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panescrubber

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panescrubber

What did you do before you became a window cleaner?

 

I know a lot of window cleaners who have come from many different backgrounds. One sold mortgages, another was a delivery driver and the list goes on. Did you make a deliberate choice to become a window cleaner or was it just a set of circumstances that took you here?

 

I used to be a Managing Director in the construction industry before the last recession which resulted in me losing my company. I'd be interested to know, what did you do before you became a window cleaner?

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I was a salesperson.  Started off with business insurance, then mobile phones, ended up in the city selling IT training after being headhunted, burned out by 2002.  Did a bit of window clean

Left school, 1980, at 16 to work in the family business, wasn't allowed to stay on to do A levels because my Father said I didn't need any qualifications as I had a job waiting. It bought aluminium sc

Had a warehouse job since I was 18 after leaving college. Got made redundant from that after 6 years. Started working in a factory making seat belt parts. Hated it. During one shift a jobsworth superv

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43 minutes ago, panescrubber said:

What did you do before you became a window cleaner?

 

I know a lot of window cleaners who have come from many different backgrounds. One sold mortgages, another was a delivery driver and the list goes on. Did you make a deliberate choice to become a window cleaner or was it just a set of circumstances that took you here?

 

I used to be a Managing Director in the construction industry before the last recession which resulted in me losing my company. I'd be interested to know, what did you do before you became a window cleaner?

Soldier 

Specialist effects projects builder 

Fireworks & Pyrotechnics rigger 

Electro mechanical engineering 

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I was a salesperson. 

Started off with business insurance, then mobile phones, ended up in the city selling IT training after being headhunted, burned out by 2002. 

Did a bit of window cleaning with a friend to pay some bills etc. Yo yo'd back and forth working for my dad, and then doing some temping and window cleaning..basicly whatever work I could get I did, even painted the side of a house.

Started up on my own in 2003 and built up a fairly good window cleaning concern, had lots of commercial contracts and started making some serious money with a recently purchased brodex system. Bought a house when I was only 26 as a result and life was very very very good. 

1st Wife was bonking my one of my close mates behind my back, marriage fell apart, tax investigation meant that I had to pay back 50 grand in underpaid tax (I was very nieve back then) 

Sold house, sold business, went on 2 year partying & drinking bender...buried head in sand..complete breakdown. 

Met Debra, she saved my life (literally) my plan was to go out with a bang and take my life once all the money ran out.

She helped me face the music, we got married, I restarted the window clean ing business, Started to pay back my debts with the taxman..those were very hard times.

She fell pregnant, baby on the way, £1000 a week payments on the tax debt was simply not realistic anymore. Filed for bankruptcy. 

Kept going with the business, rode it out 2nd baby on way, Debra by my side all the way. Battled depression.

Now own a Ltd Company, just me and the wife with 2 kids life is good again, it's been a rollercoaster 12years, fingers crossed we might be able to buy our 1st home soon.

All the way through that, I still paid my rent on time, my kids still had clothes on their back and debs didn't go without.

I have had a love-hate relationship with this job since i lost everything back when my 1st wife decided to cheat. 

I keep trying to leave it, even been back at my dad's engineering business a few days a month to see if I can get out of window cleaning, it's just window cleaning is better paid.

Even started studying law to get a law degree, but realised my brain is mush, and it's going to take a lot of time to retain the information.

Back window cleaning again.. tssst

Its a love-hate affair for me. It's very well paid for what it is.

I do the work, go home and forget about it. .my accountant does all the tax, PAYE and I don't lift a finger other than go out clean  the windows and come home..  

I love my motorcycle, hi-fi and model making.. and of course the woman who saved me..Debs and my two kids..

 

 

 

 

Edited by cleaniac
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10 minutes ago, cleaniac said:

I was a salesperson. 

Started off with business insurance, then mobile phones, ended up in the city selling IT training after being headhunted, burned out by 2002. 

Did a bit of window cleaning with a friend to pay some bills etc. Yo yo'd back and forth working for my dad, and then doing some temping and window cleaning..basicly whatever work I could get I did, even painted the side of a house.

Started up on my own in 2003 and built up a fairly good window cleaning concern, had lots of commercial contracts and started making some serious money with a recently purchased brodex system. Bought a house when I was only 26 as a result and life was very very very good. 

1st Wife was bonking my one of my close mates behind my back, marriage fell apart, tax investigation meant that I had to pay back 50 grand in underpaid tax (I was very nieve back then) 

Sold house, sold business, went on 2 year partying & drinking bender...buried head in sand..complete breakdown. 

Met Debra, she saved my life (literally) my plan was to go out with a bang and take my life once all the money ran out.

She helped me face the music, we got married, I restarted the window clean ing business, Started to pay back my debts with the taxman..those were very hard times.

She fell pregnant, baby on the way, £1000 a week payments on the tax debt was simply not realistic anymore. Filed for bankruptcy. 

Kept going with the business, rode it out 2nd baby on way, Debra by my side all the way. Battled depression.

Now own a Ltd Company, just me and the wife with 2 kids life is good again, it's been a rollercoaster 12years, fingers crossed we might be able to buy our 1st home soon.

All the way through that, I still paid my rent on time, my kids still had clothes on their back and debs didn't go without.

I have had a love-hate relationship with this job since i lost everything back when my 1st wife decided to cheat. 

I keep trying to leave it, even been back at my dad's engineering business a few days a month to see if I can get out of window cleaning, it's just window cleaning is better paid.

Even started studying law to get a law degree, but realised my brain is mush, and it's going to take a lot of time to retain the information.

Back window cleaning again.. tssst

Its a love-hate affair for me. It's very well paid for what it is.

I do the work, go home and forget about it. .my accountant does all the tax, PAYE and I don't lift a finger other than go out clean  the windows and come home..  

I love my motorcycle, hi-fi and model making.. and of course the woman who saved me..Debs and my two kids..

 

 

 

 

wow theres a movie there somewhere. yeh the taxman is certainly to be wary of. Did you just not declare lots of the work/customers, and they found out? I declare all mine, but dont use an accountant as yet, because I manage without, but cant help feeling some time taxman could try it on. Doubt it though, all legit. 

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22 minutes ago, ks789 said:

wow theres a movie there somewhere. yeh the taxman is certainly to be wary of. Did you just not declare lots of the work/customers, and they found out? I declare all mine, but dont use an accountant as yet, because I manage without, but cant help feeling some time taxman could try it on. Doubt it though, all legit. 

Nope didn't hide anything. In fact I think it was my honesty that triggered the investigation I was pulling in some big £. And for a self employed  window cleaner it probably let off alarm bells at the tax office.

Taxman just didn't concour with my outgoings. It was a difference of opinion, I had no accountant, no book keeper, all kept by myself. They simply just disallowed certain things in interpretation of tax law..before you know it your liable for back taxes, interest and penalties..

HMRC will argue that black is white when they see you haven't a leg to stand on, and once they go to the effort to assign a tax case manager at £100 an hour, trust me they will do their damndest to make it pay.

This is why I say, to everyone. Paying for a proper accountant, and tax advisor is more important than buying a better reel or pole. 

I have now saved over 10 times my accountancy costs in tax, doing all within the tax law and using people who know the rules and how to apply them, I pay less tax now than I did back in the beginning as a sole trader.

This is why it  makes me laugh when self employed people boast on here that they are making 70k a year as a self employed person. The numbers just don't stack up as a self employed person, the amount of tax, and payments on account for that under that business setup would be ridiculous, it wouldn't be worth going out to work.

Ltd Company? That's a whole world of light and sunshine. 😎👍

 

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Started working at 13 with loads of labouring/lower skilled jobs jobs window cleaning being one of them as well as marquee erector and construction etc.

Tried the office life as a Paralegal for a year

Wasn't for me so became a Skydiving instructor, competitor and coach for 8 years living and working in NZ(where I also had a window cleaning business), Italy and Dubai

Then I was a Wildland Firefighter on a helitack crew in norther Alberta, Canada

Now Wholetime "structural" firefighter and Window Cleaner

Edited by Mx19
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After Uni, I went straight into the Civil Service and managed 20 years before quitting to be a stay at home dad.

I worked in Employment laws, international trade, business support, and energy at various times.

Within 18 months of being a stay at home dad, my marriage fell apart and I needed a job that offered me flexibility to to care for my kids.  I asked my window cleaner about buying into his franchise.  I worked with him for a short while before deciding franchising was not for me and set up on my own instead.

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Left school, 1980, at 16 to work in the family business, wasn't allowed to stay on to do A levels because my Father said I didn't need any qualifications as I had a job waiting. It bought aluminium scrap melted it into ingots and supplied mainly the steelworks but some for the diecast industry. Learnt all aspects of the business, buying, selling, P&L etc etc. Employed up to 30 people and turned over £7m+.

Family business sold in the late 80's, Father retired so I ran it. Parent company closed it end of 1998, retained me but I resigned May 99 to do my own thing, in the scrap metal industry, but mainly aluminium. A big scrap metal merchant in Scotland asked me to find him a market in China for his Zorba, this being the Non Ferrous by product of ferrous fragmentisers. Found him a couple then after a few years started working with the Chinese, around 2005, buying "Zorba" for them

In 2009 my son had a serious mental health issue, virtually a full breakdown due to stresses of working away 12 nights a fortnight putting in bridge expansion joints, and had 18 months off work so I looked to set up a business for him. Had just started to see the WFP being used, did a bit of research and thought that would be a good business for him.

After 2 years he packed in so I had a local guy continue doing mine and his work using my equipment. After 2 years he packed in to move to Edinburgh, for a woman. He gave me very little notice so as I did a bit when it was first set up I decided to run it so I didn't rush in to get someone else in. The Chinese had also shafted me so had plenty of spare time but still continued buying and selling aluminium.

Found out I enjoyed doing it "Part Time" and 5 years later I'm now concentrating on building this, with my son back on board, rather than the much better paying and much easier scrap game.

Edited by Part Timer
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5 hours ago, cleaniac said:

I was a salesperson. 

Started off with business insurance, then mobile phones, ended up in the city selling IT training after being headhunted, burned out by 2002. 

Did a bit of window cleaning with a friend to pay some bills etc. Yo yo'd back and forth working for my dad, and then doing some temping and window cleaning..basicly whatever work I could get I did, even painted the side of a house.

Started up on my own in 2003 and built up a fairly good window cleaning concern, had lots of commercial contracts and started making some serious money with a recently purchased brodex system. Bought a house when I was only 26 as a result and life was very very very good. 

1st Wife was bonking my one of my close mates behind my back, marriage fell apart, tax investigation meant that I had to pay back 50 grand in underpaid tax (I was very nieve back then) 

Sold house, sold business, went on 2 year partying & drinking bender...buried head in sand..complete breakdown. 

Met Debra, she saved my life (literally) my plan was to go out with a bang and take my life once all the money ran out.

She helped me face the music, we got married, I restarted the window clean ing business, Started to pay back my debts with the taxman..those were very hard times.

She fell pregnant, baby on the way, £1000 a week payments on the tax debt was simply not realistic anymore. Filed for bankruptcy. 

Kept going with the business, rode it out 2nd baby on way, Debra by my side all the way. Battled depression.

Now own a Ltd Company, just me and the wife with 2 kids life is good again, it's been a rollercoaster 12years, fingers crossed we might be able to buy our 1st home soon.

All the way through that, I still paid my rent on time, my kids still had clothes on their back and debs didn't go without.

I have had a love-hate relationship with this job since i lost everything back when my 1st wife decided to cheat. 

I keep trying to leave it, even been back at my dad's engineering business a few days a month to see if I can get out of window cleaning, it's just window cleaning is better paid.

Even started studying law to get a law degree, but realised my brain is mush, and it's going to take a lot of time to retain the information.

Back window cleaning again.. tssst

Its a love-hate affair for me. It's very well paid for what it is.

I do the work, go home and forget about it. .my accountant does all the tax, PAYE and I don't lift a finger other than go out clean  the windows and come home..  

I love my motorcycle, hi-fi and model making.. and of course the woman who saved me..Debs and my two kids..

 

 

 

 

Jeez, he asked for your job history not an autobiography 😘.

Baker, Video and tv installer, window fitter 👨‍🦰

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I’ve been a window cleaner for nearly 40 years. My dad was a windie and almost forced me into it. I always wanted to drive lorries but u couldn’t until you were 21 in those days. I did however, take my hgv test 30 years ago and have always driven hgvs at least one day a week and I still prefer it. Just got used to working short days doing what I want when I want to. 

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40 minutes ago, steve garwood said:

Jeez, he asked for your job history not an autobiography 😘.

Baker, Video and tv installer, window fitter 👨‍🦰

Ditto 

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panescrubber
1 hour ago, Part Timer said:

Left school, 1980, at 16 to work in the family business, wasn't allowed to stay on to do A levels because my Father said I didn't need any qualifications as I had a job waiting. It bought aluminium scrap melted it into ingots and supplied mainly the steelworks but some for the diecast industry. Learnt all aspects of the business, buying, selling, P&L etc etc. Employed up to 30 people and turned over £7m+.

Family business sold in the late 80's, Father retired so I ran it. Parent company closed it end of 1998, retained me but I resigned May 99 to do my own thing, in the scrap metal industry, but mainly aluminium. A big scrap metal merchant in Scotland asked me to find him a market in China for his Zorba, this being the Non Ferrous by product of ferrous fragmentisers. Found him a couple then after a few years started working with the Chinese, around 2005, buying "Zorba" for them

In 2009 my son had a serious mental health issue, virtually a full breakdown due to stresses of working away 12 nights a fortnight putting in bridge expansion joints, and had 18 months off work so I looked to set up a business for him. Had just started to see the WFP being used, did a bit of research and thought that would be a good business for him.

After 2 years he packed in so I had a local guy continue doing mine and his work using my equipment. After 2 years he packed in to move to Edinburgh, for a woman. He gave me very little notice so as I did a bit when it was first set up I decided to run it so I didn't rush in to get someone else in. The Chinese had also shafted me so had plenty of spare time but still continued buying and selling aluminium.

Found out I enjoyed doing it "Part Time" and 5 years later I'm now concentrating on building this, with my son back on board, rather than the much better paying and much easier scrap game.

Interesting story 👍

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