Hello from Homer, Alaska!


#21

“With a potato” lol. It works…


#22

Payed for Workers Comp and will be getting a Part Time employee on the 18th. I am tired, been grinding 6-7 days a week for more than ten months.


#23

Congrats on the part timer!


#24

Good job. I was down in Homer this last weekend and had intentions of giving you a ring and seeing if you wanted to grab some coffee. Maybe next time. Is your residential window cleaning starting to account for a larger part of your work load? The cold weather is slowing us down, but I did just invest in a water trough heater… been heating my pure water to 120 degrees. Works really well when the temps are around freezing.


#25

Hi Ben! Yes, demand for WC is quieting down so I am switching my marketing to carpet cleaning and floor resurfacing. Please do stop by for coffee next time.
Love to see some details on your heater.
Can you post any pics or links?


#26

During my slow time the next couple months I will be dealing with a lot of deferred maintenance on my most frequently used equipment (my body). I am getting chiropractic and total body deep tissue massage (mucho owie to break up the fascia lumps), new inserts for my flat feet and another colonoscopy. Probably should get an old wrist injury dealt with too. Postponing shoulder surgery for a torn labrum and removal of arthritic lumps until after I retire. Shoulder surgery is risky.

I should also get a new bridge. Probably most cost effective to get it done in Mexico, maybe I can take a dental vacation during next years slow season.

Really glad to be self employed and have the freedom to flex my annual and weekly schedule for these types of work slowdown actions.


#27

Hope you get chance to relax properly & take care of yourself for a while - how long is it until you retire?

When you’re self employed a work slowdown is rarely actually time off though - there’s always a list of things to be done! Any moment I get free recently I’m working on renovating my house, fine tuning my marketing, updating my website, catching up on a never ending list of errands,… I might get a few days of real downtime over the xmas holidays, but not much!


#28

I don’t know if I will ever fully retire but I hope to be able to slow down in several years so that I can spend more time with my grandson and have more time to design games and help other people in the game design industry.

100% agree with your work slowdown statements. I refer to working on those tasks as “non-billable hours.” Fortunately most of my non-billable hours don’t put any stress on my body.


#29

Not WC related but anyway:
I did my first marble tile restoration project yesterday for some two bathroom tiles that had a total of 7 etched spots, each about the size of a dime. I put on gloves and rubbed the paste in by hand, adding a bit of water now and then. I sealed by cleaning with a rag and applying the sealer with a clean rag then wiping dry. I was really happy with the shiny seal and was very relieved because I was the guy who exposed the tiles to vinegar in the first place.
Sorry, I forgot to take pics.

I watched this and other videos repeatedly:


#30

I secured another weekly cleaning account yesterday. I will be vacuuming and mopping the weightlifting branch of the local martial arts/fitness facility and doing WC as needed.

This is the fourth weekly cleaning account I have secured in the last 11 months. I need them to support my Window Cleaning habit.
“No, I do not have a problem. I can quit cleaning windows anytime I want to. Really, I can quit and no I don’t want to go to that meeting with you.”


#31

Intensity, Frequency, Duration. Go to that meeting.


#32

My first part time employee only lasted two weeks but I am happy for him. He got a job that pays more, no evening work, no weekend work and college assistance. I would rather recruit and lose good people than be stuck with “enough to get by” employees.
My second employee will finish her third week tomorrow. I am bringing her along for a 5 hour carpet cleaning job tomorrow. Her slowness was teaching me to have more patience but she is thorough and punctual so it seems to be an acceptable tradeoff. If she can take over some of my recurring service building cleaning work I will have more time for WC and Carpet cleaning. Coincidentally, she was in the same high school graduating class as the previous employee.


#33

Thanks to all you forumites I got a $400 resi bid and survived the price negotiation without dropping the price yesterday. A year ago I would have bid less and probably wavered during the negotiation. This year I am starting at $4 per pane, I used to start at $3.

Customer "The last guy did it for $200."
Me “You should go with whatever you are comfortable with, it’s your home.”

As we kept talking it turned out that the last guy got $225. He also scraped and scratched a pane and would have scratched more if she wasn’t onsite. She told him to never come back.

“One of my employees said that you would probably be adding for transportation (> 80 miles).”
“No, my price would be the same if I lived a mile from here. I will be expanding my route to Fairbanks (600 miles) this spring so I will be batching this job with others in the area.”

Then the shocker: “So, how does this work, should I give you some money?” I assume she meant an advance.
Me: (Shocked and suppressing a long HUUUUUHHHH & DUUUUUHHHH)“No, I get paid after I do the job.” We had the job tentatively scheduled for warmer weather in March.

I brought my wfp and 16" brush to the bid so she could get familiar with the process. Doing that and excitedly explaining the DI process also helped get the bid. In addition to being insured and bonded I also do background checks so I made sure she was aware of that. Although I will probably do this job solo it still pays off to highlight the company’s professionalism.


#34

You said you do floor cleaning. I currently operate a janitorial business, and my primary focus is stripping and waxing vct floors; that’s where the good money is at. I throw in carpet cleaning, residential & office cleaning, windows cleaning, etc., but there’s nothing like the smell of shineline emulsifier stripping old wax off a floor lol.


#35

I strip and wax floors too and I recently started cleaning and sealing tile and dry cleaning carpets. Dry cleaning carpets will be a lot less wear and tear on my body and lighter equipment to haul around.


#36

Very good. Do you use a flat mop when waxing? If not, I highly recommend it. I’ve been waxing for 17 years, and about a handful of years ago I got the flat mop. It is definitely the way to go.

Be well out there. Do what you can handle, do what you’re comfortable with, and you’ll be alright. The rest will take care of itself.


#37

Yes, I always use the flat mops when waxing. I get a more even distribution with it and have better access to hard to reach areas.
My standard procedure after stripping and sealing is three light coats of wax.
My hard floor work is the weak sister of my services, I need to put more effort into connecting with restaurants and other businesses.


#38

By dry cleaning, are you referring to encap?


#39

Make sure you sell a maintenance plan with those new Shiny floors.


#40

This is the dry cleaning system and equipment that I use. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jZgST45tzw

Encapsulation would still require using my heavy carpet cleaning machine (104 lbs. empty) and would require getting all the water/solution on the carpet and extracting all the moisture and refilling the 10 gallon tank repeatedly and masking or laying towels to ensure moisture doesn’t encroach on adjacent areas. Ugh.