Losing Money to Get Your Name Out

Might be a confusing title, but it’s a simple question. Should you take on all work when you first start out even if it means you’re losing money. It’s probably an obvious answer, but I have done a few residential jobs and it led to a store front. The store is in a plaza and the business is not happy with their current window cleaner, long story short, I can provide better service than what they are currently getting. However it’s $10 for 4 exterior panes. My options are to take it, and probably lose money considering my time and gas, or ask for more money because of the better service. This job could lead to more jobs in the plaza if I do it.

Why is it ten dollars for the store? If that’s what the last company got, the store got what it paid for. Make at least break even. Then you don’t have to bump the price up for the next door store.

I don’t discount for promised or future potential work. It has bit me in the ass far too many times. Years of residential maid service, real estate transfers, commercial janitorial.

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That’s what the last guy did it for. Basically the conversation was, we currently get it done for $10 but aren’t happy, so let us know if it’s something your interested in for that price. So that’s my question, do I take the work, or ask for more money with the risk of not getting the job. I currently have no accounts or jobs lined up, still very new. I do however have business cards, professional tools, a uniform, registered, insured. I have a square account for credit card payment. So I feel like I have a lot of value, and I clean windows well too lol.

Love to know what there not happy about ? When you give them the right price then there not going to be happy again. Tell them to clean it themselves

I just caught the tail end of your post. Lol. " so let us know if it’s something your interested in for that price". Ummmm no

“I’d be happy to service your store, my minimum is $15. When would you like me to come by?”


Let them know, “I really appreciate the opportunity yes I’m interested in the work this is the price $XX I can do it for.”

There seems to be an opportunity for more accounts in the plaza!

Good luck.

From my understanding the guy frequently asks for cash advances from them. Like to be paid 3 or 4 weeks ahead before the works is done, and they have a hard time getting a receipt from him. I don’t know the guy or anything about him, but from my understanding he does a few stores in the plaza and they have similar issues.

The other thing is I feel bad taking work from someone, but obviously the store is looking for someone else

Taking a $10 job from someone doing an apparent half-ass job is nothing to feel bad about. The guy might be grateful.

So go in there like you been doing this for 20 years , here is my price i know I’m more than the other guy , but with me you won’t have all the issues you had with the last guy . I will be here when I’m suppose to. I will ask to be paid when I’m suppose to get paid , and you can count on me to do a good job, so the xtra money will be well worth it. …do u want me to start now or the first of the month.

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You are not going to match his work, his business practices or his apparent bad attitude. Therefore you have no need to match his price. Price it to make sense for you. You won’t be in trouble over missing out on $10 worth of work, but you can get in trouble by setting bad pricing habits so early.


Yeah if that guy has the whole plaza already, it shouldn’t be too tough to convert at least SOME of his accounts into better-paying work. Offer your highly professional service at a higher price to all the shops. Leave cards if they flounder and don’t be pushy.

I did the same thing a while back at a Chiropractic office. The weren’t happy with their cleaner’s poor work. They called me and explained the situation. I said I’d be happy to take the job, but I don’t price match with low-rent workers, and I don’t drop my standards to make a quick buck. Got the account for 65/month where he was charging 25. Then snapped up two more jobs on the same strip. So now I’ve got half the strip making me a hundred bucks every month when I stop, where he has the other half making him 25 (I asked each business how much they were paying)

If they don’t pony up the extra cash then they can’t realistically expect an improvement in quality. This isn’t online retail for gosh sake.

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Lose money or just not make what you want? I find it rather difficult actually to lose money on a job so if it’s about actually losing money…no way…If it’s about not making as much as I want that’s relative to each situation.


Yeah what those guys said. On the other hand, before you pitch that store now that you have all this info about that strip mall, show up in uniform, and pitch the OTHER stores first. If the service is as bad as you’ve explained, they won’t know what to do with a pro in uniform doing high quality work. Charge em what you feel your work is worth now, you’ll regret it later. I started in January 2016 and did the whole 8 dollar here 10 there garbage and have had to wean myself from those accounts. All you end up doing is taking the cash from the customers hand and putting it in the gas pump.


That’s basically what I was worried about. I also thought if I did take it at that low price, I’d have to increase my price eventually or drop them and that’s not really fair.

Can’t sell jobs if your worried. Go in there like you know what you are doing and give them a price that you can afford to grow your business worth. (not all at once)

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I made the mistake of underbidding my first account. It was a restaurant in/out for $25. In one year, I had to raise it to $50. They still wanted my work done, and now have all of the adjacent accounts apart from a supermarket. I had to drop one because they don’t believe in dawn.

Interesting you got a storefront from residential. All of my residential comes from storefront work. Mainly restaurants.

What does this mean, they didn’t like the soap you were using?

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