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

Starting up / working in the wet?

Posted by Matt_Lewis (Matt_Lewis), 25 July 2003
I've been in a partnership for two months and have broken it up and decided to go sole trader. Are there any tips and hints that would come in useful for gaining extra business as client base has been split in two and is it possible to clean windows in the wet as we've been lucky with weather so far. All help, greatly appreciated.
Posted by nigel (nigel), 25 July 2003
i would recommend that you took somebody on that was around 16-20,to help get you started
Posted by Matt_Lewis (Matt_Lewis), 25 July 2003
Cheers for that, but with the income now halved, how much would i get away with paying them do you think.
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 25 July 2003
Hi Matt
Welcome to the board!
It is possibly to clean windows when its wet but its just not very pleasant working in the rain and customers dont notice the difference you've made quite as much.
As far as getting new customers obviously the best way is by referal rather than undercutting competitors but as you've just started this is clearly a problem at the moment. My suggestion would be to do a local leaflet drop with some sort of promotion like pay for the outside and get the inside done free or pay for the downstairs and get the upstairs done free. You really need to do a one-off offer to get yourself known to customers and then you can ask for referals - maybe for every new customer they recommend you could offer to do their windows free. If you're good at looking after your customers and you dont forget to ask for referals your customer list will quickly grow.
Hope this helps
Posted by Matt_Lewis (Matt_Lewis), 25 July 2003
Is it worth calling at properties after delivering leaflets and it looks quite pos' that i'm to be offered work off a contractor cleaning new housing sites but this is totally different to what i'm used to cleaining. do i need extra chemicals etc. All help greatly appreciated  Huh
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 25 July 2003
When you're just starting its worth trying anything and calling on people may be time well spent. In most businesses it is easy to take customers for granted without realising it and if a customer sees that you are really keen to do business them it may be all it takes.
As far as builders cleans go they tend not to be too bad - I know several contractors that love doing builders cleans as it's often just dust and debris that needs doing rather than years of grime which needs chemicals. It's been a while since I've done building cleans myself but I do remember that one of the most tedious jobs were the windows as theyre often plastered with tape, paint, or artex and the like. Most important bit of kit is a decent vacuum cleaner!
Posted by James (Stooby), 1 August 2003
Roll Eyes I've been cleaning windows for over 20yrs now, nearly half of which I've been wet. I only do commercial work and a monthly job is done monthly rain or shine (typhoons, monsoons, blizzards and hurricanes excluded). On the whole rain doesn't make windows dirty it streaks dust that is already on the windows making it more noticeable. Clean a window in the rain and when it dries it looks clean. However try telling a housewife this.
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 29 September 2003
Start by delivering a leaflet, it doesn't have to be anything flash and then go back and knock a few days later.

Posted by Bones (Bones), 29 September 2003
Hello matt,

I'll tell you what i have been doing to drum up my custom (as i am just starting) and it seems to work as the work i'm getting is coming in thick and fast.

I have been personally knocking on the doors of customers asking if they want my service, if they are interested and want me to come back the following month (just to make sure they not having you the once off) I offer to do their front windows there and then for nothing. Let's face it, 9 times out of ten you can tell the people who will genuinly want you to come back and the one's who are just going to waste your time and effort and not want you next month. I have a few more bit's and bobs i am tempting them with but as i try them i will post what the feedback is and let you know.

Hope this helps, Mikey
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 3 October 2003
I suggest doing all your friends and familys windows.
Chances are they will be spread about all over your town and some of them have got to have a bad window cleaner, and so all their neighbours will have a bad one too. When they see you doing your friends/family they will come and ask you to do theirs too. Before you know it you'll be turning work down.

I started like this with 12 customers given to me by a friend. They were spread about in 6 or 7 areas, now they are 7 good areas with around 250 customers 70 percent on fortnightly cleans too.

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