Something you now know that would have help you earlier in your career


What is the one keystone principal or thing that you know now that would have help you when starting out.

I think for me there are many but maybe the most important is that if you wait for conditions to be perfect you will never get started, and figure out the steps and take action.


Absolutely, just pulling the trigger like you said is huge. If your scared of starting because you don’t know how to go about something, You’ll never start. Just pull the trigger and learn as you go. Also market research. Had no clue- “oh those look like nice houses” doesn’t work.


What methods of market research have you found to be most effective for a small business?


Yes, as a new guy starting out, what’s the best way to find nice neighborhoods to start marketing?


I just got finished reading Chis book on marketing. Personally if you can’t apply the steps outlined in the book. It can not be done.

  1. Fire fast. If an employee has a bad attitude, get them out quickly.

  2. You are not “friends” with employees or contractors while on the clock. Just because your buddy at The Janitorial Company sends you a lot of work, that friendship ends at the job site and agreements, contracts, and boundaries begin.

  3. Don’t waste a lot of money buying every handle, channel, and rubber you can. Decide on a brand and just get to work. I wasted a lot of money trying different things to try out. If you want to try something, ask it on the forum and people will share with you. (Note, this advice excludes the Samurai Boab, coming soon. Tell your friends.)

  4. Route work is super easy to get, super easy to lose, but while you have it, it’s steady work and steady money. Starting out, go get some route work at $2 per pane in/out and get on the glass. Route work will help you master poling, fanning, and get your technique muscle memory working. Then tell everyone you meet you also do houses. Residential is less stressful when you’ve got a bedrock of route to keep you going while the phone isn’t ringing.

  5. Don’t wait for the phone to ring. If you want money, go get it. If you want a “raise” to get it. Window cleaning is one of the few jobs where if you need more money, you can go out and get it.

  6. Get it in your head to get out there and bid. It’s always hard to start but once you get the first new customer of the day, it’ll fire you up. Just take the first step and keep stepping till the day is filled. At 10:00 am, get bidding.


6 very good points.

May I also add after reading the book that their seems to be many entery level to the business. Meaning one method one return. But I think you could hit the ground running faster by focusing on several different marketing tools at one time. If you have done the homework and built you business foundation so that it can support the volume. If not this could lead you into full time fixing your mess mode. Thoughts?




I wish more people at FiSH understood this. They want the cleaners to spend 8 hours doing work that could be done in 5, because they want everything to be absolutely pristine. It’s route work. No customer cares about the one drip coming down the side of the black casing. 99.5% of them won’t even notice it. I am more than happy to get one call-back per 250 customers, rather than spend twice as long working, making half as much per hour, just so I only get one call back per 300 customers. Some people are just picky, and I would far rather make a high hourly rate than work inefficiently for the diminishing return.


Definitely agree with the diminishing returns concept as far as window cleaning quality. The issue is letting 80% quality be OK for an employee; then that is the new normal… so then an employee will try to deliver 75% quality; OK now THAT is the new normal… so then an employee will try to deliver 70% quality; and on and on it goes. There has to be some minimum standard upheld or (unfortunately) most employees will try to get away with doing less and less work at lower and lower quality. Point fingers at me and call me evil but it is the sad truth.

My office has lost route customers due to exactly what you mentioned; 1 drip or 1 smear on some random window under the sink, in the back, that is already cracked, and has a failed seal :rofl:. It just depends on the person running that store. If they are THAT picky then you will probably lose them eventually or fire them because they are hard to deal with.


I definitely see your first point. Perhaps that is what my supervisors were doing. After all, they would talk about keeping quality high ad nauseum, but they rarely ever actually acted to do quality control or whatnot. I guess that makes sense now!


Perhaps they are billing the customer dearly and want to make sure he is getting no cut corners? Since it’s their name and reputation, maybe they are aiming for the very best?

You’re probably right…because seeing and cleaning that edge would take what, one maybe two seconds?

This is why the thought of paying for employees makes me vomit in my mouth.


It’s funny though we’ve actually had the OPPOSITE happen a few times with technicians too. They take WAY too long and are “manicuring” the window. But it’s better to have this problem than the poor quality problem.

Our Operations Manager main duty is to find a balance between the two extremes for each technician. We do spot checks on quality all the time. Unfortunately we just had to fire a guy who was with us almost a year due to quality issues during several spot checks. His reply was “well I never had callbacks… did THIS customer complain?” We had to explain to him that HIS standard of quality should be HIGHER than the customer’s and the way he left the window… was unacceptable and akin to stealing. He didn’t get it.


I used to think that clients would never pay over $300 to get their windows cleaned . I would always cap myself at $280 just to get the job


No, if it was merely one drip on a ground level corner, it would be no issue.

Rather, the guy I’ve worked under wants his employees to put a towel on a pole and wipe all 4 edges of every single window, regardless of height.

And yes, doing something like that to every single window would be far more than it’s worth.

Not sure what experiences you’ve had, but next time keep the attitude to yourself.


We had workers like the one you describe… took them FOREVER to get fired. Ironic, I know. My experience with FiSH is a love/hate one, though I must say that on the overwhelming majority of days, it was love, not hate.


Just something to keep everything in perspective remember a window cleaner looks at the glass and the customer looks through the glass.


No attitude here. Just honest observation.

And more often than not, I take the one or two seconds to wipe the edges. And yes, sometimes I see a drip running down the side the next time. And make no mistake, it irritates the fire out of me when I see it. Of course, it’s my business, my rep and my quality standards. But if I were to pay someone as an employee (please shoot me first), then my standards had better be his standards. Unfortunately, employees rarely see the value that can be found in a couple of seconds here or there. I don’t know, perhaps that described you?


At the end of the day 1/10 customers will complain 9/10 will just take their business elsewhere.


I was just going to mention that 1:9 ratio too lol