Need advice. My business is crashing hard.

by erealmz 68 replies
What's up warriors. I need some advice. I opened a window cleaning business about a month and a half ago after losing my job. Invested just over $500 to start up and things were looking great. I figured it would be easy to do something like this because everyone needs their windows cleaned. Now I'm realizing this might not be a good market for me.

There is too much competition. Everywhere I go I get turned down. Most people either have a contract with someone or simply don't want clean windows. I've had many customers tell me I'm too expensive. But I'm barely charging them enough to make a living. I can't go any lower.

I made the mistake thinking this was going to sustain me as I worked on building it up. Now I'm at rock bottom. I've got maxed out credit cards and no work coming in. I feel foolish for going into this full force without having a backup plan.

I've got a monthly income from other sources but they are not enough to support this business. I've considered pulling the plug on it but I hate giving up. I feel that if I stick to this, it will pay out in the end. It's just hard for me to foresee how it will turn out. I can't tell if I'm approaching a successful endeavor or a dead end. I'd hate to have invested too much time and money on this just to learn that it never would have worked out.

Does anyone have experience in something like this? I could really use some ideas. I have a website but I don't really market it. It's just there if people want to learn more about the business. I mostly just do walk in solicitation. I ask potential clients if they want their windows cleaned. Most of them need it. But I get nothing but "no".

I've tried Yelp advertising but it was quickly proving useless as I watched the $20 clicks come in and no leads. Not a single phone call.

What should I do?
#offline marketing #advice #business #crashing #hard
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Hard to advise without knowing who you're pitching to and what you pitch/offer is...

    Need to have a compelling offer... something a bit more than we'll wash your windows... How about "we'll clean one set of windows for free and if you like the job, we'll do the rest for normal fee"

    Are you pitching to people who can afford to have their windows cleaned? You say they need their windows cleaned, perhaps the windows are dirty because they can't afford a cleaner...? The "too expensive" response might be a clue - or it might just be a "I don't want a sales pitch right now".

    Here's a few suggestions:

    Alliances: Approach larger, more expensive window cleaners and see if they'll offer you as a cheaper alternative for those who feel that they're too expensive - you'll seem cheap by comparison. Reward referrals, either formally (a commission) or an informal gift or even both.

    Also see if you can sub contract. Sometimes such a relationship can result in referrals as above.

    Find associated firms. House cleaners, lawn mowing, landscaping, anyone who works with homeowners and get them promoting you. You'll most likely need to offer some form of reward/commission or an exchange of leads (hard when you don't actually have any customers).

    Reverse the above. When you get a job, look for other things that need doing. A commission on a new roof contract will likely bring in more than your window cleaning will over a full year. And there's no work involved.

    Have an annual contract option. Pay monthly and we'll come out and clean your windows 4 times a year. Have a compelling offer. e.g. "we'll also include cleaning your gutters before winter".

    Apartment Managers. Contracts usually come up for renewal once a year, and if you can get one of these, then you'll often get apartment owners using you as well. Hard to get as a one man band though, but it can be done.

    Have a compelling offer on a leaflet and when you get a local job distribute these to the neighbours. Along with some compelling trial offer or suchlike.
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    I've done window cleaning in the past. Are you going after residential or commercial? What is costing you so much? Window cleaning can be syarted for almost nothing. A bucket, squeegee, wand, extension, and some dish soap and you're in business. The rest is all shoe leather. Go out and hustle up business. If you need bulk work fast, I always had success with chain restaurants. You charge less but get steady work fast and as with all service businesses one huge differentiator is reliability and professionalism.

    Also, Animal gave you some great tips.
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  • Profile picture of the author Khemosabi
    Along with Animal's suggestions, you can also try Realtors or go straight to the Brokerage itself.

    I'd start with the more 'high dollar' Brokers in your area. When they list a house, chances are, the neighbors can afford your services, too. This is a true story. Many years ago, my husband and I were selling a home. We had just had a huge!... wind storm with rain in the mix. We had not gotten to the windows when it came time to show the house. The 'buyer' left in a rage because we had dirty windows! Sure, they were really dirty, but he was local, knew of the storm but the windows really bothered him. Lesson learned. **I knew he didn't want to be there in the first place, his wife did. Point is, doesn't matter, he used the dirty windows as an out. We live in a very rural place, we have a ranch. <-- that's a hint for you as well.

    Another idea, many law firms set up shop in older homes that have been converted. Other businesses, too.

    ~ Theresa
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  • Hellor erealmz,

    Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

    What should I do?
    Window washing business...hmmm.

    Had a friend of mine started a window washing company.

    All odds were against him succeeding.

    He didn't have a vehicle or bicycle. But he had the bottom of his feet to get him from door to door.

    Carried a bucket, brush, rags, squeegee wherever he went.

    Always asked if he could was the windows.

    It didn't matter if it was a car, truck, building or display.

    He never stopped asking

    He spent 8-10 hours a day going door to door - 6 days a week.

    After his first month, he was able to buy a bicycle. After 6 months he purchased a little pickup. By the end of his first year, he had 2 employees.

    You've been at it a month and a half and you are ready to throw in the towel, hang up your brush, dump the bucket of soapy water.

    Bet you are not pounding the pavement...HARD!!!

    If you want the business it is there.

    But the key to this business is get off the computer and get out there. Dawn to dusk.

    When that business owner turns you down. You come back another day.
    When that business owner turns you down again. You come back another day.
    When that business owner turns you down again. You come back another day.
    When that business owner turns you down again. You come back another day.
    When that business owner turns you down again. You come back another day.

    Who cares if the business owner turned you down today. He/She may not turn you down tomorrow.

    If you really want the business you will find it.

    Question is: "How Bad Do You Want It?"

    Chinchilla
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    Force-Communication - "It is the noble art of causing a client, a customer, or a prospect to perform a positive act as the direct result of reading your words." - Herschell Gordon Lewis
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post

      Hellor erealmz,



      Window washing business...hmmm.

      Had a friend of mine started a window washing company.

      All odds were against him succeeding.

      He didn't have a vehicle or bicycle. But he had the bottom of his feet to get him from door to door.

      Carried a bucket, brush, rags, squeegee wherever he went.

      Always asked if he could was the windows.

      It didn't matter if it was a car, truck, building or display.

      He never stopped asking

      He spent 8-10 hours a day going door to door - 6 days a week.

      After his first month, he was able to buy a bicycle. After 6 months he purchased a little pickup. By the end of his first year, he had 2 employees.

      You've been at it a month and a half and you are ready to throw in the towel, hang up your brush, dump the bucket of soapy water.

      Bet you are not pounding the pavement...HARD!!!

      If you want the business it is there.

      But the key to this business is get off the computer and get out there. Dawn to dusk.

      When that business owner turns you down. You come back another day.
      When that business owner turns you down again. You come back another day.
      When that business owner turns you down again. You come back another day.
      When that business owner turns you down again. You come back another day.
      When that business owner turns you down again. You come back another day.

      Who cares if the business owner turned you down today. He/She may not turn you down tomorrow.

      If you really want the business you will find it.

      Question is: "How Bad Do You Want It?"

      Chinchilla
      Yep. It always comes back to that one. Been like that with every business I've ever started, too. Some things never change.

      Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author erealmz
    Thanks for the tips. I market only to commercial. I have contacted several real estate companies. Quite a few actually. But none have called me back.
    I've lowered my prices significantly and if I can get two customers per day I'll make more than I made at my regular job.
    I've been networking with people who offer other services like glass repair, sign repair, landscaping, and mold removal. I charge them 20% for converted leads and pay the same for any business they bring me.
    It doesn't cost much to run this business. But since I'm going out everyday looking for work and not getting any, gas and food expenses are stacking up.

    Here are some of the crazy ideas I've thought about implementing:

    Revive my website along with added video offering window cleaning and related tips.

    Create flyers with incentives and/or discount to give to customers.

    Creating a mail/email list and offer a random drawing for 1 free window cleaning to everyone who signs up.

    Hire a salesman and pay them commission.

    Create an app that people can download to help them get a quote and track when they might need service.

    All these things might or might not work well. I just can't afford to do most of them right now.

    Many people think they don't need their windows cleaned. A lot of them say they already have someone but their windows still look like crap. I tell them I wouldn't let their windows look like that if they hired me.

    I think the main thing is my pricing. I'm going to try this new pricing model and I'm sure it will get better results.

    Thanks again for the tips. I'm considering all of them and seeing how I can implement them into my business.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      I will take the time for you and go through your list...

      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Here are some of the crazy ideas I've thought about implementing:

      Revive my website along with added video offering window cleaning and related tips.
      you can "revive your site all you want.. but lets ask a real quick question.. how many hits did your website have last month? Do you think a video and some tips content is going to grow your traffic?

      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Create flyers with incentives and/or discount to give to customers.
      This is one of those tell tale statements.. I don't think you are talking to the person or people that actually can say "Your Hired" - Sounds more like "Oh he's not in, and you already have someone.. well here is a flyer" You NEED to get in front of the decision maker!

      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Creating a mail/email list and offer a random drawing for 1 free window cleaning to everyone who signs up.
      Would be harder to do this, than it would be to just sell your service

      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Hire a salesman and pay them commission.
      General rule of thumb when hiring a salesperson. Have a working method to gaining new customers in place before hiring...

      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Create an app that people can download to help them get a quote and track when they might need service.
      right up there with build an email list... actually worse. now you have time and money in developing an app.. then you have to get people to download it.. and in the meantime you could have just been out selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    Look up Hard To Find Seminars and listen to the episode on the window washing guy.

    I don't have time to go through your ideas but most are really bad. You shouldn't even be thinking about apps and email lists.
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  • Profile picture of the author erealmz
    Most of them are bad huh? Yet you don't tell me why? I don't see anything wrong with my ideas and I'm sure they will being in new customers better than walking into some random store and asking them.
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    • Profile picture of the author helisell
      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Most of them are bad huh? Yet you don't tell me why? I don't see anything wrong with my ideas and I'm sure they will being in new customers better than walking into some random store and asking them.
      erealmz a question.

      Why did you ask about your business here if you don't see anything wrong with your ideas.

      I've been a consultant to sales organisations who question my advice all the time and I always ask them why I'm there?

      If you already know the answers then don't bother asking the questions.

      Look, I'm not meaning to be harsh but can you see what I mean?

      What 'EXACTLY' do you think you should say when you are out and about looking for customers?

      What you say [and how you say it] is absolutely crucial to your success [or failure]

      The fact is, businesses need their windows cleaned yes?
      Could you offer some add on service that makes you unique?
      Something that would really turn businesses on and make them say YES?

      Sit and think for a while.

      Why not go out top some of your target businesses and ask them 'What would someone like me...trying to get started with commercial window cleaning need to offer you for you to say YES START IMMEDIATELY?

      You will gain some serious insights into what you'd need to offer in future.

      Good luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author erealmz
        Here's your answer. I asked what I should do and people answered. I there in my ideas because I don't see anything wrong with them and I wanted advice about them. Someone tells me they are bad ideas but doesn't tell me why. That doesn't help me. Do you see where I'm going? Or are you trying to get my post shut down?

        I see that door to door hustling is the best way to get customers and that working on all this other stuff should come after. I see it because people are replying and telling me this. That helps me. Understand now?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Most of them are bad huh? Yet you don't tell me why? I don't see anything wrong with my ideas and I'm sure they will being in new customers better than walking into some random store and asking them.
      There's no sense in beating a dead horse.

      It could be that window cleaning isn't a good fit for you.

      Seems the only successful example of a window cleaning guy getting customers in this thread, is the guy willing to beat the streets, door after door, for 8 - 10 hours per day, day after day, asking for the business.

      Didn't see that anywhere in your list of "prospecting activities".

      I'm guessing he was so busy talking to customers and getting bookings, that he didn't have time for websites, ppc, facebook campaigns, jv's, email or apps, etc.

      Real businesses have paying customers. It's not a business til you've been hired.

      Ron
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      • Profile picture of the author erealmz
        What else you didn't see in my post was sarcasm. But I could add that in if you'd like. Thanks for the advice. I'm going to work more on going out and grinding. But the way you delivered that advice just causes tension. Some people don't like that. But I'm guessing your too busy being sarcastic to even notice how it might sound to others.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
          Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

          What else you didn't see in my post was sarcasm. But I could add that in if you'd like. Thanks for the advice. I'm going to work more on going out and grinding. But the way you delivered that advice just causes tension. Some people don't like that. But I'm guessing your too busy being sarcastic to even notice how it might sound to others.
          I have been where you are.. Meaning I had to go out, talk to people and get hired for one thing or another. It's work and takes a certain amount of intestinal fortitude, but it's doable.

          IIf you do enough door to door canvassing, you can survive and then thrive. If you shortchange it, the business won't survive.

          The choice, as always, is yours.

          Ron
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    • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Most of them are bad huh? Yet you don't tell me why? I don't see anything wrong with my ideas and I'm sure they will being in new customers better than walking into some random store and asking them.
      You don't see anything wrong with your ideas.
      Yet, your potential customers are not buying.

      THAT is the indicator that your ideas are not productive.

      You are "sure" your ideas will bring in new customers and you are arguing with the advice you are being given.

      As you are so very sure, make it happen. Then, come back and tell everyone "I told you so".

      OR ... consider taking some advice and doing things differently.

      I've done window washing, pressure washing, etc... The single most productive thing I did was walk in to places of business, introduce myself, and tell them what I could do for them.

      Most said "no".
      Some said "yes".
      I fed 5 kids, my wife, and myself with the money we made.
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      • Profile picture of the author erealmz
        Who said I was arguing bud? I haven't even implemented my ideas yet so there is no indication if anything. And as stated before, I'm all for the advice being given to me. I'm not arguing with anyone. Why don't you read the thread.
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    • Profile picture of the author eccj
      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Most of them are bad huh? Yet you don't tell me why? I don't see anything wrong with my ideas and I'm sure they will being in new customers better than walking into some random store and asking them.
      I actually wrote "all of your ideas suck" and then I thought better of it and changed it to "really bad."

      Did you listen to the Hard To Find Seminar that I mentioned? That will get you customers. I would do what he talked about for an hour a day.

      Commercial cleaning is an operations/capital game. Businesses deplore capital, bid on jobs, and then hire operations managers to fulfill the business in hopes of a 20% ROE.

      You have neither operations or capital going for you. At best you will get by in that market.

      You need to be going after residential. Go door knock if you need to at first but call those house cleaners.
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  • remember this, even though it's hard as your getting rejected! People are buying that service. small business is spending money. go get some of it.

    If you asked 50 decision makers what Helisell states, it will work :
    'What would someone like me...trying to get started with commercial window cleaning need to offer you for you to say YES START IMMEDIATELY?
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    • Profile picture of the author erealmz
      Thank you for you imput. Yeah I asked that question already and I've found that the best and probably only answer is to work for dirt cheap until this turns into a "real business", as Ron would call it. I'm going to try this for a few months. If it becomes just another job working for another boss (in this case, greedy cheap customers), them I'm going to scrap it and get back to the drawing board.
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    Yeah, no apps or blogs or anything like that helped me wash windows back in the day or clean houses currently. Just go talk to people.
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    Chain restaurants are inspected by corporate and need their windows washed. You can certainly do commercial. Get a small account in a strip mall, do a good job, and start picking up neighboring businesses. Like others have said, partner with cleaning businesses for referrals. I clean windows on occasion for clients because they want it and I have a key to their house already and can do the job, but I've also turned away plenty of work because I have nobody to refer them to.

    You have mentioned price a lot. Maybe right now an issue is that you're slow because you're new, and as you get faster the same money will look better. Just a thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author zeus136
    There are always multiple jobs to be done at peoples homes. Print out and drop flyers with a menu/pricelist of jobs that you are willing to do e.g. mow lawn, trim hedges, clean gutters, powerhosing pavement, powerwashing cars, boats. You will be surprised at how many jobs you can think of that can be done at a private residence for decent rates of pay.

    Best regards, Kathleen
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Never marketed windows cleaning. But I've noticed you're insisting a lot on 'people need clean windows.' And that's a problem. Because you want to be dealing with people who want clean windows.

    If you're going to go after people who need, you need to show them why they need. If my windows have been dirty for 8 months, clearly I don't think I need them to be clean. You coming along and offering to clean them, at any price, is too expensive.

    From all you've said, I noticed you only narrowed by geography and commercial vs residential. You need to go deeper.

    My office is in a medium size building (5 floors, 8 offices per floor), that gets its windows cleaned 2 times a year, same days of the year. As far as I can tell, looking at my office windows, the windows do not need to be cleaned. But management gets the clean. (Might be because of perception: they seem to care about the building; which makes leasing office space here easier; or getting people to renew. In other words, it's not about windows needing cleaning.)

    So, the people who want windows cleaned, why do they do it? What, in their activities, indicates they're open to you cleaning their windows?

    When dealing with the ones that say, I've already have someone... Keep reminding them you exist. Sooner or later, their someone is going to mess up... sometimes enough to get them to look at hiring someone else.

    As to you being too expensive... You did not say what you charge and what your competitors charge (and what you offer and what they offer; or how). And if you did, I am not qualified to say what's too much.

    But I'm qualified to tell you that people tell you you're too expensive for many reasons other than you're too expensive... Just to get rid of you.

    By the way, at what point in your conversation do they learn how much you charge? After you've described in great detail what a great job you do compared to others, how many more coats of clean you add to their windows you add or before?
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  • Profile picture of the author jilla82
    Look at this guys Youtube channel.
    He started the same way you did....in one of his videos he talks about having no money and having to walk up and down the street walking into businesses asking to clean their windows.
    He's making 6 figures now

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe1...G_F3Zq812ix3qA
    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheEmployeeTrap
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    • Profile picture of the author erealmz
      Thank you for the link. This guy really inspires me. But I think I'm throwing in the towel. There is no business out here where I am. There's either too much competition or people just don't need the service. I'm moving on to something else.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        What UMC said: the competition shows there's business. It's probably competitive.

        The problem is that you did not positioned yourself properly. You need to pick your ideal client and see how you can be seen as being different than your competitors. Not better, though being better is great, just different in a way that your ideal customer notices and appreciates.

        I get my hair cut from people who are 14 miles away from me (they were 2 blocks away from me 17 years ago when I started). They do good job, but in no way the best. But it's fun to be in their shop, waiting and getting your hair cut. It's clean and bright and they banter all the time. They having fun and, even if I say nothing, I am part of fun... (Father, 2 brothers one cousin and some random barbers in there.) Kind of like being at a family party before any one drinks too much and the super-religious bigots in my family arrive (Yup, I've got 3 and they like to talk about how they're better than everyone else.).

        Anyway, on the way to get my hair cut, I pass at least 8 other places I could get my hair cut, all of them cheaper. But they blend together, they offer great hair cuts or great hair cuts at great prices. They do not offer good hair cuts in a fun atmosphere, which I what I want.

        So, what do your would-be clients want that others do not give (or, at least, do not advertise)?

        Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

        Thank you for the link. This guy really inspires me. But I think I'm throwing in the towel. There is no business out here where I am. There's either too much competition or people just don't need the service. I'm moving on to something else.
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        • Profile picture of the author erealmz
          Yeah I should have planned it better. I kinda just jumped right into it when I lost my regular job.

          I've been trying to figure out what I could do differently that would make me stand out. So far, nothing good had come to mind.
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          • Profile picture of the author DABK
            So, why not shop around your competitors? Look at their ads, look at their websites, facebook pages, etc., see what they say about themselves, see if there's something they're not covering that would be valuable.

            Then, call a few, pretend you want to hire them, see how they treat you, what they promise... Best would be to actually hire a few of them, but do you have enough windows that need cleaning?

            Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

            Yeah I should have planned it better. I kinda just jumped right into it when I lost my regular job.

            I've been trying to figure out what I could do differently that would make me stand out. So far, nothing good had come to mind.
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      • Profile picture of the author jilla82
        dude....EVERY business is competitive.
        Good luck finding something nobody else is doing.

        There are tons of window washers on Youtube...and they show you how they started.

        Most of them just had a squeegee, a bucket, and a smile.

        He's telling you EXACTLY how to start right here
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_NnU7pbLRc
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      • Profile picture of the author BuddyFox
        Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

        Thank you for the link. This guy really inspires me. But I think I'm throwing in the towel. There is no business out here where I am. There's either too much competition or people just don't need the service. I'm moving on to something else.
        How long were you at this for?
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    Competition shows that there's a market. If you bounce every time you come up against resistance you'll never do anything. There are house cleaners everywhere in my area yet I have a waiting list. You can obviously do what you want, it's just a shame to watch you spend so much (still not sure how to burn through $500 to wash windows) for nothing.

    Any ideas what's next?
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    • Profile picture of the author erealmz
      Materials were about 180, website 20, business license 150, insurance 200, business cards 50. I'm going to keep doing it for another few weeks. If things don't change a month from now, I'm moving on.
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  • Don't get into "green grassing".
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    OP, I think you're looking in the wrong places for clients.

    Do this...

    Once a day, pick one fast food restaurant and wait outside first thing in the morning for them to open their doors for business, go in and talk to the store manager. Make sure it's the store manager because they're the only one who is capable of making buying decisions for services.

    Again, do that once a day (at least) and you will get clients.

    Keep in mind fast food restaurants are usually chain franchises, so If you get business from one, odds are it will be easier to get business from other places they own.

    Anyways, be there first thing when the doors open, you'll usually have about a half hour before the manager gets busy with paying customers.

    Also talk to carpet cleaners that have contracts with fast food businesses, the guys that are extremely busy (not desperate), those guys turn down window washing jobs all the time because they don't have enough time.
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  • Profile picture of the author erealmz
    Today I got 1 job after 2 weeks of nothing. I had already lost hope and failed to maintain my equipment. Now the windows are all messy and I can't get them clean. Maybe I shouldn't be saying this in public but the truth is, I'm no damn window cleaner. I'm moving on. Thanks for all your replies and support.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

      Today I got 1 job after 2 weeks of nothing. I had already lost hope and failed to maintain my equipment. Now the windows are all messy and I can't get them clean. Maybe I shouldn't be saying this in public but the truth is, I'm no damn window cleaner. I'm moving on. Thanks for all your replies and support.
      Still, the opportunity to build a well paying window cleaning business is a viable one, as proven by the guys out there doing it and video recording their efforts.

      A very inexpensive business to start. Following the door to door method outlined in the video, someone could start and put money in their pocket today.

      Just takes a willingness to work and a little bit of hustle.

      Competitive? Not really. As UMC said, he doesn't even take the window cleaning jobs that are offered. There are examples like this everywhere. The need is always greater than the ability to fill it, no matter how many enter the business.

      That's how it really is.

      Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I agree you should quit this business - no matter how many people post "don't give up" day after day. You finally found someone to hire you to do the work you were advertising...and the excuse is "didn't maintain the equipment"....

    the windows are all messy and I can't get them clean
    I think you should do whatever you have to do for as long as you need to do it to complete this one job in a professional way...whether you get paid for it or not.

    This was a bad experience - learn from posts in this thread and this business failure - to avoid making the same mistakes next time something looks "easy" to do.

    Edit: Chalk this up to 'experience' - and find work you enjoy doing. If you are excited about what you do - you'll maintain the 'equipment' because it matters to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author erealmz
      Thank you. I definitely learned from it. I'll do more research before starting my next project and I'm not just going to jump into it like I did with this.

      I did finish the job and got the windows clean. Took me 5 hours but one thing I don't do is walk away from a job.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    Professional window cleaning itself isn't as easy as it looks. It takes some proactive practice.

    If it were that easy people wouldn't hire other people to do it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      Professional window cleaning itself isn't as easy as it looks. It takes some proactive practice.

      If it were that easy people wouldn't hire other people to do it.
      Oh, I don't know...people hire other people to sweep a floor and that's pretty easy.

      Have a nice day!

      Ron
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      • Profile picture of the author umc
        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        Oh, I don't know...people hire other people to sweep a floor and that's pretty easy.

        Have a nice day!

        Ron
        I'll have to disagree there. Nobody I know of pays to have a floor swept, they pay to have an entire house or building cleaned at once, which isn't easy. Cleaning a window is easy, cleaning a house or building full is not with different sizes and shapes and heights. People tend to look down on cleaning as easy. Most don't live in a clean environment, so it must not be that easy.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
          Originally Posted by umc View Post

          I'll have to disagree there. Nobody I know of pays to have a floor swept, they pay to have an entire house or building cleaned at once, which isn't easy. Cleaning a window is easy, cleaning a house or building full is not with different sizes and shapes and heights. People tend to look down on cleaning as easy. Most don't live in a clean environment, so it must not be that easy.
          From my own experience. When I was around 8 years old, the guy who ran the little neighborhood grocery store offered me a job sweeping the floor. I told the barber about it, and he had me come in on Saturdays, his busy day and sweep the floor.

          Some years ago, my grandfather lost his job in the auto industry and was hired in at a machine shop, with the primary task to sweep the floor of metal shavings, filings and the like.

          So, based on my own experience I would have to say "Yes", people are hired to sweep the floor. Something easy enough that even an 8 year old could do it.

          Keep smilin'

          Ron
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          • Profile picture of the author erealmz
            If people have the money, they'd hire someone to tie their shoes.
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            • Profile picture of the author eccj
              Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

              If people have the money, they'd hire someone to tie their shoes.
              Yes. Men hire other men to do this kind of thing. I believe they the person a Gentleman's Gentleman.

              Animal is British so he would know better than I.
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              • Profile picture of the author animal44
                Originally Posted by eccj View Post

                Animal is British
                No I'm not...!
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                • Profile picture of the author eccj
                  Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

                  No I'm not...!
                  Well now I'm embarrassed.
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                  • Profile picture of the author animal44
                    Originally Posted by eccj View Post

                    Well now I'm embarrassed.
                    So you should be...!

                    That's almost as insulting as calling me an Aussie... Almost, but not quite!

                    FWIW I'm NZer... We're the guys who beat you at America's Cup
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            • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
              Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

              If people have the money, they'd hire someone to tie their shoes.
              Now that...is some real sarcasm.

              Directed at my example of being hired at 8 years old to sweep floors.

              In those days, I learned to do whatever I could to earn an extra bit of money, as that was often where my next meal was coming from. I had done without, many times.

              And, yes, I would have tied shoes or even shined shoes, if that's what it took.

              Going to bed hungry, can be a powerful motivator to a child or anyone.

              The memory of that experience, stayed with me throughout my work life, and all these years later.

              Ron
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          • Profile picture of the author umc
            Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

            From my own experience. When I was around 8 years old, the guy who ran the little neighborhood grocery store offered me a job sweeping the floor. I told the barber about it, and he had me come in on Saturdays, his busy day and sweep the floor.

            Some years ago, my grandfather lost his job in the auto industry and was hired in at a machine shop, with the primary task to sweep the floor of metal shavings, filings and the like.

            So, based on my own experience I would have to say "Yes", people are hired to sweep the floor. Something easy enough that even an 8 year old could do it.

            Keep smilin'

            Ron
            Interesting, I've never known anyone to get hired just to sweep a floor. I've known people that cleaned barber shops and people that were janitors in a machine shop atmosphere but none were simply to sweep a floor, nor have I ever seen anyone in the cleaning association I've been a member of for years have a job like that. I guess it does show that people will pay for just about anything. It really does go to show that there's not much reason for people to be jobless. There's always something one can do, well *most* everyone.
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      • Profile picture of the author eccj
        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        Oh, I don't know...people hire other people to sweep a floor and that's pretty easy.

        Have a nice day!

        Ron
        Haha. You're right!

        Now the pro window cleaners can really make a window shine. It's crazy the difference from professionally cleaned windows, especially in a house with lots of tall windows.

        The guys that have some weird magnetic water can make windows so clean it makes the house look better. It's something to do with polarization which I "learned" in chemistry.
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        • Profile picture of the author erealmz
          Nice. If I had such skills, I would market them to get customers. But unfortunately I don't.
          I used to say that if I were the Hulk, I'd get a job doing demolition.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

          Thank you for you imput. Yeah I asked that question already and I've found that the best and probably only answer is to work for dirt cheap until this turns into a "real business", as Ron would call it. I'm going to try this for a few months. If it becomes just another job working for another boss (in this case, greedy cheap customers), them I'm going to scrap it and get back to the drawing board.
          You've already decided to quit the window washing business, so just keep this in mind for your next venture.

          "Working for dirt cheap" may have been one of your mistakes. It smells of desperation.

          I don't cut my own lawn, haven't for about 12 years. Been through several lawn services.

          > The first saw me as an ATM, and would cut the grass if he needed money whether the grass needed to be cut or not.

          > He was followed by the guy who approached me and offered to undercut the other guys price by 60%. He lasted a little while, then got discouraged by working for dirt cheap and flaked out on me without notice.

          > There was the guy who wanted a monthly contract with a set fee whether he cut the grass or not, because he needed a set amount to meet his income goals.

          > There were others, but now I have a real pro. He's not the cheapest, by far, actually one of the highest. But he's reliable, thorough, and professional. Heck, his guy came to the door this week and told me he didn't want to touch the lawn because it didn't need it and he didn't want to charge for something we didn't need. Think a lowball bid is going to dislodge him?

          The people who told you to contact fast food restaurants for window washing? Listen to them with a grain of salt. Most fast food franchises have an employee (usually titled "maintenance man" or similar) whose first job in the morning is to wash the windows, inside and out. You'd do better approaching diners that don't hire the job in-house.

          Look for people who can hire you multiple times. One thing people failed to mention was doing cleanup at new home construction. The builder often subcontracts the final cleanup before the final inspection. Things like washing the windows, wiping down the counters, polishing the light fixtures, checking the lot for scraps of lumber and other scraps, etc.

          Whatever your new venture is, don't try to compete on price. Spend the time and learn the value of your service. The informational interview technique mentioned earlier is an excellent one.

          Finally, have a realistic time frame. Trying something for a couple of weeks or months by simply trying to do more of what isn't yet working will kill your desire faster than almost anything.

          When someone says they already have someone, your job is to position yourself as #2 in line. As someone said, #1 is eventually going to mess up (see my lawn service story above), retire or go out of business.

          One way to do this is to ask them if they mind if you touch base from time to time, and could they give you their email address. Many will.

          Once you have this, start sending them tidbits that will benefit/interest them. For example, if you approached a building contractor, and you saw them mentioned on the news, email them a link to the story with a simple FYI. An article about local home sales? Same thing.

          Keep doing this over time, and you will get calls and referrals. Go to the Kindle store and pick up a copy of "Endless Referrals" by Bob Burg. He outlines a whole system for generating referral business.

          Good luck to you.
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          • Profile picture of the author erealmz
            Thank you. I thought about the email marketing thing. Even posted the idea here and people shot it down. They shot down all my ideas and told me to just be persistent and keep doing walk-ins. The results I was getting with those was so disappointing that I thought, if this is the advice from pros, them I give up.

            I think an email marketing campaign would have been just the thing to save my business. But now I don't even have it in me to want to wash windows. I hate it. I'm moving on.
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            • Profile picture of the author celente
              Originally Posted by erealmz View Post

              Thank you. I thought about the email marketing thing. Even posted the idea here and people shot it down. They shot down all my ideas and told me to just be persistent and keep doing walk-ins. The results I was getting with those was so disappointing that I thought, if this is the advice from pros, them I give up.

              I think an email marketing campaign would have been just the thing to save my business. But now I don't even have it in me to want to wash windows. I hate it. I'm moving on.
              I hate this forum sometimes...but its a blessing and a curse.

              I think where I went wrong in my career was not building a bigger email list early enough. That is where the power is these days.

              I could never see any sales, and now I have a 6 figure a year busines, I put it down to basically 1 think, THE POWER OF EMAIL MARKETING.

              Its like walking into a auditory filled with people and shouting out your message to them, and they are intersted in listening too.

              How do you think big brand gurus like ANTHONY ROBBINS does it. BRANDING and all through EMAIL MARKETING.... as such, with a few other things.

              Trust your intution, and forget what others say or do to you.

              In the end its about building a business, and doing MORE fo the things that DO work, and LESS of the things that DO NOT WORK.

              For me, EMAIL MARKETING is working good. So I will continue to do that.
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              • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                Originally Posted by celente View Post

                I hate this forum sometimes...but its a blessing and a curse.

                I think where I went wrong in my career was not building a bigger email list early enough. That is where the power is these days.

                I could never see any sales, and now I have a 6 figure a year busines, I put it down to basically 1 think, THE POWER OF EMAIL MARKETING.

                Its like walking into a auditory filled with people and shouting out your message to them, and they are intersted in listening too.

                How do you think big brand gurus like ANTHONY ROBBINS does it. BRANDING and all through EMAIL MARKETING.... as such, with a few other things.

                Trust your intution, and forget what others say or do to you.

                In the end its about building a business, and doing MORE fo the things that DO work, and LESS of the things that DO NOT WORK.

                For me, EMAIL MARKETING is working good. So I will continue to do that.
                I hear you.

                I just have to wonder though, how all of those window cleaning companies managed to find success before the internet and email came along. How was that even possible??

                Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Connor
    Cpc is a bad idea in your niche. Stick to door to door. If you can get a pressure washer get one and offer to power wash front walkways and wash windows. The two do together like lamb and tuna fish sandwiches. Push for companies like best buy and Menards and hobbie shops etc. etc.

    Outlet stores, mall owners these are all companies who need outside contractors as they don't have in house employees for this stuff. I think window washing alone can't be profitable today. Offer more than one service. Don't be too nice and any like they need you more than you need them. Your attitude will be the defining factor in every sales pitch. Also if you want this you will never stop until you succeed. That's my advice. Peace
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  • Profile picture of the author NateOlsen
    Start a GMB listing it's free! Second Facebook Ads start out at a $1 a day so you can get a feel for the waters. Adwords but I think I would try these other two first so you can get a better understanding of what works.
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    Nathan Olsen
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  • Profile picture of the author nalbandian1
    There are ups and downs in everybody's life, so don't lose hope. Start advertising your business and your business website using both online and offline methods. I know this needs investments for advertising but this can work for your business for a long time.
    Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelandy
    Hello, Erealmz. I would like to suggest you that you should join some business partnerships program on an online business portal to get some reputed and experienced business partners for your business who can support you and promote your business more effectively.
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  • Profile picture of the author erealmz
    I've found a formula that works so I've been in the process of revamping the business. I almost gave up but the very week I was going to sell all my equipment, I got two phone calls out of the 500+ business cards I'd passed out. Then two referrals after that. So now I'm at 8 recurring customers and that gives me motivation to keep moving forward.
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