Do you clean without first notifying?

A friend of mine gave me two storefront jobs yesterday. I was surprised on both we just drove up, cleaned the windows, and only afterwards actually spoke to someone, namely, to receive payment. I had assumed you notify whoever is in charge first that you’re here to clean now. But if it’s not unprofessional, I think his method would be way better. How do you guys do it?

I suppose each situation is different. If you have an agreement to show up and clean the windows, then show up and clean the windows. If the situation calls for a meet-n-greet of the manager or someone, then should have had that discussion with who hired you. I have a few store fronts that I just show up and get to the task at hand. But they have all been from initial meeting and discussions of my service and start times.

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Never ever ever notify storefront that you’re there to clean. You will get the “oh they look clean so come back next time”

Then you’re out time, gas, and money.

When you bid, you talk to them about the schedule every 2 weeks or 4 weeks and just show up to do it.

If they complain or want you to check in, then just tell them that you set them up with a reservation to clean and you have to block that time out for them. If they don’t want it cleaned for some reason please let you know the week before so you can fill that block. Just like a restaurant reservation.

If they come out while you’re cleaning just say that you already spent the gas and blocked the time out, would it be okay to finish?

If after all that a storefront STILL wants you to check in drop them from your schedule. Let them call you and you can fit them in when you can but oh the price is more because it’s now not a maintenance clean.

Big commercial is usually scheduled with the property owner so no need to check in there either unless there is some special consideration.

The ONLY time you check in is for residential. You do that when you drive up to let them know your there and ready to work.


That is EXACTLY what has already happened on the one store I acquired on my own! (The windows were filthy btw)

I’m discerning from various threads, Jared, that you are like the master of storefronts. Thanks for this advice!

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“…When you bid, you talk to them about the schedule every 2 weeks or 4 weeks and just show up to do it. …”

This right here. A schedule isn’t a maybe, it is an agreement to do the job. If it is a maybe, then it is up to you to either get them on schedule or follow up later to discuss getting on schedule.

As mentioned you of course check in with a residence (but for me I almost always start inside and finish outside).

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Do you guys make a mini-written contract for the schedule or is it just a verbal thing?

When it comes to store fronts if they contacted you to service the windows, what i due is show up walk in and give the invoice to your contact point and do a quick “hi _____ how are you doing today” and get to work then when finished go in and collect. My clients like this and it has work well for me . I have about a dozen that I do like Jared" clean then invoice" which i hate waiting for them to write out the check ect if you bill them first they can have the payment made out by the time your done and you can move on to the next stop.

It just depends on what your future goal with store fronts are

  • If your keeping them for constant cash flow then its your call

  • If you plan to sell the route in the future then signed contracts is the way to go.

Hope this helps.


I’ve given up on service agreements for individual shop owners. They are much more likely to say no if they feel they are being “locked” in. Mostly just get everyone that you can, they will reveal to you if they are a nincompoop customer or not. Take em for now and let them sort themselves out as to whether you keep servicing them or not. Every account counts right now though.


Naw, just a verbal thing. Just be sure you’re clear when you’re bidding it.

Storefronts are usually every 2 weeks but if you start getting stonewalled, attitude, or vibes from the customer, then just ask them if they’d rather go every 4 weeks. No big deal. But always bid 4 weeks not monthly. It’s 13 cleanings and keeps your routes aligned.

Restaurants are usually every week or every other week - just be careful with the weekly deals because your schedule can fill up fast and leave you no room for houses.

You can also offer to do outside only and then next time do in and out and alternate like that. It helps some storefronts actually save money and helps you by getting you that extra job that might not have used you otherwise.

But having them on a schedule is probably rule 1. Rule 2 or even rule 1.5 would be to have a minimum.


We have ours on a schedule we never ask or notify anybody. Show up clean collect payment or invoice then off to the next.


Sounds like we all do it the same way. I guess it works then! :slight_smile:

Did you leant this from me. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Except I don’t care about the 13 cleanings. Don’t want to be committed to that 4th week all the time. Busy season gets to busy I need flexibility

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@WVWindowWashing theses things Jared shared are “golden nuggets.”

I would like to add one more important thing…

Follow up with (warm leads) clients can be very beneficial when it comes to store fronts.

Good luck out there keep us updated on your progress!

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It’s not just about the 13 cleanings, when you have an account that must be done monthly, it really messes up your schedule because that job will float between your routes and you’ll either have to move it forward or backward a week depending on the month. I had a few of those back in the day and now I just tell people I have a route here every 2 weeks so I can clean them every 4 weeks. Once you explain that your routes are based off of every 2 weeks, they’re fine with it.

I also try VERY hard to never have a 6 week schedule because then that job floats between those other routes and messes them up. If they want 6 weeks, I’ll sell them on an 8 week schedule. Seriously, I hate 6 weekers.

But here’s the real beauty (at least for me) on storefront: you don’t have to be inflexible in your scheduling. As long as you show up you’re good within a day or two or even a week.

For example, I have 2 routes north and south (I have more but for simplicity lets use north and south). In each of them I have a restaurant chain where every location is done every 2 weeks. This week I’m in the south, next I’ll be in the north… however since July 4th is coming up and I’m taking it off, I’m going to do the south’s monday’s jobs on the north’s friday (I’m not sure that’s grammatically correct but it’s south route - 2 jobs on monday - being moved forward to next friday). AND IT’S NOT A PROBLEM! =)

It’s also how I take vacations: jam everything in monday through wednesday, take thursday through tuesday off and jam everything in wednesday through friday. My routes let me know when the optimal time for vacation is because the 4th week is light or whatever. But I usually do let the restaurants know why I’m cleaning them 2 days early that week.

If you have a job every 4 weeks on friday, you can easily move that into the next week on monday or tuesday. You’re still within an acceptable window of cleanings. Or you could also move that job forward to a thursday.

I know this will seem like heresy to a lot of guys who have strict days to do things, but storefront and light commercial don’t care. All they want to know is that you’re going to keep their windows clean.

I say that but I do try and establish a consistent pattern of doing certain jobs on specific days but if I need to I can move them forward or back occasionally.

Now if you never set up a pattern it might get annoying to your customers depending on who is running the show. If it’s the owner, they might notice and might care that you’re never there on the same day every time. If it’s a manager, they usually don’t care.

I have a dentist chain that every 2 weeks outside only and every 4 weeks I do the inside and outside of the offices and those in/out suckers float all over my week. They just take a long time and it’s really hard to establish that 4th week schedule. Especially when they’re slammed and I can’t get inside or it’s raining or whatever. I always do them in their assigned weeks but the day depends on various factors.

I guess the moral of the story is that every 2 week jobs should ALWAYS be done in their assigned weeks preferably on their assigned days. During housing season they’ll understand if you move them forward or backward but as long as it gets done in the assigned week. Every 4 week jobs can be moved even into the next week (early). 8 weeks jobs - eh, just get it done within a week or so of the schedule.

Oh, and houses take precedence. You schedule a house for a specific time and date and you get there. The homeowner is taking time out of their day to meet you so you get there.

And for me, restaurants take precedence over non-restaurants. Restaurants usually have to get done before a certain time so they have priority in the scheduling. I can fit this flower shop early before this restaurant but that insurance agency can get done after that restaurant…

So basically the restaurants are like the anchors for the other jobs. The restaurant chains also help determine my routes.

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This is very important. If you give a bid to someone be sure to get their card and follow up. Like 80% of your jobs will come from that follow up (I’m making that number up but it is a significant percentage).

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I agree customers like consistent patterns. Like you said though once the client relationship is built you can float days or time pretty easily if need be.[quote=“JaredAI, post:15, topic:37922”]
anchors for the other jobs

Anchors get done first they are the money jobs and everything fills in afterwards.

I always hunt anchor locations first then build off them. For the most part for me anchors are restaurants,grocery stores and my favorites Insurance agency and realestate offices.

I don’t do store fronts anymore but when I did I always got them to sign an agreement that they could cancel at anytime with a 30 written notice (email is preferred). Why written? Because they someone will always try to say they called and left a message (when they did not). If they don’t want to sign it then they would probably lyrics end up being a flaky customer. I don’t do flaky.

Most of the time on store fronts it’s the travel time that’s not the job time that counts the most so when you show up and they say not this time you have already wasted most of your time for the job. Get an agreement so the parameters of the job are clear to both parties. Then you can just show up and clean. I have never had a customer not give me the required notice when canceling service.

The terms of your service need to be clear from day one so there are no question in the future. Service,cost,payment,cancellation ect.

Travel time is your worst enemy with store fronts thats why you have to run a tight route.

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Exactly. That’s why I always use a signed agreement. It has always worked great for me. I k ow other guys who don’t and they don’t seem to have problems. That hasn’t been my experience. Before I started using them I always had problems. Problems went away with the signed agreement.

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