Invest in the Waterfed pole?


#1

Okay, so this is a really big moment for me. I have been working as a lifeguard for over 4 years now, and the owner of the wellness center has given me a big opportunity. I have been building up my image, my client base, and I did get him to allow me to wash the interior windows in the indoor pool I work in, doing that twice a month, and I’ve been warming him up to giving me the job of maintaining the outside of the wellness center (a $600+ job, even up to $1200 depending on how many windows he wants me to wash, and that’s if I charge exactly $2 a pane), but here’s the thing. I don’t dare attempt to wash them with my current set-up. They are 24-30 feet in the air at the highest (the front of it is a wall of windows)
https://plwc.life/ImageRepository/Document?documentID=117
so I need a water fed pole. The opportunity he gave me was that in the middle of next month we’ll talk price and he will let me wash them once and we’ll see how it goes. So my dilemma is simply do I buy the equipment (What I am looking at is a 2,500 dollar RODI setup with a 35 foot pole from WCR) so that I can do the job right and nail it down? I know that you guys can’t advise me completely as you aren’t in my place and can’t see the relationship that I have with the owner, but if you were in a similar situation and you knew that the job that you were trying to nail down would basically pay for the equipment would you buy it now? I don’t have $0 but I am by no means well off. I can pay for my apartment and I can buy groceries and I have about $6,000 in the bank, but it is definitely a really big investment for me. Anyway, any insight you guys have on this would be awesome. Thanks in advance!


#2

I wouldn’t buy it for just ONE job. I would buy it if you can use it on other jobs and you have other places you can sell the work to.

If you are going to own a WFP, it should be something you use often.

I myself, already owning one and using it often, would invest again in a heartbeat.


#3

@HoosierSqueegee Oh yes, there are a ton of instances where I would benefit from the WFP, it’s just that I can get by ok without it for the most part. No doubt that I would use it, I just haven’t NEEDED it up to this point.


#4

I would buy it and get more jobs.


#5

If he don’t jump on that price at 2$ a pane he is a freaken nut job.

Your prices are seriously low man…just saying…

He wants only exteriors right? “see how it go’s?” please. I get pissed just imagining his tone when he says it.

Oh yeah…
Buy the pole.

When you have the tool you need, you will start to see jobs differently. If you don’t have the tool you need you have to try to improvise. It shouldn’t be that way. Have the best tools to complete any job in your niche. A waterfed pole is a must. Even if you don’t need it all the time. It may very well be what tips the scales in your favor on a lucrative job.


#6

depends on how much your willing too put into getting more wfp jobs.

if this is only a side hustle for play money i wouldn’t but if you’re seriously trying too establish yourself then i would.


#7

@thorSG1 well, let me explain. Here in Watertown, SD the going rate for windows is $2 a window. I know that compared to others that’s ridiculous, but that’s how it is for right now. I am not at the point yet where I can start raising my prices because there is an established window washer in town. However, even though he has 12 years experience and I have only 2 under my belt, I am doing quite well in the experience category. So understand that I have worked for this man as a lifeguard for 4 years. I’m only 19 years old (20 this year). I have to demonstrate to him that I am qualified to do this job. I have not discussed prices with him yet, and I am not planning on quoting simply 2 dollars a window. The bottom few rows will be 2 dollars and I’ll raise the price as I go up. We are going to talk prices when we meat again, but I know that to him I’m still an inexperienced teenager. However he has been impressed, and said so, with the way I have been wisely building my business (I had a talk today about how I need to get a wfp to do these kinds of jobs and how this job would be the step I would take to get there, he was impressed with the way I have handled myself) so this is about me proving that I have what it takes to wash the windows. I would be washing the insides of all these windows as well, but the “see how it goes” is him giving me the chance I need to show that I am not just a dumb teenager making a quick buck. He is going to pay me for the first time I pay (all of this we will discuss in a few weeks) but he has had the other window washer wash them last fall and he (the other guy) said that he would talk with the Wellness Center this spring. So I have beat him to the punch, I just need to prove myself worthy so to speak. I am definitely not being hustled by this guy, he’s just being careful who he hires. :slight_smile: So that said, I think getting the WFP is definitely what I need to take my business to the next level, thanks for all the help, guys!

Edit: Would also like to say that the other guy has a reputation for being a little underhanded and a lot of people don’t like him, so I have intentionally set myself apart from that and have a great reputation with all my clients, so that’s how I am getting traction. It’s not a huge town, so that’s important. :slight_smile:


#8

Buy the pole (700-900 depending on make and model). Find a local pure water company and rent a di tank for the job. This way, if you keep up the wfp work, you can buy the ro system or even just a di tank and have it refilled as needed. You can get out the door with just a 750 investment and keep the rest of your savings liquid for other expenses.


#9

I bought a system when it was on sale and it is worth it. There is a little learning curve to it, watch videos and screw it up a few times, but it’s worth it. I just used it on a bi-monthly and I broke even on time but did not have to climb a ladder, fill a bucket, worry about streaks, double and triple check the edges after detailing to see if I may have hazed a bit (Did I mention I may have ocd tendencies). Buy the equipment and find the jobs to work on before he test you and it’ll be even better.


#10

@ibprofen98
Trust me when I say “I get it” when others are so low you can’t compete.
Please don’t think I’m being condescending (don’t know if thats how you spell it-the wife used it on me so had to use it to feel smart) but is there only ONE window cleaner in your town?

Nevermind, I just did some homework and it looks like there could very well be only one. You got an awesome town to live in man!!

That is so cool.

I WISH I could live there man. Well, maybe not I’d probably go crazy but I did live in something similar to that years ago. So I kinda get where your’re coming from, kinda outta respect for the guy. That’s really cool too.

I may be reading into this wrong youngster so please excuse me if thats the case.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been around stand up people. You have a good head on your shoulders, I read that message to me 3 times, and I gotta say you have good things going for you that many don’t have.

Humility, at your age is rare. So is respect.

I ain’t gonna tell you nothing. I really believe you got it handled. Don’t loose those values, and let it shine thru in your business. You will do just fine.

With only 20 thousand something people in your town tho, have you considered servicing other areas?

Your original question was about the pole:

My advice is to get that pole. Invest every penny back into your business, because when and if you go to sell it, your base price for selling is what it is liquid. Your tools are worth money.

It gives you the ability to position yourself ahead of others who don’t have them, which also puts you working on jobs that ONLY you can do. Know what I mean? Just because you feel you can not justify the cost because you don’t have the work for it right now…when a man is hungry he’s GOING to eat. Well, I am. I think you will too.

You’ll find the work. Goodnight man. Hope to one day shake your hand.


#11

Thanks @thorSG1, that really means a lot! Yeah, there is one old guy in our town who goes by the name of The Old Norwegian Window Washer (he’s retiring and phasing out) and I indirectly received my starting clients through his family friend (and I go to church with the guy), but then there is another window cleaner in town (who shall not be named) who had been washing for years now, but he has a, well, let’s just say not a perfect reputation. I’ve been approached by him several times, and his tone was usually quite condescending to me (I have spell check, so that should be spelled right. ;D). He asked to trade business cards so that, quote, “I can send you houses I don’t have time for, and you can send me houses you can’t do”. I really don’t want to be associated with him. Also don’t want to disrespect him or spread gossip. Then there is a guy who’s traveling from an hour away once a month to hit some places in town (I go to church with him too, haha!) And as far as branching out, I’m taking it slowly, but I AM doing it. There are several small towns around here and I have a house scheduled in one of them and a monthly client there as well, with a couple more possibilities, and 2 or three more small towns with possible clients, just don’t want to spread myself too thin! Once again, thank you for the kind response and the great advice, look forward to that handshake! :wink:


#12

Even in a small town competition is inevitable. Some people are going to “connect” with you more than the other guys and vice versa. Sounds like you are already familiar with small town social dynamics so just remember to project positivity, even when mentioning competitors.


#13

What sense does that make?
If he doesn’t have time for the jobs that he will be sending you, then when will he have the time to do the jobs that you can’t do. He’s a bs’er who would send you to the problematic customers that he has, only later to say “when are you gonna send me some work buddy? you know I hooked you up that that sweet gig”. Follow your gut on that one and steer clear. F…orget what people may say about it, especially him.

That $6,000 you have saved up… you made that how? (rhetorical question of course) Oh, cleaning windows. Dude, reinvest that, it’s a no-brainer. You know the WFP will pay for itself, especially if it nails you that gig. If not, then you know it will still pay for itself, just not as fast had you landed that gig. You will get the gig though, especially when he sees that pro equipment. :wink:

You got this. Get the WFP, get the job, get busy!


#14

it’s actually a very good thing too network with competitors. I’ve worked with many many competitors and will continue to do so.

insecurites will hinder small businesses. my competitor helped me out big time when I was hospitalized for a few days. and yes we’ve sent work back and forth when our schedules allowed.

one of the last jobs i got from a competitor was well over $5k. broad brushed dont always paint the best pictures


#15

I just want to say to all of you, thank you for the wonderful advice and wisdom and encouragement. Starting to realize that window cleaners really are some of the best people out there. I think it generally takes a certain kind of guy to be a great window cleaner and to take time out of your day to help someone else, it shows how much you all truly care about the industry, and that makes me proud to be one of you! I only hope that someday I can give as much back! And thanks, @Bucket-Bob, I’m almost certain I’m going to buy one now. :blush:


#16

And @HBM, that is fantastic advice, I’ll try and remember that next time someone brings him up, it’s so hard not to be negative about him. :slight_smile:


#17

“Yes…he’s well established, but what I bring to the table is quality work and customer satisfaction.”