Our Powerwash side yes… and when I say dipped… we were 2-3 weeks out on work all year and are about 8 days currently.
Window Cleaning is still strong, but one of our KPIs is tracking calls daily and jobs booked. We have had a steep decline of incoming calls the past 2 weeks. I am always trying to get ahead of any possible hurdles.
Seems like the bigger we get… not only are the highs bigger but so are the lows. Really try to avoid having to lay anyone off mid year.
I feel ya about taking time off. I’m working towards that at this moment. There are days where a smaller operation has its perks… Growing a business doesn’t get rid of problems. It’s just creates a different level of problems that take a lot of creative mental anguish to solve. I’m currently diving deep into the book 4 Hour Work Week. It’s really changing a lot for me with time working on my business.
To this point, Sales are up and we would have to shut down completely for atleast a month for sales to be behind.
I have several crew leaders that are killing it in getting through jobs everyday. I am trying to make sure I stay ahead of them with plenty of work on the schedule. You remember how the end of July and first part of August are.
We’re busier now than in the past but know the “Monsoon Season” here in Las Vegas kills residential. I’m looking to push PW during this time but am also looking to move, it’s a delicate dance that I have found two left feet for thus far.
As a solo-op, I try and schedule some of my larger commercial projects for the slowdown (August has historically been my slowest month, so that’s where I push for most of those jobs to be scheduled). I can easily fill up a few weeks with just those.
I do not envy larger companies who have to worry about keeping a whole crew busy. I admire what you do, but that stress ain’t for me. There’s dollars/day, and there’s dollars/headache. I feel I’ve found a happy medium
Summer is always slow here in Florida. End of June, July, August to mid September. Oddly last year, the year of the covid, my summer wasn’t so bad but the rest of the year slowed - then first week of October the phone was ringing of the hook through January; February dipped a little, then March it picked back up again. I try to sock away some cash during the heavy lifting months to prepare for the slow summer. This year I am getting a lot of referrals which help.
We are starting to feel the summer slump a wee bit here.
I get the feeling that this year’s slump is going to hit harder, as a lot of people are making up for the summer vacas they couldn’t take last year because of travel restrictions.
It is what it is. You have to look at potential ROI before throwing money to the wind. Our trick is to book out as far as possible before the summer slump so we only have to worry about a small portion of August by the time it hits. Focus on calling dead leads from the spring and early summer, it makes a huge difference.
That’s exactly what we are doing. Following up on all unaccepted estimates. We advertise our hardest when we are booked out crazy to extend that rush deep into the summer like you said.
I’ve had several industry friends in the commercial powerwashing side starting to see companies making big cuts on their budgets and frequency of services due to rising costs and payroll expenses. I think an economic slide is on the horizon.
Growth is very expensive. You need a solid financial plan in place to gather, handle, maintain, and move forward when you grow.
Here is a very quick example:
If I were to add $100k-150k in sales tomorrow for another window cleaning crew
Before a $1 of sales come in, I need the following:
$25-35k to buy, logo, ladder rack, and equip a truck.
$5-10k in extra payroll expenses for training new hires
$15k-$20k in added marketing budget increases to sustain that crew going forward
$10k+ conservatively added to overall operating expenses
That’s a 65-75k investment out of reserves and cash flow for a crew that if they are efficient will have labor costs around 35%. I might break even that first year of all goes well. To set up a powerwash truck is 20-30% more costly.
Balancing and growing company culture
Delegating responsibilities away from myself
Communication with lead crew members and holding them accountable without losing respect
and many other things you run into as you try to keep it all together.
I spend a lot of time trying to keep myself mentally in a good place.
and I am not even a “huge” company in a major market. We run 6-8 employees with 3 trucks on the road regularly.
To get back on topic for Summer Slow Down… Here is what we are currently working on in our office…
The next 6-8 weeks are going to be slow to slower and unless a massive out of the blue commercial job(s) come up we are going to have to “deal” with it.
We are looking at this as an opportunity to think creatively and try/test some things with our current marketing and new/old market methods. What do we have to lose? so lets try to get something productive out of it.
For our company, our current pain point is our residential powerwashing sales. Calls have fallen off over the past 3 weeks and our schedule for our powerwashers is in danger of drying up over the next 2-3 weeks.
Current Plans of Action:
Ordered Yard Signs that target powerwashing. We havn’t done yard signs for 6 or 7 years but the ROI is soooo cheap with yard signs.
Organize Door Hangers to go out next week. We don’t hang actual doorhangers, we put brochures on doors. We have several thousand already on hand and working on ordering more.
Take a different look at our Social Media Posts. We want to get a fresh look and appearance of our social media branding. Experiment with some video, GIFs, and other approaches. We want a Fresh appealing look but with balance of strong branding. We outsource our graphic design to a local company and they are coming in Tuesday next week to consult and brainstorm.
Continue to Follow Up on Estimates given in the last 90 days
Contact all current commercial clients suggesting all services
Reason for sharing this is to get some healthy discussion that can be beneficial for all. What do you think?
best year to date but incoming calls definitely slowing down here and we are almost caught up, we still have jobs scheduled through november but just those that like to book ahead.
email to customers not cleaned yet this year.
learn to use facebook!
look at leads from spring that did not order
if that’s not enough, flyers