How To Take Your Window Cleaning Business To The Next Level

photo_paperworkTake Massive Action Every Day

In order to achieve above average results in this business, you need to take massive action every day. There are simply two things you need to be doing to start; marketing and cleaning windows. I call this ‘phase one’.  I want you to make it a goal to get yourself in front of 20 people a day, and then watch what happens. Soon you will find yourself cleaning windows every day with no time to do any marketing. You will be making two to four hundred dollars a day and thinking that this is the best thing since sliced bread. This is when a lot of people take their foot off the gas, settle into their comfort zone, and get out of ‘phase one’. I am here to tell you that when you are in your comfort zone, you’re not building your business; you merely own your job. Get out, and stay out of your comfort zone, and stay in ‘phase one’. Don’t ride the roller coaster of getting a bunch of new business, doing the work, and then having nothing to do until you find more business. Dedicate some time every day to prospecting for new accounts. It’s ok if you need to space out your cleaning schedule to make time for marketing your business. Remember this is not a sprint; it’s a marathon, so pace yourself and keep a good balance in your life. I promise if you dedicate yourself to staying in ‘phase one’, you will have tremendous results.

Taking it to the next Level

Once you have a steady amount of window cleaning accounts to keep yourself busy all day every day, you have a couple of choices to make. You can keep doing the work yourself and keep making the same money every week, or you can take it to the next level. In order to take this business another level, we need to focus on growing it instead of cleaning windows all the time. It’s time to start hiring somebody to do the labor so that you can get used to managing and marketing your business. Imagine yourself not cleaning a single window, but rather adding more accounts, and managing your crew. This is next level. Initially when you hire someone, you might make a little less than when you were doing all of the windows yourself. As you add more accounts to your schedule, as you get out and bid more projects all day every day, your business along with your income will grow.

Hiring Employees

Your schedule is completely full, you have more clients calling in wanting work done; it’s time to start hiring some help. I used Craigslist to find all of my employees. Here is a good example of what to say in your ad:

“Experienced window cleaner needed. Here is a checklist of what you need in order to do this job.
Your own cell phone
Your own work vehicle that can transport our ladders and tools
Good client relation skills

Average $15 hour
Call 555-555-5555 to set up an interview”

 

Keep your ad short and simple. Your goal is to get people to call so that you can interview them and ask them question about themselves. The next step is to have them meet you for an interview so that you can check them and their work vehicle out. They need to have the ability to carry all of your ladders and tools safely on their vehicle. Remember they are going to be representing you and your business,  so don’t take the first person to come along, and be picky with who you choose.

I have found that the better you pay people, the better work they will do, and the longer they will stick around. If you pay 8 or 10 bucks an hour, you will have high turnover and will be constantly training new people. The headache to go through all of this over a couple dollars an hour is not worth it. Pay your people between 13 and 18 bucks an hour. Remember if you are bidding your projects properly at $50 to $75 per man hour, you are still making plenty of money.

Don’t cut any corners with training, and take the extra time to help a new person learn the right way the first time. Let them practice for a full day or until they have it down. If the person is experienced already, make sure they clean according to your standards. I have seen my share of experienced window cleaners with a lot of bad habits who do sloppy work. If you pay your people every Friday, they will stick around. If you don’t want to bother doing your payroll in QuickBooks, use a payroll company. Paychex is a good payroll company who does everything for a reasonable fee.

One of the normal things you will experience in this business is your employees stealing accounts and trying to start their own window cleaning businesses. What happens is they see how easy it is to clean windows, it goes to their head that they can do what you are doing, and they run out and start their own, while taking some of your clients with them. It’s hard to avoid this situation if they are really determined; however there are a couple steps to take when hiring someone new. Have every person you hire sign a noncompetition agreement. Also make sure the agreement has some teeth by stating that if they do compete, then the penalty is $10,000.00. If they refuse to sign it, don’t hire them. This method weeds out the potential thieves and piece of crap individuals. Do I sound a little bitter? J

Reinvest in Your Growing Business

I realize that some of you reading this book may not want to spend the money on advertising and a website right way. It is possible to operate this business without these tools. Remember the goal is to continually grow your business. When you are out making two to four hundred dollars a day, set some of that aside to reinvest in advertising and for better tools for your potential employees. Also set aside a payroll expense account, and don’t let this account ever dip below five thousand dollars. During your busy season you might have ten to twenty thousand in receivables, yet you need to pay your employees every Friday until your invoices are paid. That payroll account can drain rapidly, so keep a good reserve built up. Set aside some money to move into a commercial office space someday. You may need to move into one sooner than you think, especially if you are an alligator.

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