how creating 'standard pricing minimums' for your window cleaning business
can keep you out of the poor house
operating a successful
window cleaning business can be easy when you know what types of jobs
to take and what type of jobs to avoid. in the following question, you'll
learn if a certain type of store front window cleaning is right for your
window washing business.
here's a question
from one of my readers...
i had a chance to bid on the weekly interior / exterior window cleaning
of 15 "fast food chain" restaurants. i bid $39 and lost to
a $28 bid ... was i too high or were they to low?
to my calculations, both bids were too low -- if -- you are planning on
performing the work yourself!
later, i'll explain
how the winning bid of $28 per restaurant can be a positive win for your
competitor but, let's start by crunching the numbers...
in/out window cleaning per restaurant (x) 15 restaurants = $420
per week (x) 52 weeks in a year = $21,840 per year
i'm not going to mention
the name of the fast food chain but, based on the restaurants average
size, distance between locations and difficult environment of having to
work around restaurant patrons, i can safely estimate 5 restaurants can
be cleaned per day...
...or, it will take
3 days each week to provide the window cleaning services for this contract.
the question you need to ask is...
is working 3 days
a week for 21,840 per year worth it to you or not?
my personal opinion
is that my time is too valuable to go after accounts like the one you've
given example to. if the account can't afford to pay a minimum of $50
then, that's not the type of customer i want.
basically, $50 pays
me to show up at a job site and write an invoice (no window cleaning
so... how does
a business make a $28 bid work?
answer: by hiring
1 or more employees and paying them very low wages. more likely than not,
the window cleaning company that had the winning bid has several low paid
employees and has acquired several low paying accounts like the fast food
chain in question.
after, paying the
employees low wages for a year, worker's compensation, liability and auto
insurance, state and federal employment taxes, equipment costs and vehicle
...a business owner
can squeak by and make a couple thousand dollars each year from each account.
if this is the type of business contracts you want to go after, you'll
need to expand your operations and operating budget.
my job is to help
you build the best window cleaning business possible so, if you want to
build a big business with tons of employees... great! - i can help you.
but, if you want to keep your cleaning business small and work on your
then, this type of
store front contract is not where you want to be spending your efforts.
they can be great accounts but, you must acquire them on 'your terms'
and at 'your price'.
if you want to be
a solo window washing act or have 1 partner in business with you, you
i recommend creating
standard 'pricing minimums' for your business. every legitimate business
has a minimum price it will cost a person to hire their services... why
should your business be any different?
will help create a professional image for your business. folks will respect
you more and will be more apt to giving you the price you want if you
create this standard.
people realize that
there are costs of 'doing business', such as insurance, auto, gas, office
and other related business expenses.
if you price your services too low, people will be suspicious and wonder
if you are for 'real' or a 'fly-by-night' operator. these are the type
of customers you need to attract - not the restaurant chain looking for
the best bid.
in chapter 5, setting
standards for success of "your quick start guide to window cleaning
profits", i recommend creating standard 'pricing minimums'.
here are my pricing
minimums: (you can use them if you'd like)
>> $50 minimum for ground floor work
minimum for 2nd floor work requiring no longer than a 24' ladder
minimum for 3rd floor work requiring no longer than a 32' ladder
if you are going to
build a window cleaning business that specializes in low paying 'route'
window cleaning services; then make sure to train 1 or more employees
to handle the work for you.
your employees must
work for low wages, have a clean driving record and be lightning fast
with window cleaning tools.
route window cleaning
work is, in most cases, not profitable for an owner / operator unless
the accounts are created with the use of minimum pricing standards.