If you are a “Professional” and are professional and you have devoted your life to being a great Window Cleaner, then you should consider yourself and are considered a Skilled Tradesman/woman. If you take your job seriously and realize that it takes years to master the craft of window cleaning you need to pat yourself on the back and recognize that you, like me, have honed a skilled trade.
I know previously before this was up for debate but common sense just saying the term “skilled trade” should make you realize that if you follow the above mentioned criteria as being professional and devoted to the craft then by default your performing a skilled trade. Wikipedia agrees. Tradesman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Moral of the story: Be proud and educate the world to your career and life choice, ADVERTISE YOURSELF AND YOUR SERVICE AS A SKILLED TRADE (your also a business owner but that is considered being an entreprenuer). Those that like to argue and disagree stop being backwards, use common sense. Not everyone has the commitment and devotion to become skilled at window cleaning but those that have really mastered the craft you are a “Skilled Tradesman”/woman!
My view varies a little on this. Ill to keep it simple and hopefully only get a few haters.
I dont buy into the journeyman, master, etc class system. Personally I think some people are just hurting their arms patting themselves on the back.
Is it a skill, yea Ill say it is. There are people better and worse than others. But I dont want the best window cleaners working for me. Could care less. I want the best service people. I want people who make customers happy, comfortable, and satisfied. Everyone could argue about the best way to clean, squeegee, etc till their blue in the face and that doesnt make a world of difference in the eyes of a customer. But the best way to treat customers, handle a problem, make them happy, see to their needs. I could talk about that forever and thats what the customer wants and remembers.
I have been proud to call myself a professional janitor for decades. I remember when I went back for my 20th high school reunion a couple a decades ago, I sat at a table of school teachers. As people were discussing what they did for a living, when it came to me, I said I was a janitor. A couple of them snickered. I looked them straight in the eye and explained that my small business grossed almost 3 million dollars per year, employed 53 full time people and another 60 or so part timers. Then I asked, “How you doing, school teacher?”
I think you need both, you can be the nicest person in the world, but if your doing a crappy job your customers will find someone else.
The biggest problem I have found when I moved to this location 3 years ago was that you have general cleaners(maids) doing windows and they are nice as hell and they are already doing the general cleaning on the homes already so customer gets then to do the glass to and their hourly rate is half of mine so it seems the smart option for customer is to get maid to do it, however maid takes 3 times longer and ends up costing more and looking quite smeary.
95% of people who are not window cleaners hate cleaning windows, they can never get it perfect.
They see the local WC doing storefront banging out a shop in a few minutes making it look soooo damn easy, so they try it themselves and cant do it and wonder why, whats the secret. Where the maids know they cant do it properly so they wet a window up squeegee it off really rough ( water still on the glass) and then spray the window with windex and buff it off.
To be a window cleaner, where you pretty much only clean glass. Not clean glass like 10% of the time but are cleaning windows all day every day its going take most individuals around 1 year if taught proper techniques to be at a level where they are doing the job properly leaving every window near perfect.
So given that its much more like a trade than say carpet cleaning or even house washing both of which you can do well after 2-3 jobs.
Plumbers, electricians and carpenters have to be an apprentice for 4 years. So after 1 year or about 2000 hours you’ll be 1/5 on your way to mastering it, your probably only using 1 scrim a day at this stage. 10 more years and you will be down to 1 scrim a week.
It all about educating your customers, at the end of the job they are amazed how clean the windows are and how the last person didn’t do this or that if the customer has to ask for something like “could you redo this window there still crap on it” making them happy by saying yes sir or w/e isn’t making you look better, than the guy who just cleaned the neighbors got all the windows clean the 1st time, I think your customer will be asking his neighbor for his WCs phone number.
[MENTION=4869]Tastycruton[/MENTION] nailed it. I’ve interviewed ‘window cleaners’ and there wasn’t one I wanted to hire. They were antisocial and just had bad attitudes.
I’m looking for someone who can talk to customers. Then I’ll train them to clean windows. Then I’ll train them in the art of customer service.
My view is that you can be the fastest, bestest, most perfectionist window cleaner in the world, but if you suck at talking to customers then those customers will nit pick your work until you go nuts and they will not refer you.
If you’re a pretty good not really bad window cleaner and can talk to customers and your customers like you then they’ll cut you a lot of slack on quality while referring you to everybody they can. I always shoot for perfect windows and customer service but sometimes you just miss something.
Yup, Millionaire Next Door is what everyone needs to read when they start to look down on themselves for being a window cleaning business owner.
[MENTION=13761]ThruGlass[/MENTION] Been away for awhile, but I’m back
[MENTION=24315]Steve076[/MENTION] Im not talking about doing a bad job, but Im also not about a perfect job. A window cleaners perfect job and a customers are 2 totally different things. Most of our returning customers dont hire us again because it was the cleanest window they ever saw. It was because they had a great experiance, liked the crew, didnt have any problems. Window cleaners get caught up all the time in doing the best of the best, when thats not really needed. We do a great job everytime, just not our greatest. Now I know this will be taken the wrong way.
Let me explain it this way. We clean the windows, check to make sure their clean, and do a final check before we leave. Theres always a spot or two to touch up. Did we do a good job, yes. Did we do a great job, yes. Did we do the absolute best we could of ever done, no. Because that it would take 3 times longer than it did. In the eyes of the customer, we were amazing!!! They loved us and their clean windows.
Of course this circles back to what you want. We charge a premium, Im one of the most expensive guys in my area at 13.50 a window. We provide a great service thats dependable, trustworthy, hasslefree, blah blah blah. Now you can also sell somewhat clean windows at 6 bucks a window or the best there ever was for 22 bucks a windows.
Not 100% if ive made my point, but its been a long day and I find out later I suppose
[MENTION=12729]JaredAI[/MENTION] Your right. Being able to talk to customers is so HUGE. 90% of the time when I call the customer after the job is done. They’ll say the windows look great, but you have the greatest guys. They were so nice. They moved a big heavy couch for me or whatever. Its the people the remember, the service, the fact we showed up on time, the thank you card, the reminder call, that little extra the guys did, the fact we broke a lamp but replaced it right away. Rarely its how clean the windows were.
I have had a few people say things like, “You still do the window cleaning thing?” or “It must be hard for you in the winter” in sympathetic voices. It’s hard not to be a little bothered by unfounded sympathy or someone being condescending, but I feel like if I respond with, “I’m making tons of money”, or “I make more money than you and I only work 9 months out of the year” (which is true in a lot of cases) I would end up feeling a little douche-like (not saying you are, if they straight up laughed at you it was warranted).
So I usually just respond with a simple smile and an, “I do alright”, and I know that I like what I do and I make good money, so if it bothers other people then that’s their problem.
A second note, anyone who would laugh at another person’s profession or look down on them for it, is probably totally miserable and just judging other people to make themselves feel better.
My 7th grade son had a class in school this year that discussed the various salaries earned by college grads a few weeks ago. At one point he told his teacher “My dad makes more than a lot of those.” His teacher asked him what his dad does for work. When he told her I clean windows, she gave him a smile and told him “I really doubt that.” I’ve joked since then that I should send her a postcard this summer from Europe when we go, but I can’t decide whether I should send it from Rome, London or Paris.