Trimming the fat

This New Year I want to focus on cutting down the excess fat I’ve put on in this business thus far… you know like the unprofitable routes, underpriced jobs, inefficient methods, etc.

In this current winter downtime, Ideally, I would like to be preparing for the upcoming season (and I have been), but I’m also being occupied with my recurring commercial / route work.

One of these accounts includes 4 daycares and I can only do them 6pm evenings or on Saturdays… which sucks.

Also it’s not much $$$ but hey its “steady” throughout the year, like the route work.

I’ll probably finish up the commercial route stuff I have this week, next week, and probably just drop em all.

Then focus on only residential and the low / mid rise commercial.

I HATE storefronts / the recurring commercial route type of work.

If that makes sense…

I’ll probably look for a part time helper and pay him legit too to help out this year.

What do you guys have planned for this year?

• Charge right for the job.
• Set business hours.
• One high end residential is worth how many little storefronts? Use them as fillers on the schedule instead of main income - unless your aim is storefront king.
• Nothing wrong with pushing low return to accommodate your days and hours.


Oh, that does suck!

Storefront commercial work can be a blessing and a curse. It’s great in times like now when there is no residential cash flow. But in the spring and summer, when residential money is available, it kills you to have to go and do a route stop.

A couple of years before selling off my window cleaning company, I split the residential and storefront work into 2 separate companies.

The residential represented 90% of our overall income, but when I went to sell, I got almost as much money for the storefront company as I did for the residential.

Long-term, the storefront has more value because it has a more predictable income stream.

Just kinda giving you something long term to think about before you drop it all. :slight_smile:


Keep the storefront, hire a helper and send them off to do the route and have them help you as needed on the other work.

This literally sounds like me. I go through this every year! My financial advisor told me it’s important in business to have your elephants but also your rabbits and your squirls. Heres the thing the storefronts are the squirls and the thing is the lack of value is there value. Let me explain! I have some large commercial accounts I do and there big money but guess what if I lose one or a few thats a huge loss to my business. If you lose some route work its no big deal . . . But thats actually the value. You go relying on all the top jobs and they start dropping your mind will go fuck I wish I had that route work. Big commercial work is the quick fast paydays but non frequent, residential is good money but comes with a lot of the headaches, reschedules, pickyness, text, calls, emails and storefront is the low hanging fruit but its always there. Storefronts the steady income, its not the 120 hr stuff and the wohoo I made it jobs but its the oh shit everyone cancelled cuz of snow thanks routework for allowing me to keep making my monthly bills. The run around busy work is the $ thats there its also the stuff that can keep an enployee busy so when you wanna go bang out residential or the big stuff you have a helper. Look at storefronts/route as steady money and something that keeps an employee paid so when you need help with the big fish that motivates you, you got it.

That’s probably what I can’t wrap my head around - the not making 100+ per hour part and that its about the consistency.

I spoke with my dad and told him I was gonna drop em but he said not to and that he’ll do them…

Win win cause now I don’t have to do em and he’ll make some extra $$. I’ll pay him the full amount for the routes, I don’t care just as long as I don’t step foot in another store lol

And if I find a helper for the upcoming season the routes can be a good training place.

This past year, 2022 I ditched my commercial, 2 hospitals and a college and some sporadic smaller ones as well as all of my CCU. Either I was terribly inefficient or just couldn’t get the pricing high enough but they just weren’t bringing in the $ / hr that residential does. About 10% of gross. Glad to see them gone, and a great year. I’ve never done storefronts except a one-off here and there because I already do the owners home.


Hell yeah!

So you’re 100% residential now?

Trust me I’m right there with you! Where I really learned the value of store fronts is this. I have a competitor who I am friends with and he goes you know when the new high school was built you didn’t have the man power to do that job. He goes because of all of my route work I can keep guys busy and use them for when big stuff comes along and you can’t. He also does this hospital with me and has all this help where as I dont. Look at small jobs as a way to keep a guy busy so when you wanna go do a 5 10 15 20 k job you are not solo and stuff to keep you by in slow months.

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well…like 98.2%…Got a call from a local paving contractor to do their office building and I only said yes because I do the owners home 4 times a year. I do my doctors office and a few other small offices because I do their homes too.

It sucks , because you didn’t price it properly.
Any one calls me for jobs that have to be done Saturday evening @ 6pm. Or anything similar the price isn’t going to be like my regular pricing. Take it or leave it. To bad !!!
I don’t do diners anymore for this reason. Not waking up at 5am in the middle of winter to go clean a diner that’s not willing to pay the proper price. Puling up blinds , jumping in and out of booths , having to be there early. Either pay or beat it, But keep your route work. Raise some pricing if you have to , and start having minimums for all the small stores.

You do have to take the good with the bad sometimes even if it’s less than your minimum. If some cheap ass next to a store you clean already won’t pay your price just do it anyway. It’s 5 minutes of work so what. It’s still money.
But never for a stand alone, a 6pm on a Saturday , or a diner. Those are pay me what I want or beat it. If not you’ll end up regretting it like you are now.
Once you get to a certain point in this business your prices need to appease you and not then. For route work , commercial or residential.
Expand the top and dissolve the bottom.

Yes higher guys is great , but you still neee to make a profit.

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But … why would you say no ??? Make it so they say no , and if they say yes. It’s all good :+1:

I just finally realized that I just don’t like doing stores lol

I hear ya. I’m ambivalent about them too. But thrrr is nothing going on with residential right now and I’m stilll bringing in money every month.
Ying and Yang.
When April hits they get hard to want to go out and clean.
That’s why they need to be priced half way decent. I know we can’t get what we get for residential , nor should we BTW, but it’s still money., and it’s residual.
Once you get to a certain point with it you can dictate what you want and don’t want to do , and your pricing can increase.