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Just starting out! Advice and feedback please!


Mike Clear Windows

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Mike Clear Windows

Hello all! 
 

I’m Mike and based in Surrey! I’m in the process of starting out my own window cleaning business as I have been made redundant! I have researched all possible avenues and thought window cleaning is a good business model. 
 

On a very very tight budget here but thought you guys could help me out with your vast knowledge and experience if that’s ok? 

1) I do not have the funds to lease or buy a van currently... however I will have to invest in a WFP system and backpack, unfortunately the gardiner backpack isn’t currently available so was wondering what’s the next best alternative? (eBay and Facebook marketplace they are like gold dust!) 

2) I will be combining traditional method and WFP ? Or shall I just use WFP

3) I have created a website and Facebook page for now which I will post in local forums and Facebook pages once I have my liability Insurence etc - I’d like you all to look through at these and give me some feedback. The logo I’ve created on a professional logo design website and spent £35 to have it as my own. The website I’m still trying to tweak it and is no way complete but will give you guys an idea... 

https://www.facebook.com/Mike.CleanWindows/

www.clearwindows.webador.co.uk

4) marketing ... the only thing I can think of is door to door canvassing with a leaflet / business card? And local Facebook groups? 

5) would it be worth investing in getting a polo shirt with my logo on also? I’ve looked but not so sure on vista print? 

6) I’ve researched cleaning planner is good for record keeping but it’s expensive at £30 a month? 

Thank you all for your time of you have read this and whilst doing so I’m looking around the forum to pick up as much advice and knowledge as possible 

 

kind regards

 

mike 🙂 

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Welcome to the forum. 

Have a look around using the search bar. It will answer probably all your questions  and when you have other questions ask away.

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I'd get a Polo shirt with your logo and I'd be using pen and paper to keep your records initially. Just buy a diary, have all customers contact details and frequency at the front and update the schedule daily. When wash is complete put the next wash on the relevant page.

When you have 100 or so customers then look at software.

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12 hours ago, Mike Clear Windows said:

Hello all! 
 

I’m Mike and based in Surrey! I’m in the process of starting out my own window cleaning business as I have been made redundant! I have researched all possible avenues and thought window cleaning is a good business model. 
 

On a very very tight budget here but thought you guys could help me out with your vast knowledge and experience if that’s ok? 

1) I do not have the funds to lease or buy a van currently... however I will have to invest in a WFP system and backpack, unfortunately the gardiner backpack isn’t currently available so was wondering what’s the next best alternative? (eBay and Facebook marketplace they are like gold dust!) 

2) I will be combining traditional method and WFP ? Or shall I just use WFP

3) I have created a website and Facebook page for now which I will post in local forums and Facebook pages once I have my liability Insurence etc - I’d like you all to look through at these and give me some feedback. The logo I’ve created on a professional logo design website and spent £35 to have it as my own. The website I’m still trying to tweak it and is no way complete but will give you guys an idea... 

https://www.facebook.com/Mike.CleanWindows/

www.clearwindows.webador.co.uk

4) marketing ... the only thing I can think of is door to door canvassing with a leaflet / business card? And local Facebook groups? 

5) would it be worth investing in getting a polo shirt with my logo on also? I’ve looked but not so sure on vista print? 

6) I’ve researched cleaning planner is good for record keeping but it’s expensive at £30 a month? 

Thank you all for your time of you have read this and whilst doing so I’m looking around the forum to pick up as much advice and knowledge as possible 

 

kind regards

 

mike 🙂 

 

1) you'll end up putting the gardiner backpack on a trolley anyway, so have a look at the various trolley systems available such as the "purefreedom nano" , or even build your own - DIY Trolley, theres a couple of other tutorials on the DIY section on here. at the end of the day whatever you buy/use is just a battery, pump, controller, and a water container.

2) Just WFP as much as you can, it can end up being a little awkward when you have limited water supply. It'll be a while before you have enough regular customers that it starts being an issue for your business, then hopefully you'll be able to look at a van & system.

3) & 4) its all trial and error, some guys hate facebook customers and find they are mostly messers, others cant stand canvassing, or find leafleting a waste of time. theres no magic formula, you just have to find what works for you.

5) some kind of uniform is good, doesn't need to be logo'd up, scruffy hoodies or your favourite designer T-shirt probably not a good move!

6) cleaner planner is well worth the money, no need for the pro subscription, unless you want to integrate gocardless. but a notebook is sufficient to begin with, especially if you stick to 1 cleaning frequency.

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Mike Clear Windows

Thanks guys! I’ve been reading lots and lots on this forum and has been very helpful! I’ll continue reading and contribute further to the forum! 😊

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Looking at the website, while it looks OK, there are a few things to consider. I know you are on a budget but:

First off you need your own domain as the 'webador.co.uk' system could be shut down at any time leaving you with links back to a site that doesn't exist!!! GBNames are cheap for domains and shop round for hosting that has software to help you build a site (not wix).

On the site you need to add a contact form or email address.

Be careful of stating things like 'Our customers locally have found us to be reliable and trustworthy' as you haven't started yet that can't be true!! I know it's difficult when you start as you want to come across as professional but don't make statements that are not true - all it takes is for someone on social media to point out you are a new starter with no customers and it won't help.

I realise trad gear isn't as expensive as wfp but why spend money on kit you don't need at the beginning? That said you haven't mentioned where you are getting or if you are making your own pure water as you can't use tap water to wfp.

To me uniform helps with your credibility - especially if you don't have a sign written van etc.

Hope that helps a little.

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When is first started in the early nineties, i canvassed before I had any equipment at all. 
All I brought were some business cards. 
I didn’t want to spend a single penny , until I thought it was a viable undertaking. 
 

I told any that said yes (not many!) that I was back in the area in 3 weeks time, just to give me some time. 
I think when I started I had no more than 6 or 7 customers. 
I brought a squeegee and applicator a couple of days before I started, so I could practice, I pinched my mums bucket and my Dads ladder,just in case it didn’t work out.

spend as little as possible to start with  

All you need to worry about is getting the work and doing a good job. 

everything else -websites, recording work , tax etc, can be sorted once your up and running with a few customers. 

sadly it’s much more expensive to start with wfp than trad, but better in the long run. 
 

 

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Mike Clear Windows

Really appreciate all the advice you have given me this far , I’m making changes to the website as someone mentioned above to have a contact form. 

and canvassing beforehand is good idea also! 
 

 

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