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Websites and Website leads


AndyRoberts

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AndyRoberts

Hi All,

 

Firstly, Hello! Recently started up Window Cleaning and this forum gave me a huge wealth of knowledge. Really appreciate the time you all take to reply and share your experiences, it is invaluable and such a huge help. I intend to be a part of this forum and share my experiences as I go to help others starting out too and hopefully others where I can.

I run a Multi Service Business in North London offering various cleaning services. This is my first venture into Window Cleaning and it is genuinely really enjoyable. I set the business up to spend more time with my wife and 3 young boys as I had a city job before where I was working all the time and was missing them growing up. Still super busy which is a good thing but I get to move things around to be there for the important stuff!

The above is a bit of a hello and intro about me to an extent but I wondered what other peoples experiences are with regards to websites.

A window cleaner to me has a huge business from what I can see and doesn't have a website at all so I can see word of mouth, social media and canvassing are big lead generators as well as time.

to be specific with questions

1. Do you have a website? how much business does it generate?

2. Do you use your website for customers to pay through it?

3. How valuable to you think a website is in relation to your business?

3. SEO - I have somehow managed to become number 1 on google maps for a few of my services in my area but my website doesn't rank anywhere on the first 6 pages, stopped looking after that in disappointment! Marketing is probably my weakest point so if anyone has any advice I'd love to have a chat!

4. My experience from prior career is - Health and Safety (RAMS), Business management, Processes and procedures (ISO accreditation) and customer management so feel free to send me any questions and I'll do my best to share any advice which hopefully may be of some use.

Thanks,

Andy

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Hi Andy 

welcome hope you get some help on hear 😂😂

i have been in business 21 years and got a web site about 10 years ago , I only have it to attract  large commercial work but it brings in a lot of domestic as well , we are very well established company and most of out work comes from recommendation , walk ups , I know a lot in hear use Facebook to good effect , not something I would want to do but it seams to work for most . I am a bit of a technophobe so leave the website to Nathaniel at avenhue to sort out it dies need an ul date just haven’t had the time to contact him and we don’t really need any more work so I have just left things as they are . Customers cannot pay  through my site only email me .

As for number of  enquires we  get get I don’t  keep account of that but I turned away over 150 in the 3 month lock down period and that was just from the web site . Hope this helps a bit any questions just ask 😎😎

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AndyRoberts
48 minutes ago, Pjj said:

Hi Andy 

welcome hope you get some help on hear 😂😂

i have been in business 21 years and got a web site about 10 years ago , I only have it to attract  large commercial work but it brings in a lot of domestic as well , we are very well established company and most of out work comes from recommendation , walk ups , I know a lot in hear use Facebook to good effect , not something I would want to do but it seams to work for most . I am a bit of a technophobe so leave the website to Nathaniel at avenhue to sort out it dies need an ul date just haven’t had the time to contact him and we don’t really need any more work so I have just left things as they are . Customers cannot pay  through my site only email me .

As for number of  enquires we  get get I don’t  keep account of that but I turned away over 150 in the 3 month lock down period and that was just from the web site . Hope this helps a bit any questions just ask 😎😎

Hi  Pjj, 

Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply. Funnily enough it was actually a lot of your posts that helped me when I was scouring the forum for advice before starting up!

Wow, 150 in 3 months from the website, that's awesome. Have you considered expanding and taking on someone else/creating another crew?

 

I'll have to give FB a go, I use it a bit for Car Valeting but it didn't have a very good conversion rate for actually securing bookings. great for exposure though.

Thanks again

Andy

 

 

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10 minutes ago, AndyRoberts said:

Hi  Pjj, 

Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply. Funnily enough it was actually a lot of your posts that helped me when I was scouring the forum for advice before starting up!

Wow, 150 in 3 months from the website, that's awesome. Have you considered expanding and taking on someone else/creating another crew?

 

I'll have to give FB a go, I use it a bit for Car Valeting but it didn't have a very good conversion rate for actually securing bookings. great for exposure though.

Thanks again

Andy

 

 

I have 3 vans and 6 guys now Ime not interested in growing the business any more in fact Ime looking at down sizing and doing less ,hopefully if things go to plan by the end of the year I will be back to just one van the guys that work for me are keen to take on the rounds that they do and buy the vans with all the kit they use . 😂😂

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Fist thing, google window cleaner in the area you want to clean in. See how many websites come up (Not google maps, not yell, trusted trader etc). If there are lots then getting your site on the front page will be difficult/ expensive. 

That said if you plan on leafleting or having company name/website on van then having a web site people can visit can help to show you are not a cowboy.

If I ever get a leaflet for a service I might be interested in I go and see what the website looks like. If there isn't a web site then that concerns me. I'm fine with a diy site but none raises questions to me. Obviously that is just me, would you book a holiday without looking at picys etc?

A customer needs to trust a  window cleaner as they might be given access to the rear of the property un-attended etc.

 

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If you've got a track record of working with businesses if I were you I'd target Property Management Companies. With your knowledge of H&S and the relevant certification you'll tick all the boxes of their H&S Dept and should enable you to get on their approved contractor list. I do a bit of work, circa £8k a year, in London and the quality of work done by the previous window cleaners is absolutely shocking, but they charged, in my opinion, top dollar.   

Personally think a good webpage with an email address that relates to it paints a more professional picture, but as I've paid good money to get one then I would say that. 

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AndyRoberts
18 hours ago, Pjj said:

I have 3 vans and 6 guys now Ime not interested in growing the business any more in fact Ime looking at down sizing and doing less ,hopefully if things go to plan by the end of the year I will be back to just one van the guys that work for me are keen to take on the rounds that they do and buy the vans with all the kit they use . 😂😂

Fair enough, that's a lovely position to be in, nice one!!

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AndyRoberts
17 hours ago, Part Timer said:

If you've got a track record of working with businesses if I were you I'd target Property Management Companies. With your knowledge of H&S and the relevant certification you'll tick all the boxes of their H&S Dept and should enable you to get on their approved contractor list. I do a bit of work, circa £8k a year, in London and the quality of work done by the previous window cleaners is absolutely shocking, but they charged, in my opinion, top dollar.   

Personally think a good webpage with an email address that relates to it paints a more professional picture, but as I've paid good money to get one then I would say that. 

Yeah that is a good shout. My thoughts at the moment are to get my head around it all and build up a resi round whilst reinvesting to build the equipment and business up further. Then approach the commercial sector.

Going to have a crack at canvassing today to see how I get on!

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A website is an online business card, so you could either get one made just for the sake of using it as a destination for your potential customers...Or you could also use a website as a marketing tool and promote it via multiple ways, such as SEO, Facebook, Google Ads, etc.

There will be a bit more work involved, if you would like to accept payments via a website, but it's nothing crazy and can be easily done by a developer.

As for generating business via a website, I would say it depends on how competitive the online presence is in your local area. Seeing that you're in London, a new website won't magically appear on top of the search results, so unless you do some SEO work, I doubt a new website will get you any additional work, because it won't be seen by anyone.

Overall, it doesn't cost a fortune to have a basic website done, so I'd say go for it, keep it simple for the beginning, as you can always make changes to it later, i.e. adding payment methods, etc.

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Cghwindowcleaning
On 10/08/2020 at 17:33, Pjj said:

I have 3 vans and 6 guys now Ime not interested in growing the business any more in fact Ime looking at down sizing and doing less ,hopefully if things go to plan by the end of the year I will be back to just one van the guys that work for me are keen to take on the rounds that they do and buy the vans with all the kit they use . 😂😂

Out of interest what is that makes you want to downsize?

With 3 vans you are already set up for everything like being LTD,VAT ,insurance, health and safety,HR and the management side of it so why not come off the tools and just replicate what you already do and add another van.

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scottish cleaning service
30 minutes ago, Cghwindowcleaning said:

Out of interest what is that makes you want to downsize?

With 3 vans you are already set up for everything like being LTD,VAT ,insurance, health and safety,HR and the management side of it so why not come off the tools and just replicate what you already do and add another van.

Less stress, I run my business by myself and don't take on anyone's problems, I like it that way.

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Cghwindowcleaning
5 hours ago, scottish cleaning service said:

Less stress, I run my business by myself and don't take on anyone's problems, I like it that way.

I get that with one man bands making the jump but PJJ isn't new to this.

He already has 3 vans and 6 staff the problems with VAT,PAYE ,Holiday pay, pensions as well as making the jump to find more work for his staff and managing it have probably long been ironed out..

It would just be a case of replicating what's already been done with van 2 and 3 and with over 50+ inquires coming in each month it wouldn't take long to fill van 4 and come off the tools and work part time in the office and concentrate on getting new work in.

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7 hours ago, Cghwindowcleaning said:

Out of interest what is that makes you want to downsize?

With 3 vans you are already set up for everything like being LTD,VAT ,insurance, health and safety,HR and the management side of it so why not come off the tools and just replicate what you already do and add another van.

Ime 58 this year and since I was 16 I have worked 10-15 hours a day 5 days a week , Ime also in the Fireservice as a retained firefighter ( watch manager )  so regularly get out of bed 2-3 times a night most nights , I don’t want to be office bound that’s just not me Ime a hands on type 😂😂😂 , getting good , honest,reliable staff is getting more and more difficult, organising work , doing quotes , ordering stuff , all takes time and effort I rarely sit down before before 20:30 each day , going back to just me and maybe someone with me would make life so much easier , the guys that work for me are very keen to buy the rounds that they do , so I think it’s a win win for all concerned , I don’t want to work more than 3 days per week , this week the guy that’s normally with me is on holiday so Ime working on my own already this week I have earned over a four figure sum and it’s only Wednesday 15:00 hrs . Tomorrow and Friday I have a couple of pressure washing jobs and plastic clean that will bring in the same again . So I have decided that I can easily manage on 3 days a week why bust a gut , 😂😂😂

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scottish cleaning service
5 hours ago, Pjj said:

Ime 58 this year and since I was 16 I have worked 10-15 hours a day 5 days a week , Ime also in the Fireservice as a retained firefighter ( watch manager )  so regularly get out of bed 2-3 times a night most nights , I don’t want to be office bound that’s just not me Ime a hands on type 😂😂😂 , getting good , honest,reliable staff is getting more and more difficult, organising work , doing quotes , ordering stuff , all takes time and effort I rarely sit down before before 20:30 each day , going back to just me and maybe someone with me would make life so much easier , the guys that work for me are very keen to buy the rounds that they do , so I think it’s a win win for all concerned , I don’t want to work more than 3 days per week , this week the guy that’s normally with me is on holiday so Ime working on my own already this week I have earned over a four figure sum and it’s only Wednesday 15:00 hrs . Tomorrow and Friday I have a couple of pressure washing jobs and plastic clean that will bring in the same again . So I have decided that I can easily manage on 3 days a week why bust a gut , 😂😂😂

I know how you feel especially after a disrupted sleep which isn't good for the immune system. Knew two fire bosses who totally abused their sleep when in the fire service and after 20yrs in they both went out the job with cancer and I think well know it was because of the little sleep they took. I'm working 14 hrs a day sometimes because I'm organising the next day's work with multi jobs. Getting greedy now and looking for the roof, pvc and driveway cleans in desirable areas because I believe that's where the money is. Just signed up for Checkatrade directory at a grand a year where i will specialise in these areas. After thinking of leaving Checkatrade I'm more heavily involved than ever. Folk up here just seem to be spending their holiday money on cleaning their house from top to bottom and I am also witnessing money being spent on their back gardens. Fitting hot tubs, large sheds, wooden gazebos, patios, artificial grass, decking, fencing and barbecue areas to say the least. Got a good new window customer today for a monthly clean. Will let you all know if my investment in Checkatrade directory is worth while its like the old yellow pages that goes out to 100k households every 3 months. 😉

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