New storefront-- Nice and easy

Hey guys, haven’t posted in a while-- season is around the corner!

I was working today and I was approached by a neighboring store. She asked for me to clean them, that “the old man hasn’t shown up in months”-- I said I will stop by after I am done. I go in, the glass is just like the other store I clean-- I figured I am already in the plaza might as well get this and add to my neighboring stores so it makes it worth it to come out. Nice and easy, just dirty for the first cleaning. It’s 3 bays of 9 windows each, I figured 25 dollars outsides only plus door once a month.

Since it was a first clean I charged it time and a half-- got the job no problem and I feel I could have went to 30-- BUT I am now making an extra 25 for about 8 minutes of work from this month forward. I didn’t have time to do the insides so I said in October I will come back and do it in/out for 60. I asked who they used, they couldn’t remember the company since it’s been so long. At first I was hesitant to “take someone’s job”-- but I figure if the customer isn’t happy, everything is fair game and I am here while they are not. I know a lot of the commercial guys around the area and one had passed away from cancer and another retired-- could have been one of them.

Anywho, customer was ecstatic and I have added something to the little route I have. Nothing to run home about, but I really enjoy these store fronts as I have been doing them for my employer for about 15 years so I have had plenty of practice and know how to get a general “feel” for the customers. I prefer residential but what I do is set up my route on 1 or 2 days a month (I am small, just a handful of commercial jobs) and do it on the side when I am off clock for my job. It’s not much but it adds up and I am able to grow at my own pace since I have a full time job.

Thanks for reading,


First off, thank you for the story; interesting read and a nice way of seeing things!
In addition to your reasoning of making an additional $25 per month while doing 8 mins of work and making the drive more worth it, I personally like to use the “step back” method of estimating the value of new clientele.

$25 in 8mins, 12 times a year, and you’ve added $300 of value to your company’s portfolio. $720 if it’s $60 per.

I try to do the same with residential work. During the spring clean, I’ll bring up in conversation the bugs and spiders that cling to windows in the fall, “the majority of my customers have a fall cleaning as well.”
Then in the fall, “and can I get you a spot on our spring schedule? It fills up quick and I just want to make sure I don’t leave you with dirty windows after those snow plows kick dirty slush all over the place.”

And so on.

Then a $350 initial clean job turns into $700 worth of reoccurring value. The trees are starting to loose their leaves up here and I’m still 3 weeks out from doing that.

You made this statement:

I struggled with a similar thought when we got to the area we’re in now. Only not just with store fronts, but with resi as well. The closest real competition (ie not BB’s) is two hours away. Used to see their truck pretty regularly. But they charged their customers for their hotel stays on top of the cleaning. They’d charge $550, I’d charge $280 etc. I started up here, coming in at around half their price and landing a good 80%-85% of my bids.
I haven’t seen their truck all spring/summer/fall.

Trying to look at it from their perspective, I’ve no doubt cost them tens of thousands of dollars. (That’s speculating my client base is comprised of 50% of their clients and 50% of my own.) However, if they weren’t charging twice my rate, perhaps they would have kept their clients? (Bear in mind, after hearing what they charged several clients, my prices are going up lately.:wink::money_mouth_face:)

I don’t want to hurt anyone who’s trying to make a living, so I’ve resigned myself to bid what I’m gonna bid, avoid any negative talk about the competition, and let the client choose for themselves who they’d like to service their property.
Sorry for being long winded; just my 2 cents.:grin:

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One thing we won’t do is give a discounted price “since we in the plaza anyway”…sure enough the original job will disappear…just like all the Cingular stores we did.


Congratulations on that success. Keeping your eyes open for opportunities will always help. Here’s a video that you might enjoy about using some smart marketing tips to build up your business.

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Hey guys, I just wanted to give you an update. I went back today for the in/out clean that I had to put off. Did it with no problems (As I said, all these stores are the same style outline and glass)-- I added 2 big mirrors for another 10 dollars (5 dollars per mirror) and I got many compliments. They are going to be opening a new center in the beginning or start of 2020, and I pretty much have that when it opens. So that alone was worth it and am satisfied with the new account. But let’s be honest, this isn’t going to pay the mortgage. This will, however— pay for a cell phone bill for the month. That’s how I look at things.

I would also like to say thanks for the replies. I do not really like commercial work, I prefer working on homes. I don’t bash the competition in the area, I actually know quite a few of them and have met or ran into them over time— plenty of glass for everyone. I would rather network with everyone than go to war— I think it is beneficial to the industry as a whole. I am 100 percent sure the guy doing this job passed away from cancer. I saw him on and off for 10+ years, he was a nice guy and a good cleaner. My prices are my prices, I have no goal to be “big wig” with 3-4 guys working under me. A nice small solo operation is all I am going for, which I will build to suit my living needs. If I build this correctly, I will be where i want in 5-10 years.