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ched999uk

Would you startup today knowing what you now know?

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ched999uk

Hi, I've spent most of the day reading posts here to gain a little understanding of starting a window cleaning business. This forum is full of great info, thanks. I now know a very very small amount and understand the very basics.

I was trained as an electronics engineer and have lots of engineering experience. We also ran our own customer facing businesses for the last 15 years, so marketing, tax, customers etc is all OK.

Anyway back to my question. Would you startup a window cleaning business today if you had the knowledge you have today?

 

Thanks for any suggestions.

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mike007

Had a Same day Courier business for 6 years prior to starting again as a Window cleaner. With hindsight should of skipped the Courier years and re started on the windows then.

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Cghwindowcleaning

You should ask the question as to what makes you want to get in to window cleaning now?

I fell into it it wasn't a job I searched out.

A lot of people are getting in to it from viewing forums or speaking to window cleaners who claim to be doing £400 a day for part time hours.

The reality is very, very different.

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windowsurfer

I got into window cleaning, as wanted own business, as my wife had worked for a window cleaning company on the tools n in office n we have friends that do it.

If I had a choice, I would try n find a job that's not so physical all of the time. 

 

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dmw

I would find it really hard to start up today as the job has changed tremendously to what it was nearly 30 years ago.

For a start nowadays you have the internet to build a website and gain customers and door knocking seems to be a lot more prevalent. 

Back then many just bought a  round out the local paper (remember those) you met the seller he introduced you to the customers, you gave him a wedge of cash and away you go.

With me I was 22 fed up of my driving job but had managed to save up a grand and bought the round off a friend of a friend. So I bought some ladders, squeegee and scrims and off I went.

It's still changing now though, for example this week I did 4 full days work in 6 streets it's very compact but I notice now I occasionally lose the odd house if a customer sells and the new owner brings in their own.  So now I have to be more proactive knock on doors to keep it tight.

So the days of patches now is pretty much over and you have to try harder to keep your customers, on a small new build up the road they have 6 window cleaners on one estate. 

Wfp (which I converted to 3 years ago) has now brought the industry to the masses, and I seem to see a new van knocking around every month or 2.

On the whole for me it's rewarding I enjoy  my time doing it mostly. 

And yes, I've still got a few of my original customers that I "bought" all those years ago.

 

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Clearview Lee

I’d love to start again knowing what I know now. Absolutely. I’d love to see where I’d be starting out with all the accumulated knowledge I have now. just the psychology of it all. I started out earning Pretty much the same as my local competitors. I now earn double/triple what they do. I stay 2-3 steps ahead. 
I know my competition. It’s amazing,  cos I’ve known one guy for 20 years, but he obviously didn’t know his competition cos he sent me a a message asking how much I charge for a 3-bed semi 🤣🤣 I was so tempted to reply ‘how about  I just clean yours and you clean mine!’

I stayed professional about it and said I’d need to come and look first. Didn’t get a reply. 
 

I love to stay as fit and healthy as I can, so for me my work is a nice workout. I love the physicality of it, but at 50, I’ve definitely noticed myself slow down a bit this year, and I’m sure I’ll get slower & slower as I go along, but what a great way to stay active in old age. 👍🏼
 

good luck mate. 
 

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Part Timer
16 hours ago, ched999uk said:

Anyway back to my question. Would you startup a window cleaning business today if you had the knowledge you have today?

When I first started I basically bought all of the gear, had no idea, and started looking for work. I didn't appreciate how saturated and cheap the residential work was in my area. If I knew then what I knew now then I would've have spent a lot less setting up and used the capital saved to build the business. There is still money to be made in the business but I would spend time finding out the prices and competition in your area before deciding.

I've had many a pint in the Thatched House in Poulton as I have a good friend that has a Scrap Yard on the Poulton Industrial Estate.  

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Martyn

I never meant to start up in the first place, I just needed to make an extra few quid for a few months to pay the mortgage, twenty three years later here I am. If I had the knowledge I have now back then I would have made a lot more money and perhaps be backing off a bit instead of wondering if there is another ten years in this old body.

It's a good way to earn reasonable money but it is hard on the body, I disagree with Clearview Lee about it keeping us fit, we don't walk enough for it to do that.

If you are in reasonable health, have drive and self discipline then there is a lot to be said for it, it has proven to be a very robust industry.

 

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High-tower

I probably wouldn’t start again unless out of absolute necessity.
The amount of competition is becoming a big problem over the recent years, and it’s going to get worse.
Between WFP, these forums, and Facebook, it has never been easier to start up. This makes it difficult to build reliable compact work and will eventually drive prices down as areas become saturated, and make it more difficult to be profitable with all the travel between jobs.

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Pjj

Knowing what I know now I wish I had started years before I did , however I never enjoyed working trad but did it for nearly 8 years , then got  the pole system ,and never looked back I quite enjoy work now , I would thoroughly recommend it but being your own boss isn’t for everyone some cannot get out of bed in the mornings , you do need to be self motivated and have that inner drive to succeed.

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ched999uk

Thanks to everyone who replied, it's very helpful.

So on the whole you are quite positive. That's promising. Ask in plumbers, plasterers or electricians forums and you wouldn't get the same positive replies 😃

As for competition in the area that is sort of where we started. We have been trying to think of a new business to start since selling our Holiday Apartments in November. My partner said that she realised that we have never had a window cleaner where we live nor any leaflets! Then I had a google and didn't find many at all only 1 had a review and that was a single review.

The thing that may be against me is I am 51 this year and not very fit. That said I don't have any health problems just not had a physical job before. I guess I would just get fitter as I gradually added customers 🤣.

I had better get some more reading done on here 🙂

Thanks everyone. 

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Part Timer
6 minutes ago, ched999uk said:

Thanks to everyone who replied, it's very helpful.

So on the whole you are quite positive. That's promising. Ask in plumbers, plasterers or electricians forums and you wouldn't get the same positive replies 😃

As for competition in the area that is sort of where we started. We have been trying to think of a new business to start since selling our Holiday Apartments in November. My partner said that she realised that we have never had a window cleaner where we live nor any leaflets! Then I had a google and didn't find many at all only 1 had a review and that was a single review.

The thing that may be against me is I am 51 this year and not very fit. That said I don't have any health problems just not had a physical job before. I guess I would just get fitter as I gradually added customers 🤣.

I had better get some more reading done on here 🙂

Thanks everyone. 

You won't start at full speed, hopefully by the time you start to get busy you should have built up your strength in your arms, shoulders and neck. I started at 46 and had been in an office / car environment for the previous 15 years, I also like a pint or two and nice meals. Fortunately in this job you don't have to be fit, as in running, as I wouldn't have lasted a month.

Joking aside you will, once busy, put a lot of pressure on your upper body. 

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scottish cleaning service

I have tennis elbow now but I just grind it out or take painkillers. I started when I was 51 so I don't see age as a problem. 

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dmw

I'm 51 now and tradded for 26 years my only ailment was my knees were starting to get worn  and it's been easier now I've changed over.

However, I've developed a bit of a gut through less exercise and imbibing in too many real ales.

I'm determined to diet.....soon.

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Clearview Lee
1 hour ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I have tennis elbow now but I just grind it out or take painkillers. I started when I was 51 so I don't see age as a problem. 

Wow! You've just made me realise my tennis elbow has gone! :-)) That's strange - I didn't even notice it. I wonder if Lockdown gave its helping hand. Mines been awful for about 6 months to the point I was worried about it ending my career.

 

Cheers for the enlightening post, and really hope yours clears up soon, bud. Really thought mine was around for good!

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Clearview Lee
2 hours ago, Pjj said:

Knowing what I know now I wish I had started years before I did , however I never enjoyed working trad but did it for nearly 8 years , then got  the pole system ,and never looked back I quite enjoy work now , I would thoroughly recommend it but being your own boss isn’t for everyone some cannot get out of bed in the mornings , you do need to be self motivated and have that inner drive to succeed.

Totally agree. Trad v Pole are like 2 separate jobs altogether. I was getting depressed with tradding for so long, but couldn't see a way out for me which made it worse. I was eventually forced to go WFP at a time I just wanted to get out of the game, but was gonna lose good commercial work if I didn't change over. Wow! what a change it has made. I now love my job. It had a massive effect on me, personally. Nice one.

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RWCleaning

I’m only 30, started in 2014, just before I turned 25. If I had a time machine I’d go back to when I was 18 in 2008. Start window cleaning then. But I’d borrow some money from my mum or something and get a cheap small van & 350 tank rather than back packs out of a car to begin with. But overall I’m content with where I am. 

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Clearview Lee
1 minute ago, RWCleaning said:

I’m only 30, started in 2014, just before I turned 25. If I had a time machine I’d go back to when I was 18 in 2008. Start window cleaning then. But I’d borrow some money from my mum or something and get a cheap small van & 350 tank rather than back packs out of a car to begin with. But overall I’m content with where I am. 

I started when I was 26👍🏼  50 now. Polling it for 10 years. Had to borrow from peeps to get machine. 

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Pjj
45 minutes ago, Clearview Lee said:

Totally agree. Trad v Pole are like 2 separate jobs altogether. I was getting depressed with tradding for so long, but couldn't see a way out for me which made it worse. I was eventually forced to go WFP at a time I just wanted to get out of the game, but was gonna lose good commercial work if I didn't change over. Wow! what a change it has made. I now love my job. It had a massive effect on me, personally. Nice one.

Totally agree👍

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Iron Giant
5 hours ago, Clearview Lee said:

I’d love to start again knowing what I know now. Absolutely. I’d love to see where I’d be starting out with all the accumulated knowledge I have now. just the psychology of it all. I started out earning Pretty much the same as my local competitors. I now earn double/triple what they do. I stay 2-3 steps ahead.

Gotta agree with this hindsight is great, I would have started far sooner and been way ahead of were I am now, but the evolution of the internet on the whole and forums popping up and more so this one the knowledge sharing has 🤯

I spent my youth like @Dave B sending my mind Prodigy- Out Of Space

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