Are you learning any lessons this year that is making you impliment changes?

This year (year three for me) I am running into new lessons all the time.

Today’s was I need a better explanation of what folks will be getting for the estimate I give them. I always thought I was pretty clear about it.

I guess I need to add to my website: " Prices are for cleaning GLASS only. It does NOT include cleaning frames, cleaning the window casing, dusting your house, nor power washing the siding."

Some people just assume you will be cleaning the ENTIRE house. All I have ever done is clean the GLASS, unless someone requests something else. My screen cleanings have been using a brush to clean screens, and cleaning the frames with a rag/cleaner to get them clean.

I don’t clean tracks, sills, frames or anything else, as a normal. IF I’m asked before hand, I will quote doing it, but no one has taken me up on it yet. If I’m spending ALL day at your house, it’s gonna cost you.

I take the fault for this, on my own shoulders. I need to be VERY clear with everyone getting a quote. I need language on my website to clear any confusion or notions someone might have.

I’ve also learned I need to take more time on estimates. I think I am going to start carrying around a “test kit” to test windows to see how well they clean on estimates. Sometimes when you clean a window, that’s the only time you see what’s under the “gunk”. I will have a squirt bottle of solution, a squeegee, and a mop. Test one or three frames to see if there are chalking issues, hard water spots, etc… hiding under the “gunk”.

I’ve also just ran into my first home of Pella windows that have muttons on the outside of the glass (wood) and the do not come off inside OR outside. These are essentially French windows. Not what I would call a French, since all those seem to be square and not shaped like normal sized windows. These are DEFINATELY getting the price raised for these type of windows. I had to use a 6" squeegee for them, as a 12" was too long. Talk about a TIME eater.

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I have made 2 changes this season that are already proving to be very helpful. I also was not being as specific as I should have when doing estimates. I now changed my invoices to show everything in 3 packages that are very detailed with check boxes. This helped me show the home owner what level of cleaning they were getting and what I still had to offer them. Made up sell on track cleaning easy.
Then I also was giving exact times of when I would be showing up on a job. however I think I lost an account this week because I scheduled 2 jobs that I had never done and the first took an hour longer than I expected. The lesson I learned was I will no longer be giving exact times now, I tell the customer a hour and a half window of when I’ll be there. A lot less stress on my part and I don’t look bad by running ten minutes behind. Two small things but they really have helped me


Yes, I’ve come to realize, that even when you think you are pretty clear what the quote entails, sometimes people don’t get what you mean or start assuming things. It’s not like I run into that issue much, but more than never is too much IMO. I’ll make it as clear as possible on my website. Then again on the quote itself.

Sometimes it can be frustrating owning a business, but it’s still worth it.

This is my second year in business in Alberta Canada, and boy did I learn a tough lesson last year. I do all property services including window clean ( one of my biggest earners) and did not properly charge for travel times, didn’t charge for labour correctly so that came out of pocket and hurt my bottom line and I was not quoting jobs correctly. All of those factors made for a hard lesson. Now I have business mentor and have came up with minimum numbers that I have to charge. So through that I was able to grow a lot and set myself up for a better year in 2016.
Always learning.


The trick for arrival times is you always make them 30 minutes later than you expect to be there and have a 1 hour window. So if you expect to be there at 2:30pm you tell them 3-4pm. About 95% of the time there is no issue starting 30 minutes early. Then you have a 90 minute buffer for jobs that run long.


Great advice thanks