Work truck when starting fresh

Hello! My name is Kevin and I am just starting out this year (well mostly going all in next year)
and right now i have a 2008 chevy 1500 work truck, but its got a decent bit of rust and no way of holding extension ladders without buying a $2k topper with a ladder rack. (i live in an apartment so i need a truck topper for securing my tools in the bed of the truck… ANYWAYS… do you think that i can start out with just this truck doing only storefronts? Or am i better off selling it and investing in a ford transit or something to have an official work vehicle?

I dont really like the idea of pulling up in a rusted vehicle as a luxury service company…

Keep the shitty truck and invest in marketing

Do something about the rust lol, glue it, tape it, idk


Keep the truck. If you’re only doing storefronts you probably don’t need a topper with a ladder rack so you can save a little there. Also you can get used toppers for far less than 2k.


i mentioned storefronts if i just keep the truck. just to get started. my goal is to be a mostly residential company

I’d go with the small transit for storefronts. You can keep all tools in there without worrying about theft. Its going to be better on gas cruising from stop to stop. Its a rolling billboard.

If it’s just a work vehicle and you’ve got another vehicle for personal use, work van is the way to go

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I’d go ahead astart right off with residential if that’s the goal. If you need to lock everything up and can afford a van, do it. Buying a topper with a ladder rack is a lot cheaper though. And if the truck really looks like a total rust bucket it may not be ideal in residential. It’s amazing how many different types of vehicles people have stated out with.

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decisions decisions!!! i like the idea of a clean transit so much better. id get a white one so i can letter it up later and have that versitility. also the one i found already has a ladder rack so its just tough… cause my truck is paid off too


Get a quote for a wrap to cover up your rust or take it to macco. For less than $2000 you can have a nice work vehicle to advertise your business. If you can get a caravan for less than that then get that.

But I’m a big fan of not spending big money until your business can pay for it.

In this economy you’d better be wise with your money. Stay out of debt and you’ll be fine.


very wise response. thank you. Im definitely going to work with what i have to start. at least then im not stressed about success with all these bills associated with it. no debt to start, sounds like a smart thing to do

You have a few of options, depending on your finances of course.
Used cars are at a premium these days, so try not getting too attached to anything out of budget. Looking basically decent and runs reliably is fine.

  1. Get the present truck a face lift at a body shop. It is only so it looks decent, not a keeper. Find a topper or bed cap on Craigslist, lot cheaper than new and can also have body shop paint it to match. Roof rack can also be found on the cheap; Craigslist and Google will be your friend on this. I think I paid less than $300 for a rack that mounted to my truck bed at first.
  2. Find a mini van that runs good or wouldn’t take much to make mechanically reliable that you can keep all of your gear secured inside and has a factory roof rack. That would easily hold ladders you may need.
  3. Store Fronts you will get a lot of “No thanks”, and the ones you do land won’t pay your auto payment and gas unless you earn a big route really fast.
  4. Expand your search for work to include residential from the get go. 5 storefronts may land you $150+ in a day, 1 residential can land you $500+ in a day - do the math.
  5. Market! Get door magnets for your vehicle, business cards to hand out to friends, relatives, neighbors, or anyone you can think of who may help spread the word you are in business to help get you started, door hangers to drop off.
  6. Do great work and guarantee your work to build a strong word of mouth following.

Good list.

if you get a wrap it’ll go a LONG way to getting you new business. Storefronts can be hard especially with everyone trying to find help and trying to make ends meet. It’ll require a lot of gas to drive around trying to get storefronts.

A wrap will help get you residential really quick. If you’re just starting out practice on your apartment windows in all your free time. Spend 4 hours cleaning one window, build muscle memory then the speed will come.

Find a local business group like BNI or the chamber and introduce yourself (you don’t have to join to visit a couple of times).

If you get one residential a week, then you’ll be doing pretty good. Commercial is also a good place to start - office complexes, insurance buildings, or any single story.


A business network is a help, But BNI costs $400+ per year. Not a lot but just starting out it seems that more money goes out than comes in so it gets frustrating.
Seek out your local S.C.O.R.E., it is free (taxes pay for it) and a wealth of help and information from business leaders.

yeah a wrap is a good idea, ill have to save up for one though. the budget i have will get me car magnets to start.

And I’ve actually had about 2 years of window cleaning experience so my speed and quality is professional grade. So I have that going for me. I’m just learning the business side and its taking a lot of time. Been at it learning everything for about 2 to 3 weeks now and I feel like I’ve been doing a lot, and I haven’t even cleaned a single window yet LOL.

Got a topper for the truck, bought a ladder rack for it, and waiting for a work phone to come in with a work number so I can get all the marketing material ready. I think my first week will be July 18th so I’m excited.


Clients only care if it’s reliable , just make sure it’s clean in and out

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I am in my second year and I am working out of a Mazda3, there is a big company locally that work out of smaller cars than that. Trucks are probably convenient but not a requirement.

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I started with magnets and still use them today. My truck doubles as my personal vehicle too so I didn’t want to dedicate its exterior to the business. Magnets are just fine. If I had a dedicated vehicle I would likely do a wrap.

Even though you have a couple years of window cleaning on your side, the office stuff is different. S.C.O.R.E. can get you on the right track for all of that pay breakdown, taxes, keeping your money straight, etc…

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Don’t overthink it. Using only bikes I make over 6 figures and work an average of 9 hours a week on this business. The simpler the better. Look at the world. You gotta widen those profit margins. Don’t buy more than you need. “Buy utility, rent luxury”. Make it stretch and wear it with pride.


6 figures, working 9 hours a week? Tell me a bout it?

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Because I charge a premium and I hand pick my clients. I regularly whittle down my client list and have a system to filter out the problem clients and sell in such a way that there is scarcity in my services. It’s not easy to get onto my client list. I don’t take on much. I apply the 80/20 rule. It’s not about reaching everyone. It’s about allowing those diamond clients to reach you. Don’t be a Wal-Mart, be Ferrari.

I charge a minimum of $225/hr and shoot for $275+/hr. Of course, spring and fall is busier than the other seasons but on average throughout the year I only work on this business an average of 9 hours a week.

It’s very common thinking that to be profitable and stay profitable one must scale. This may sometimes be the case but the world is changing fast. That’s why I suggest the OP just think about the benefits of keeping things as simple as possible, not just in the beginning of his business, but as a tenet and principle to apply throughout his choice of transportation, marketing, etc…


I like what you you’re saying…Do you have an idea of how much higher in pricing you are than other window cleaners in your area?

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