just cleaning. so the point of the post was to ask how people would go about that transition of no customers or gear to marketing to websites and naming.

This is what you should do.

1. Sell the painting and decorating business. 

Don't try to gradually 'transition' from one business to the other. It never really works and you and up being a jack of all trades. 

2. Get a van, and water system with your bits and bobs ready to go.

Don't try to save cash by working out of a car with jerrycans, or making do with backpacks, you need to be ready to go with capacity that will make you money.

3. Go out and canvass. 

It's the only real way you will get growth quick enough, expect to be doing this for the next 3 years. Advertising will not be quick enough.

Personally, I think you will find that window cleaning isn't much different, and all the frustrations you experience with your current business you will get with window cleaning. 

Good luck 

 

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