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

Best piece of equipment or time saving item?
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 4 October 2003
I just wondered with all the different bits of equipment we all buy, What has really made a difference to your business? I would say for me that the best thing that i have purchased in the last few years has been my George Software to organise my window cleaning business. Grin

Steve Lowe
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 4 October 2003
My best buy must be my WFP the time it saves is just great . I do a school and there are a few awkward windows with overhangs ,in the past I would have to move  my ladders quite often now with my WFP I can have a clear run . I can clean them in half the time  GrinCool
Posted by James (Stooby), 5 October 2003
My 2 best time/labour saving devices came free of charge. My brain and my eyes. Grin

Posted by heritage (heritage), 5 October 2003
George Software  its a good buy and wood not go with out it

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 5 October 2003
Keep thinking about getting George , but I dont like the idea of all my work on my computer , big brother and all that . did you know that they took the name for George from the most famous window cleaner in the world none other than George Formby himself Cool
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 5 October 2003
Hi Lee,
         Do you use pocket George because that saves loads of time at the end of each day. Huh

Posted by heritage (heritage lee), 5 October 2003
no not at mo  hope 2 soon  

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 5 October 2003
Hi Lee,
         Its worth buying a palm because at the end off the day its just putting it in its cradle and hot syncing it and it fills out what you have done that day and then loads the next days work. Grin Wonderfull piece of software. Grin

Posted by simonb (simonb), 5 October 2003
wot is wfp?
how much is george?
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 5 October 2003
Hi Simon,
             George is 50 the last time i looked but it comes with pocket George and lifetime support and the support you get if you get any problems is excellent.  Wfp means Water fed pole Grin

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 5 October 2003
WFP  Water Fed Pole Cool
Posted by heritage (heritage lee), 5 October 2003
, hi steve

i will get a palm soon  they r good  


Posted by simonb (simonb), 6 October 2003
when u use a wfp do u just wash the glass with the pure water and an applicator?
Ive got an escort van, could I do a day's work with a 250litre tank.
Would i need a trolley to get round the back of places?
Thanks for your help
Posted by andy (andy), 6 October 2003
I would also like to hear the answers to that question! Smiley
Posted by steve_massey (steve_massey), 6 October 2003
with a wfp you wash frames and glass with a brush head that jets water out of it. 250 litre lasts about 1 hour 0n full power and takes about 5 hours to fill as 75% of the water goes down drain when filling as waste water. on my systerm you can work about 150 metres away from van. I don't use my wfp for houses as by the time i've set it up i could have cleaned it of the ladder.
Posted by g_griffin (g_griffin), 6 October 2003
as someone who started years ago with a mop and scrim ive got to say   best piece of equipment has to be applicator and squegee. i know we now take them for granted but even now i think back to doing a large patio door the old way especially in blazing sunshine.
Posted by karlosdaze (karlosdaze), 6 October 2003
Best latest buy:-Triumph 6" scraper, does the whole window in a few scrapes.
Got fed up with the small one.
Also ladder locks, cut me down from 15 mins on and off to 4 minutes. Anti-theft as well.
Posted by samm (samm), 7 October 2003
when I first started for the first 6 months if people were out (residentual) I used to leave a ticket saying I'll collect thursday, but sensibly changed to leaving a slip and self addressed envelope. saved tons of messing about.

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 8 October 2003
Hi Sam,
I like you used to spend hours collecting and changed some time ago to the same system and it saved loads of time. Grin

Steve Lowe
Posted by AMG (AMG), 8 October 2003

Hi Steve, & Samm,

Do you find that most of your customers use the envelopes and don't just put them to one side and forget about them? I would think that if they actually have to go out and post the payment half the time it wouldn't get done.. Maybe I'm thinking too little of customers in general but at least when you knock on the door all they have to do is hand over some wedge..   Smiley

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 8 October 2003
Hi Andy,
           I don't leave envelopes i just put a card in telling them that their windows have been cleaned and please forward on a check made payable to____________ and i find that this works. When i take on the work i explain how i work and most people accept it no problem.

Steve Lowe
Posted by AMG (AMG), 8 October 2003

Thanks for that Steve,

It's a great idea, I guess no one wants to go out in the evenings collecting money, especially if it's cold! I will give it a go, if the customers are happy to do that it will make a big difference for me..

Posted by samm (samm), 8 October 2003
I know what you mean andy, but is actually not too bad.
I always knock like u for cash preferbly Grin, but if thier out leave a slip, I ve got a few that sometimes wait for me to come round next month and pay me double, most tho pay/post within a week.
I recommend you try it, even a few to start/test with, but life is so much easier now.

Posted by samm (samm), 8 October 2003
too right steve, I dont why it took 6 months for me realise.

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 8 October 2003
Hi Sam,
          I think if you explain how you run your business when you get the job and tell them that it saves them money because if you had to come out collecting the job would be dearer most are happy with that and it saves loads of work. Grin

Steve Lowe
Posted by samm (samm), 8 October 2003
good point steve, I remember a while back a new customer said his old WC used to collect and was keen for me to do the same, and like you said -to keep myself competitive I leave slips and S.A.E.'s

Actually 2 old ladies I visit havent a cheque book and dont like sending cash, so they leave the money in a bird box and when I'm round leave a slip saying paid with thanks
Posted by windows_chepstow (windows_chepstow), 8 October 2003
I've been window cleaning for about seven months now and have built up a reasonable round of nearly 260 houses.

I've heard of George, but can use a spreadsheet ok and have columns for dates I've cleaned, who owes me money and use a code so I can pull up houses by areas.  You can also pull up houses by dates, so I don't think I need George yet.  I spent about fifteen minutes a day updating my Window Register and printing out my daily work sheet.

However, the best bit of kit I've got is free!  It's my missis.  She'll only work 3 days a week, and then only during school hours (because of our brat being at school), but in 5 hours we can earn 100.00 without beasting ourselves.

She only cleans around quarter of what I do, complains when it's cold, wet or too hot, needs the toilet frequently (but will pee behind sheds if no-ones in) and only cleans ground floor windows and doors.  But she helps setting up at each house (gets the bucket out, sorts out the clothes, hands me a shaken applicator (sponge T-Bar thingy), sexually harrasses me, collects the money, takes the A Frames and is good company (sometimes))!

I don't mean she's a thing, obviously she's a person, but she's my best bit of window cleaning kit!
Posted by windows_chepstow (windows_chepstow), 8 October 2003
As for getting customers to post cheques, I tried that.

I got a whole load of envelopes, rubber stamp with my address on it and a wadge of second class stamps.

I also printed out a short "Your window cleaner has been, please post a cheque etc.........." and stapled that to the envelope.

The month prior to using them I briefed each customer to post me a cheque.  Some said the couldn't as they had no cheque book, so I said just send me a five pound note and you can owe me the rest (if it was more than five pounds).

I even stuck a stamp on for them.

There's a delay in receiving your cheque of around 3 to 15 days on average, then you've got the delay in the cheques clearing in the bank for three days.

Roughly 80 percent of my round posted them, others did not - not because they couldn't, but because they forgot!

My direct debits just cleared and I have now reverted back to the old fashioned method as it's less stressfull.

I now knock once for the money, and if they're not in, stick an envelope through their door for them to post me the money.  I still stick a stamp on it, just to make it REALLY easy for them.  It's working so far!

Tosh (windows_chepsow)
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 8 October 2003
I think you have to educate your customers, when I take on any new customers I tell them that I only can clean there windows if I get paid as soonh as I have finished , if not I dont clean them .
I am now slowly getting rid of the call back customers in favour of the pay when done and its working Cool
Posted by simonb (simonb), 8 October 2003
If you are reliable after a few months try standing orders Ive got 10 to do it who were always out. I get em to pay monthly but I clean four weekly so get a nice chunk of dosh straight into my bank on the first day of the month
Posted by samm (samm), 8 October 2003
hi simon,
I like the sound of that, have you asked all your customers? have any refused.
that is the only downfall to posting, some do leave it a couple of weeks and always it seems before I go on holiday

Posted by samm (samm), 10 October 2003
hello all,
back to george and PDA's, does any one know the minimum system requirements needed on a PDA to run george Huh, as I wouldnt mind sourcing a cheap second hand PDA, but want it to run, coundnt find anything on george website.

Any help much appreciated

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 10 October 2003
Hi Sam,
          I think George will run on any palm but why dont you e mail support on the george website. Huh

Steve Lowe
Posted by simonb (simonb), 10 October 2003
I only target the always out types. They are usually quite happy to do SO s if you have proved to be reliable.
Posted by georgesystems (George Systems), 11 October 2003
Hi Sam

Any current model and most second hand Palm machines are fine for PocketGeorge.

Have a look at the basic Palm Zire - here's one: 2/ref=sr_2_3_2/202-3357149-6411814

Paul Sanders
George Systems

Posted by steve_massey (steve_massey), 11 October 2003
i've just started using george this week and it works great. Thanks to steve lowe for putting info about george on this site as i had never herd of it before. No more wet paper and pen marks what you carn't read in the rain. Grin
Posted by samm (samm), 11 October 2003
cheers guys 4 the replys  Smiley
Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 11 October 2003
Hi Sam,
          Did you manage to find a second hand pda Huh

Steve Lowe

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