Unprofessional Competition

I like to think that I can do a good job! The guy does do a dodgy job like leaving squeegee marks and paint unscraped. His pole work is terrible. Obviously I can’t do all the work for what he charges. It’s only really me and this other guy in my whole area and seeing as my business is only about 6 months old and he has been around for 17 years, the shopowners don’t know any better.
I don’t know, maybe I should just take my gear and do it for free the first time…

I realize the situation Porkies in… My reply was directed towards Merv.

Porkie, in some areas it’s very normal for the window cleaner to offer the first service for free for storefront jobs.

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His customers will decide that…not you. They may not care as much about the quality of your work as you think they do. They may care more about price and the fact that they know him for a long time.

If you were to get his customers, you might find that some would dump you for a few dollars less…regardless of how good your service was. The next man will promise more for less. It depends on how wealthy the area is. In addition to that, he will probably keep soliciting your work so you will have to stay on your toes.

Taking the other man’s work is not a good idea. It is better to find your own work or buy a business when it comes to storefronts.

Sorry so late to this thread… (and I did not read anybodies response)

It seems you have watched this guy fairly closely, I doubt his customers do this. I worked for years doing storefront and 75% of the time they did not even notice me cleaning the windows, right in front of them!

How to steal them away… well, you see this as a you against spitting slob. It is really you against the customer. What is it about this guys service that they like? Does he show up on a reliable schedule? Is he a great communicator (personality)?

Are they just plain loyal?.. I don’t think so. This guy is satisfying some need and you need to figure out what that is. Sounds like it is not quality.

When I was young (and stupid) and did route, it used to be freezing cold and I wanted to get done early certain days. So I would skin windows (skip them) I remember doing the entrances only at a huge dealership twice in one month. They were only scheduled twice per month.

My boss never heard about it and he still has it today. Some customers would complain that they don’t remember me being there in 2 months even though I was there every week and never skipped any glass (signatures to prove it)

Keep hitting the stores over and over. You need to find the “picky” ones first. This business is about timing, not how great we say we are or how bad we say someone else is.

Don’t promise quality, they expect that. Promise the things they really care about.

Yup he’s satisfying their pockets…probably charging crazily low prices.

What was the outcome of this anyway PORKIE??

I’m yet to devise my plan of attack, but it’s definitely a priority. More things to think about, thanks CFP. Looks like I’m going to have to do a bit more digging before anything else to really suss it out.
There has been a revelation though! I landed two shopfronts by introducing and getting a contract through my janitorial and domestic cleaning services. I then mentioned that I can do the windows while I’m there. Sweet.