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Hey, newbie here seeking some advice!


JohnDoeWindows

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Hey guys, been a silent lurker of the forums for a while now! But figured I would sign up and seek out some advice, I have been working for a window cleaning company for over a year now and have learned the craft. I handle all aspects of outdoor cleaning from window cleaning, fascia and gutter cleaning, conservatory roof cleans, etc all with a water fed pole system mounted in my van provided by my boss.

I am good at my job, and my customers are always happy with my work. I also have new customers come up to me almost daily, and I go round and give them a quote on behalf of my boss so I have even managed to learn some of the "customer service" skills too. 

However I live in a small village with several other small villages surrounding it and I am told that window cleaners are few and far between in this area. I see a lot of potential here and would like to start to build up my own round.  My only problem is, I have never been shown how to actually set up a water fed pole system - what equipment is required, how to set it up, the best vans etc. I could hazard a guess as I see most of these things on a daily basis but I would really like to know exactly what I need so I can gather the bits and pieces and build my set up prior to leaving my current job. 

 

So in short, I have no equipment of my own, no van. I have funds available and would like to purchase decent equipment that will allow me to carry out the job to a high standard without breaking the bank too much to begin with! What would you guys recommend? What do I need?

Thanks!

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On the top of the website you will see a search bar. If you type in there thinking of starting up. You will find all the answers you need. This question gets asked many times a day. 
firstly you have some knowledge if you have been water fed pole cleaning for a year surely. You need to sit down firstly are you going to buy a van? If so are you buying a van Mount , backpack, trolley???? The list goes on. But you need to have some idea. You cannot expect people to help out if you don’t put any effort in yourself. Only you knows what funds you’ve got to get you started. Have you enough to go to Grippa tank, get a van kitted out ? Many answers only you know. The question is far to vague to get some good answers. Don’t be offended by what I’ve wrote, gather some information then come back with the questions. 

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Neil.. Lancashire
3 hours ago, JohnDoeWindows said:

Hey guys, been a silent lurker of the forums for a while now! But figured I would sign up and seek out some advice, I have been working for a window cleaning company for over a year now and have learned the craft. I handle all aspects of outdoor cleaning from window cleaning, fascia and gutter cleaning, conservatory roof cleans, etc all with a water fed pole system mounted in my van provided by my boss.

I am good at my job, and my customers are always happy with my work. I also have new customers come up to me almost daily, and I go round and give them a quote on behalf of my boss so I have even managed to learn some of the "customer service" skills too. 

However I live in a small village with several other small villages surrounding it and I am told that window cleaners are few and far between in this area. I see a lot of potential here and would like to start to build up my own round.  My only problem is, I have never been shown how to actually set up a water fed pole system - what equipment is required, how to set it up, the best vans etc. I could hazard a guess as I see most of these things on a daily basis but I would really like to know exactly what I need so I can gather the bits and pieces and build my set up prior to leaving my current job. 

 

So in short, I have no equipment of my own, no van. I have funds available and would like to purchase decent equipment that will allow me to carry out the job to a high standard without breaking the bank too much to begin with! What would you guys recommend? What do I need?

Thanks!

All van sets ups are on YouTube.  You will find lots of good advice on how to install your water tank and other bits of equipment.  

Best of luck.

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56 minutes ago, Jango said:

On the top of the website you will see a search bar. If you type in there thinking of starting up. You will find all the answers you need. This question gets asked many times a day. 
firstly you have some knowledge if you have been water fed pole cleaning for a year surely. You need to sit down firstly are you going to buy a van? If so are you buying a van Mount , backpack, trolley???? The list goes on. But you need to have some idea. You cannot expect people to help out if you don’t put any effort in yourself. Only you knows what funds you’ve got to get you started. Have you enough to go to Grippa tank, get a van kitted out ? Many answers only you know. The question is far to vague to get some good answers. Don’t be offended by what I’ve wrote, gather some information then come back with the questions. 

Not offended at all and appreciate the response! Yeah, my question definitely is vague in hindsight but figured I would put the feelers out and see if anyone had suggestions about where to start, I will have a look through the topics that come up in the search bar though -- thanks for the point in the right direction. 

 

Currently weighing up my options and deciding whether to go for a van mounted system or start off with back packs/trolleys. Van mounted systems are what I am familiar with so in an ideal world I would probably go for that. However, using a back pack/trolley system to build my round and later transition to a van mounted system might be better. 

Edited by JohnDoeWindows
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As you are using kit day in and day out that gives you a good starting point.

i.e. what van are you using? Do you think it would be better to have smaller van for your villages?

How big is tank? Is it just you using it? Do you have water left at end of day?

What make of poles do you use? What length are they? Are they bigger than necessary or could you do a better job with longer.

How is your pure made? In van at premises?

Do you have space at home to make pure or somewhere with power and water you can park van overnight?

One very important thing being self employed is every decision is yours to make. Be that accounts, marketing, pricing, scheduling to name but a few things. Everything is down to you and you alone, no one will tell you what to do. It is very different to 'going to work' for someone.

You really are in perfect position to really think about the kit you have and think what you would change and why.

You really want to be looking at the current van system and finding out how it all works and what components are used. 

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I was in a similar position to you late last year.  Had the ability to clean windows etc and decided to set up on my own.

I made the decision immediately that Would buy pure water from Spotless because I live in a very hard water everywhere and didn't want to fuss around with filters and resin and so on.

So you need to know whether you will be buying in water or producing it yourself.

That will determine what van mount system to get, if you're going down that route.  I decided to buy a GrippaTank system and let them fit it.  I wanted a "crash safe" tank installed professionally and safely.  As I buy in water, I only needed a delivery tank.  I got a 500L tank.  I bought all the poles and brushes etc from Gardiner.  

But this route was not the cheapest.  You can start off with a backpack and barrels of water, but if you're used to a van mount system, you may not enjoy this option.  But it could enable you to start cheaper.

Don't forget, in addition to this, you will need to think about whether you will be a sole trader or Ltd business.  Think about marketing, how you will work with customers, and most importantly, get an accountant!

Good luck.

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You already have the knowhow as far as the difficult bit (cleaning windows to a good standard and quoting jobs), the equipment side isn't that complicated, just don't be intimidated by the whole system and just look a each peice individually. 

The biggest challenge, is motivation, time management and a good work ethic. The rest you'll pick up as you go. 

Give yourself work hours and stick to them, if no work is due, use the time to manage your business by advertising, canvassing and improving your setup. 

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6 hours ago, JohnDoeWindows said:

Hey guys, been a silent lurker of the forums for a while now! But figured I would sign up and seek out some advice, I have been working for a window cleaning company for over a year now and have learned the craft. I handle all aspects of outdoor cleaning from window cleaning, fascia and gutter cleaning, conservatory roof cleans, etc all with a water fed pole system mounted in my van provided by my boss.

I am good at my job, and my customers are always happy with my work. I also have new customers come up to me almost daily, and I go round and give them a quote on behalf of my boss so I have even managed to learn some of the "customer service" skills too. 

However I live in a small village with several other small villages surrounding it and I am told that window cleaners are few and far between in this area. I see a lot of potential here and would like to start to build up my own round.  My only problem is, I have never been shown how to actually set up a water fed pole system - what equipment is required, how to set it up, the best vans etc. I could hazard a guess as I see most of these things on a daily basis but I would really like to know exactly what I need so I can gather the bits and pieces and build my set up prior to leaving my current job. 

 

So in short, I have no equipment of my own, no van. I have funds available and would like to purchase decent equipment that will allow me to carry out the job to a high standard without breaking the bank too much to begin with! What would you guys recommend? What do I need?

Thanks!

So if you work for someone else have you somehow managed not to see the equipment you are using or are you blindfolded? 

This really doesn't make sense... the answers to your question is right under your nose 

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7 hours ago, JohnDoeWindows said:

Not offended at all and appreciate the response! Yeah, my question definitely is vague in hindsight but figured I would put the feelers out and see if anyone had suggestions about where to start, I will have a look through the topics that come up in the search bar though -- thanks for the point in the right direction. 

 

Currently weighing up my options and deciding whether to go for a van mounted system or start off with back packs/trolleys. Van mounted systems are what I am familiar with so in an ideal world I would probably go for that. However, using a back pack/trolley system to build my round and later transition to a van mounted system might be better. 

If you have the money to buy a van, and can afford it then I would go for a van Mount system. I have never used a backpack so certainly can’t offer any advice on that. We have had a pure freedom trolley, I would say for sure they are very good. But they are heavy. Then carrying the water 25ltr drums is hard work and very tiring but it can be done. 
when starting out it can seem overwhelming but when you get a few basics in your head then you can start out with a plan. You have the know how of working because your doing it now. 
poles and brushes are a personal choice. We use the Gardiner slx poles and are very happy with them. We have several brushes. 
you could do a diy van set up that would be cheaper. Finance will be the big part and only you know what you have to spend. Hope all goes well for you. 

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On 06/12/2020 at 10:17, JohnDoeWindows said:

Hey guys, been a silent lurker of the forums for a while now! But figured I would sign up and seek out some advice, I have been working for a window cleaning company for over a year now and have learned the craft. I handle all aspects of outdoor cleaning from window cleaning, fascia and gutter cleaning, conservatory roof cleans, etc all with a water fed pole system mounted in my van provided by my boss.

I am good at my job, and my customers are always happy with my work. I also have new customers come up to me almost daily, and I go round and give them a quote on behalf of my boss so I have even managed to learn some of the "customer service" skills too. 

However I live in a small village with several other small villages surrounding it and I am told that window cleaners are few and far between in this area. I see a lot of potential here and would like to start to build up my own round.  My only problem is, I have never been shown how to actually set up a water fed pole system - what equipment is required, how to set it up, the best vans etc. I could hazard a guess as I see most of these things on a daily basis but I would really like to know exactly what I need so I can gather the bits and pieces and build my set up prior to leaving my current job. 

 

So in short, I have no equipment of my own, no van. I have funds available and would like to purchase decent equipment that will allow me to carry out the job to a high standard without breaking the bank too much to begin with! What would you guys recommend? What do I need?

Thanks!

Hi John , fellow newbie here too !

Sounds like you're more than ready to start your own business - good luck to you mate 👍 

don't want to repeat the advice given above too much , but definitely take a look at what youre using on a day to day basis - which equipment could you not live without ? What makes your life easier on your round ? What isnt really essential and could you live without ?

start small with your van and equipment , and you can always build on this over time. Good luck !

 

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I appreciate all the responses and well wishes, especially to those that are sharing their experiences! Definitely gives me an insight and some food for thought. I have an idea of what I need to get started.

How did those of you that previously worked for someone handle the process of starting your own round? Did you tell your boss? My boss kind of warned me off doing so when I first signed up so I can't see it going down too well. Did you continue working for them full time whilst building your round? I can do 25 houses a day with relative ease and have weekends to myself, perhaps I could build up my round on a weekend whilst still working to build up my round?

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The moment I set the wheels in motion, I stopped working for the guy I was with. Personally I didn't think it was right to be paid by someone cleaning windows whilst in the process of setting up on my own. 

I didn't want to cause any aggravation or ill feeling, especially as I was setting up in the same area. 

25 houses a day? Sod that for a laugh! 

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Neil.. Lancashire
6 hours ago, JohnDoeWindows said:

I appreciate all the responses and well wishes, especially to those that are sharing their experiences! Definitely gives me an insight and some food for thought. I have an idea of what I need to get started.

How did those of you that previously worked for someone handle the process of starting your own round? Did you tell your boss? My boss kind of warned me off doing so when I first signed up so I can't see it going down too well. Did you continue working for them full time whilst building your round? I can do 25 houses a day with relative ease and have weekends to myself, perhaps I could build up my round on a weekend whilst still working to build up my round?

It really depends on your funds/ savings.  The cheap option to stick your toe in the water and get yourself an idea as to how long its going to take you to get a few hundred customers would be back pack on a sack truck.  You know you can do the job, what you don't know is how long its going to take you to get the work in to make a living. How much do you need a month to live on. You need to make a 6 month plan with a few different out comes. Be prepared. Forward planning is everything in business.

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5 hours ago, karenD said:

Read the advice on here [but be aware theres some Real bullploppers posting] , do what feel right for You is my advice 

If he only does what’s right for him, it wouldn’t be any point asking on here.🙄 Lots of people on here are lovely and helpful. If you look at the help he has been offered it’s all been good to help him get going. 
Bragging about how much you make, can be blown up to impress I agree. 
 

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17 hours ago, karenD said:

Read the advice on here [but be aware theres some Real bullploppers posting] , do what feel right for You is my advice 

 You pop up with one liners and don't interact when asked a question, are you a actually a window cleaner 🤔

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Just a troll who strayed from their usual habitat, onto a forum for professionals and professionals in the making.

Nothing of value to contribute. Nothing of interest to ask or say.

We get them from time to time and they all think they're original. 😁

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