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

how many customers do you have

Posted by Sunshine (Sunshine), 15 February 2004
Hi Guys,

I am trying to do a few sums at the moment to see how many customers I need to make a go of my window cleaning. Can you guys tell me how many customers you have. I am looking to try and get 500 customers (and do them each once a month) you think that this is possibleHuh or am I living in cloud cuckoo land....any thoughts.

Posted by WavieDavie (WavieDavie), 15 February 2004
500 per month (4 weeks) = 125 per week (5 days) = 25 per day = 4 and a bit per hour ( 6 hour day)

I think that's quite acheivable. Now if you quarter your hourly rate, you'll know what to charge per house.

If only it was that simple!
Posted by Simon_King (Simon_King), 15 February 2004
Depends on how big the houses are. I think that a steady 3 semis per hour is very easy to maintain working on my own. However...........I also have some houses that can take over an hour to do. The last count I did came out at over 290 clients but I do have some commercial jobs that can take up to two days a month.Even though I've got less than 300 clients it still takes me 4 weeks + to get round. I would say that  you should try to get a mixture of commercial and private.
As they say ' Variety is the spice of life'.
Posted by Sunshine (Sunshine), 15 February 2004
Thanks for the advice, we are only weekend boys at the moment, I would love to get some commercial work...any thoughts. We did leaflet a load of business (shops) not even 1 taker and we offered them the first clean for free. Sad
Posted by Simon_King (Simon_King), 15 February 2004
Its ok offering the first clean for free but whats next?
Someone comes along and offers two cleans free or an inside free. Where would that leave you. Sorry but I don't approve of offers like that. That could be why you got no takers. Customers do get loyal to their window cleaner. The best way is to build up slowly by recomendation or buy some work that has been established for a while. I don't think you can short cut your way to a half decent round by offering free cleans and cheap prices. You wont make any friends among other window cleaners doing that and they are the very people that you need when your starting out. Your not doing anything wrong though but its just 'not cricket' if you see what I mean. Good luck.
Posted by paul (paul), 16 February 2004
i dont think it matters how many customers you have as long as you can make a decent living out of it ?we service around 2000 customers a month depending on the weather Sad Grin Cheesy
Posted by Old_Master (Old_Master), 16 February 2004
Its not the amount of customers it's who they are and
how much and how quickly they pay.
I have always prefered to have a small amount of customers = less invoices - less paperwork
One of our customers is London Underground and another Transport for London- therefore in these cases we do plenty of work but only need to invoice one client.
Once you can comply with the initial Health and Safety requirements ( this is often 50% of the work) of well known high profile clients other clients fall into place.

If I were starting out from scratch I would approach Residential management companies - they tend to manage large estates of flats and or houses and offer them a fair price for the whole estate. That way you get your money from one customer - The Managing Agent - it is their job to collect the fee from the individual customer.
The absolutly worst thing to do is to offer a free clean - they will immediatly know you are an amater- any body can be a busy fool working for nothing.
Posted by Silly_Philly (Silly Philly), 17 February 2004
on 02/15/04 at 21:45:16, Sunshine wrote:
Thanks for the advice, we are only weekend boys at the moment, I would love to get some commercial work...any thoughts. We did leaflet a load of business (shops) not even 1 taker and we offered them the first clean for free. Sad

In my experience, shops are not great work to have.  I know some window cleaners do very well from them, but we found it a little bit more bother than it was worth.  They are very price focused, and also get done about once a week usually which can be a bind.

We don't do any now, as residential customers allow for greater flexibilty and often give you an hourly rate that is at least as good.

And householders are always more loyal customers than businesses

Posted by Duke (Duke), 21 March 2004
we've found that 150 to 200 customers is enough for one man, assuming monthly cleans. If there's 2 of you, you need to double it. For 2 blokes to make any sort of reasonable money, you need to be doing at least 15-20 a day. That's talking about 5-6 hours work a day (I tend to get bored after that..)No breaks, and all close to each other. That'll get you 80 a day each, of course,if you want to work longer you can...but 400 a week is liveable for part time work....and then there's the other stuff I do as well....If I go out canvassing by evening, I  can add another 200 a week to that...but I dont often, guess I'm a lazy, it's not that, it's just I have more interesting things to do, and I dont want work to be my whole life... Wink  

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