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

Which road to take?

Posted by JWT (JWT), 13 October 2003
SmileyHi Everyone

I have just discovered this bulletin board and read through many of the existing posts. They are great and seems like there are some really genuine and helpful members out there.

I am just starting out after having been made redundant and I need a bit of help with regards the best way to get going.
I responded to 2 ads in my local paper last week. I called the 1st one on the phone and he has 2 rounds for sale..one has 36 customers (all residential) generating 422 p/month and the other has 30 clients bringing in 560 p/m. The seller values the 2 rounds together at just short of 5000 and arrives at this figure by multiplying the monthly income from each round by 5. He says this is "the norm" in this business and that there is plenty of potential to expand each round and therefore feels this is good value for money. Can anyone please let me know if this is "the norm" for valuing the price of a round?

The 2nd ad that I responded to was a company in Essex who have sent me an info pack which I received at the weekend. In a nutshell they Guarantee the following.......income on your round, your round will grow at least 10% in first year, to provide advice & backup etc and that you will be successful.
The example round that they highlight in their info. is 500 p/week income to start at a price of.........8000!!! You can have finance with them, if you want it, at 50p/w over 2 years if you come up with a 4000 initial deposit.
They state that typical earnings are 150/180 per day and that you should earn around 20-25p/h once you are familiar with your round "approx 4-6 months from start up".
It all sounds very interesting to say the least and I haven't spoken to them yet since receiving their info pack.
I would love to hear from anyone who has any thoughts on the above and in particular anyone who may have had dealings with this company in Essex (name withheld) or any others with a similar offer.

I haven't tried any canvassing of my own yet to get a feel for the demand that there might or might not be in my area. This might be the best way to start (certainly the cheapest) but could take me a long long time to build up to the amounts per week being "offered" by others.

I really would value any constructive help, thoughts or advice from you experienced professionals out there.

Thanks in anticipation

Regards

JWT.
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 13 October 2003
Hi JWT,
         Welcome to the forum.  Smiley I would not buy any domestic work as their is loads and loads of work out their. You just need to canvass for it!  If the company in Essex is a reputable company i would think they would be pleased for you to put up their web address Huh I would be interested to see it if they have a website.

Good luck to you with your new business

Steve Lowe
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 13 October 2003
Hi
 Forgot to say 20-25 an hour is very possible but you will need to allow for wet days when you cant work. Cry

Steve Lowe
Posted by gibbouk (gibbouk), 13 October 2003
serious advice. dont do either of them.my experiance with buying an established round is that as a beginer in the trade, the customers are used to a standard that you need to achieve through practise. yes it will launch you straight into earning, but you will struggle to keep up with the work rate at first. so expect to lose a few.
the other option i would not touch, a few claims you say they make like your round will grow by 10% in the first year. not a big claim, poor show i reckon any round will grow by far more than that without even trying through people seeing you working and asking you to do theirs.
my advice is, look at previous posts for the kit you need to buy, do your own house your families and friends houses, to get the practice. go knocking on doors it works, build a round and make it grow over the next few months within a year you will be doing very well.
Posted by jake (jake), 13 October 2003
If your thinking of buying an established round you must at least be introduced to to your customers as the new window cleaner taking over the round. If you buy it 'blind' you could find people opting out! I bought a round a couple of years ago and paid what it was worth monthly!!  5000 for those rounds sounds way out! But then I live in Devon! Like the other lads have said canvass your own round, there's millions of windows out there! good luck.       Smiley
Posted by fez (fez), 13 October 2003
I don't think I'd touch the 2nd ad with a barge pole. I'ts too expensive and also sounds too good to be true.
Posted by Bones (Winda Kleena Previously Bones), 13 October 2003
Hello mate, listen to what the guy's say on here because it is valuble advice. I was in a termoil with giving in my regular employment and starting window cleaning. I had the encouragement of a friend (who is a window cleaner) and just needed that final push, which i got from this site!! Thanks again guy's!!

As for custom, go out there and get them for yourself. I would not say it is easy, but it ain't hard either. Take this for an example. I canvassed a street of approx 50 houses (knocking that is) and got four takers. today i started the street for the first time and three of the people who turned me away (nicely) approached me and asked if i would do theirs. I think if you show your face in a genuine "non-pushy" way you have won half the battle. Who knows, next week i might get another two people from the same street, who knows?

Good luck matey  Grin
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 13 October 2003
I bet when you go down the road to do the windows you will probably get a few more. Wink

Steve Lowe
Posted by johnny_warrington (johnny_warrington), 13 October 2003
hi im in belfast we pay 3 times the average income,at the minute there is a guy selling 350 customers done fortnightly 3200 per month selling for 6500 which is a little below the average/is their anybody else on the site from belfast  Angry
Posted by matt (matt), 13 October 2003
looks like i got a good deal Smiley

i paid half the income for the month Smiley


Posted by JWT (JWT), 13 October 2003
Hello Friends,

Thanks for all of your replies and input up to now....its all very helpful and given me food for thought. The prices quoted for the rounds I mentioned earlier seemed a bit high to me at the beginning and you all basically confirm that.

I am definitely going to get some calling cards made up and get out canvassing and find out how that goes.
I'll also get out practising on friends and family's windows.

I will follow up with the company in Essex and get as much free info out of them as possible for my own gain.

Steve Lowe if you give me you email address I will give you the contact details for the company in Essex but as you suspected they don't have a web address.

Thanks to everyone once again  Wink

JWT
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 14 October 2003
Hi Jwt,
        Good luck with your canvassing Cheesy  My e mail address is stevelowe@lowescleaning.co.uk .

Steve Lowe
Posted by g_griffin (g_griffin), 14 October 2003
i would be wary of buying a window round because you end up with someone elses prices and their ways- its what customers get used to. i bought one from a bloke who used to do it part time and although it seemed cheap (250 per fortnight for 800 pounds) at the time it turned out to be a nightmare.the houses turned out to be harder work than they looked when i viewed them( i know my fault) and the prices too low. i did put prices up but it was difficult because of what they had been paying for years. i also found myself listening to them praising their previous w.cl. all day long and telling what jobs he would do for no extra charge. i got rid and so did the bloke who took over from me. im sure its not all bad but be careful when buying.  
y
Posted by matt (matt), 14 October 2003
i was fairly lucky, the guy i had it off, while being too cheap on a few (but i put them up straight away and lost only 3) as he is retiring, he doesnt do them avery often, sometimes every 2 months Sad, and also miss's window he doesnt fancy, so i have heard how bad he was Smiley

its all good, as i now look good  Shocked Grin Shocked


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