Hey Guys! Newbie here looking for some advice. I am just getting started in the business and as it is right now I have a full time 8-5 m-f job. My question is did any of you get your feet wet by just doing weekend work? It is just not possible for me to start full time in the business. I eventually do want to make this a full time career for myself. Can my company promote a professional image if I am just a part timer. Thanks everyone for your help! I just wanted to add that I will be concentrated on residential.
Yes sir, I have only been in business for 2 years and by far I am no expert. I work full time as a fire fighter and part time as a window cleaner. It’s kind of funny that my part time yields as much if not more cash than my full time career. As far as being professional, it is all in how you treat it. If you look, act and always present yourself in a proffesional manner you will yield proffesional results, everytime. But that is just my opinion.
I feel you.
Save some money and find a part time job or get a job that has easy hours. 9-5 is hard. Find a 6-3 or even a 5-2…there out there, you just gotta look hard
Once you get some easier hours, things can work better when you get out earlier…not to say you can’t do them now, of course you absolutely can, but I’m suggesting something that might give you some more time in the day to get a foot forward.
Yes, you can promote a professional image as a part timer. Get some shirts, cards and some vehicle magnets. You don’t have to let people know you’re a part timer. Look and play the part of a person that has a successful business.
I started part time. I was going to school and living in my dads basement though… I had no other options. It can dfinetly be done… In fact I would reccomend it. You can see if this carrear choice is actually right for you.
When you say eventually… can you define that? 2 years maybe 3? What did you have in mind?
I would say yes… Perception is reality
That is easy to do, just spend a little money on shirts, cards, website and act like you know what the heck you are doing. (it does help to know what you are doing :D)
Nobody would know you are part time. Sometimes self image is the problem, that will change as you feel more confident in your skills.
you’re fully booked from Monday-Friday, and it just happens that your only openings are on Saturday and Sunday, and the same thing next week, and the next …
One thing I would recommend to you is to put your phone on vibrate while at work. But answer it every time it goes off. If possible, I would not answer it in the weekly meeting. That will help you so much in your professionalism, it will also help in getting you jobs as most part time service providers don’t answer the phone or return phone calls. Make sure you do. Your going to have to provide a rough phone quote. Let the potential customer know very clearly that it’s a rough quote, you will need to see the home in order to give an exact price. Because you will not have a day to go out an estimate your potential clients homes, you will need to do them on the spot. That brings the list of the moet taste clients but beer pocket. The ones who wil want you to do the job for pennies. Being you drove out to the home you are going to want to get the job. If you decide you won’t offer free estimates then you are going to have less success in landing gigs. Everyone expects a free estimate now. So here you are at a home and the price is too high, it’s Saturday and you have no other jobs. You just spent $20 to get too and from the home. What do you do? Lower your price? I would not. Just make sure your rough quotes are close to the real price and you will have better success in getting the jobs and making money. I agree with Punt. Just be honest with them. Tell them “I am booked up all week with work.” It’s just not window cleaning work and they don’t need to know your business.
From May 2007 - August 2007 I did this work part time. Had t-shirts and cards made. Had a website with estimate forms. Cell phone had a message starting with, “sorry I couldn’t answer personally, I’m probably up a ladder right now cleaning some windows…” So I wouldn’t get in trouble at my regular job.
First off I want to thank all who replied! Such good info on here. I will be able to answer my phone during the day for the most part because I have a route sales job and spend a lot of time in my vehicle. I will definitely get the shirts and business cards done professionally. My plan is to go part time through the fall and winter months and then go gang busters next spring. Since my wife has a full time job and good insurance I think by next summer I will be cleaning windows full time! Thanks again everyone.
I did not really look over your profile or anything so I don’t know if you posted where you are from. Some states are full yearly cleaning seasons. But if you are not in one of those states. I would recommend that you advertise a little more on the gutter cleaning then window cleaning. Reason being is you will have people looking for that service at that time. They will be a paying customer in your database. Ones that you can promote other services to, like window cleaning, power washing, gutter guards, screen repair, window glazing, etc. The list goes on and on. I personally would try to just focus on one special thing for now. But still take on the other services. Learn as much as you can so when your customers or potential clients ask you questions, you can answer them with confidence. Pic the most profitable for your area. Look around at pricing. Make some calls to other cleaners and ask. Your advertising has to go the longest way. My personal advice would be to focus on very hig end homes. These are the people who ask for multiple services. These are also very hard clients to get.
Working as a firefighter is much different than other jobs, since you work like one 24 hour shift and then you get a bunch of days off, whereas many other jobs are Monday to Friday 9-5 or so.
I went and canvassed one area, and a firefighter did a bunch of jobs there, he did good work, but he was lowballing like crazy, pricing things at about $25/per hour.
No one needs to know that you are a part timer!! When talking with customers I would say that my schedule is filled right now (and it is because you are working, maybe not cleaning windows but again that do not need to know that) but I do have some weekend appointments. If you have to go and clean some vacant building windows everyday and then you will have a clearer conscience and get some of the valuable experience that is necessary to excel!! Best to you . Where are you located?
Im in Northwest Iowa so in the winter the residential will come to a screaching halt. I like the idea of gutter cleaning and other add ons.
Try doing holiday lighting for an add on in the winter months, and adding a discounted gutter cleaning while you’re there, or visa versa. I’m in Texas and we have pretty much a year-round window cleaning season, but it does slow in the winter months. Having add-ons is key to keeping business running smoothly (without too many ups and downs) as well as a great way to let people know that you are the window cleaning PROFESSIONAL they need.
Whatever you do,do not let your day job know of your personal business
or you will be working overtime
Is that what happened to you?
Only one of the methods they used,only now Im long gone before they catch wind