What's your process?


#1

Aside from Dallas Cowboys Football, Mexico National Team Soccer & PPV Boxing I don’t watch much television, but yesterday I ended up watching a couple of episodes of The Profit on MSNBC.

If you have not seen or heard about the show, it’s about a investor/business expert who works with business owners who are struggling or are going through a hard time and helps them be more profitable.

I watched 3 episodes & noted a few things that where interesting to me:

  1. All of them either have or had a good product/service that consumers wanted. You would think those who are not successful have a crappy product or provide lousy service huh? Not the case, lots of them have great products and fail. Also on the contrary, I will go out & say someone with a ok product & decent service using good/great business tactic could be more successful/ (make more money) then someone with a great product/ outstanding service applying bad business tactics or in some cases going into business blindly.

  2. Two of them where actually extremely successful for years but are struggling now.

  3. Pricing/quoting was a problem for pretty much all of them but two of them had it bad. One of them was basically working for free or losing money half the damn time because he was not quoting properly.

  4. Scaling or just trying to grow a single business creates lots of problems if not done properly.The main problem being hiring & or training personnel properly.

  5. Business is not as complicated as it is made out to be. What I mean by this is, 70% of the things this business expert did we could all implement and many times the business owners where doing so in the past but stopped somewhere down the line.

  6. Money alone won’t solve your problems. Yes the guy is a investor & he basically offers them a good chunk of money for 30-50 % of the business but it’s not about the money. If the same businesses where to get a loan or even strike the lotto for 100 grand or whatever, they would take that money & put it into the business & they would still be struggling, it would basically only prolong how long it will take them to go under. You have to make changes.

  7. Change, I mentioned this above. Many fail because they refuse to change & adjust the current times & market.

The word that came up constantly is process, there must be a established process to do everything & you must not deviate from this process. The process must be reevaluated from time to time to adjust to the market but other then that you must stick to it.

Having a good process to follow will basically take care of all the problems I have mentioned. All employees must adhere to the process, the reason lots of the businesses where failing is because the product or service is not of the same quality it was in the past & in some cases the quality deferred from location to location or from crew to crew.

I am currently at the early stages of my window cleaning business owner career & I am new to window cleaning in general. Some of you would probably call me a bucket bob lol but I don’t care. I am still learning & getting better & I am eager to do so. I spend all the time I can on here reading & on searching on the internet. I am researching products & thinking of different ways I could become more effective.

This is my first official week working by myself & I am learning how to quote & market my business. I was previously working for someone who would do quotes over the phone but was not good at it, the last house I did was a 4500 sq foot house & he charged them 125, the owner gave me a $50 tip. I was getting paid 50% commission, the bad quoting & him being very very inconsistent on paying me led me to going off on my own.

So basically you can say I am still figuring out what my process is.

I am currently working on my website & will go full fledged into business next week so I don’t really have a quoting process but plan on following the blueprint this great site has provided us with.

As far as window cleaning itself, here it goes.

I currently don’t have a wfp but plan on getting one very soon. When doing interior & exterior I always like to do the the exterior first so I don’t go inside the home unless I can’t remove the screens from the outside.

I have been thinking about changing this because I’m in Texas & after cleaning windows outside for a hour or two you look rough & are pretty sweaty when you go inside the home. I always keep extra shirts in my truck & change into a fresh one before each job & deodorant on deck lol.

The reason I like doing the outside first is because it’s usually by far the dirtiest so it’s easier to tell if you missed a spot on the side you are working on if you start with the exterior first or at least that’s my opinion.

Ok so basically:

  1. Go around & remove the screens. I have 2 different brushes I carry & brush the cobwebs and dirt off that I can with a soft brush & then the tracks sills & any cobwebs hanging around the window. My old employer basically told me to not do the tracks unless the customer complained & if they do, go ahead & do them. Well prertty much all cusomers expected the tracks to be done & I am a bit meticulous so I would work on them even if they didn’t say anything so I would not have to go back. BTW I used a harder brush on the tracks & non glass parts of the window.

  2. When the windows are really dirty I go around & spray them down with a water hose & a gutter cleaning pressure attachment I have.

  3. I always like to do the 2nd story windows first, I feel like they are the hardest so if I knock them out first it feels like the rest of the job will go quicker.

  4. When cleaning the actual glass I always use a soft sponge soaked in the solution to start off, If they’re not that dirty I just focus on the corners because that’s where dirty accumulates the most. If dirty I hit all the window. Then mop. Then I run a surgical towel on the top edge. Then squeegee. I check for spots I missed with the mop & sponge & hit them with steel wool.After i do a detail, I use a towel to go over the spots I used steel wool & then another towel & run it along the edges.

  5. I do that with every window or something similar with french panes, sliders, doors & etc.

  6. Afterwards I mop the screens & brush them to remove what I could not when I just dry brushed them

  7. I don’t carry my solution bucket inside, I carry a smaller bucket with towels a spray bottle & other supplies I use. I also clean my mop & empty out my hip bucket. I spray the areas I see spots on & use a soft sponge. After that I use the mop, adding more solution with the spray bottle as needed. Squeegee afterwards & then look for spots with steel wool & detail afterwards.

  8. When it’s all done, I go back in put the screens back on.

What would you guys change or suggest?

What’s your process, or changes that you have made to become faster.


#2

Your process is very thorough, maybe to thorough.

The need to repeat steps I find unnecessary. One step to complete each task, some may require a second attempt at times.

1.You spray areas with spots, mop, clean them
steel wool them.

  1. Screens dry dust, mop and brush.

Being thorough is great but controlling labor time and efficiency must be managed for profits.


#3

I agree, the guy I worked for was the type who would not let any bid go & I did some cheap jobs for him. Got lots of tips & was told I did better then the guy he had sent before.

i feel like I am still learning & want to make sure I do a good job.

For my own company i want to figure out a balance, maybe only be super thorough for thos ewho pay but I just can’t clean the glass & not hit the dirty tracks at all lol


#4

Here is my process:
Always inside first for me as the majority of the tracks are in the inside and once you get these wet any dirt that was in these tracks is now MUD!
So I start by placing a towel on the floor in front of the window, then if the case as is 75% of the time I must remove the slider to remove the screen so I lift the slider out, place on towel, use skreen out tool to lift and remove screen, If on ground floor place screen outside, brush track with track brush , vacuum then wipe with damp huck, replace window and wet up with T bar if I notice any stuborn marks then rub with white pad, squeege window, wipe frame and sill. done.

Repeat for all other internal windows then start outside.

Gather up all screens, downstream a soap foam on the screens from the side of the screen so the holes in the screen are blanketed with the soapy foam, then run thru screen washer(before I would brush and rinse off)

From my personal experince I have found if you use your T bar on the screen and slap or wipe clean you still leave soap residue behind. Soap attrachs dirt and your windows behind those screens will become twice as dirty, twice as fast.

once screens are rinsed off I slap dry and wipe frames.

Then I start the external windows this is the fastest part with a WFP, quicker than cleaning screens imo…


#5

Know we are talking solo operater but must add how effective a team is when hitting jobs too.

One guy can start by pulling screens, wiping tracks while other follows cleaning glass.

Then while one cleans screens outside the other again is washing glass outside.


#6

Yes sir,

I don’t have a team but I want to hear about what process y’all use for that as well. just trying to learn.

after two posts, I think I will start doing interior first now,


#7

Today we cleaned 6 houses with 4 guys. 2 inside, 2 outside each house in same block.

Utilizing a system was great


#8

Do you think you are more effective having one 4 man crew opposed to 2 two man crews? I think theory would say the 2 man crew is more effective because less time is wasted driving but from what I have seen if the owner or someone vested to the business is not there, others tend to deviate from the system or process and become less effective and or compromise the product/service.


#9

For us 4 for sure, our residential jobs are tightly scheduled and commercial are days long.


#10

I agree with both of these amazing guys. Assuming quote has already been done and we have scheduled ahead.

  1. I start my process of course arriving and always parking on side street parking directly in front of the customers house. This allows other potential clients to see that I am washing this friends/neighbors house. This also allows the customer or other to use the driveway and garage as they please.

  2. I inform customer I have arrived by starting with a sweet kind knock, then a louder knock then door bell. As this allows you to be polite and not bother babies and other napping people. I confirm everything with the customer and explain how I wash…

  3. I proceed to my vehicle where I collect my utility belt, TWO buckets, and two squeegees. My 12” liquidater with excelerator and whatever size ninja Squeegee is large I can get away with for mostly straight poles. (I notice I leave more marks on bi yearly and yearly residential than I do at weekly bi weekly store fronts if I do the swirl). And I collect my strip scrubber and surgical rags. Oh and I always wear my nitril gloves 4-5mil.

  4. I fill one bucket up with 2-6 gallons of water depending on job size and the other with half-2 gallons of water. The one with less water I add in the designated ammount of Unger cleaner or dawn.
    After every so often (usually half way through the inside) I come out and dunk my scrubber in the water only bucket to “rinse” my scrubber and then the soapy one.

  5. Washing the inside is usually simple but most the time I strip scrub the window soapy wet, pull out my scrub daddy (seriously) and scrub window fast. I re-scrub window and Squeegee dry, and use surgical rag on what edge maybe have water. And wipe the sills… I do not wipe inside tracks unless they pay for a deep clean. (Most customer don’t even want them opened and cleaned!!!) nothing to do with price lol, at least in Oregon… I usually wipe down any vinyl spots fairly quickly and this makes the area very presentable. (Sounds imenconsumig but it’s really not)
    And move on to next… usually here we have 2-3 windows at 4-6 panes of glass so I do that to all in one setting and bounce from pane to pane during each step. (Wet scrub 6 panes, Scrub daddy 6 panes, wet 6, Squeegee 6) etc etc…

Half way through I go rinse strip scrubber and scrub daddy, when I’m done I go out side and this is where things change depending on house and topography. But I usually (first cleans) use ladder and climb and clean non screen side first in the same manner as inside, move ladder, remove screen using paint can opener, lower it using my rope trick, clean window, climb down, re locate screen to the side, move ladder rinse and repeat entire side of toppers. When getting to the end, I would now head back oposit direction removing screen washing the panes in the same manner as mentioned before, and as I would go -> I will collect all screens and end up with a dirty strip scrubber, I go use water only to rinse, soap it up while dropping off screens at my screen wash station.

Return to perfectly clean side and head around next corner and rinse and repeat, almost never back tracking or re stepping too much. (You start to figure out a perfect grove to a specific area and window cleaning in general).

I get to the end of this rinse and repeat set, I end up finish on the side with all my gear and truck usually the front. I now washing rinse all screens (I agree washing with soapy water tend to leave weird white marks and makes things dirtier in the end) I’m buying ornmaking a screen washing. Those do work better , seen in action. I dry all screens and now I grab all screens and return all lower ones, and grab clip board and upper screens.

I use my drone to replace all upper screens… wait that’s coming soon…

  1. I take screens and clipboard inside, give customers any issues (blown panes etc etc) and the price and show invoice. While they write the check (I try never to take cards but I can)(no one argues ever) I return upper screen via inside (pull tabs or not, prefer not). I collect check, white info on invoice, take picture, give them invoice, business cards, and “review information form”. We usually setup a bi yearly or yearly date and done…

Okay I think I got every step…

Oh. 5.5?. I collect my stuff as I go so I never leave any items, these are steps that are truly hard to explain it out, it’s best in video or best explained in simple words… it’s just become like nature to me. Lol