Get listed in the Spick and Span Directory

Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.

Getting Shop Work

Posted by fez (fez), 20 December 2003
As a mainly domestic window cleaner, I have decided to try to secure some shop window work in the not too distant future.

I have noticed a few new shops being developed in my town that haven't been used for years, or that are completely new. What I'd like to know is - when this work becomes available - is it open-season for window cleaners or do the shop centre window cleaners usually have first refusal?

It seems to be really difficult to break in to the retail areas (if you know what I mean) and I was wondering how it works generally or in your area if there are regional differences.

Also, how often are they usually cleaned on the high street - daily? weekly?

Any info would be appreciated. Smiley
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 20 December 2003
I had the chance to do my sisters shop, but her window cleaner does the outsides twice a week and does the insides once a week for £4.

He does all the shops in the town centre. It would be very difficult to start up as you would pay more for parking until you built up a few shops up in a row.

He doesn't do a a very good job, but I think he knows his job is safe due to his low prices and not being worth the hassle for other window cleaners.
Posted by jonesy5 (jonesy5), 20 December 2003
Rob is right its hard getting started in a town centre, you need to go weekly or daily in some cases, try the outskirts first some smaller shops but be prepared to stand on peoples toes!  i did a leaflet drop once in all letterboxes in shops in a small town it did have a little success  2 customers but it is a start.
Posted by shinebright (shinebright), 20 December 2003

Does this cheap guy supply invoices?

Check him out, and if he's on the fiddle, see how many shops he's cleaning do the maths and then have a discreet word. Then run him out of town.
Posted by pdhanson (Silly Philly), 20 December 2003
Hi Fez

We recently got a shop photographic shop because we were a customer, and they remembered us when their other window cleaner let them down.

To be honest, we find its a little bit more hassle than its worth.  It has to be done every week, which means if we're on holiday cover has to be arranged.  Also, it needs doing whether or not its raining, so you have to get saddled up for just half an hours work when you could devote the day to something else.

The cherry on the cake was when the regional manager phoned after we sent the first invoice moaning about the price!! (Which had been agreed in writing!)  Their other guy was v cheap, but also v rubbish.

So now they're on very thin ice, just one more bit of hassle and its see ya later! (don't you love window cleaning for that freedom?!!)

One good thing though, while I was doing it, a chap saw me in the street and asked me to quote for his offices, which now make up our best contract!

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 20 December 2003
I used to do a lot of shops but got rid of them some time ago because i can earn far more doing other commercial work and most shops seem to want it doing for next to nothing.

Posted by fez (fez), 20 December 2003
Thanks for the info! I'd always looked upon shops as being "where the action was" so to speak in window cleaning. Judging by the posts on here, it's obviously not as good as I thought. Maybe I should be changing my business plan for next year and target something else; maybe offices etc. Undecided

This has definitely got me thinking.
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 20 December 2003
Hi fez,
        Some others on this forum probably earn good money from shop rounds but you really need to have a lot all together and good prices. The advantage is no ladder work but i would rather have it and earn more money.

Posted by denzle (denzle), 20 December 2003
We don't do much commercial work, and for some very good reasons.... Firstly most shops want it done for next to nothing and we ain't cheap. Also there is no customer loyalty at all unlike residential.
You get a new manager and he wants to prove how good he is by getting prices reduced, so if Old Fred will do it 50p cheaper he gets it, no matter how bad a job he does.
My price is my price, take it or leave it.
I recently quoted for some Council work which i based my price on £20 per hour per person, the contract was won by some idiot who must have gone in at less than £5 per hour. How do you compete with that when i'm paying my guys more than that per hour in wages. let alone insurances, vehicles etc etc
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 20 December 2003
on 12/20/03 at 10:32:18, shinebright wrote:

Does this cheap guy supply invoices?

Check him out, and if he's on the fiddle, see how many shops he's cleaning do the maths and then have a discreet word. Then run him out of town.

Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 20 December 2003
Yes he does give receipts.
Posted by shinebright (shinebright), 20 December 2003
Leave him to it Rob.

My focus at the moment is work that will take half a day or more. I am quoting hospitals, schools, nursing homes etc. They don't want them doing as often, but this helps with the issues that have been mentioned by some of the other lads.

I was talking to another WC who does 8 McDonalds locally. He hates them as he has to go 6 days a week. He offered to give me the contract for nothing. I have offered it to a mate who is trying to get started.

The problem with commercial work has been highlighted by some members. Domestic work should be your bread and butter. Give them a good service and they will spread the word.
Posted by pw (paul w), 20 December 2003
i must admit i do a lot of shops but my min price is£5 for charity shops or one window shops all the rest £10+ . and i have got loads of other work from them offices ect Cheesy Wink Shocked Roll Eyes
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 21 December 2003
There must be good money in shops because the guys round our way that have got it all sewn up don't look like they would be doing it for peanuts.
they also don't look like they would take too kindly to anyone trying to butt in.
A lot of this work is controlled by families that have had it for years and it gets passed on father to son.
Not that they do the work, they have teams of blokes who do it for them.
Posted by poleman (poleman), 23 December 2003
i have a lots of shops and the good thing is they all have signs that need cleaning which i use my pole system its 4 times faster, upto 100 pounds a hour

fed member

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.