Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.
getting commercial work for wfp
Posted by choice.clean (choice.clean), 29 March 2004 can anyone give tips for finding and getting the larger contracts for wfp systems. i have called in to my local business centre and they got me to contact loads of places with letters and company profiles but not a jot.
i do understand that many big commercial places will not consider the smaller companies due to not having sufficient turnover. but i am limited and have 1000 litres of water and all the kit yet have never won a major contract. i survive mostly on domestic work but would love to be able to get the big jobs. any advice?
p.s. any tips on invoicing too as i know that it can be difficult to get your money off them
Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 29 March 2004 Quote:
can anyone give tips for finding and getting the larger contracts for wfp systems.
Have you tried Ladersfree?
I think their fee is about £99 and they tender for WFP contracts in your behalf. I have heard mixed reports about them, some people are over the moon with them, others are not impressed.
Personally I think that even if you get 1 contract, the fee would be worth it.
[Their website mentions only reach&wash and Tucker Pole, but ignore this, they recently commented that they accept members with all makes of systems and that this bit of the website is out of date]
There was a thread about them a little while back:
As for invoicing, yes a big problem. The only (rather expensive) solution I know of is Invoice Factoring.
You get a Factoring company like Alex Lawrie for example (www.alexlawrie.com) They take over management of your sales ledger, and you get payment from them the day you issue the invoice. They take about 10% of the invoice value as a fee. They wont let your customers pay late, and you are insured against bad debts. Expensive though!
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 29 March 2004I have only recently found this out, but my missus is working temp in the finance dept at our hospital and apparently all invoices are done in order of the payment date on the invoice. If there is no pay by date then it is put to the bottom of the pile (non urgent).
I am assuming that this will be the case for all big companies. I didn't use to put a payment date on but I was waiting for ever for payments and didn't know why.
Posted by Craig_Mawlam (Craig_Mawlam), 29 March 2004Hi,
The BWCA run a Marketing course to give you tried and tested ideas for building your business, to find out more freephone 0800 146133.
Posted by The_Fed_Man (The_Fed_Man), 29 March 2004Rob,
I know of a local private hire firm that went out of business because they negelected to put terms on their invoices. Always state your terms and follow up with a statement when overdue, if still no payment then a phone call after this works best.
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 29 March 2004Thanks Martin,
Don't worry I now put a pay by date on all my invoices.
Posted by simonb (simonb), 29 March 2004You don't put a "Pay By" date as this is usually ignored as it is not a legal expression. You put an invoice date and then at the bottom you put your terms.
TERMS: Net 30 days
Posted by highwash (highwash), 30 March 2004IF YOU PUT A PAY BY DATE ON YOUR INVOICE YOU MAY GET IT AROUND THAT DATE IF YOU ARE LUCKY! I PUT
TERMS - NET ON RECEIPT OF INVOICE
A COURTESY CALL TO THE COMPANY A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER TO SEE IF THEY HAVE RECEIVED THE INVOICE WILL GET A BETTER RESPONSE THAN AN IRATE SUPPLIER CHASING THEM FOR LATE PAYMENT.
GOOD LUCK - TERRY
Posted by choice.clean (choice.clean), 30 March 2004thanks for the advice so far has anyone used agents to get work they usually charge around 10% they tell me i have a guide but have not got around to buying the manual for writing an agents contract i would be interested to know of any comments from anyone
Posted by Londoner (Vince Green), 30 March 2004Most blocks of flats have a plate or notice somewhere in the entrance hall giving details of the management company that runs the flats.
Give the management company a call. Its always best to call and talk to someone and then back it up with a letter.
Once you get a foot in the door they may have other properties that they manage as well.
Its all about luck but the more you try the luckier you will get.
Posted by poleman (PoleMan), 30 March 2004blocks of flats and management company should be a new post or what, as there is a lot of money to be had
any one got any tips on getting work like this!
Posted by choice.clean (choice.clean), 31 March 2004good tip thanks i will try that has anyone tried housing associations and have you any tips for follow up letters
i did write to a lot of nursing homes has anyone had success with that as i didn't get any replies. or are they all too hard up now
Posted by choice.clean (choice.clean), 31 March 2004also i managed to get one frontage of a commercial building when i got hold of the decision maker. ionics say to ask for the facilitys manager which always draws a blank look from the receptionist. and elicits the reply what is it about when i say window cleaning they say oh we.ve got one of those. what do any of you say if calling. how do you find the decision maker
Posted by Craig_Mawlam (Craig_Mawlam), 31 March 2004Choice Clean,
Getting past the gate-keeper is an important aspect of the BWCA's marketing course. Part of the receptionists job is to repel cold callers, your job is to overcome objections like the "we already have a window cleaner" line.
Posted by choice.clean (choice.clean), 31 March 2004why not just publish the answer craig instead of trying to market your course were your bread and butter aren't we??
Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 31 March 2004I suspect that there isnt a simple answer to that one. And boy do I know it, because I have tried almost everything to get past em.
Seeing it from their point of view, they dont want to be responsible for allowing what they would consider a nuicance phone call through to the management.
Its a toughie, I might go on the course to find out!
Posted by choice.clean (choice.clean), 1 April 2004how about we go to local business advice centre and ask for a way of finding out the names of the directors of the companies as all limited companies have to produce annual accounts possibly companies house. then we could try a script like this.
ring ring acme corp
hello their my name is ........ i am trying to contact mr Director
what is it regarding
well i have an imprtant health and safety issue to discuss with him
i'm sure we could all take it from there couldn't we
makes us sound like we are legal yeah
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 1 April 2004How about we all chip in and send philip on the course and then he can tell us all how to do it.
Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 1 April 2004YEH OK!
Posted by riz (riz), 1 April 2004I dont think Phil can make it! send me!!
Posted by simonb (simonb), 1 April 2004If there's free beer and pies ME ME ME
Posted by easycleanwindows (easycleanwindows), 1 April 2004The only way to get commercial work with a wfp os to go to the potetial clinets yourself sell your company and if you do a good job they will give you a go thats the only real way.Ive done marketing till its coming out of our ears.we made appointments and in the last twelve months we clean the second largest food manufacuters head offices in europe and also a top f1 teams hq and also a very large rally team.
Posted by choice.clean (choice.clean), 2 April 2004i,m game for sending someone email me
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