Should I keep being a window cleaner?


#1

A bit of a click-bait title, I know.

I’m thinking about changing my business from primarily a window cleaning company that also offers pressure washing and gutter cleaning, to being primarily pressure washing and gutter cleaning, with windows on the side.

So far this year, I have been getting, on average 5x as much work for pressure washing and soft-washing, despite my ads focusing on window cleaning with only a brief mention of pressure-washing. I am strongly considering just making that my primary, since I like the work better, it pays better, and is more in-demand amongst the rural folk, apparently.


#2

Do what makes you happy.


#3

“5x as much work”, “i like the work better”- I think you answered the question yourself. :slight_smile:


#4

Where are you located?


#5

North west Ohio.


#6

This was the first thing I thought to ask! @awc.225

Second is, how many months out of the year do you plan on working?


#7

Truth, told… Im doing my first PWash job of the year, on Monday.
So, no hate… just asking.


#8

As many as possible. Obviously the cold puts a damper on things, though.


#9

Depending on location keep in mind that PW doesn’t repeat as often as WC. I made the switch you are talking about and I never even considered this aspect. Around here 2-3 years is a normal repeat on PW. Windows are every year normally. Just food for thought
Joe


#10

Thanks for the input. Overall, do you think the decision to switch was worth it?


#11

One concern with offering a relatively new service to a small market is the initial surge of demand that slacks off once the overdue demand is met. I am assuming that is the case in your area because that type of growth is unusual in a fully competitive market. Kind of like the hungry man at the all you can eat buffet, once he is full he will wait a while before buying another meal.

I can see a similar pattern with the carpet cleaning side of my business. Most of my customers had delayed the cleaning for many years and I will have to wait several years before they want another cleaning. I’m really glad that WC is frequently sought as a recurring service.


#12

Don’t do it I’ve been around a long time and there’s a lot more glass to be cleaned then there is pwing. Up here where I’m at I get almost a ten to one window cleaning versus pressure washing calls.


#13

For me it was, it is still a work in progress. But a lot depends on your goals and what you want out of you business. WC for me seems to have a lot less overhead and takes a lot less equipment. Just my experience though
Joe


#14

This is your market telling you something in regards to pressure washing. If you are happy with it, cool! Does it make you more money? Sounds like it. Do what you think is best, and if it’s PW then be the best one in your market.


#15

Some great advice in everyone’s responses! Here is what I would add:

  1. Why not promote both services equally? “We specialize in careful pressure washing, thorough soft washing and detailed window cleaning.” etc, etc. I’m not convinced you have to pick. As you know, customers are looking for solutions to their problems. If you can solve one and it’s covered in your marketing they will see it!

  2. Without knowing what type of window cleaning you are focusing on, maybe you should test/tweak your marketing. Try some focused mailings to different neighborhoods and see if you get a better response with certain offers/markets. I recently had my best results from a mailing campaign by testing with 200 letters to a golfing community and a $149 exterior only offer. Make sense? Entire mailing cost me $150, got 22 calls back, quoted those 22 and landed 14. This isn’t a pure science, so you’ll have to stumble through some trial and error. But success will clarify things quickly.

  3. Focus on the “subscription” side of window cleaning. Let people know you’re not pressuring them, but could you contact them twice a year to see if they need a cleaning. Others are much better at selling than me, but I am comfortable with asking what the best way to reach them is. Text, call, email, etc. Then, if we have done inside and out for $250, I reach out in around six months and offer exterior only for around $160. Again, you can adjust this accordingly, but hopefully you get the idea.

Whether you decide to focus on pressure cleaning or not, my goal is for this advice to be adaptable to either.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!


#16

Good post @firstclassclean


#17

I would say it depends on how long you have been cleaning windows, who taught you, and how vast your knowledge is regarding the tools of the window cleaning trade. Most guys I meet have vert little window cleaning experience, what knowledge and technique they do have usually comes from YouTube videos, which are basic at best, many of those videos teach wrong and/or bad ideas that find a window cleaner in a position he needs to be de-programed and re-learn his trade. I would say you need to gauge your level of knowledge and experience to determine if you are doing the type of window cleaning folks want to have as a repeat service. As for window cleaning in Ohio, I am West of Cleveland, I do not power wash, I do some gutters for a few little old ladies, and not really for money, just window cleaning, and there is a formula for success in our region that has us looking at many, many variables. Depending on where you live the travel time may be the bigger issue? Being next to Cleveland we have a high concentration of work in a small area, when you get out past the suburbs you have to travel greater distances to get the work done, if power washing brings in more money per trip than window cleaning that might be the best option?


#18

#19

Do what makes you happy! Our company offers PW and WC last summer we definitely did a lot more PW jobs than we have in the past. But the WC was still our primary. But like I said, do what makes you happy and the more money.


#20

You would not be the first or the 1000 to make the transition.

How to pull it off is the real question and that depends on several factors.