Hello World!


#1

Yes, the title is a clue to my true passion, computer programming. My name is Brian Woodward, and I am from Virginia, USA. I am new to the window cleaning industry, but I have many years of door to door sales experience, I have owned/started several businesses over the years, and a back injury has forced me out of my oldest professions, which were labor intensive. My computer programming has always been more of a hobby, and life long passion, than income producing employment even though I hold a Master of Science degree in Information Systems.

Recently, I stumbled upon some of the more popular videos on YouTube after my brother suggested that I do a search on Window Cleaning videos, He had viewed some of the “make $X dollars a day cleaning windows” videos, and thought that it may be something that I can do with my bad back. I am planning on giving this profession a try soon.

Anyway, I want to give a special shout out and thanks to Luke the window cleaner for making his videos. They have been very helpful and inspiring, and I probably would not have found this forum without them. Thanks to Trad-Man, and all of the other people who are also making videos to help their fellow window cleaners, especially those of us just starting out. You guys are great, and I really appreciate what you do, and have done, to help others,

I am looking forward to many excellent adventures window cleaning, and I hope to make a video or two later on about my escapades to keep you guys up to date on my progress. I am chomping at the bit to get going in this new venture, and I hope the weather breaks soon so we can all get busy.

Thanks again, to everyone participating here at these forums, for helping others by sharing your knowledge and experience. I am extremely happy and privileged to be here in this online community with such good company.

WINDOW.BUSINESS/SUNSHINE


#2

Hello and welcome!


#3

First I want to say welcome to the forums and WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE!

I’m sorry you have had hardships like those but I hope you have learned from them all!

Also I couldn’t imagine doing this job with a bad back, but I could also see devoted people such as us pushing through anything.

I hope to learn from and teach you so much!


#4

include: Greetings program

There’s a lot of things you can do to help the back. Like leaving the bucket in the truck and using a squirt bottle. You can pole lower windows as well once you get the skill. BUT ladders are still part of the biz. A wfp could be a back saver unless you plan on doing 4 story commercial. Anything above 3 stories will be hard.


#5

Do you plan on hitting the residential or the storefronts


#6

Welcome bro, I hope you find what you’re looking for and you succeed. I’d keep my jobs fairly simple if I had back issues like you do, but it would diffenitly limit how much you would make, but then again no pain no gain bro.


#7

Thanks for the warm welcome guys.

I plan on using the bottle(s), and I hope to get a WFP in the future (form windowcleaner.com of course), but not a very long one. Two stories with dormers will probably be the biggest will ever I try to tackle, but I will be targeting single story ranch and basic two stories with good terrain to start. Hoping to get enough single story work to buy the WFP, and will use trad pole until then. Won’t mind the ladders that I already own which is a 5 foot step, and a 2 section 16 footer, They are both aluminum and super lite designs, so I can carry either one with one hand.

Anything that I can reach!
Plan on canvassing for both, and taking whatever I can get, but I would probably rather do residential if I can land outside only. Outside only is my preference, so I will be structuring my pitch and prices for that.

I gave up the get rich quick schemes many moons ago. I am not in this to get rich, or wealthy, just want to make enough to feed my self and my pets and I’ll be happy. Not that I will cut throat some other guy’s prices. I will price my work fair and stick to my guns. I have learned that much from the forums already.


#8

Sounds like you might like having lots of storefront accounts. Plus, ladders are rarely required for storefront work. Some forumites do mostly storefront and so there are lots of posts on storefront marketing and technique. Not having to climb around furniture or deal with hanging plants and other interior residential clutter that’s like octopus gear could also be back-friendly. I haven’t focused on storefront but that’s changing this year.


#9

Welcome! You’re in the right place.


#10

Welcome, and thanks for being so active already.


#11

Thanks
I hope I am not being too active, and making some of you sick of me already. I am just excited about this, and the forum is my outlet until the weather breaks and I can get going.


#12

Welcome @Bucket-Bob im in Southern West Virginia great forum here and friendly people.


#13

Welcome to the forum, (even though you been here awhile) :sunglasses: With back issues I would learn to use a pole. Window cleaning can be rough on the body at first, so take your time and learn proper body movements while working.

Good luck!


#14

Here is my first video related to Window Cleaning, my Truck Setup…
(fictitious name and phone number on the card for this video)

I have decided to go old school with my efforts. I am not sure, but I think I understand why some of the older companies like Ettore don’t make very many innovations with their products. If pros have been doing it that way (bucket Bob style with minimal tools) for decades, then it can still be done that way. After all, the glass is still glass and the dirt hasn’t changed much. Watch the old school video post and you will see a professional with just a bucket, brush, squeegee, towel, and his safety belt.

Don’t get me wrong… at some point, I will be buying a Water Fed Pole and all the other fancy new stuff like screen cleaners etc. that will make the job easier and more efficient. However, that will be down the road when I have landed more than a few residential customers and/or construction cleanup contractors. For now though, I am taking the advice here and focusing on those storefronts starting out.

Okay, some of you may call my hand truck a dolly, but a hand truck is still a truck, so my title is right. :wink:


#15

Thanks for sharing your video.
If you going to do route work that setup you have is to complicated and bulky.

Check out this thread for a simple work belt setup that will fill your needs and add water bottle to it and you will be good to go.

I carry very minimalist amout of tools on my belt.
I like sleek and “tried and true” tools. If I can help just ask.


#16

So it that Sour Cream and Onion B.O.A.B or BBQ B.O.A.B? My kids love pringles and I can make many B.O.A.B.s this way! I remember on another post you said you had your own idea of the B.O.A.B. but I had something else in mind. Nice MacGyver stuff going on there. :metal:


#17

Thanks
I’ll check that out. You guys just go out and buy what you need, but I like to use what I can hack together. I did buy some new stuff, like the mops, squeegee, towels, and the little pole, but as you can see, some of this stuff was used and just laying around going to waste, or picked up used at Goodwill (the hand truck and white bucket).

lol
LAY’s Stax
Mesquite Barbeque

Pringles have the waxed cardboard type cylinders, but the Lay’s Stax is plastic. I have a butt load of these laying around, so it was begging me to try it. I know this is not going to work well, but it will have to do until I make the other one.

I do have a good design for a spill-less (not spill-proof) B.O.A.B. but I am undecided on the type of plastic that I will be using. Was thinking CPVC but then I started thinking that it may be too brittle, so I will probably use some clear hose, or less brittle plumbing pipe like the black underground stuff, Just need to find the right size. I want to use something readily available at any hardware store, but I was to hoping to find some stuff laying around that I could cannibalize. The easiest way to recycle is to reuse, so I save all kinds of crap that I think may come in handy some time, but most of it is still waiting its turn, I might buy some clear plastic for the prototype though, just to demonstrate how it works (common sense but will be fun to see the water in action).


#18

Not always true.

Just keep in mind in this industry it is about the “experience” the customer gets from dealing you as a service provider.

If your setup is thrown together the customer will feel that’s the way your business is put together also.

People want the cozy and comfortable feeling when dealing with a service provider.

I get what your saying you want to upcycle things. I really do… but… Presentation is everything in this industry.

Just trying to help out with some sound advice for you @Bucket-Bob


#19

I get what you are saying about looking the role, and thanks for the advice. I guess it depends on the customer, and the managers of the storefronts are probably not that particular about the tools I am using as much as the results and the price. I will probably be doing them at times when they are not busy or not even open, so most of their customers won’t even see me. I think the tools don’t define the “experience” as much the quality and affordability of the work, and my personality and the relationship built. For residential, yeah, you are absolutely right about appearance, and that is why I will probably hold off on those until I have upgraded my tools and my ride. Not too keen on strapping a ladder on a sedan and expecting a good first impression when I roll up in front of their house. The hand truck for a storefront route where traffic is a beast will probably be able to not get too many frowns. We’ll see, and I don’t disagree with what you are saying. I am just starting this on a shoe string budget, so I am doing the best with what I have. I am not going thousands of dollars into debt for this to start it up, but I will reinvest thousands of dollars that have been earned. It will take time to get to the point you guys are at, but I’ll get there.

I am working on redoing that belt though, for a much lighter setup than that leather carpenter’s tool belt. So, I will try to make it look as nice as the belts in that other thread (or as close as I can get to that) . I have also removed the bottom of a beer can cooler and slid the BOAB into it. It makes a cushion for the bottom, and has a cool message on it. If I add a second one, then the chip can will be fully disguised. :smile: No matter which tools I have, I am still stuck with the “dirty hippie” look, so anyone not turned off by that will probably be down with the reused/homemade tools.

EDIT

Here is the new belt setup…

Showing the 18", 12" squeegees on the belt but will be carrying only one needed for given job.
The 10" cheapo squeegee is for sills. (may cut that one down to 6" soon)

Top pouch for clean towels.
Second pouch from top is for bottles… solution, water, s+w mix in big bottle with pop cap.
Bottom pouch for 4" scraper and abrasive pads, etc.

Squeegees in the small sleeves on sides of pouches, and the sill squeegee in one of the hammer hoops.
I have another hammer hoop for the wet sill towel that will be on other side near the B.O.A.B (not shown)

Paint brush for sills, paint can opener for screens, and extra scraper blades in the small pockets.
(I did have that other brush for sills, but after viewing the belt thread, I opted for the paint brush) :wink:

This setup is a little less bulky and lighter, so I am glad I broke down and forked out for the new belt.
Still wanting to sling that 18" in the back though, so I may use that other hammer hoop for that and just share the hoop with the sill squeegee with the wet sill towel (will try both ways out and decide later). On hot summer days, that wet towel will be wrung out and slung over my shoulder though.