In this article, I will give you tips in starting a window cleaning business, specifically how to get a customer base. Many of the principles will help you become a professional window cleaner. |
1. Be professional. Being professional starts before you even look for window cleaning customers. You need to make sure your image is appealing. Small things like having neat clothing, neatly trimmed hair, good personal hygiene and wearing a smile, have a massive positive impact on someone when they open the door to you. Would you let a slovenly dressed smelly individual who you don't know work on your house? I thought not. Next, have a well prepared message in mind. Something along the lines of "Hello, I am a local window cleaner and I was wondering if you needed a window cleaner yourself?" It is short, polite and to the point.
2. Get business cards. The business card is the foundation of all of your advertising for your window cleaning business. Your business card should be well designed and have all of your relevant details without being cluttered. You must put your card into the hands of everyone you can including friends, family, current customers and prospective window cleaning customers. Now you are ready to hit the streets!
3. Canvass, canvass, canvass!!! Canvassing for window cleaning customers to some may seem demeaning, almost 'begging' for work. For that reason, many send out thousands of flyers by hand, which is not effective use of your time, or via local newspapers or magazines, which can be costly. In my experience, householders like to see the window cleaner they will deal with each month. In my experience, the most effective way to canvass is by knocking every door in the street, and by making sure you speak to the owner of each house, not the kids, babysitter, gardener etc. Speaking to each individual is far more effective than pushing a flyer through the door. When was the last time you looked at a flyer and bought that product? Probably never. Going in person to advertise your window cleaning business gives it an instant personal touch that is essential. After all, as their window cleaner you will have access to their property and they want to be able to trust you. The first key to trust is knowing what you look like!
4. Respond professionally. Should the householder refuse your window cleaning services, politely ask to leave a business card should they need a window cleaner in the future, or if they have a friend that needs a window cleaner. This has the same effect as a flyer, but at least they have met you and will recognize you when you are window cleaning in their street in the future. If the householder asks you to give them a quote, be sensible in your price for them, but more importantly, for yourself. Pricing for window cleaning is an article in itself. Should they accept your quote, again, be professional. Have a neat A5 book that you can write their details in, not some old scrap of paper that can easily be lost. Record accurately the house number, road name and surname of the individual. DON'T ask for their phone number. This is a step too far in terms of getting personal information on your initial call. They will offer you this when they are ready. Next, try to give an idea of when you will call to clean the windows. Be as prompt as you can, i.e. "I can call to clean your windows the day after tomorrow." Whenever you agree a time, make sure you stick to it. The key to a successful window cleaning business is being reliable.
5. Have your own website. Gone are the days when people used that big colored book to find a window cleaner. Now, more people use the internet than ever before. With some research, you can crack Google and get to top spot without sending a penny! My website was designed by a friend of mine initially, but I have taught myself how to adjust it to increase my Google rank. My website is now top for virtually all of the following searches: window cleaner in London, London window cleaner, window cleaning London, etc. These are the likely searches someone will make in my area for a window cleaner. A website will generate you a surprising amount of interest for a relatively little outlay. In many cases, it is cheaper than 'paper' advertising.
In conclusion, if you are to gain a good customer base for your window cleaning business, you cannot beat having a personal touch to your service. As their window cleaner, you will be in frequent contact with the same people and their property. Be reliable, be polite, be professional and pay attention to detail. These are the tips and secrets to starting a window cleaning business by way of canvassing.
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