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

Jobs for rainy days?

Posted by scwindowcleaning (steveC), 13 December 2003
Are there any jobs you have that you can do on rainy days (apart from the ironing and hoovering)? Seems a waste of a day, doing nothing whenever its raining.
Posted by jonesy5 (jonesy5), 13 December 2003
I always come home full of big ideas, mostly around tidying up.  i end up doing a bit and wasting the day,  im trying to train myself to go out if it stops raining, i used to write the day of by 9 o clock. But thankfully one thing about getting a bit older is i have more discipline, any of you guys find it hard to keep motivated?
Posted by Ken (Ken), 13 December 2003
I always get asked by customers to clean their (houses) gutters out. I also wash soffits and fascias, conservatory roofs (rooves?!) that sort of thing. I tell them that I'll save up those jobs for a rainy day which generally they are quite happy with. I price it up to hit at least 20 an hour. It can be a bit miserable but better than losing a days work.
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 13 December 2003
Try to get some inside work , I have a good contract to clean the inside windows , hall , stairs , and landings, of 22 blocks of flats , good in the winter but not so in the summer, but it pays  the bills Cool
Posted by scwindowcleaning (steveC), 13 December 2003
Ken, Do you really clean out gutters when its raining? I guess you mean when its only a light rain.
Posted by scwindowcleaning (steveC), 13 December 2003
Majestic, how did you get your jobs inside? I understand from this site that the majority of work is word of mouth, flyers and canvassing.

How do you get commercial work?

Does anybody advertise? How much work do you get through yellow pages, websites, newspaper ads?
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 13 December 2003
I have a add in  the yellow pages , there are only a couple of window cleaners in my area and I have had alot of work from it. Also my local paper has had advertised couple of contracts . I clean for a local housing association , who are  always getting other propertys and because I do a good job give me the work . Its just getting a foot in somewhere . So for me my add in the Yellow Pages has more than paid for itself Grin Cool

Posted by Paulcoz33 (Paulcoz33), 13 December 2003
I use and what a waste of cash! The only way to get jobs easily if your a little shy is make credit card style flyers. if they look good they know your serious about your business. oh and i think you must have a landline number included, otherwise they think your a PIKEY
Posted by Cov_Cleaner (Cov_Cleaner), 14 December 2003
[quote author=Paulcoz33 link=board=Equipment;num=1071341133;start=0#7 date=12/13/03 at 22:01:21]I use and what a waste of cash!

I agree. I payed about 300 for my weblink. It's got me one job from someone who works away. He found the facility useful. One job in 3 months!

Unlike Yellow Pages, can be edited immediately. Will they withdraw my entry in exchange for a credit note towards a double sized yellow pages advert next October? NO
Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 15 December 2003
i still clean windows when its raining
Posted by Neil (wylie), 15 December 2003
wot even when its P******g down Huh
Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 15 December 2003
no i go for a cup of tea then and wait for the rain ease off then i go back to work
Posted by Paulcoz33 (Paulcoz33), 15 December 2003
some days you have to look to the sky and just write off though
Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 15 December 2003
no i just carry on cleaning windows got to make at least a days wages for rainy days say 70 pounds
Posted by pw (pw), 15 December 2003
get monthly contracts & it dose not matter if its raining most firms or houses are glad to just have there windows clean regular............paul Roll Eyes Shocked
Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 15 December 2003
your right there pw
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 17 December 2003
A lot of shop windows are still cleaned in the rain. thats one of the big advantages of shops.
A lot of shop windows are cleaned every day!
Posted by Polepro (Polepro), 18 December 2003
When the weather is really bad  use the time to get more commercial work. I found the best approach on bigger jobs is to pop into the reception and ask for a compliments slip with the name of the person who you should write to to introduce your services. Then on another rainy day add all the details onto a database and do a mail shot with a well worded letter and a small brochure with lots of pictures of window cleaning on all sorts of different buildings. A week of two later again while its raining ring up to speak to the guy. Usually they already have a window cleaner so just ask when the contract will be up for renewal and make a note in your diary to call them a month before.

I did this steady for three years now and I found that my gentle persistance has paid off.

Posted by pdhanson (Silly Philly), 19 December 2003
Hi Polepro,

I've tried writing letters to companies, and got absolutely nowhere!  What am I doing wrong?

I phone first to get the name of the facilities manager, write a letter on our headed notepaper (Notepaper that is done for us by a commercial printer) and I have only ever had 2 replies, from which only 1 ended up being a customer!

Without giving the game away, what is the best wording to use in the letter?  I think this may be where we're faling down.

Any advice is appreciated


Posted by Polepro (Polepro), 19 December 2003

The first thing to realise is that almost certainly there will be a window cleaner already under contract. Its very rare that a formal contract will exist but thats what you'll be told. In many respects its a numbers game, the more contacts you make the greater the chance of picking up work. Timing is important also, contracts are often reviewed in January or April so getting a mailshot out in Oct or Nov is important or you'll miss the boat. Timing is also important from the point of view that your letter could land just after a dispute between client and contractor, but this comes down to luck.

You need to be polite, acknowledge that they probably already have a window-cleaner but you would like to be put on the Tender list so would they kindly keep your details on record. Include a short paragraph about an important aspect of your business, a safety feature or something about quality control or supervision. Mention one or two of your bigger customers. If possible try to get some letters of reference from these customers and include photo copies with your letter. I went as far as having a presentation folder printed in colour, with lots of photos it is really eye catching, this is important so that your letter ends up in the filing cabinet rather than the round file.

If you send out 100 you may get 2 replies, but if you phone and speak to the person within 7-10 days you will push the response rate up to 10-12. A 10% return is good, more importantly you have made an impression that will last. I do this every year and now when I make the follow up calls people know me well enough and we have a little chat. People do business with people they know and like, gentle persistance pays off in the long run and I have won numerous contracts because I was recommended by one of my contacts even though I did'nt clean their windows!

Remember also to include local cleaning companies in your mailings, most window cleaning contracts are handled by contract cleaners who then subcontract the work out. You can land big volume work this way but as with all commercial contracts your price has to be right, by that I mean low. If your used to house cleaning money you have to make a mental change to the way you price up work. Commercial customers see their cleaning bills as an expensive overhead that does'nt earn them anything in return, so they are looking for good value for least money. You can make a hansome profit doing commercial work, but you have to be good at what you do. This means having the right approach to the job, you have to clean to a good commercial standard and reserve your best quality work to the most important areas, reception, bosses office, the accounts office and anywhere that you find ladies working! You have to be fit, fast, and motivate your staff well, always be on the watch for safety and for ways to work more efficiently. Window cleaning is a great business, so many in our business are complacent and live in the past. Its easy to win business at their expence, but thats down to you.

Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 19 December 2003
I'm not so sure about getting shop work. My sister has just bought a shop in our town centre.

Great I thought, this will get my foot in the door.

Then I found out that he goes twice a week and cleans inside as well once a week, all for 4.00. Shocked

How do you compete with that!! Huh
Posted by jonesy5 (jonesy5), 19 December 2003
Thanks tom that good advice,  i will certainly use your techniques i am just about to go out and price a big job up they already have a cleaner and i went round to look at job last night and i priced it as house work!!
For that advice i will knock some money of    Smiley
Posted by Bones (Bones), 19 December 2003
Window cleaning is a great business, so many in our business are complacent and live in the past. Its easy to win business at their expence, but thats down to you.


Tom, That is Exactly what is like in my area, and after xmas i'm goin to go the extra mile (pure water system etc) and go get them contracts!!  Grin


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