My day prospecting yesterday.... Not sure if I underbid

Hey all. I went out prospecting yesterday. I wasn’t planning on cleaning windows, I was in the sales mood and wanted to secure accounts and come back the next day. I have only have one non-residential regular (monthly) contract. It pays me very well, at about $100/hr for three locations (they take about 2 hrs each).

Yesterday I set out and hit up a restaurant down the street. He said he has a guy who does the whole thing for $40. I thought- there’s no damn way. It ‘is’ a weekly account, so I was thinking to myself, “maybe thats why the rate is low…?” When he told me the prcie, I told him, I didn’t think I could underbid that, but I told him, something to the effect of, “I’m not sure if you’re happy with the work of your window cleaner, but what I can offer you is…” then emphasized my reliability, years of experience, attention to quality, insurance, and offered him references from the restaurant down the road.". He said he’d like a bid. I sent him the proposal later that day on my proposal form.

There was a more fast food style restaurant in the strip center over. I walked in, offered a quote. It was certainly more storefront than restaurant (if you will). I asked what his needs were. He wanted bi-weekly. I told him $35 bi-weekly. He asked if I could do it right away. Sure. I was there an hour. There was a bit more cleanup than would be normal. Two large 1’x1’ advertisement residues needed attention. A Gentleman with a cell phone repair business asked if I’d clean his. I told him $25 with a monthly rate. He tried to tell me his other locations they pay $15. Great. This is my rate. I"ll do a great job and you’ll know I’m here when you need me. He said okay. I knocked it out in about 30 min.

At the end of the day, when I contrast that rate with what I make elsewhere, I feel a little uneasy. Did I do right? I made less then I do with my other business (the restaurant). Is this normal? Thoughts? Any input is appreciated! :slight_smile:


I think $25 in 30 minutes is decent. And it sounds like the other job will be quicker going forward. All in all, I think you did good. But I’m not super-experienced.

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Yeah, sounds about normal. You stuck to your prices and that’s gold right there. It’s awfully easy to go down on your price when you need the money or if you’ve had a rough day of bidding. Don’t do it because you’ll hate doing that location every time you drive up.

As far as hourly rates, the more glass you have in one area, the less you need to charge (theoretically). If there’s a ton of walk up glass, I might bid $1.50 per pane if it’s super easy. Or maybe I’ll charge my normal rate. It depends on the location, the number of panes, and whether or not I’ll smile at the end of the day at the lower rate.

The issue with route isn’t necessarily the price if you have a minimum that you’re good with. The issue with route is getting other storefronts so you build a solid route. Then you save on gas, you save on time, and a $150 stop is nice.

But you’ve got some anchors with your big restaurants, use those locations to build routes. If you get a multilocation business, then use those other locations to build routes. You just don’t want to chase $25 jobs all over a metro area.


Great points- thank you!!

Don’t feel bad. Unless you’re a master bidder, some jobs are going to pay more than others. Use the lower paying jobs as filler to get you through the rough patches until you do the higher paying work. I don’t make bank on my restaurants and grocery stores but they pay the bills until I finish my hotels and nursing homes. Also, if you’re building a repertoire as you go, either drop the low paying ones, adjust the price, or hire. There’s multiple ways to look at it.

At lease you’re getting out there on the pavement and not expecting jobs to always fall in your lap. It’s the only way to build a solid base of customers Imo. Keep up the good work and remember, window cleaning is like playing the lottery, some jobs pay handsomely and others just break even. The goal is to minimize breaking even and maximize making bank. Good Luck!


How far apart is the cell phone repair stores from where you are usually at? $20 would of been good if it was out of the way just to get there. Good job landing those bids all in one day!

Thanks Adam! It’s two doors down in the same Strip Center.

Nice! Couldn’t ask for anything better than the ones next to each other

Sounds great to me! I try to average $1 min, but am ok with anything over $40 an hour for srorefront, so in my book, you did great!


Awesome thanks man!