New to the business, running into some issues

I started cleaning windows about 2 months ago. So far I only have about 40 jobs, 30 of them being repeat business. I go out everyday and canvass, but I’ve been running into some issues.

The biggest issue is, most every strip mall or complex I go to, I get the response “Property management takes care of it”.

I’m dependent on this job to cover my bills, as I’ve reduced everything in my life. I eat once, sometimes twice a day, I got rid of all expenses except for the bare necessities.

Another issue I have is just getting jobs period. I’ve made up business cards and have handed out roughly 150 of them with only one call back, which was actually my biggest paying job so far. I live in Arizona and the economy is extremely bad here. I’ve even gone as far as selling a job for 30-50% less than what I think it’s worth, just to get the work to keep a roof over my head and they still say no, usually followed by “we’re cutting back all costs”.

I would really appreciate any info someone can give me on getting more jobs and any tips or advice.


Contact the property mangement company then you may be able to clean the whole strip mall, and maybe others the P.M. company may have, If not at least you’ll be on their list of contacts when the other companies bottoms out… Persistence is the key !

Span out, go after any fish that will bite and always keep your line wet if you want to catch them… PERSISTENCE IS KEY ! Which is another way of saying TOP TIER !

Danger Dange

By the way welcome to the forum !

STOP what your doing. Do you have a business plan in place, or even
anything that states some of your business goals and objectives?

If not, do so!

Also I would suggest to stop banging your head against the wall by going
after storefront sales. It is VERY time consuming and usually does not pay
off for a long time.

Also property management companies DON’T PAY!

Start networking with other business professionals and becoming a part of
their network. You will end up cleaning their house windows and maybe the
windows of a family member, friend, or colleague.

Start going after homes in newer suburbs (they have the nicest/easiest windows).

Also start going after BANKS!! Banks always have money … let me know if I can
do anything else for you.

I’m in the Phoenix area also. I bid on a number of storefronts, etc. and kept getting a ‘no thanks.’

My tactic was typically to talk with whoever was in charge at the time, ask them what they wanted (frequency, inside, outside, etc.), and then I scribbled a price on a scrap of paper and left it with my business card.
Always got a ‘no thanks.’

I finally got smart and checked out the property before hand. I then typed up a nice proposal with several options for service (monthly, bi-monthly, outside only, etc.) and included prices for each. I put this on nice letterhead I created with my logo, etc. I then gave this to whoever was in charge and answered any questions they had.

What a difference! The first time I did this I immediately got the job! Of course it won’t always work, but it certainly seems to help.
Good luck!

Yo Clear-Dear…

Are you saying I don’t know what I’m talking about ? Dude I’ve been in this industry for 31 year and I can say I do know what I’m talking about!

Even Mr. Chris L. started by banging the pavement GOOD SIR ! Sitting on your arse writing a business plan is just sitting on your arse ! Sitting your arse don’t produce revenue in this industry !! (Office work is necessary but for a start up it can be perplexing)

Sure having a business plan is absolutely right, but not inducing it is a dead end GOOD SIR.

Mr.TnT wants to get things rolling to get things exploding for himself ( built-up), he’s chomping at the bit. Being a bike racer one would know that you win the race by burning your rubber to the pavement…not sitting on your arse in the garage.

Property Management companies do pay !!! I’m talking about local Property Management companies, NOT NATIONAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES, GOOD SIR !!!

Local property management companies can be purveyors of quite a bit of local work, BIG AND SMALL properties. High-rise, lo-rise, mid-rise,industrial parks, apartment buildings, condos, 2 and 3, 4 story office buildings, shopping malls , rentals, etc…etc…etc…

Networking is like putting water in your bucket or bottle, IT"S A GIVEN !!!

Window cleaning encompasses all aspect of buildings not just homes…Homes, commercial, RETAIL are all key to a well rounded business GOOD SIR !

Banks are usually done by well established companies that are usually janitorial companies !

Going after only nice windows is limiting oneself…Windows are windows and doing all type of windows help one to become more proficient and better attuned at this industry, GOOD SIR !

The main point is just getting work, and work is work !

Now I take your negative response to my advice as a slam and a put down which I take personally not positively ! 31 years to your what 1,2,3,4 maybe ! I’ve done it all GOOD SIR. I’ve had 3 businesses and sold one for 65,000 which made me 65,000 per year 15 years ago, working at my present one now !

I’ve done High-rise, lo-rise, hi-end homes,modest home, condos, apartments,Just a one glass door job for $15.00, I’ve cleaned the home of one of the riches men in America, AND MANY, MANY, MANY, STOREFRONT, which have paid lots of good money and has saved my arse when things got real slow. Get educated in this industry before surmising the situation on a limited basis !


Sorry MR. TnT for the boil on your thread, but he just burned my arse !

what part of az? i might be able to throw some work your way from time to time to help you out .email me [email protected]

Sent you an email Aaron, thanks.

There you go! Networking by accident. Hey Top Tier! Sometimes you have to listen a little bit to everybody and I think this is true in this thread so far.

I moved here 6 months ago and only made $1500.0 and I
have cleaned windows for 40 years.
I have spend this much just on advertising.
It is very bad here.
Call me and I will work with you some time and
we could bid on some 4-5 floor work where
the real money is.

Whining is annoying.

Tank You…OOF, Here we go again !

Hey TopTierAZ I sent you a PM.

Phil, Are you saying you have only made $1500 in 6 Months?

I love all the help that the people that are involved in this industry offer up. I am also trying to get into pressure and soft washing and on that forum the guys there are all a**holes. Well the most of them. So it is great to be able to go here and get great info.
I am definately very new in this game and I am having alot of these same issues. Now its even worse, I have a guy that is doing my website and has been for two months now and is out until the 3rd. It has been the same with the logo. I made up some cards and have been handing them out like crazy but of course everyone is trying to cut back on expenses or whatever. I have also tried to network with the people here in the Houston area and havent had much luck there either. The people I have tried to network with on window cleaning act like I am going to take all their business. Like the people in pressure washing. I think that if you have only been in this business for two to three months and you have 40 clients :cool: Thats more than I have (way more) I have made 800 dollars to date. And I am blowing ten times that amount on everything else trying to learn. That means making everyone else here rich while trying to read all the info they are putting out for 25 here or there or even a “you could have this all today for only 1 thousand dollars”. I will press on and some day I know the work will come. Once again if anyone here is in the Houston area send me a message.

Remember that your selling yourself as much as you are the service, so just like in dating the hottest gal in town, project confidence in yourself and your product, and make them want to do business with you. Price cutting and begging is going to lead them to fear you have an inferior product, just like the hot gal might give you one date out of pity for you, but it’s not likely.

And in my opinion, storefronts aren’t necessarily the hottest gals in town;) so you might chase some other options. If you are depending on this for survival, you may be better off chasing residential where one house could bring you $200 a day rather than trying to round up a bunch of $15 jobs. Regular storefronts are nice but they take time to build up routes and you may not have that luxury right now, plus homeowners generally pay the same day.

Hello All,

I’m in the Southern California area and just started too. I have picked up a few store front window cleaning jobs, but they don’t pay very much. I am greatful thought, because its some money coming in every two weeks. My biggest problem is with the guy that walks around with no business license and no insurance. This people are the ones that bring the prices down.

I am starting to solicite to home owners by going door to door. I have talked with several window cleaners and they say that going door to door has been the most successful way to aquire jobs. I hope it works, because I’m coming to the end of my funds that I had reserved and am in the verg of having to get a real job. What I mean by a real job is that I enjoy cleaning windows and it dosn’t seem like a job, so please don’t take me wrong.

If there are any window cleaners in the Southern California area that would like to shoot me an email and network, it would be greatly appriciated.

Allied Surface Solutions
Window / Hard Surface Cleaning

Window cleaning isn’t a get rich quick scheme. Nothing in this world with good rewards are for that matter. Your numbers sound pretty close. 1 in 150 business cards handed out landed. Set your goal on passing out 15,000. Storefront - awwww - Either you love it or you hate it. I personally love it, because it carries me thru the winter. When I started my goal each day was to market all day and land 2 $15 accounts. That was nine years ago and I haven’t heavily hit the pavement for atleast 4 years - up over 400 monthly accounts.

Doesn’t matter if it’s resi or storefront, you’re going to have to work it hard to build it up. Neither one is better in my eyes. A $30 monthly storefront is the same as a $180 house going twice a year. Depending on your area, I would recommend doing both. If it’s cold in the winter, market storefront then, and resi a couple weeks before it starts to warm up.

Bottom line is - It’s going to take a lot of work to build yourself a good base. But there are several people here that have. Work it!!

Welcome to the forum…


Your making realistic SENSE… As I pointed out work is work !

Dange without Mange


I also am fairly new to the business (last five years) We do mainly residential window cleaning, and we are based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Which is a fairly affluent area.

How I got started was flyers design them yourself and print them cheap on the net ( are pretty good) Pick a residential area that has large houses/expensive houses (as the rich seem to have cash all the time but no time to clean windows) Get the flyers delivered (this is the expensive bit but worth it - around 10 cents/flyer with canada post) this means you can flyer a whole area. I would do around 5000 flyers to start.

This will bring you in a big influx of business and people will start talking and refer from there. We now do a lot of commercial jobs just from contacts in the residential field.

It sounds like you are aiming more for store fronts, and through the winter, there is not much residential work. But if you can wait till spring, flyer around March I have found its much better work and better paid.

Good luck and I hope this may help you.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all.

Bristol Cleaning