Most popular storefront types...?

I have started a part time window cleaning business. I appreciate all the advice and knowledge I am gaining here! Thanks again.

I would like to add some storefront accounts. I am not looking to do this full time. I would love to add about 4 or 5 storefront accounts that I would do every month or every other week.

Here is my question…What type of business should I go to first? How are fast food restaurants? Car dealerships? Lawyer offices? Banks?

Is there a type of business or a business that I should avoid or not waste my time on?

Thanks again!

Well, I’d imagine that will vary by locale. What works well for me here may not work for you.

I would be suprised if it [B]did[/B] vary by locale.

I would think that restaurants, places of professionalism offices/businesses (lawyer, dentists, accountants), possibly car dealerships would be good places to try. I am not sure why that would be any different if you were in any part of the country.

Well, for example, I seem to hit hard on certain types of businesses… I.E. Salons, fitness centers, dry cleaners, etc. I’ve found that restaurants (sans pizza joints and delis) are a tough sell for some reason or another.

Also, in my locale (central and northern NJ), an overwhelming percentage of professionals, doctors, accountants, lawyers etc. operate out larger professional buildings, meaning they most likely have a property manager or landlord that they expect to handle things.

Car dealerships are the same way, it can be tough getting a hold of the “decision maker”, and if you notice, dealership windows are usually squeaky clean because they most likely have another cleaner contracted in.

What seems to be working for me is finding a nice downtown or busy stretch of highway and hitting the Mom and Pop shops. There are no real types of businesses to avoid, but I do recommend staying away from jobs that may be a lot more hassle than they’re worth tho. Its very easy to undersell / underestimate a job when dealing with storefronts.

I have 2 very good storefront routes. I do not discriminate on the types of business. Try to route them as close together and beneficial for your time. One tip think long and hard about taverns. There is always an ungodly amount of tape to remove and every beer sign imaginable will appear and the dreaded light up beer signs. You unplug them clean the windows then turn them back on and they give you that nice zzzzzzz sound.

Minimarts too… all sorts of window shmootz

Ok. Thanks guys.

I don’t do taverns, I refuse to even bid them. I’ve got a couple convient stores, but mostly medical offices, tire stores (real good), misc small office, and clothing stores, and computer stores.

I find the opposite – property management takes care of the grounds, but individual offices take care of their regular maintenance such as janitorial and window cleaning (and most certainly anything pertaining to the interior.)

How so?

I do about 40 stores a month. Avoid resturants, they are cheap and pain to do because the patrons eating.

I only service high-end restaurants. I meet my target hourly goal and clean during non-operating hours (key and alarm code.)

I found that when I first threw my hat back into this business (Feb 1st) I was undercutting myself simply to “get the account”. I smartened up very quickly when I realized I wasn’t averaging per-hour actually cleaning (not selling / canvassing) anywhere near what I wanted to be.

If I can make that mistake in judgement, I’m sure other newbies could too. I definitely aim high on estimates now. I now also have a minimum of $10 per job, I don’t care if they have one door with nothing hanging from it or taped to it… its still $10.

Hasn’t hurt my sales average one bit since I changed that up, which was my main concern.

I could write 5 pages in response to this, but will keep it short.

[B][U]Hot prospects[/U][/B]
Salons (Hair, tanning, etc…)
Insurance offices (Farmers, State farm, etc…)
Cash advance stores
Bail bond offices
We have dozens of the above that go monthly.
Construction company offices
Looking through my customer list Salons and Insurance offices are pretty close with the next Cash advance being a distant 2nd. We have appx 20 Cash advance stores (4 different company’s)

[B][U]Don’t waste your time Prospects[/U][/B]
Thrift stores
Starbucks :slight_smile:
Most little car sales place (they have their employees do them)
Places that say “oh it’s up to our corporate” = Big waste of time.
Certain Nail salons (you’ll figure out which ones I’m talking about)
Certain Restuarants (Again, go in 100 of them and you’ll know which ones)

New business are prime but there’s a downside too. Some don’t survive.

This is just my business model. There are some that specialize in resturants, car dealerships, etc… Nothing wrong with those. I just prefer to have several smaller accounts verses fewer bigger accounts. If I lose an account or two it’s no big deal, I can go find two more. However losing big contracts are much harder to replace.

I forgot to include; If you’re just starting, your hot prospects should be “Anyone with glass” :wink:

HAHA yeah lol usually located right next to each other :smiley:

Ok, just getting around to reading the whole thread. I disagree with you llaczko and agree with the person you’re disagreeing with.

I’ve been in tons (Literally hundreds) of businesses in office buildings and they all say the same thing. It’s up to their landlord. I even give them my Office bldg pitch (Yes, your landlord probably has some sort of window cleaning set up, But it’s probably once or twice a year. Is this routinely enough for you. We have hundreds of commercial and storefront accounts just like yours that go monthlyz) I’ve stopped wasting my time persuing them.

I have several restuarants but I agree with this. We only do the outsides. I let the customer know it’s just not feasable for us to do their insides. There’s nothing wrong with their employees cleaning the insides. Windex, paper towels and a lot of elbow grease will work fine for insides. (This isn’t something I share with regular non grease on glass businesses :slight_smile: ) I educate them on the fact this same windex method won’t work on the outsides. There’s just too much foriegn substance on the glass to remove this way. I have developed my pitch towards this very well and 85% of our accounts are strictly outsides. We do insides on quarterly basis as needed. Most are as requested.

My honest opinion and take on this is if you’re selling them on cleaning their insides every month you’re cheating them. You’re possibly cheating yourself. My vision is to have the customer years from now. If you’re charging $40 for an in/out monthly cleaning when you could be charging the same customer $25 for an outside with inside touch-up (kids finger prints etc…) you’re acheiving several things I feel important.

  1. It’s going to be hard for your competition to come in lower than your $25 Unless of course they know exactly what you have set up.
  2. $40 doesn’t seem like that much more than $25, but it is when people start looking to cut back their expenses. You’re increasing your chances of keeping the customer for years down the road.
  3. When the customer realizes they’re paying for inside cleaning when it really doesn’t (REALLY) need it, this may leave a bad taste in their mouth.
  4. There are a couple other I won’t touch on.

Out of all the monthly accounts I have, very few have inside glass that truly needs to be done monthly. These we obv do monthly.

There is some really good information here guys. I very much appreciate it. Please keep it coming!

Perhaps disagree is the wrong term here – your experience is simply different than mine – there’s nothing to agree or disagree with.

On my routes hair salons are my winner as well.
We also do a pretty fair number of car dealerships, tax prep. offices, and restaurants.
My largest monthly account is a Sports Center and my largest bi-weekly acct. is actually a restaurant/bar. 72 little panes and 5 other panels.
It used to be an Express, but the DM figured the girls in dresses and high heels could do 50 12ft. high panels just fine.

Fair enough. Can I disagree with myself then :wink:

For curiosity purposes how many of those accounts do you have? Have you marketed them heavy?