Ask not for whom the bell tolls...It tolls for thee

I put up a thread last week about the ease and safetyof WFP work attracting a lot of new people to the trade, and how we are kind of in a golden age right now when only window cleaners are familiar with the new technology. I think that the increased competition will put downward pressure on prices.
Well it happened three times this week. The meter reader guy, the moving man, and a carpenters helper all saw me working and all said almost the same thing. (sic) “man that looks easy, I bet theres money in that!!”… When I see guys working now I go work the other side if possible. Albeit I m working with $3,000 worth of equipment but It could be done almost as well for 600.
So maybe Im Davey Downer but I see a real free for all in a couple off years. To be succesfull in buisness you ve got to be able to connect with people, and have the inner ethic to do the best by your customer at all times,
I d did a house today that 5 years ago, would have been a giant dangerous 5 hour nightmare. It was 2 hours of chocolate cake with creme filling and strawberrys on top. Workmen used to see me on the ladders reaching way over yonder for the upper corners and think " I aint doin that" now they see me rinsing withh cool water on a summer day and go "I could do that, what am I working for this butthead for??"
Happy labor day enjoy

Window cleaning is very easy - our customers could do it…

But not everyone can build and maintain a profitable business to support themselves - that’s the hard bit - the grass isn’t always greener!

I have had customers ask a lot of questions about my WFP set up. I just tell them the total investment I have in all the equipment and that usually makes them go back in the house. Besides they still would need to squeegee the insides, right. What ChrisG said as well.

Maybe your right. I work too much and I’m toast

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Just because the cable guy says “i could that” means “i will do that”

I would just sand bag it and say the money isn’t as good as you think it would…:wink:

Just tell them the union dues are outrageous not to mention memberships for the accreditation.

Also, the professional window cleaner test was outrageous. Who knew you had to learn fluid dynamics and calculus just to clean windows? That’s just stupid. And why does a window cleaner have to know how to balance a chemical reaction? I didn’t even want to know what an oxidation reduction reaction is!

Not to mention that you have to work (DAILY!!) with dangerous chemicals like di-hydrogen oxide. That stuff kills thousands of people per year!

I don’t even know why I get out of bed in the morning.

Ok a chem major like me. Funny

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Window cleaning is not a get rich-quick opportunity.

it is expensive and dangerous.

Most people who try, fail. Some have died.

You do not want to clean windows without
extensive knowledge and training.

anyone recognize this?

No! I took 2 semesters of chemistry as part of my engineering degree. After my second semester they came out with a 1 semester option “Chemistry for engineers”.

The phrase “oxidation reduction reaction” is forever burned in my memory because the first day of the second semester the prof wrote a ridiculously long equation on the board and said “Oh, you should recognize this as an oxidation reduction reaction” and I said “Oh, crap.”

When you put bronze wool to aluminum oxide screen stain in the presence of water. That’s and oxidation/ reduction reaction the copper wants the oxygen. More than the aluminum screen stain and grabs it. Leaving the aluminum on the glass to be sqeeged off. Basic high school chemistry

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this is exactly why i don’t worry about sharing trade secrets. 99% of the people out there don’t have what it takes to start a business that could threaten mine. and out of the 1% who do, well… they can take their best shot.

I just thought you were a great guy Caleb.

Don’t forget, before the 3k pure water system, they could have spent under 300 bucks and done what we do, but they didn’t. Let them hi make a few sales and do a house or two…you just might end up getting a really great deal on a barely used pure water system!

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Thanks for all these replies. All the replies dont agree with my thinking that WFP being easier ,safer, and cleaner and better quality than traditional, will bring lots of new competition. I said we 're in an in between golden age when only window cleaners are aware of pure water technology, and that it will become much more commonly known in (my estimate) 5-7 years
It may be that I get the summertime blues real bad every year (work makes me feel better) and so am making up all this paranoid crapola. Or I may have nailed it.
I see all the Atlantic city casinos closing due to on line gambling, and 6,000 young ,strong, service oriented pros who dont mind getting dirty suddenly out of jobs they thought they had forever. Thats when I started washing windows, I was a chef in a French restrurant that went under in 79 I did my house, then my neighbors, then her friends, then started with print ads. It took a long time to get even mediocre at windows, but I had nothing else, so I d grind away on a house for 6 hours that now would take 1 1/2 and be much higher results.
We 'll see what happens when they discover WFP
Just because I m paranoid doent mean they re not out to get me !!
Or, I went to paranoids anonymous, But they wouldn t tell me where there the meetings were !!

I think the Atlantic City casinos are closing because the place is a dump, and most places have a Indian casino within a 2 hour drive.

2013 World Series Champion
Boston Red Sox

Actually, I think that WFP creates a bigger moat than traditional hand tools do. You can’t spend $50 at Home Depot and walk out with a WFP system and call yourself a pro an hour later.

[MENTION=5875]Tony C[/MENTION] ok. Last post. On this. The consensus from all responders. Is that my ideas on this greater competition=lower prices thing is off the mark. I ll go with that.
I ve got the" hey you kids, get off of my lawn". Thing going

I think my last post holds a lot of weight…

I’ve noticed that 2 previous WRC’s who were 1+ year running WC’s who both used WFP also, have closed shop. Their websites are down, and one has got a job as an executive car sales man.

Running a WC business is not as easy as it looks.

WFP may look easy (well it is) but in the long run it wont drive down prices… in fact you can keep raising prices, because long term traders who can keep on going with a good customer base will pick up more customers.

Some Joe Bloggs public will realise they will have to pay more for a reliable seasoned professional, or just keep getting new starters…

For example…

PROSPECT "Your prices are more than the other guy I used before…"
YOU "Maybe you should call them again… "
PROSPECT "They have gone out of business"
YOU "Yes, that happens when you price yourself silly low -If you want a professional with years of experience - you have my details… "

You will only miss out on low ball clients who go for the guys that price low to get a foot in… and they cant make money from them prices long term.

If the spaghetti sticks.

I think I’ve always been lucky - my parents call it “favor with God.” Things just tend to work out. Some people have what it takes to stick with a project, learn the skills, manage the people, and pay the bills… and some don’t.

I was in my second year and already bringing on multiple employees. I’m sure anyone who has done this has seen the three types: the 20-something just taking the job with no intention of making a career of it, the 40+ something that’s been a “window cleaner” his whole life and for some reason is always looking for work, and the one that sticks around year after year. The last one has the threat of becoming your competition. …the others may just try to steal your clients but not get more than a few months out the gate before failing.

I went equipment crazy from the beginning. I think this led to a lot of my success…as well as talking with the experts on this forum, of course! But a lot of people don’t have access to these resources - money or networking. And it seems that a lot of the people who get into wc use it as a stepping stone for something else (design, consulting, promotion, products, sales, programming, etc.).

I don’t know of any business majors or executives that say “I’m going to establish a wc company in this sub-metropolis with 15+ employees year round and be the first call for 20 years to come.” Is it due to market/seasonal volatility? Quality of work vs competency of employees? And even franchises, all they do is sell dreams. So even if a new crop of window cleaners arise, how many will stick around to remain your competition for 5+ years? Aside from store-front, I think there are plenty of windows to go around for everyone.

I love it because of the hours and independance, EXTREMELY low overhead, and relationship with clients and people. The pay ain’t bad either :wink:

My friend has a high $$$$ zero turn mower, professional trimmer, blower, truck, trailer and every thing else lawn guys have but wouldn’t consider leaving a stable income to go out and try to make a living cutting other people’s grass even though his stuff would rival any professional in town. It’s one thing to be able to buy equipment and even use it. It’s another thing altogether to make a living at it…