Wed 12 Jun 2019
There are many things to consider when starting up a business, and when it comes to making sure it's heading in the right direction there are a lot of things you can do to support this. Some points might seem obvious but done correctly you will find they really help to drive your company forward and become the success you hoped for. Take a look at our 7 top tips on how to grow your window cleaning business and secure more reliable customers.
1. Communication. It is easy to forget that most customers know very little about the window cleaning industry, therefore it is always worth explaining to them what they will get from your service. For example, if you clean just the glass, or if you include the frames and windowsills as well. That way there is no risk in the customer being disappointed and you know you are meeting their expectations. This is particularly important if you clean using water fed pole, as some people don’t understand the process of using pure water, making it very common for customers to be left confused and disappointed when they see that their windows were left to dry naturally. A simple explanation beforehand or even an introductory letter through their door along with their receipt will help to create a strong customer relationship, resulting in a customer that feels looked after and will, therefore, have no reason to not book you again. The more returning customers you can get, the more your business will grow.
2. Branding/Image. There are many benefits to creating a brand when growing a business. A brand image will be what makes your company stand out and be memorable, it differentiates you in the market. You’re not just Ed the Window Cleaner, for example, you are a fully established company, with a name, logo and colour scheme that can be recognised. You can then carry this brand image throughout the business. Invest in getting your van professionally sign written, as this will constantly be in the public eye and is a great way to attract new companies. You can then get things such as a branded uniform, business cards and receipt slips to complete the image. It might all seem like a pointless cost that you don’t need to fork out, but it is what makes your business professional and trustworthy and will really help you to grow your customer base. It could also justify why you might charge slightly more than another company.
3. Be reliable. This might seem like an obvious one, but it is so easy to get caught up in a busy working day and get behind on the jobs you had set out to do. Making an extra effort to arrive at a customer’s house at the time you agreed will avoid any disappointment from customers who have planned their day accordingly. At the same time, if you are running late or cannot make it then make sure you let the customer know via text message or phone call. They will appreciate being kept in the loop as it could affect their plans for the day.
4. Online presence. Make sure you can be found easily online. This will help massively when it comes to new customers being able to find your details as having an online presence will ensure that your company details can be found. They might have seen your van out on the road whilst you were cleaning nearby houses and want more information, or they could be searching for a local window cleaner in their area - in this case, you want to make sure your website/advert shows up! Ideally, this is in the form of a well-established website, although that can come with some upfront/running costs. You can also have pages on all social media channels which are free to set up and, unless you opt to run paid ads, also free to run. Using advertising sites such as Yell and Gumtree can also help with this.
5. Don’t forget the Admin. When you have your own company, there is a lot of work you need to get done other than just window cleaning. These tasks can feel a little unrewarding as you’re not getting paid at the end of it as you do with your window cleaning (hopefully!) however they are crucial in order to run a successful, growing business, and therefore should not be forgotten about. These tasks consist of:
- Planning your rounds for the next few weeks
- Planning any canvassing in order to get new jobs
- Responding to any new enquiries that have come through via email/text
- Making any updates to your website/adverts
- Posting on social media
- Running accounts
It is worth remembering that there are a lot of external resources you can use to help you with the above, including SmartRound, Squeegee App and Hootsuite etc.
6. Expand your team. If you are used to working on your own, then this will feel like a massive and potentially daunting step. But when the time comes that you are working extra hours to fit everything in, or even turning away jobs, then the only way for your business to grow at this point will be to hire a new member of staff. It will mean you can get double the amount of work done and will also free up your time to focus on admin jobs, such as accounts, marketing and canvassing for more work. However with this, make sure you bear in mind the additional work and costs that come with employment, things such as training, holiday, sick pay etc. There are lots of useful companies available to bear in mind that can help with HR and employment tasks.