Starting a window cleaning business - Equipment you need, suppliers to use and trade organisations to join, etc.
Posted by CHUCKK (CHUCKK), 8 November 2003Hi FELLOW WINDOW CLEANERS
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 2003I put a card through asking them to forward on a cheque and this works fine for me I have not done any collecting for about five years Although most of my work is either commercial or very large domestic
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 8 November 2003I 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 2003I 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
Posted by john_archer (john_archer), 9 November 2003A 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.
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 12 November 2003Hi John,
Have you got any of your customers on standing order Do the customers mind
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 12 November 2003Hi Steve
No all mine are cash , I like to keep it simple , I am getting round to nearly all paid as cleaned
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 16 November 2003Whats 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 2003I 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 2003Guys,
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 2003Hi John,
I think i might suggest this to a few customers and see what kind of response i get
Posted by elfords (elfords), 17 November 2003I 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
Posted by andy (andy), 17 November 2003Hello people! i use this system below.
Posted by andy (andy), 17 November 2003Hello 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:- www.paypal.com
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 2003Andy,
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 2003Leaving 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 2003You`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 2003But if you get all your money in cheque's, "THEY" know how much you earn
Posted by andy (andy), 18 November 2003very 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 2003my 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 2003Hi Matt,
Who do you use for your business account because that sounds a good deal
Posted by matt (matt), 19 November 2003Royal bank of Scotland
Posted by matt (matt), 19 November 2003i 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 2003I use the Abbey National , no charges ,free business banking
Posted by g_griffin (g_griffin), 20 November 2003I just use my Swiss bank account.
Posted by Bones (Bones), 20 November 2003 I have two floor boards that i lift up
Posted by g_griffin (g_griffin), 20 November 2003The Swiss are no good at fighting wars but they bank all my coppers no problem .
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 23 November 2003Hi 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 What sort of fees do you pay to paypal
Posted by matt (matt), 23 November 2003you 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, http://www.paypalsucks.com have a look for yourself
I use NOCHEX more than paypal, its UK based and they are fairly good, its cheaper to use aswell
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