At Washco, we sell pure water window cleaning equipment to people and companies who in turn clean and wash windows. It is an easy way to clean windows on up to a 3 or 4 story building from the ground, without ladders, soap, or squeegees. It is way faster, and easier than the old fashioned way of washing windows. Some of my customers buy the equipment for their companies, and wash the windows themselves. I've had more than a few folks buy the equipment so that they can wash their OWN windows, and not have to call a window cleaner to come in a do the work for them.
But most of my customers are smaller companies just starting up to sell the service of window washing, exterior house cleaning and maintenance to make money for themselves. Or add this service to another business like landscaping, painting, etc.
To me, the goal in life is not to just make tons and tons of money, but to enjoy a quality of life that makes you happy to be alive and to savour that quality of life, without sacrificing your integrity.
A meme I like says 'Be the person your dog thinks you are'. If you are not a dog person it means 'be a wonderful person'.
I sold a profitable window cleaning/ pressure washing business a few years back now. I first bought this equipment myself around 7 or 8 years ago. I often tell the story that I made back my $4000 investment in this equipment after 3 days of getting it! Now to be fair, though, I did have the job already booked, but this shows the profitability of the system. 3 day Return On Investment is pretty darn great. A bit better than I get with my TFSAs :)
So, now I am winding down my career as a realtor, and I want to try and give back some time and energy to new business entrepreneurs. I have had many businesses over my 30 years as an entrepreneur. I have seen MANY different ideas, schemes, and scams, over the years. I have spent a lot of time analyzing, and figuring out what works and what doesn't.
If you downloaded the free ebook ("Step by Step guide Start a $1000 a day Window washing Business in Canada") that I offer on my website at washco.ca, you will see that my writing style is not to fill as many pages with fluff as possible. I have learned to get to the point, and just give the information in a useful format, that people can use as a blueprint, or checklist to get a business off the ground.
As with a lot of business men who take risks, I have had my share of learning lessens. Which actually means failures. My goal is to try and give you guys and gals information, guidance and resources, so that you can learn from MY mistakes. We'll try to teach you how to make the right choices so that you too can succeed in your business.
So with that, here we go:
The number one question most new people have...the ones who buy my Washco window cleaning equipment, and from those who download the book is: "How do I get customers"?
The easy answer is Marketing, which is defined as:
"the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising".
The answer is easy, but the process of marketing can be difficult. Most people have no experience with this. Young entrepreneurs have just finished college and have not taken any marketing courses. I will endeavour to give you a crash Marketing course in just about half an hour with this one audiocast.
1) traffic: people who go to your website, Traffic is the customer who opens the door when you knock while trying to sell them your window cleaning services.
2) conversion: (Can you reach them affordably) Emotional and practical benefits the people buying the window cleaning, or any service or goods. The Conversion is people who do what your website or email asks them to do (book a window cleaning, click on another funnel page, or call you for pricing.
3)economics/profits: This is the desired outcome to what ever marketing you are doing. (From email and web marketing, to knocking on a door and direct selling a customer face to face). Why they respond, and the benefit to you.
How to reach your potential customers?There are a couple of best practices here. The first is "internet marketing". Having your customers come to you! The other way is by you going to your customers. Door knocking.
Which way is best?
Pick one, or both. Both is preferable. You can hire guys to door to door sell for you. Some are fantastic at it. And also you can hire a company or person to set up your internet marketing for you.
After a good business name, you need a good website. Check domain names first when starting up your business. Try to get a domain name that says what you do for your work in the name. Eg, "reddeerwindowclean.ca" or "beautifulviewyyc.ca" or "jackspowerwash.ca". SquareSpace.com offers a website building great solution to build your own site. You can even search for a name and buy it from them. Make sure to optimize SEO. SEO. means Search Engine Optimization.* TIP: Being at the top of page one on Google is the key to success in today's modern world for any business who is looking for sales.
How to get to the top of page one on the internet? By making Google think that you are an expert in your particular category. In this case "window cleaning in Mytown". I'm not going to get too deep about SEO here. Optimize your site so that Google can find it easily. Do this by adding relevant keywords to your site. (see: Neil Patels websites. Write a blog about why your windows want to be clean, and how clean windows reflect favourably on the home owner to show they have pride of ownership, etc, etc.You can spend thousands of dollars a month on SEO. You don't have to, though.
TIP* Buy Google AdWords. Spend the majority of your budget on this
You can phone them, and Google will walk you through the process of setting this up with you. Re-invest and spend more on AdWords, as you become busier. This is where sales come from today.
When I had my business, because I know how to build a website, and get on page 1 of Google, I didn't often make sales calls. I turned away more work than I took on. If you are on page one of Google, you will get most of the calls that people looking for your service make.
Have a business phone number, and always answer the phone. Or have your wife answer it. Or even have an answering service answer it for you. *This is real important. When a customer calls you, they are looking for what you do. If you can close the sale, you will get the job and make money. So, answer the phone and make money!
Don't give the caller a reason to phone a competitor. Try to close the sale right then and there. Have your prices memorized.
Q: Thanks for phoning. Did you see our website from a google search, or did a neighbour refer us to you?
Q: "Good to see my ad dollars are working there, I appreciate the call. What is your address? What size house do you have?"
A: 1800 square feet.
Q: "2 storey with a front attached garage?"
You: "Price will be $190. plus GST. We are in your area next Monday. Would morning or afternoon work best for you?"
Always ask for the sale.
"Hi there, I'm John of Johnnys Northend Window Washing and we are just down the street at your neighbour Steve's house finishing up.
We love working in this area. Everyone around here seems to really care about their beautiful homes. Your pride of ownership shows.
Our technology is relatively new to the window washing profession. Have you heard about pure water window cleaning? We don't use ladders or soaps. Just a strong brush on an extendable pole, and pure water. Your windows dry spot and streak free. I will personally guarantee that my technicians will leave your windows sparkling. And because we use no soap, which leaves a sticky residue that actually attracts dirt, our pure water windows stay cleaner longer. Because this technology is more efficient, we can offer better pricing, than our competitors with a $20 bucket and a squeegee.
I can offer you a great discount of $30. off if you let us clean your exterior windows today. Because we are here now, we won't have to drive from westside and that saves us time and money, and I'm going to pass those savings on to you. Our regular price is $195, but we can do this job for $165. right now.
Can we schedule to clean your windows next? We take cash, cheque, or email transfer."
This script works.
Another thing we used to do was to market to our email list of customers, and potential customers. Also, you can send a physical letter to a list of property management companies, franchise offices, school boards, realtors, transport companies, home builders, etc. Just a simple one page personalized letter outlining the services you offer, and how you can help them out. Ask to get on their bidding list to get requests for quotations.
Free Kijiji ads are great. You can also try bus benches, lawn signs, community newsletters, door hangers, mall parking lot leaflets, local radio.
We've just scratched the surface here today. More to follow. Thanks, and get ahold of me for any questions or if I can help you out with something related to marketing, and or pure water window washing businesses.To your success, Paul 1-403-969-7237