Get listed in the Spick and Span Directory

Starting a window cleaning business - Equipment you need, suppliers to use and trade organisations to join, etc.

collecting money

Posted by CHUCKK (CHUCKK), 8 November 2003

just started window cleaning about six month ago and loving it
having some problem collecting money from my fortnightly houses- they never seem to be at home-their bill just keeps adding up and when you go back to collect it they moan
Has anybody got a good method of collection to limit the amount of time collecting

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 8 November 2003
I put a card through asking them to forward on a cheque and this works fine for me Cheesy I have not done any collecting for about five years Grin Although most of my work is either commercial or very large domestic Smiley

Steve Lowe
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 8 November 2003
I have a card I put through the letterbox saying that I have been and will call again friday evening. I go between 6 & 7pm while people are having their tea, and most people have just got paid. I would be waiting weeks for cheques through the post.
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 8 November 2003
I think that most window cleaners have had the same problem, when asked what is the worst part of your job its not the wind or rain , its collecting.What I do now is tell all my customers that I will clean your windows then call to collect on Friday tea  5pm - 7pm if I dont catch them I will call again on Monday same time , if I still dont catch them I will clean there windows again the following week and collect as before , if I still dont catch them its goodbye I only clean a house twice without getting paid , I am not a charity ,can they get a taxi and then tell the driver to call back on friday and if they are in they will pay him , I dont think so .They need a window cleaner more than you need the hassel of calling for your money.Now  any new customers are told that I can clean there windows only if I get paid when I have finished ,  for every new one  get I retire a call to collect one and its working well Cool
Posted by john_archer (john_archer), 9 November 2003
A good thing with persistent non payers/never in clients is to ask them to go on a standing order or you will have to stop doing them.Very annoying when you put a slip through saying will call back for payment at ...........
and they still give the old chestnut about not having time to go to the bank,as in earlier message two strikes n good riddance. Angry
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 12 November 2003
Hi John,
           Have you got any of your customers on standing order Huh Do the customers mind Huh

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 12 November 2003
Hi Steve
No all mine are cash , I like to keep it simple , I am getting round to nearly all paid as cleaned  Cool
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 16 November 2003
Whats wrong with the old arrangement of leaving the money under the mat ?
I have quite a few arrangements like that, all a bit different (under the bin, flower pot etc) and have never had a problem.

The idea in principal is to get the money as soon as possible and educate your customers to your way of thinking.

I agree with what others have said, if you get a bad payer dump them. They will never change.

I like the idea of a standing order ( or a direct debit mandate) but I wonder if the customers would go for it.
Has anyone tried it?
Posted by sham33 (sham33), 16 November 2003
I know a window cleaning company that only accept direct debit. Wont accept cash at all. They have thousand of customers so i guess people don't mind. I think it might be expensive to set up though.
Posted by john_archer (john_archer), 17 November 2003
        i have most of my domestic customers now on s.o's
if they object tell them you will collect payment by cheque and sling a s.a.e through the door with a slip when you clean them or you wont be able to clean theirs any more,the reason i give is not so i don't have to trail back because to be honest they don't give 2 f**** as long as their windows are clean,i say it's a security risk in this day and age to carry cash,most switch on to this.
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 17 November 2003
Hi John,
          I think i might suggest this to a few customers and see what kind of response i get Shocked

Posted by elfords (elfords), 17 November 2003
I have looked into setting up either a direct debit scheme or standing order in the past and came up with the following problems:

Direct Debits - According to my bank you have to have a minimum turn over, I forget the exact figure but its in the hundreds of thousands plus bracket to qualify, this is due to the direct debit guarantee scheme which is under pinned by the banks

Standing Orders -  I thought maybe a good alternative, but the main problem is keeping track of them all as you are not in control the customer is! So you could be cleaning away for months without realising they had cancelled it. The problem is that you do not get notification of this and it is very difficult to identify who is who from your bank statements, so you can imagine the administrative nightmare it will be keeping an idea on who is and is`nt paying as agreed

Perhaps someone who has overcome this can enlighten the rest of us  Huh
Posted by andy (andy), 17 November 2003
Hello people! i use this system below.

1. G
Posted by andy (andy), 17 November 2003
Hello people! i use this system below.

1.  Give the customer a paypal website address.

2. You as the business registar with paypal.

3. get the customer to registar there details with paypal and ask them to make payments to your account via paypal service.

Have a look your self at the paypal website:-

Hope this helps people.  It helps! all my customers pay this way or give me money when i clean.  It will take time for your customers to get to grips with, but running a business also does.

Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 17 November 2003

Have you put extra on the price to cover paypals charges? what did your customers think to having to pay extra for this service?

Posted by pdhanson (pdhanson), 17 November 2003
Leaving envelopes is the ONLY way to go.

I started doing it 7 months ago, and I will never collect again.

No customer waits more than a week before sending a cheque.  

I have numbers stamped on the reply envelopes so that I know who the cheque is from.

Collecting is a dying thing chaps.
Posted by g_griffin (g_griffin), 18 November 2003
You`re right, it`s killing me. But there are some good ideas on here about avoiding it. I might give some a go.  Gerry.
Posted by matt (matt), 18 November 2003
But if you get all your money in cheque's, "THEY" know how much you earn Sad
Posted by andy (andy), 18 November 2003
very true! they do know how much you earn.

Anyway, dont you have to pay for cashing cheques in at the bank?

thats if you operate like a proper business.

Posted by matt (matt), 18 November 2003
my biz account can cash 8 cheques a day for free, so thats not that bad, as i only get about 3 a day anyways
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 19 November 2003
Hi Matt,
          Who do you use for your business account because that sounds a good deal Shocked

Posted by matt (matt), 19 November 2003
Royal bank of Scotland

Posted by matt (matt), 19 November 2003
i also bank with the halifax, and i spoke with the manager a few weeks back, and he said he would match that if i used them

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 19 November 2003
I use the Abbey National , no charges ,free business  banking  Cool
Posted by g_griffin (g_griffin), 20 November 2003
I just use my Swiss bank account. Grin
Posted by Bones (Bones), 20 November 2003
Roll Eyes I have two floor boards that i lift up Roll Eyes
Posted by g_griffin (g_griffin), 20 November 2003
The Swiss are no good at fighting wars but they bank  all my coppers no problem .
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 23 November 2003
Hi Andy,
           I like the idea of using paypal because it encourages the customers to re visit your website which reminds them of the other services you have to offer and is a good way of showing any special offers etc. Do you find the customers get to grips with it ok Huh What sort of fees do you pay to paypal Huh

Posted by matt (matt), 23 November 2003
you pay a % when you withdraw money from paypal

on ebay people charge 2% of the total to cover withdrawal fee's

tells you more

i use paypal ALOT for ebay, i sell a fair bit on ebay

Its not all good though, i have heard many a nightmare story, have a look for yourself

I use NOCHEX more than paypal, its UK based and they are fairly good, its cheaper to use aswell

This page is a thread posted to the cleanitup forum at and archived here for reference. To jump to the archive index please follow this link.