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


Posted by Neil (wylie), 6 November 2003
Hi if you are thinking about setting up a window cleaning round then my advice is GO FOR IT! But take a bit of time if you can.
I had a great job as a computer programmer (CNC) but the company I worked for went down the toilet and I was made redundant 1.09.03 I got a new job straight away paying average money but immediately started setting up a window round. Within a few weeks I was busy all day every Saturday so quit my new job two weeks ago registered self employed got 1 million pounds worth of public liability, a new set of ladders, and some fresh gear and havent looked back.
I had 1000 flyers produced, which have been fantastic! My advice on flyers is A5 Quality card and keep it large and simple, a simple slogan perhaps? WINDOW CLEANER in big letters and plenty of contact details.
I picked my areas carefully, new builds are good, local shops will put one up for a few pence or some are free. †I deliver and quote in the evenings till about 8 and work hard all day.
I get on average three to five good leads every day to my landline, mobile or e-mail.
I am lucky that my brother in law is a printer so I got my flyers cheap if not I doubt I would have spent the money. And boy would I have missed out.
My big problem now is trying to get all this work done with arms that feel like lead, (too long in an office, lol)
I have found this forum to be excellent with a lot of very useful and constructive advice, Take the time to read as much of it as you can and then GO FOR IT!!!!! † †
Posted by crystal (crystal), 6 November 2003
lots of what you said rung bells with me, i endorse your way of canvassing , i too used white a5 card, not too small & less likely to be thrown away , my advice is follow up all leads you never know where else this leads you if you say you will be there at a specific time be there or at least keep customer informed this makes them feel valued & also hopefully is the start of a long
biz relationship.likewise as an office dweller my limbs are aching thro lack of use , worth it tho would recommend it to anybody unsure as at least feel im offering a service & people are happy if the jobs done well. sorry about the rambling. Cheesy Cheesy

regards to all : Smiley
Posted by Bones (Bones), 6 November 2003
Grin Grin Grin Grin Best thing i've ever done too!! †Grin Grin Grin

But I ache like **** tonight, done my first builders clean †Shocked Huh Embarassed Cry Grin
Posted by jake (jake), 6 November 2003

What was your first builders clean like? was it as you expected? and were they happy with what you did?

Posted by Bones (Bones), 6 November 2003
T'was a bloody nightmare!! all the tape was round the frames and sills. slap happy painters had painted all the top of frames inside and vents, and the patio doors (there was two of them) i pulled the blue plastic off and they were caked from top to bottom in that glue poop!

It was a 4 bed detatched (with 3 ensuites and 1 bathroom Shocked) 13 windows, 2 patio's, and glass around front door Cry everything poop bound!! and we wiped the facias. Thay were well happy but what jarred me off was it took me and my mate all day and when i talked to the company tonight they said "you'll get quicker on the next one" †Huh Huh Thanks alot Cry Cry

They were gleaming when we left! Maybe too much pride went into the jobHuh

Posted by sham33 (sham33), 7 November 2003
How much did u charge for that Bones? If u dont mind me asking.
Posted by Bones (Bones), 7 November 2003
Hi Sham, They gonna get a shock i think when I hit them with the bill.

I was thinking all day about charging, I Even Phoned Shinny Shinner (top guy!! Wink). And I have decided that the cost I am gonna put in (probably won't get it), is £30 per hour ( based on what my mate and I could have been earnin Residential wise), plus 20 miles travel either way. The whole job was a bit rushed to get us there because thier original cleaners let them down so basically we pulled them out of the poop!

I'll let you know how it goes or how much i get stitched up by Huh Huh Huh Undecided

Posted by jake (jake), 7 November 2003

You can never have too much pride in your work! ( unless your getting peanuts). If you've done a good job they wont want any body else! Remember, there are a lot of firms out there that just dont try! Dont be too worried if that size of a house took a day. Two of us would take the same time and weve been doing it for a few years! Like any job the more you do the easier? it gets as you come across the  same problems. Good luck on the next one!!

                                     Jake  Smiley
Posted by jake (jake), 7 November 2003

On a house that size we would charge between £250 and £350, it does depend on the firm and what they are willing to pay, this one seems like they owe you one!!!

Posted by Bones (Bones), 7 November 2003
Cheers Sham, I'll see what the outcome is??

She offered me that day another two semis, a week on wednesday, so we'll just have to see how much they wanna play ball Roll Eyes Wink

Just out of interest, what woud you guy's have put in as your priceHuh
Posted by sham33 (sham33), 8 November 2003
Never done builders cleans. Well i did 1 about 10 years ago put me off for life  Grin So £30 a hour seems fair to me.
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 9 November 2003
Hi Mikey,
            I usually charge about £30 an hour for this type of cleaning but i guess it varies from area to area. I am in the South East. Wink

Posted by Bones (Bones), 9 November 2003

Is that £30 just you working on yourself??

Thanks Mikey

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 9 November 2003
Hi Mikey,
            Yes for builders cleans i charge £30 an hour per person but you would need to get the going rate in your area Smiley

Posted by apex_window_clean (apex_window_clean), 10 November 2003
Hi to all. iv recently given up car valeting to start a window cleaning round of my own, iv chose not to buy one but start building up my own round and its going quite well. i go out in the eavening door knocking wiv my leflets and its been ok BUT im avoiding the houses with little roofs half way up the house as i dont know how to get to the window to do a proper job can anyone please shed some light coz im missing out on potential work .THANKS

Posted by Bones (Bones), 10 November 2003
Hi Apex, If it's dry and I think it's safe enuf i'll get on top of any porch/extention, but only if I think it's safe. Most of the one's I do i would not try if the roof is wet, one slip,... and you're gone!! I do have a pole (which i still have to master), and tell the customer I can clean that window with my pole and I'll finish it the best I can. I have had no probs when telling customers this and I have yet to come across a customer who thinks you're Spiderman. Shocked

Posted by Neil (wylie), 11 November 2003
I too have a few customers with windows in difficult positions, For the ones that require my ladder on almost full extension at a very low angle ie about 30 degrees I always if possible drive my car up to a position in which I can use a wheel as a ladder stop. For the ones which I cant get my car near I now carry a couple of sandbags to chuck on the bottom of the ladder and these seem to work quite well. The type of bags I use are the ones which road menders put on signs to stop them blowing over. (But I would not condone theft from a sign as this may lead to a traffic accident).
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 11 November 2003
I tell the customer that I can clean there windows then when I have finished I tell them that I could not get to one and then knock 50p off the price , its better to lose 50p than fall off your ladder, most are ok about it Cool
Posted by Bones (Bones), 11 November 2003
on 11/07/03 at 19:42:42, jake wrote:

You can never have too much pride in your work! ( unless your getting peanuts). If you've done a good job they wont want any body else! Remember, there are a lot of firms out there that just dont try! Dont be too worried if that size of a house took a day. Two of us would take the same time and weve been doing it for a few years! Like any job the more you do the easier? it gets as you come across the †same problems. Good luck on the next one!!

† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †Jake †Smiley

Thanks Jake, I now know that the cleaning company who we done this builders clean for do want to pay us peanuts (well, it is run by 2 women, probably want to buy more shoes for themself). Well I am going to treat it as a lesson well learnt!! Cry Cry because I have now been offered builders cleans for a well known building Co and they gonna pay me nearly four times what these tight A**SES want to pay me at the moment!! Grin Grin

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 11 November 2003
Hi Mikey,
            You just want to make sure that this well known building co know your payment terms because i have known them take up to four months to pay their bills Cry

Posted by Bones (Bones), 11 November 2003
Thanks Steve, I am going give them a list of my payment terms, Like payment within 21 days?? ( I don't know if I can get away with a late payment charge?? or is that taking the P**S??) Wink Grin Grin

Posted by apex_window_clean (apex_window_clean), 12 November 2003
Thanks for the advice guys.
cheers. just one thing though what about cleaning windows above those orrible apex roofed porches i just cant see how to get to them and if i used an ext pole you would not be able to detail wiv scrim after. thanks

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