New Bicycle Based WC Business Startup (New Member)


#1


Hi guys, my name is Jordan Harper and Im a 20 year old guy who loves to ride his bike year round, all year in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. i have over 2 years experience cleaning windows.i have been creeping this site for a long time and thought i would join and introduce myself.

My new business im starting is called ‘Shine Right Through Windows’ and its gonna be based by bicycle. This has been an idea that has been in the works and on my mind since February 2018, but with me going to school full time, having a wife and child, and just having life in the way, starting it has been a rugged road. i have been inspired by the many other windows cleaners out there and here that have built up their businesses on a bike and i want to hop on the band wagon.
I have slowly been saving up money to start this business but with limited funds it definitely was not an easy task. Almost everything i have except for my tools, i had bought second hand online.
I use a 17FT Feather-lite combination ladder with a wall standoff, which allows me to reach most 2nd floor windows safely and effectively. This ladder also serves as a 8 FT A-frame ladder for high first floor windows and windows above doorways. The ladder then folds down to 4 feet for easy transport. I had bought the ladder for 60 bucks off some guy online and found out later that the value is well over $300 dollars new.

I almost have everything i need to start my business but im missing business cards. i went out one day last week for about 5 hours and attempted to get jobs just by word of mouth and smooth talk, but i learned that having a business without business cards to give is ineffective. i scored one job however and charged 20 bucks for an exterior clean, 3 big glass panes and an extended doorway. The windows were terrible at the place and the owner seemed to be thrilled with my work i was doing on the outside and asked me if i could do the inside too. i charged the same for the inside i i was up and out of there in 30 minutes. Proud of myself for scoring my first job but i definitely got bigger plans for myself. Starting off this will be a part time gig while im working for another company cleaning windows, with the plan of growing my income and getting jobs.
Thanks for reading
Jordan Harper


#2

I plan on getting signs for the sides of the trailer with my number.


#3

Hey Jordan. Welcome!

You have my respect. Keep up your great work!

My brother and I also use bikes for our respective businesses. It’s changed everything for us from profit margins, marketing, stress levels, health, etc …

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Also, I have an Instagram account that I document some of my window cleaning by bicycle adventures…

Best,

Joshua


#4

Hello Jordan and welcome to the forum! Looking forward to seeing more pictures and hearing more about your startup.


#5

Welcome to the forums Jordan.

Bikes are the way to go for local solo ventures. Way less overhead, and green. Good deal on the ladder. You have what you need to start, and that first job yielded enough for the cards. Convinced shoestring budgets can make it, so best of luck to you.


#6

Hello Jordan. Respects, you are inspiring. Search above at top of screen and type in Window Cleaning Marketing Blueprint. You can download a free copy. Keep hitting the pavement, you will get a lot of No, even with a business card. It will take time to get storefronts. Consider networking into residential, it pays a lot more; shoot for a house a weekend and you could make some nice money. Call back on same places in a week and show them you come back. Learn about your competition and go where they don’t. Have fun…study hard. :slightly_smiling_face:


#7

Welcome, Jordan, and great set up. Let those store fronts know that you also do residential. They see your work at the office, let them know their house windows can look great too - more money. :wink:

A thought on that trailer of yours for gear - modify it so the ladder rests at the very bottom as inserted from behind and then build up an above ladder storage area for the rest of your gear. That way all of your gear, and ladder too, are easily accessible. If you don’t need the ladder you won’t have to move anything to get to the gear you do need. Just a thought. Best of luck to you, although me thinks you may not need it. Good job!


#8

Hi
I have been following your accounts for a few months now and your definitely one of the people who has inspired me to start a buisness like yours in Winnipeg… Winnipeg is such a small city bike friendly city and with the incoming federal carbon tax coming i think its the best time to start a buisness like ours. … Thanks for your inspiration and encouragement… It really means alot :slight_smile:


#9

Thank you!


#10

I love this…


#11

WOW !! I am very impressed Jordan. I love your idea and your ambition. Can a business be successful as soon as it starts ? Yes… you have just proven that in your spirit and innovation alone. Let us know how we can help. Good Luck ! Jeff


#12

Businesses need profit, dont get ahead of yourself.

Would you say there is a trade off between more labor time spent bicycling to and from compared to automobile, especially running doing bids?


#13

Personally, in our service area, biking is 2-4+ times faster than the driving. Even out to the suburbs. For instance, yesterday I drove 35 kms out to the suburbs for a job and it took 1 hr 45 minutes with traffic. I have done the same trip in 1 hr 30 minutes with my bike and trailer and got a relaxing workout.

Health is also a factor. Even if driving was as fast as biking in these urban service areas the health benefits are substantial.


#14

I suppose if your area allows for it and your a health nut.

Not for me, I work hard at work but not to and from work too.


#15

Health nut lol

It depends on the area. Agreed. Some cities are designed really well and getting around is easy. Our city and service area is a complete disaster when trying to drive. Very badly designed and not maintained.


#16

As a small start up i really don’t do much ‘bidding’ yet, since i have only have done one job so far. Waiting on my new business cards from vista print till i can really start targeting my service areas. but my city is a very bike friendly city and im an avid biker who enjoys it, i don’t see the time being a problem for me. my service area is fairly small without any hills and many bike friendly routes through the downtown that has me cruising and squeezing through congested downtown traffic on my bike.
i always thought about the possibility of using google street view for doing estimates on the go with clients.
But as a dude who been on my own since i was 13, i learned that sometimes you gotta reach out and take a chance at starting your own business with what you got. when i was 16 i ran a small grass cutting service on my bike making over $1200 a month in contracts , sometimes more because of one time cuts and trims.
One thing i learned from that experience is that people respect innovation and different ideas.People will reach out and even refer you to others if they see you as someone who genuinely works hard at what they do while providing a quality service that’s original.
And yes i will admit, there are times when riding my bike and trailer are undesirable, mostly windy days, but even then, just lower my gear on my bike and its not that bad. I plan on getting an electric motor kit, or even a gas motor kit, to enhance the the speed of my bike and increase my range i can serve… Just got to get to that point first. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere.
Cheers.
Jordan Harper


#17

Great advice im getting so far, Thanks so much! I definitely plan on hitting my service areas hard once my newly made business cards are in next week! :slight_smile:


#18

I thought about the gas engines briefly, but after considering the break downs with combustion engines (and the pollution) I decided to go electric. The mass produced electric cargo bikes can cost between $1500 and $6000, so they are way out of my budget. The conversion kits are less, and all you need is a good hub motor, controller, and battery. You can even make your own for pedal assist. Speaking of innovation… lol check this out.


#19

Yeah! Biz Cards! You’re getting there. Flyers…tons…simple…cheap to get you started. Print a thousand and put em’ out. Have fun…make money, repeat. :hushed: