Never done storefront work before

Hi there

I’m residential only (99%) besides 3 commercial accounts that I have, but they’re priced at residential prices or even higher, maybe I got lucky.

Never got any interest in storefront based on the numbers exposed here and other boards, seems to much of a hassle for very little money compared to what I get on residential.

I do understand that is all about building a route, which seems to take some time, which I don’t have available at the moment, but I’m trying to gather as much information as I can to tackle all this over the slow season, to kick advertising up a notch and see what this storefront game is about, invest more money then, when the rest is waiting for “the season”.

Based on the info available here I believe that price is almost key, but you can work around that if you know how to sell your company in quality , etc, etc etc, I’m clear on that.

I’m tempted since in the area where I live strip malls, medium sized shopping centers are blooming, and with all high-end businesses.
What I don’t get is what you do if you get into a strip mall with 10 places, and you get only one, and that only one doesn’t care if you have to go there just to clean that only one … this meaning, do you work “at a lost” until you get more people in that place or am I missing something ?

Is another stupid question, but is a whole different game to me, WC is still new for me, 4 months only and too much info to read to lead a solid business.

Thanks in advance and any info that you can include as pricing, people to talk to, property managers, frequency of cleaning will be much appreciated.
If you don’t want to throw your numbers in public feel free to PM me

OK.
in one new strip mall I got 1 account. so i worked it and keep talking to the other places around it. now I’ve worked up to 3. It’s only been 2-3 months. Come to find out Corp. in some other places see this as a stupid expense and have the employees do it…can’t talk them out of it. Still working on the places though and expect to have a few more in a couple of months or so.

I guess it depends on the potential of the area…make sense?
If every store has a WC’er and they like them a lot, chances are you might find better luck somewhere else.

I’d say get a pocket full of cards and hit the streets.:eek::eek::eek:

I just got into this myself. There’s one shopping center close to my home and I picked up the route for free. They are very cheap, but it’s a lot of exterior windows jobs close together. It’s an extra $600 a month for a couple of days work a month.

However, I clean another little shopping center half an hour from my house. I acquired 3 accounts eventually at near resi prices. I like the people and I like the money, but with gas prices and time value I wonder if it’s worth it. Everyhing is locked up around it by either employees or the cheaper guy they like. Going to keep trying tho…

I personally think it’s worth getting into. I know it’s low pay, but your exposure rate is huge. If your have high end business accounts, you might eventually get those business owners resi accounts. Or their friends. Or family. :slight_smile: Plus, the t-shirts and the signs might get “walk-in” business. You have to constantly ask for the business in those sort of situations, though.

If you are hurting during the “slow” season, it is consistent, bill paying money.

Josh

it is a VERY tough market, but obviously it can be breached.

I would look at other things to add to my residential services or try to build a nice continuity program for your customers (they get cleanings every month/other month or whatever.)

Ally your company with another company that has a strong client base.

As someone who does around 85% residential/ 15% storefront, here’s my advice.

If you are thinking of building a storefront route to help with the slow winter months, this may screw you up in the peak residential seasons. especially if you are a one-man-show because anytime cleaning storefronts is time you’re not cleaning houses.

If you do choose to build a route, do so in the thinking that this will be steady year round income and with the right attitude and perseverance, you can build something solid that will benefit your business and not take away from it.

My storefront route is very weak and almost not worth it. I’m at the point of deciding weather to get back out there and try to seriously build it or just drop it altogether and do something else for winter income.

All that said, there can be some serious money made in storefront so don’t take anything I’m telling you as a negative.

Read everything you can from Chris, Alex and The salesman (Sean) from All County and especially check out or PM MikeP about building a route.

good points Beautiful View.

I’ve in the past have had a small store front route, but to be honest I’ve either dropped or given away all of those accounts.

typically i’ve found that cleaning windows on a small store may only take 2 or 3 minutes to do but it also takes 2 or 3 minutes to track down the owner to pay you.
Competition from fly by night window cleaners is much more fierce this area
when you want to raise prices they tend to give you a really hard time, since as a small owner themselves it’s coming out of their pocket.

however i do know quite a few window cleaners that are sucessful with small storefront work. personaly though i try to get bigger commercial work to carry me throught the winter. just my 2 cents.

Store front work is time consuming to build a quality RT. But the upside to this it gives you steady money coming into the winter months. Residential and large commercial jobs are a great way to make a living. But a good quality storefront rt keeps the lights on in the winter. It also keeps your name out there when the other WC’s hang it up for the winter. Which in turn could mean more money for you with new Res customers…:smiley:

What does everyone send in terms of literature to potential storefronts?

Also to whom do you address any proposals or literature?

I have been going store to store personally for the past week or 2…with some luck.
however i am thinking of automating this and sending literature instead now as jobs are due to be completed.

Puntadigital…as you have prob read from sean dolans latest thread…never give up!!!

I think there is a thread or two here regarding the need to personally speak to the potential storefront account decision-maker – sending literature may be meaningless.

Wow, I’m impressed with the amount of response, thanks you guys.

[B]JoshWash[/B], you hit it hard there my friend. THAT is why I wanna get into this, not because of the prices, lots of competition, zero or close to zero loyalty from the customers or the time it takes to build a solid route, if ever. But it gives you exposure, while getting paid, I’m thinking of this like "paid-training’, let’s call it “paid-advertising”. That’s why I’m willing to take the right place for little money, let’s say, a high-end beauty salon or a spa, things of that nature, places where my target market (residential) goes to buy, eat, shop or hang out.
Nice observation Josh.

[B]CFP[/B] I have some customers on maint. programs no monthly, every 3 mts most of them and at full price. Trying to up the frequency will bring the price down, and probably I will be making the same money in one trip every 3mts than in 3 trips every month, but I got your point and is very valid, but probably deserves it’s own thread since is really complex.

[B]Mark[/B] excellent observation there too. Generating a steady income from SF will take your focus or strength from residential, where I plan to play hardest as usual. I just had to fire my helper, not looking for one right now, but is gonna happen sooner or later,so with some help I think that can be handled it properly.

[B]Ashman & eddieb[/B], cannot agree with you more, there is where I wanna go someday, residential and big commercial jobs. I’m far from that but I experiencing this today, in a much smaller scale, 3 commercial buildings, really well paid, and that alone brings enough $$ to cover some bills. Only problem is that you don’t walk away with money in your pocket on those jobs, gotta wait a few weeks at least, but is good as cash :slight_smile:

Thanks again and keep them coming, interesting thread so far

I will bear that in mind Larry.
Maybe send them a letter explaining that i will be calling in soon.
This may be perceived as arrogant though.

hey guys, is gonna be raining here until Friday at least, and want to take advantage of that free time to get in touch with some businesses in my area. Don’t wanna push nothing, just introduce my company and myself, and then show up again later to talk about business.

My main concern here is pricing store front … $1.50 or 2 per window in & out is the “normal”? I had a call from Smoothie Factory the other day, went there, this “teenager” was the manager, and I talked to him and see what they were looking for, out only or in and out, one time cleaning or get into a maintenance program. He said one time cleaning as for now… there were around 14 pieces of glass including 1 door and a transom … Y gave them $45 out and $60 both sides, even knowing that was “too much” for commercial. Kid call somebody over the phone and tell that person my numbers … his body language told me that the person on the other side of the line went nuts :slight_smile:

I just don’t feel the storefront side of this yet, but as mentioned before, if I target certain businesses I’d get a lot of exposure for my residential target market.

Introduce myself is not big deal, but want to get there prepared in case they ask me how much it will cost … introduce myself and leave an estimate will be ideal.

Thanks in advance

Carlos