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Newbie to the ranks


Woody86

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Well done. I'd say do your canvassing, just step back when they answer and keep your distance when you look around the job.

Don't worry too much about the speed for now. Nail down the quality and technique. The speed will come.

 

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Calm down lads, you'll soon be grumpy old "experienced" WFP's giving advice to fresh faced keen and eager newbies 

Simple answer - don't quit your day job! It might take you 2 - 3 years to get anywhere near the earnings that to need to 'get by'. If you think window cleaning can earn you huge amounts quic

So far this winter it hasn’t been to bad with heavy rain , but when it does  start the phone doesn’t stop ringing everyone wants you there the morning they phone 😂😂, we have a lot of regular annual gu

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Pressurewasher

Personally seeing as youre in lockdown now i would hold off door knocking. Id stick to just leaflet drops until lockdown is over. However this is just an opinion

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On 16/11/2020 at 13:03, Woody86 said:

Update 16/11/20:

I am up to about 9 customers now and have picked up two gutter jobs in the same week the Skyvac was delivered. Two commericals customers have also come on-board which has been nice. The petrol station was super easy to do and it was nice to see the customer switch from their old and unreliable traditional window cleaner.

From starting out, Iv been shocked at the standards of window cleaning in my area for those who have WFP. Vents and frames have been minging so ive gave them a good clean and the customers are super happy with the results. Problem I have faced so far is that I am still spending way too much time on each one but hopefully that will change now that they have been cleaned properly. Customers appear to be wanting WFP rather than Trad, ive not come across one going the other way yet.

Overall I am still not happy with picking up 9 customers so far and I have held back knocking doors due to the lockdown. Over the weekend I had noticed another window cleaner pick up a few new customers in a specific area. The guy also shared his pricelist, street name and house numbers on his status update as he was flouting it on social media, so that will give me some insight into local competition.

Whats your thoughts on canvassing during lockdown? I have specifically held off but seeing as this other window cleaner I refer to above has been doing it with success, its made me think about caring less of public opinion and just go for it.

Shoutout to @Don Logan for giving up some time the other night talking through things. Really great insight and tuition, same for the guys who have replied back on my post and helped me understand things in more detail.

Your more than welcome anytime.

 

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Why not canvass gutter clearing @Woody86. At this time of the year there are a lot of gutters needing emptying, more than there are windows needing cleaning.

Lots of window cleaners won't do gutter work, nor will they clean conservatory roofs.

 

Edited by spruce
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1 hour ago, spruce said:

Why not canvass gutter clearing @Woody86. At this time of the year there are a lot of gutters needing emptying, more than there are windows needing cleaning.

Lots of window cleaners won't do gutter work, nor will they clean conservatory roofs.

 

Good idea. It might also lead to some of the customers asking for a regular window clean.

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On 09/11/2020 at 08:04, spruce said:

I've only come across one old guy who retired and never told anyone. He was no loss to the industry as he did a poor job, but his old customers still expected to be charged the same low price for a window clean he charged.

I had this a few weeks ago I picked up a job through a recommendation and went to clean it the custy came out for a chat, she said the old guy was such a lovely fella but he was 💩 at cleaning windows, he was charging them £5 my price is £12 the husband wasn't prepared too pay that much but his wife said you pay the £5 and I'll pay the rest, thankfully they pay by direct debit 🤣 

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23 hours ago, spruce said:

Why not canvass gutter clearing @Woody86. At this time of the year there are a lot of gutters needing emptying, more than there are windows needing cleaning.

Lots of window cleaners won't do gutter work, nor will they clean conservatory roofs.

 

We never done this up until last month, and to be honest 9/10 window cleaners do offer add on services, i just started offering add on services such as conservatory roofs, fascia and soffits, about to order my gutter vac now aswell so that will bring on more jobs for us, also will be offering driveway cleaning and sealing from next summer, there is so many avenues u can go down in terms of add of services.

Ive never wanted to offer add ons but when u got around 3,000 customers and your not offering add ons then u clearly are losing out.... ive lost a lot money in the past 8 years by refusing to do add on services etc but now its time to make money from it 😄 lol

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56 minutes ago, harunh said:

We never done this up until last month, and to be honest 9/10 window cleaners do offer add on services, i just started offering add on services such as conservatory roofs, fascia and soffits, about to order my gutter vac now aswell so that will bring on more jobs for us, also will be offering driveway cleaning and sealing from next summer, there is so many avenues u can go down in terms of add of services.

Ive never wanted to offer add ons but when u got around 3,000 customers and your not offering add ons then u clearly are losing out.... ive lost a lot money in the past 8 years by refusing to do add on services etc but now its time to make money from it 😄 lol

I'm not actively pushing gutter clearing tbh as its hard work and we are over stretched.

However, I have probably come across 5 of our customer's this year who have had their gutter's cleared by someone who has called at their door and offered the service. And these are the ones I've been told about. None asked me if I offered that service.

Gutter clearing is probably not even an annual job so it was a fill in suggestion to get some work in with his new gutter vac. I would still search for window cleans even although most will be one off cleans for Christmas despite what they might say. Window cleaning inquires start in earnest in Spring in our experience.

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21 minutes ago, spruce said:

However, I have probably come across 5 of our customer's this year who have had their gutter's cleared by someone who has called at their door and offered the service. And these are the ones I've been told about. None asked me if I o

Do you know what they charged and how they did them?

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33 minutes ago, spruce said:

I'm not actively pushing gutter clearing tbh as its hard work and we are over stretched.

However, I have probably come across 5 of our customer's this year who have had their gutter's cleared by someone who has called at their door and offered the service. And these are the ones I've been told about. None asked me if I offered that service.

Gutter clearing is probably not even an annual job so it was a fill in suggestion to get some work in with his new gutter vac. I would still search for window cleans even although most will be one off cleans for Christmas despite what they might say. Window cleaning inquires start in earnest in Spring in our experience.

Theres a lot of gutter only cleaning companys who come and do the gutters and they leave the windows all messed up, i get a few calls per year for people calling us to clear the mess the made by the gutter clearers , lol

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On 02/11/2020 at 19:37, Woody86 said:

Bit of a roller-coaster over the past week...

I was super happy to have the van scheduled for sign writing and then incorporate that into the flyer drop and some canvassing. Unfortunately Covid has scuppered some of those plans.

Facebook, google business, instagram, yell (free), Thomson Local and yelp all live too and I am getting some nice engagement there but no calls on my mobile yet for bookings.

I had a referral the other day (mother and daughter) where the daughter has taken me up but the mother (who her last window cleaner disappeared) has gone quiet. I believe I quoted the mother correctly which was a three bedroom house with a conservatory at £17 every 6 weeks with WFP. I clocked 10 windows + front door + rear door + conservatory.

At this moment in time I seem to be spending a fair amount of time on my own family homes to build up marketing images and social media posts. I was super chuffed with two really dirty first cleans, both had vents and I got zero spotting after flushing them out. They looked absolutely spot on when finished.

I need to come up with a new plan now which is reflective of Covid. Trying to not let this thing hold me back as I am chomping at the bit to start working.

Any advice or guidance is always welcome. I just want to knock doors but I cant 😞 

 

Other important free business listings you should claim include 118 and Central Index UK (both data aggregators), Bing Places, Scoot, Freeindex, Hot Frog, Cylex, 192 as well as more location specific directories for your area. These are also important citation sources for SEO to help improve the ranking of your website in local search results.

Have you got a website? If not you really should. A highly ranking website is a constant and reliable source of new customers and a connected email account as email is the preferred method of contact for many people. All the statistical data supports this and more than 80% of consumers go online to find a local service contractor. I know some are dismissive of websites but they're probably doing something wrong or not ranking highly enough and not having a website is a huge lost opportunity. There are likely to be hundreds of searches every month in your area by people looking for window cleaning services plus related addons e.g. gutter cleaning, fascia/ soffits etc. And a business that ranks well for those related search terms (keywords) will prosper. A website doesn't have to be expensive and you won't do any better than @Gavin the forum administrator for a professional, polished looking site.

Also, to make the most of your Google My Business listing ask customers for reviews on there. This will also help boost your ranking in the 3 pack and in organic search results. Reviews on trusted sites such as Yell, Yelp and Bing will also help your SEO but Google should be your priority. And btw, when you get a website you should keep it maintained and protected from hacking and malware because that can happen very easily without the right security in place - and a professional who knows what they're doing monitoring it. I would recommend Thrive WP care plans for quality and value for money.

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2 hours ago, Part Timer said:

Do you know what they charged and how they did them?

The last time they did a gutter clean for a customer they wanted £65 and used a gutter vac plugged into the customer's electricity. He beat them down to £45.00.

It comprises of 2 gutter lengths of around 10 meters with a flat roof garage to one side meaning that there is a stretch of gutter hard to reach.

Apparently he did it in around 20 minutes. The gutters would have been full due to the number of trees around the property.

Our neighbour behind us had her gutters cleared a few years back by a guy off a ladder. Front, back and side run on a 3 bed semi. He charged £45.  It took him the morning and he apparently had another clear booked in the afternoon.

Edited by spruce
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37 minutes ago, spruce said:

The last time they did a gutter clean for a customer they wanted £65 and used a gutter vac plugged into the customer's electricity. He beat them down to £45.00.

It comprises of 2 gutter lengths of around 10 meters with a flat roof garage to one side meaning that there is a stretch of gutter hard to reach.

Apparently he did it in around 20 minutes. The gutters would have been full due to the number of trees around the property.

Our neighbour behind us had her gutters cleared a few years back by a guy off a ladder. Front, back and side run on a 3 bed semi. He charged £45.  It took him the morning and he apparently had another clear booked in the afternoon.

Confirms my experience of what people near me expect to pay. Probably why I'm currently in a Newmarket hotel doing gutters for 3 days and not doing it back home.

Edited by Part Timer
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19 hours ago, Part Timer said:

Confirms my experience of what people near me expect to pay. Probably why I'm currently in a Newmarket hotel doing gutters for 3 days and not doing it back home.

I've been thinking about pricing and customer perception of what they believe a job is worth.

I just think of my days back in the motor trade. My perception of what a van is worth is judged on what we were selling vans for. For example a brand a new 1.9 non turbo swb Citroen Relay was selling for £7995 + VAT. That is still my bench mark today some 18 years ago.

It as replaced by the same shape van but the engine was replaced with the 2.0hdi turbo diesel engine. We couldn't sell them at £8995 + VAT.

In 2004 the updated Relay came out with remote central locking, CD player, nicer seats, electric heated mirrors and the public balked at the price of £9995 + VAT.

I've often had the comparison of the minimum wage thrown up. How can you charge the minimum wage to clean my windows when you are only here for 20 minutes?

An old work acquaintance over seas made a comment a few weeks ago regarding the disgusting prices charged at a seafood restaurant chain in South Africa. Here is a copy of his post on FB

"Real **** meal at inflated price at Ocean Basket Springsgate last friday. R 570 for a fish & chips , 3 deep fried prawns and main meal of small prawns so small I would use them for bait. I could have done this at home for 1/4 the price. R34 for a beer is a rip off. Bottle of water R23 and 2 glasses wine. Have been disappointed before with OB so it's my last time going there." 

One of his mates made this comment in response;

"Some people use the price of a McDonalds as a benchmark for comparisons. I use Koo baked beans. They can generally be bought for R11.99 a tin , sometimes on special for a rand or so off. Our local Spar has them at well over R14 a tin and that's a rip off. I bought some Savemore ones at just over R8 and they are acceptable. Some profiteering going on at our Spar, keep your eyes wide open for more instances in this shop. I am sure his supplier never increased the price by 30%."

I found this remark extremely interesting as we must all have pricing perceptions judged against something tangible.

We lost a front only clean, 2 bays windows, a single window and a door. We used to charge £5. We put the price up to £6 and he cancelled a few cleans later. He liked to give us a £20 note in advance for 4 cleans. He didn't like it when he only got 3 cleans and £2 change for his £20 note.

He runs a business fitting plastic fascias, downpipes and guttering. He used to advertise a price for 3 bedroom semi from £890. Now I'm guessing that is much more than that these days. But he decries us asking a £1 more. So what does he use as his pricing perception?

We are old pensioners and we can't afford to pay a price rise. But they forget that their pensions have been increased every year so why shouldn't we also have the occasional price increase?

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27 minutes ago, spruce said:

I've been thinking about pricing and customer perception of what they believe a job is worth.

 

 

 

 

I found this remark extremely interesting as we must all have pricing perceptions judged against something tangible.

 

 

We are old pensioners and we can't afford to pay a price rise. But they forget that their pensions have been increased every year so why shouldn't we also have the occasional price increase?

Perceived value.

Some people perception is blurred they do not really know what's involved. 

Perceived value is a the hardest to over come when most cant show what value that they offer.

 

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1 hour ago, spruce said:

I've been thinking about pricing and customer perception of what they believe a job is worth.

With gutters, the majority of the time, you can't see if there's a problem so they don't think about getting them cleared. It's only when they're overflowing that people then think they might have a problem.

These people will pay what they need to to get them done  but selling a £100 job to someone that doesn't think there's a need for it is nigh on impossible.

Then you have some trad guys that do them for £10-£20 a side because they're already up there. Then there's the cowboys that do half a job as the custy knows no better.

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29 minutes ago, Part Timer said:

With gutters, the majority of the time, you can't see if there's a problem so they don't think about getting them cleared. It's only when they're overflowing that people then think they might have a problem.

These people will pay what they need to to get them done  but selling a £100 job to someone that doesn't think there's a need for it is nigh on impossible.

Then you have some trad guys that do them for £10-£20 a side because they're already up there. Then there's the cowboys that do half a job as the custy knows no better.

So far this winter it hasn’t been to bad with heavy rain , but when it does  start the phone doesn’t stop ringing everyone wants you there the morning they phone 😂😂, we have a lot of regular annual gutter vac jobs now on domestic I ask if they would them done each year it’s surprising how many say what an excellent idear just do it each year , saves me having to think about it , we must have around 100 like this now , I think we are our own worst enemy by not asking , now I offer it to all jobs we do I get a very high acceptance rate , so it’s worth asking .  

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16 minutes ago, Pjj said:

 I think we are our own worst enemy by not asking   

I totally agree with this!

Most everyones customers base is a gold mine that they need to tap in on.

The easiest sell is the sell to people that as already bought from you.

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20 minutes ago, swc1 said:

I totally agree with this!

Most everyones customers base is a gold mine that they need to tap in on.

The easiest sell is the sell to people that as already bought from you.

Exactly we offer a full external cleaning service to all our customers including , window cleaning, gutter vaccing , pressure washing , soft washing , gfs , is they dont have to look anywhere else most  like this as they already know/ trust us and already have keys gate code ,and they lay by BACS so that’s already set up , small to medium commercial love this, they just say just clean the block paving , or was down the  cladding ASAP , we fund it brings in a lot of repeat work .  

Edited by Pjj
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i hate cheapskates...always have,always will........everyone running a business needs to make a profit.......i remember many years ago losing a window cleaning job because i put his up 50p...he was having none of it and theyd been the same price for at least 5 years!

 

the best thing to do is show them the inflation calculator on your phone if a customer moans about a price rise......i like to think im fair to both me and the customer when it comes to prices...im not too expensive and im not too cheap either....

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