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

Pricing shops

Posted by Slatercleaners (Slatercleaners), 13 March 2004
I've been asked to price cleans for a shop in a Shopping Centre.
Every 2 weeks outsides and inside 1 month.
4 windows about 6ft by 8ft.
How do I price that?
How long should that take? (I had a wee kid come up to me outside a chippy and say "I saw a guy doing that on Blue Peter and he could cleans windows in 3 seconds -  you are really slow!!")

It's in the North of Scotland and indoors.
Any advice would be great.
Posted by williamx (williamx), 13 March 2004
Don't apply for a Blue Peter Badge and charge the shop 15 for outside and 25 for both inside and outside Grin
Posted by denzle (Denzle), 13 March 2004
Depends how bad you want the job... will other shops come on board as well ? Minimum price 10 out, 10 inside. If you don't really care whether you get it or not go for 15. Time wise should take no more than 5 - 8 minutes max. I've got 1 similar takes me a max of 4 mins working 2 handed ( Like the Turbo ) and thats 10, but i also have 1 that takes me 2mins max and thats a 10 as well. Good money if you have plenty to do in the same area... but you can bet some turkey will come along and offer to do it for next to now't and spoil the whole thing as shop owners are not loyal customers, they will generally go for the cheapest.
Posted by D.Salkeld_Ltd (D.Salkeld_Ltd), 13 March 2004

I can only charge 4 for that job
Posted by Slatercleaners (Slatercleaners), 17 March 2004
I didn't get the shops.
I had to add on travel time and fuel and this put me over the co's budget as there were plenty more wc's locally that didn't have travel.
I priced 23 outside & 35 inside. 15 of each of these trips was travel etc fuel.

Anyway, you win some you lose some.
I would have liked a little more shop work as you can start earlier on these.

I could have taken the view that maybe the shop would have lead to other work, but then again it might not have. I'm happy with the price I bid.
Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 18 March 2004
some people r just greedy i would be happy to do 20 of shps thats a day for 38 each just remember u can clean shop windows even if its raining or snowing
Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 18 March 2004
8 each shop
Posted by denzle (Denzle), 18 March 2004
Maybe if we were talking 20 shops then the price would be down to 8, however as i recall we were talking only 1 shop. We still got to get there , waste time driving to and from the shop etc, Its not greed its called living in the real world.
Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 19 March 2004
i would still take that one shop for 8 then work from there 12months down the line i might end up with 10 shops for eight pounds  two years down the line i might end up with 50 shops for eight pound u have just got to work at it
Posted by denzle (Denzle), 19 March 2004
Mights and maybes don't pay the bills
Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 19 March 2004
ive cleaned windows for 28 years now and ive always paid the bills sometimes u have to be patient but if u work at it u will get what u want in the end
Posted by Willy (Willy), 20 March 2004
I don't mean to be rude or upset anyone, but I've always paid the bills also, infact I'm fed up paying the bills, for my prevous bosses, new car, nice holidays, fancy house etc. No I'm not bitter and twisted! But as I read these pages I find the difference in pricing unbelievable! OK London prices are higher, but it seems that WC's on each others door step are asking completely different prices. I am just starting up and paying particular attention to the pricing of jobs and there is NO continuity to it whatsoever. Lets face it there is plenty of work around in all parts of the country so there is NO need to have a price war. In some parts of the country you don't even have to be close on price. As for commercial work, whats the problem? They write it off anyway. If everyone was around say 20 they would pay, they would have to or have dirty windows and that isn't going to happen.And before you say it some staff might clean them for a few times but they'd soon get fed up with that.
Now why doesn't WC's get together with the other WC's in their area and workout some sort of formula (call it price fixing if you want, but it happens in every industry so don't think it doesn't). That way we might even get rid of at least some of the "summer season" guys who are on benifits. Also have you never been offered work you just can't do for what ever reason? Well pass it on! Whats the point of your "Brother in Arms" spending money and time canvassing for work, which we all know is hit or miss in which area you choose, when your turning down enough work to keep 2 going? There would be other benefits too e.g. helping each other out with holiday cover or if you got behind for any number of reasons.
There was a bit on this board a couple of weeks ago about JW's. Everyone bar None said how helpful they are. I don't know any WC's that are JW's but then I don't know many WC's. However the JW's I do know are truly helpful people. Even if you don't want their religion, perhaps there is something else worth picking up on!

Posted by Willy (Willy), 20 March 2004
on 03/19/04 at 16:18:46, geoffreyspecht wrote:
if u work at it u will get what u want in the end

Sorry Geoffrey I don't want it in the end, I want it before the end when it is of use to me!
Is that so unreasonable?
Posted by denzle (Denzle), 20 March 2004
Well said Willy,
I do agree with you that there should be a pricing formula, however as we all know there are always the guys that will undercut to get the work.

If i know that a person already has a window cleaner i won't even offer a price. People that are price shoppers are not the people i want as customers. If someone comes along 50p cheaper than me 6 months down the line then they would go with them... no thanks.

I know that there is a North / South divide when it comes to price's but some of the prices i hear about on here are so low it is unbelievable, why is that.
Could it be that some people don't think they are professionals or know they provide a poor service and are not worth the money ?

I will bet that everyone that has bothered to come to this forum has done so to improve their knowledge of our great business, therefore in my view are pro's.
So why not charge a professional price instead of grubbing around for a couple of quid get what you deserve.

Just call your local plumber, washing machine guy, etc if you want to know about pricing.... you pay his price or he won't come, its that simple.
Like you say... i want it now not in the end.

Posted by gibbouk (gibbouk), 20 March 2004
dont know about north /south but here in the east, we just cant get away with realistic prices. its the rural mentality they still live in 1970 and expect to pay a couple of quid for a window cleaner. we now have an influx of people who are selling up in london and moving from a terraced house to a four bedroom detached and still having money left over, but i find that they feel that london prices should be left in london and us carrot crunchers should work for free. my solution is to look as professional as i can, to seperate me from the dole caiming/ part timers/rip off mechants. customers are still cheap skates, i was talking to a woman who had 2 tickets put through her door for window cleaners. one was a nice looking computer done leaflet saying they had insurance and been established several years with full adress and phone number, the other a hand written one with only a mobile number contact, guess which one she was thinking of calling. one of them in her opinion looked like he would be too dear.
Posted by denzle (Denzle), 20 March 2004
There are people like that in every area of the country, we don't want them as customers.
Customers should not dictate what we should or shouldn't charge ( Within reason )
I only want customers that will be loyal to me as i will be to them, cutomers who appreciate a professional working on their house, and are prepared to pay for me.
Let the cheapskate customers clean their own glass, it bothers me not.
Posted by Willy (Willy), 20 March 2004
on 03/20/04 at 08:02:02, gibbouk wrote:
its the rural mentality they still live in 1970

Yes gibbouk it IS the rural mentality. The local people need educating as for the ones moving into the area, get to them before they get time to "climatize". I always keep an eye on "out of town" removals vans. Watch where they go, leave it a day or so and go knocking. I'm in South Lincs I do know exatally what you mean.

But like Denzle says, another reason for low prices is because some WC's are selling themselves short. We are professionals but if we charge like some boy scott on "odd job week" then thats all people will think of us.  
I agree Denzle if they are looking for the cheapest window cleaner in town, then they don't want me and more to the point I don't want them! If they are quibbling about money before you have got your ladders up the drive, well what does that tell you?
I'd rather sit in the house and watch Des & Mel (especially Mel mmmmm!) Better to "sit idle as work idle"

Posted by geoffreyspecht (geoffreyspecht), 23 March 2004
to be honest im happy doing houses when it comes to doing commercial work where i live the monies crap be lucky if u make 100 pound a day live in llandudno now.used to earn that 14 years ago in luton
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 24 March 2004
A job's worth whatever the customer will pay. No more no less.

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