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

900 leaflets drops and sore legs and 3 customers
Posted by Sunshine (Sunshine), 11 January 2004
Hi everyone and thanks for a great site  Smiley I have just started out, bought a van, ladders and cleaning gear, got myself 2000 leaflets printed and dropped 900 of them today. We did not cold call. Just put them through the letter boxes.

Only had 3 replies todayHuh??Is this normalHuh? Can anyone think of a better way to get new business??
Would it pay to put an advert in the local pressHuh Any suggestions would be thankfully received and faithfully applied!!!!!!!!!

Posted by fez (fez), 11 January 2004
I've always found leafleting ineffective. I've recently done a street where I have three existing customers and where I know that there are no other window cleaners and had no response at all for around 100 houses. Some people on here use cold calling with a leaflet and say that works well.
My best free advertising response came from a leaflet with tear-off phone numbers on a local notice board (around 30 new houses).
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 11 January 2004
Hi Sunshine
                 I have always found the best way is to go door knocking with a business card and offer your services. Its more time consuming but much more affective. Also have you sign written your van yet Huh because thats another way of bringing in a bit more business.

Hope this helps

Posted by Bones (Bones), 11 January 2004
One of the ways I got alot my custom when I first started out was to knock on the doors either side of the house I just cleaned. This is good as you have most probably said hello to the neighbours as you were cleaning.  Grin

Posted by matt (matt), 11 January 2004
isnt the best way

drop the leaflets

go back in a few days door knocking , that way if they were thinking of it, its done, and your not exactly cold calling, your foot is in the so-called door
Posted by g_griffin (g_griffin), 11 January 2004


 What about other window cleaners in your area? Would they not be prepared to let you have some work that they don`t want ? They could be too busy and let you have it for free. Although it won`t be their best work, it is a start and the customers are more likely to be welcoming if you have their previous window cleaners blessing. You can usually charge a bit more as well.

  A fellow cleaner in my area was fed up with a street he was doing ,stopped going and said I was free to do anyone who asked. I got most of the street at better prices (I still under charged  Cry ) because they had no one and were prepared to pay. I returned the favour shortly after gave him a street that was more convenient for him to do than me.

Posted by pdhanson (Silly Philly), 14 January 2004
Well done Sunshine! 900 Leaflets is a lot!

I have done leaflets a few times, sometimes they can be ok, but you have to give them a reason to call you quickly, otherwise it'll end up in the bin.

My preferred method is to offer 50% off the first clean if they reply in 5 days.  (You MUST print the exact date on them)

They wont leave a message, so be available to answer your phone for those 5 days.  (Have it diverted to your mobile if you gave a landline - usually about 1 a month for this option)

Then, sorry to harp on but you've gotta knock on those doors!  Its the best way.  Knock on ones that are dirty and you should get at least a 30% take up.

(If you dont know what to say to people, tell me and i'll give you my little script)

Posted by MB (Mark Betts), 14 January 2004
I must have been lucky.

Dropped 150 leaflets this week just while walking the dog and got 3 calls !!!



Posted by scwindowcleaning (steveC), 16 January 2004
Does anybody offer free cleans to existing customers for every introduction to a new customer? I was thinking of putting a clause in where the new customer has to have two cleans before the existing customer gets a free clean. That way they wont scam me too much.

Do you think its worth the hassle?

tired of door knocking, hearing 95 'already got one/don't want one/my last one only charged 3' and 5 'yes' - if i'm lucky.

I need to buid up quick, just quit my job.
Posted by shinnyshinner (shinnyshinner), 16 January 2004
Hi Steve
If one of my customers get me any work I offer to clean windows inside or wipe over their frames.
Frames are easyer.
Most of my customers just say clean kitchen window suits me.


Posted by Diamond_Vision (Jeff Brimble), 18 January 2004
You need to follow up and follow thro by knocking on all 900 doors to convert the approach into a sale within 3 days.
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 19 January 2004
I would agree with Jeff and Philly. I used a combination of leaflet drop and calling next day when I was building up my residential work.

Be careful not to put out too many leaflets out in one go. It takes much longer to door knock.

You might picking the wrong areas. I advertised in hairdressers, newsagents, local supermarkets. When I got a bite I would ask them if there was already a someone in the area. Eventually you will hear the magic words. "I've not seen a window cleaner here for months". Then hit all the surrounding streets with your leaflets, door knocking next day.

Also, one of the best ways is to ask your new customers. After collecting the money. Ask them what they think of the job you've done. They will hopefully be delighted. In fact you've done such a nice job it's almost like they owe you something. Then ask them "if they know of anyone else who would appreciate getting this service." They will often give you several names. WHen you call on them, just say that their "friend, Mrs XYZ, sent me over. Said you might be interested in window cleaning" I've picked up LOADS this way. They are often quality customers who only hire contractors by recommendation. Worth a try.

Hope your business is booming before too long!
Posted by Londoner (Londoner), 30 January 2004
This time of year nobody is that bothered about their windows. You may still find that you get calls from those leaflets months , even years later.

In general though its best to leaflet a hundred houses then go back and knock.

A couple of years ago I got it in my head that I was going to do a bit of gardening and I delivered about 500 leaflets. Anyway, it never got off the ground but I still had a couple of phone calls about it last year, thats 18 months after I had dropped them.
Posted by paul (paul), 4 February 2004
you may find they will keep your leaflet and call you in early spring not many customers are bothered about there windows this time of year also you are better cold calling on the doors your get a quicker responce Huh

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