Need some really sound business advice

Hello folks,

Thanks for taking time to read this post. I appologize in advance for the length of this post. As some of you know, I am long winded. I’ll try to keep it brief. So here goes.

I am in need of a some ideas/goals/topics/rules of thumb that many of the business owner’s here on WCR use in their day-to-day operations. I have a business plan, and I know which direction I want my business to go. I just would like to pump some new ideas into my administrative operations. I want to know how you set your goals, measure them, and reset when you’ve reached them. What are your goals? Are they monetary, number driven, or a combination of both qualifiers?

I am marketing pretty hard and getting good response (for this time of year). So I think that is working well for me (thanks Kevin, Steve, Chris). I am also trying to streamline the office work since I had to fire my assistant due to lack of production (she’s my sister-in-law to add to this all).

I have decided that I feel like I need to get away from actually being a window cleaner and focus more on the business side of things. I have a great crew that can work entirely independant of me, so workmanship is covered. I’ll only need to check up on them throughout the day and drop in once in a while. Any of advice from you folks that have done this transition before? What are some things to look out for?

I feel that this post is very fague, and rightfully so. I aimed for that. I want any ideas and suggestions. Some of them I will already be doing, some I will begin immediately and some sooner or later. Yet, others will be tossed out the window. Not because they are bad ideas, but because they won’t fit my business or profile.

Please be open and honest. I need someone to light a fire underneath me.

Thanks in advance.


Congrats, man.

My best advice is to stick to the plan, even when it seems like a slow go.

And do not let yourself get sucked into spending time doing the cleaning anymore. Seriously, [B]no more. [/B]If you’re going to successfully change the way you think, you must change the way you spend your time. Cleaning the glass is the worst, least profitable use of your time from now on.

Train yourself to stop checking in on the crews, too. They’ve got to see that you trust them to do the jobs from start to finish.

And keep implementing the marketing strategy that you absorb and digest and keep track of the results.

Bert, take this from a newbie who’ll love to see YOUR operation in person one day to learn a thing or two.

I started my business the other way around, having an employee doing the “technical” part and myself on the “administrative” side. Bought this company already running, so I just jumped on it, never had washed a window before, ZERO experience on techincal side, and ZERO experience as a business owner, risky combo.

To make a long story short … I am the Technician and the Manager now, had to fire the guy. I know that I need to go back to that previous stage in the future but have lots to learn before that happens.

So my bottom line is, do it, I think is the best you can do for you and your business, but no matter how much you trust your crew, never take quality for granted, nobody is going to take care of your business better than you, because is yours.

Takes a long time to build a name and a tiny mistake to send years of hard work down the drain.

Since I cannot assist you based on my experience I used my common sense, and if it seems to obvious, just skip it (too late if you’ve read until here lol)


Kevin, I was reading your post, and it caught my attention because it sounds familiar to the ideas that I am hearing from a book I’m reading. I bet you’ve read it- “E-myth Stategy Revisited” by Michael Gerber. It was required for class, so I obviously didn’t read it, but now that it is not required, I’m taking a liking to it.

Is our window cleaning industry anymore difficult to be a real entrepreneur (rather than manager or technician) do to the nature of a low start-up cost, minimal intellectual capital, and all the other stuff that isn’t required compared to that of other industries?

I like the ideas your stating, I hope to read them in your book soon, and I hope to implement them so that I can grow a “well-oiled machine” that can run without me. Right now, I have a job, not a business. It won’t be a business until you can remove me from the picture and the business still functions.

Well, maybe all of this is in your book…

Hey man!

You know, a lot of people keep telling me that…I’ve heard of that book, but I have never read it. Never even seen a copy!

Exactly. It’s EASIER to pull this off in our industry.

You have never read the E-Myth?!?!?!

Holy Canoli Kevin…

Stop what you are doing and go to Barnes and Noble RIGHT NOW.

It will change your life.

E-Myth is good, but books don’t change people. I have seen far too many people read E-Myth and not apply any of it to their business and claim it to be a great read. That book is a how to, not a novel.

Think and Grow Rich essentially shows us how to become millionaires. That book has made people millionaires, but most read it and apply nothing they read. I actually promised myself I was going to sit down and apply one of these books to my life. I mean live it every day for a year and see what happens.

Just talking about it gives me shivers and fills me with excitement, yet I have not started. Screw it, I am starting now! I am breaking out my dusty books and doing it for one year straight. I am ready for some positive life altering sh-t, this is just what I need.

Thanks for breathing life back into this post Louie

Hi Bert, I was wondering what you have included in your business Plan? Not the Specifics just the “Topics” of it


To answer your question:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Mission
  3. Keys To Success
    5.Company Summary
    6.Company Ownership
  4. Market Analysis
    9.Market Segmentation
    10.Service Business Analysis
    11.Competition and Buying Patterns
    12.Strategy and Implementation Summary
    13.Competitive Edge
  5. Marketing Strategy
  6. Sales Strategy
    16.Sales Forecast
  7. milestones
  8. management
  9. Personell Strategy
    20.Financial Plan

All of this, is a file in my WIP folder. Especially as of late, I have reopened and began the process of revamping the BP. Take a look at the topics and leave me some suggestions–as right now I am open to hearing new ideas.

I was told to get one of the Michael Gerber books, which I did. But, I am slow to get to reading it with ferver because of the pace of the Holidays. But, I am sure to read it. I noticed that someone else was recommending these types of books. More importantly they were recommending actually changing the way your work happens compared to how it should happen as is described in the books. Good Advice!

Thanks for replying.

Hi Bert,

I do not see a company mission or vision statement. Unless you have them under another title.

I really believe your mission statement is what should drive your company. It is the thing that your customer see’s in you and your company. It is also what your employee’s need to guide themselves with while representing your company. It does not have to be ellaborate or long and should be between 25 and 75 words long. the shorter the better this way everyone involved in your comapny will remember it. Remember though sometimes mission and vision change and thats ok as long as you move your company forward.

I have been involved in quite a few areas where mission and vision have to be set. as we would meet I would always try to put the Mission and Vision out on the table. It is something that I want everyone to see.

What about number 3 on Bert’s list?

Here is my current Mission Statement.

The mission of I DO WINDOWS Professional Window Cleaning Service is to provide window cleaning solutions to home owners, businesses, and institutions to enhance their image and aesthetic appeal to others. We do this by offering the highest quality customer service, unconditional delivery, a superb service performance, on-time, every time, and doing it all for a reasonable fee.

I just started revamping my business plan… wow, what a difference now.

It gets me all excited all over again.

No business plan = Death

There is no replacement for a good plan. There is definitely no replacement for a good plan with lots of excitement. But in order to really make it a day to day success, a complex business plan will lose it’s ability to direct without being able to distill it down to a couple catch phrases like a mantra & a tag line that can easily be transferred to other employees and customers. Check out “The Art of the Start” on amazon… It has made a great difference in my daily battle cry. I see it’s even available on audiobook now.

Must have missed it, Sorry Bert. Can you say it without lookin?

Actually Yes, I can say it without looking. But I may be the only one in my company that can. That is what I am trying to work on. I want them all to be able to say it like me. And I also want them to have the pride and sense of value when they say it–just like I do.

I can say it, because I wrote it, of course, with some help from a friend. It is what we do, but we need motivation to remember to live our professional lives by it–for the sake of the business.

Your suggestions, and my subsequent thought pattern, are exactly the kind of things I was hoping for when I posted the thread. I am looking for the little things that help the entrepreneur inspire his vision and pass that along to his/her employees. I am looking for the advice that took your business from a $50K/year to $250K/year and even further. I am looking for the things you do everymorning to further your misison.

If there are undertones in my post that many of you recognize, it’s because of my current readings in the [U][I]E-Myth Mastery[/I][/U], [U]Michael Gerber[/U], that Chris recommended to me. I am just now getting to the meat of the book.