I flip-flop on whether I want to/should deal with with the various challenges storefront brings along as opposed to residential.
Yes. Storefront can be your bread and butter when residential season dies down, and it gives you the chance to hammer out a lot of glass and benefit from the practice.
That’s what I was thinking. I’ve hit a slow spot already, realized I could start canvassing storefront’s were I so inclined. Thanks.
Been full time residential, so I’ve neglected storefronts. In your opinion what’s the best way to hit them? Just going in and asking?
Yup. The way I started was by soliciting to businesses that would be in the $50-$100 range for monthly cleaning. Once I had a handful of those accounts in different places I would canvass the smaller shops and offices near them to maximize my time at each stop.
Totally worth it. Sharpens your skills, teaches you about client care, retention. It’s also a great way to experiment with marketing for cheap. For us it was a springboard into residential and eventually commercial.
Plus people see you when you are doing storefront work. You’re pretty much a walking billboard at that point
No one can answer that question for you. It depends on what kind of business you want to build. I started out with storefronts but found out quickly that the residential market was less crowded with competition and I made a whole lot more money in residential. I held onto my route work for years because I felt I needed the security blanket of steady work.
Then one day it hit me, I hate route work and I would like to take a couple of months off in Winter to sleep late, sit in the hot tub, and watch old war movies. So, I did the math and figured out how much revenue I would lose dropping the route work, and then I made a plan to replace all that revenue with more residential, I budgeted my finances on a ten month schedule and next Friday is my last job for the year until March 1st 2018. That is unless some easy money comes knocking.
You have to determine what is going to work best for you. There is a guy in my area who is booked to the rafters in route work but I take a lot of sweet, high paying residential gigs from him because he is so busy running from $30 job to $30 job that he cant squeeze the residential in when they want it. He probably makes the same or more money than I do but the game is entirely different.
Yes it’s worth it.
I wanted to add this.
Residential can be great for some people’s personalities other are setup for route work then you have the people made for highrise work. They all have there different personalities.
You need to know who you are.
Hope this helps in some way.
A large residential window cleaning company in my area will not hire hi rise guys because they NEVER work out. It’s like they are different animals.
This is what pushes me to land more and more residential. So many are willing to do storefronts for lunch money that businesses just say no. I would rather be in a position to buy a new to me vehicle. Sitting on 209,000 miles on my van now.
being a high rise guy and now working mainly in residential, I can say this is kinda of true, however I was never a full high rise guy well no one was at that time we just had to do the work that was assigned for the day when the company isn’t large and there are 4-5 crew total, as the company grew there were guys to would stick only to rope work.
All of the high rise guys I have ever known( exclusively high rise) would never detail or wipe frames most never even carried a rag.
Being a all rounder I would detail but on high rise if no one else is and they are getting away with it why would I and take twice as long on drops, you basically clean what can be seen, normally as little as possible. high rise guys will generally clean several hundreds of panes per day, most resi guys would be flat out with 100 panes after you add tracks and screens and what not.
So to sum up its all about adapting to each market.
I worked at FiSH for two 1/2 years and did almost entirely storefront. I like the money in residential, but to be honest I like the faster work pace of storefront work. Perhaps a mix of both would be best.
That’s quite interesting @Steve076. I’ve always thought that is what happens in Hi-Rise. I suppose this is why it seems relatively easier to scale a Hi-Rise operation. The company isn’t as dependant on individual quality as much as a residential or even a storefront operation.
I will share with you my experience with storefronts and why I see a value with them. My office is in Buffalo, New York, which in the winter time becomes a snow globe. As you can imagine, all of our project and residential work pretty much comes to a halt. We have crews that provide route work all year long. The store fronts are great way to keep money coming in. Even better, about 80% of our route work pays at the time of service. Which makes payroll a lot easier and less time chasing past due customers.
I will say this. You need to build a tight route to make good money at this. Spend some time out there and begin to those customers. It will be worth it in the long run. I have 3 cars going out doing about $450 (each) a day in route work.
Andrew, nice to see you here! Hope your year is ending strong. Tell CB I say hello.
Excellent points regarding route work. Most people just don’t want to spend the time and effort building it.
How many days a week are are these 3 cars out doing route?
Thanks for sharing your insight.
@wcs would be interested in this as well. That’s on heck of a route to be pulling that much in
Thats almost as much as I make a week at my day job!
I have 2 vehicles doing 4-5 days a week and one doing 2-3 days a week. Some routes only bring in $350 per day depending on the travel time. If it’s an experienced cleaner, he can easily do $450 in 6-7 hours.
When a send a 2 man crew in a van for commercial or residential projects, I shoot for $800-$1,000 per day. So, I expect a one man crew to do at least half that.
Pricing is the key. When I took over the Buffalo office we had to raise prices. The old management was going in cheap to build a big route. Problem was, no one was making any money. We’re still working on building our routes. We want to see each route (storefront type) to be between $1,500 and $2,000 per week.