I just wanted to say hi my names Iain, from the Uk lived all over plus time in the British army, but now in Canada 40 kms west of Toronto. I have been running my own websites in many niches for 10 years (3 full time) but have had enough of playing with google so want to have something bricks & mortar for myself not working for someone else.
7 years ago in the uk a guy across the street had a ladderless window cleaning business, with tanks in the back of a van which intrigued me. I started researching 2 weeks ago and have decided I want to try setting up my own window cleaning business, my sub division has 5,000 homes with another 12 k nearby so I am thinking of just doing wfp for residential but pick up some commercial through offering a bit of seo.
Research led me to ionicsystems and was thinking about the quattro, then nfound the ez pure so will get one next week when they are in stock in Toronto. I was looking at the grafter 32 pole for size as I will be using my car my first to establish if it is for me then later get a truck. I am hoping not to need to use a ladder but should I still get one? I have about 4.5 k to set myself up anything else anyone can suggest? Is it worth buying some of these business guides?
Thanks again for this great platform, I will also be joining the wcra as it looks a great resource.
Don’t worry too much about those business guides if they are the kind that I’m thinking of. You can learn everything you need right here at WCR. If you can’t find an answer by searching then you can always ask us whatever-- somebody will know what you need.
As for the ladder, yes, you will need one even if you use a WFP. Sometimes you just have to climb, and sometimes you have to use a ladder inside as well, where a WFP can’t be used.
Get a 24ft ext ladder or at least a Little Giant or Werner version of a Little Giant. They are quite handy and are inexpensive.
Welcome Ian. Woody is dead on. Even though you plan on homes like in your subdivision to have as your customer base be prepared for offers on jobs that may be difficult for wfp work. The gentleman who you met that had the ladderless window cleaning biz, he more than likely still owns one, but if memory serves me right, in the UK using a ladder is a no no isn’t it?
It seems to be that on this continent, we have a few more freedoms for the time being to allow us to use all the tools at our disposal to get the job done quickly. Since you are starting out of your car (I did too, it was a 2000 Nisan Sentra) get a little giant or a gorilla ladder (same thing). You will need the 24’ one, but it folds and breaks down to about 5 feet so you can fit it in your car with some creativity.
I had to take a sawzall and cut the metal back a ways from the part that divides the back seat to the trunk to make it fit with the seats down but it did fit and so did everything else. Back then I didn’t have a wfp setup though.
You have a huge advantage, you are just beginning and you just found the biggest and best window cleaning forum on the planet. You also have a little bit of $$ to start with. I would suggest though that you DON’T buy a wfp right away. That 4500 you have can be spent on some well thought out marketing, a beginning to save up for a truck, etc… If you get a wfp right now, thats awesome that you want to do that, but in my humble opinion you should build a good foundation for your business first and get some experience under your belt with some squeegee work.
This way, you will be able to navigate around buildings with a ladder. You will see uneven ground. You will notice obstructions that can prevent you from doing your job quickly or efficiently. You will know different types of glass, the different debris on glass and weather or not a wfp will get it off or if its better for you to do it by hand.
Just my opinion, and I could be wrong. But if you get a quality pole and system like what you are thinking of, you are going to run out of money in a quickness.
I guess it’s only fitting to give you guys and gals of WCR an update on Iian from my experience with him. So far he has done many jobs with his wfp setup and his skills with hand tools are coming along nicely. being that he is not too far from Toronto, he has come out on a couple of occasions to do some on the job learning with me. Yesterday he helped me out on a huge house job that had some time pressure issues. The customer is over seas and only the maid service could let us in to do the insides but they were only going to be there half day. So Iian came by to give me a hand and save me a lot of headaches and stress over finishing the insides. After that he set up his WFP system and knocked out all the high windows while I followed behind doing all the ground level by hand. As a result we finished at 4PM, way earlier than I expected. Oh, and did I mention we also did gutter washing as well? Anyway, a great day overall even tho it was raining for the last hour or so, we just pushed on with some solid teamwork. Thanks Iian!
Really cool your able to help a fellow window cleaner in teaching him and then he helping you !
Say Mark you got to see the WFP in action …What do you think Dude, do wan to to maybe hook up with one ? They’ll make you lots of money and they up grade your business and open many doors for you in the commercial and residential !