Residential in winter (northern climates)

It’s certainly possible to clean windows year round in northern climates, commercial guys know that. But winter window cleaning seems as bizarre a concept for residential clients as summer snowball fights. Anyone in northern US or Canada manage to clean resi’s year round?

I was thinking of running a winter [I]Facelift Special[/I]. X number of exterior panes for a discounted price. Should cover front and sides of most homes in my area. In other words, for a very affordable price your home will always look good from the street.

Any other thoughts on this?

I have tried to run a few residential specials in the past. Never had much luck, I always got discouraged with it and moved onto commercial/storefront stuff. I am sure it can be done though.

I have several customers that are exterior cleans every month (even thru the winter). Unless it gets ridiculously cold they know I’ll be there every month. Good solid cash flow too!

I’ll clean residential in the Winter if the weather permits. I never understood the idea of discounting your service just because it’s Winter and cold outside. I mean I get it if your hungry and need the work. But in my opinion it sucks to clean windows when it’s freezing outside and I think it should cost more. Anyway, I make sure I save my pennies throughout the year to get me through the Winter.

I have never seen or heard of anyone in the brrrrr states, able to survive on resi alone.

If anyone has discovered a way to do this… PLEASE SHARE!

All the marketing research I do and try, this is the hardest to make work. I have wasted so much time that I could have spent coming up with other options… I forgot I am not a window cleaner anymore. I just own a business that supplys window cleaning.

I am in the business of making money

Good points there.

Two things tho in my case.

  1. I started late in the year starting my biz full time. (end of August) Obviously no money saved here.

  2. Most resi folk I talk to ask me how I’ll survive in the winter, and from what I get from sooo many other people out there is, You don’t clean windows in the winter.

Obviously home owners need to be educated in the fact that you can indeed clean windows year round. And for a nice packaged price, I’ll do my best to educate them in my area this winter. Wish me luck.

we can tell them they can get it done, but they likely still will not.

We all have slow summer months, usually August (I know, except you Sparkles), so if we can’t get them to raise their hand in warm sunshine… I don’t know

My wife makes most the cash right now and that’s how I will survive for the winter. I am also going to look into unemplyeement (if I can) as I paid into it for the last 20 years and never used it. It’s 2k per month but I think if I do this. I can’t work for those months. Anyway I was thinking of an idea that might be able to get some WC’ing money over the winter. I’ll let you know how it goes. I totally understand where seth is coming from “weather permitting”. Last year we had at least 2 weeks in the winter months spread out over days, that window cleaning could be done easy in the home owners mind. In fact I went out walking homes for 2 days in January and Febuary with a short sleve shirt on. I’m going to look over my sales and whomever my highest richest clients are I’m going to contact them directly a few weeks before Thanks Giving and Christmas. I’m going to walk up to their door and say hello. Most of the rich people I grew up with, had parties during the holidays and are willing to spend money to make the party just right. If I can pull in 4 or 6 k worth of work over the holidays that would be cool with me. I’m going to bring them a small gift for Chrismas. I think if I was able to sell them in the summer I should be able to sell them in the winter. We’ll see how it goes.

What’s the idea?

Let’s make a list as to who we can sell window cleaning to during the cold winter months.

  1. Clean freaks. Last week I picked up a client to do her windows (only the ones the maid can’t get) every month/ exterior only.

  2. Those that would like their home to look nice from the curb even in the winter. Mainly front and side windows. May also include main gathering areas where family and friends get together or have parties.

3 Those who procrastinated during the fall but still would like to get their windows done. Give them an incentive not to wait for spring.

  1. Family and friends. Time to call in those favours people.

  2. Start with another service (better suited to winter or non-seasonal dependent), make window cleaning the add-on service.

It’s been my experience that customers will call when they want their windows clean and they’re ready. A lot of my most loyal and bestest customers call me when they’re ready not the other way around. I think we have to just accept the fact that there is always going to be some slow months and plan for it. Except for the Cali folk of course:). On the other hand if anyone does come up with a way to get the phone to ring in January please let us know. Wink, wink Juggernaut;)

I do have a few attic and basement cleanout jobs lined up for this Winter. So fun to go through other peoples junk.:slight_smile:

I don’t know about that seth. I called all my customers whom I cleaned in the last 6 months and got a 40% repeat. I think customers need to be notified of the service and constantly reminded in order to get them to the level you want them. Which for me best case would be once every 3 to 4 months. Calling is one way of getting them a 2nd time. In the winter months I think people are so busy, yet still feeling a bit on the happy/excited side that you can land them if you show up to the home personnaly. It’s something you don’t see many business owners doing.

Larry I already explained the idea. It’s in the first post.

This one: “I’m going to look over my sales and whomever my highest richest clients are I’m going to contact them directly a few weeks before Thanks Giving and Christmas.”?

WOw I i thought I replied to this. Well you know what happend to the guy who thought? He thought he farted until he sat down. lol.

Ok seriously. Today you never see business owners taking the time out to come face to face with their clients. Some do but it’s rare. I think in the winter, if you can find say 5 to 10 of your best, high profit customers who have money to spend. Contact them directly by walking up to the door. And talking with them. Me I’m going to have to work extra hard to make this work. But point here is this, take a guy like Chris. He has lots of customers and I’m sure many of them have never met him. As rich people most of them can understand why. Cause he is running a large business and does not have the time in the season. But if he showed up to the home, unscheduled (Just like he was doing a door to door). Introduced himself and told him he wanted to thank them personnaly for their loyal service to his company and provide them with a small generic gift that would not offend them. IE they may not celebrate christmas, they maybe jewish etc. Either way, something to get a small conversation going. Get a little more personall with the client. Make them feel as though they are more special then your regular clients. I’m sure some of them will want their windows cleaned for the holidays.
I have customers ask me all the time what I do for the winter. I’m going to start telling them I clean windows during those months. I’m sure they will be shocked but it will allow me to get some form of a sales pitch going. I’m thinking maybe just a quick an cheap outside only cleaning, pushed as a maintainence cleaning. Not sure. But either way, it’s time to start thinking out of the box. To many companies do what everyone else does and when they look at the guy who has made it cause he tried something else. They say oh great idea. why did’nt i think of that. But once again who knows I can knock on these doors to say hello and they can tell me to go to hell lol.

Some might think that is a sign of desperation to get work. Sorry I don’t mean to come down on the idea but I’m not sold that it will work. Instead of just showing up on their doorstep this Winter maybe now is the time to contact them and tell them that you are now scheduling for your Winter work and ask them if they want to get on your schedule before it fills up. When they ask, I didn’t know you cleaned windows in the Winter you can tell them, yes it’s a little slower but we clean all year round. Just another idea. Sounds like this forum will be great for those kinds of things. You know ideas.:slight_smile:

Me personally, I like to take the Winter to go to the Convention, take a little Vacay, and regroup and get ready for the Spring rush. It also gives me a chance to catch up on house projects. This Winter I’m finishing our basement. Big Project.

Who’s gonna haul all that crap outta there?

For the right price Seth I’ll help w/ a basement remodel!:wink:

My winter doesn’t last too long so I don’t mind the slow down, I have houses until early December (usually able to find some good days to do them.) January I am to busy with Christmas paint removal to even think about houses. February to early March is slow, but that is when I spent time inside coming up with new marketing for the spring.

During the cold months my commercial take me 1-2 days a week to do, so I can choose what days to go out on.

Trick question? Dick Cavett?:confused::slight_smile:

If only I could afford you Tony.

But seriously, Me and my employee are going to do the project. With the help of a couple of friends of mine. Sucks spending a ton of money in the Winter especially when there is none coming in. But that’s why we plan.

I hear you Seth! In our climate it’s feast and famine so you better pay some things ahead for the lean times. Still nice to not have to be out every day in the winter!