Networking. At first glance, an outsider may think that a window cleaner does not need to network. They assume that you just need to clean windows, maybe chat with a customer or two.
Every small business owner, from window cleaning to dry cleaning, needs to network. I know. I hate it, too. It reminds me of the dreaded Public Speaking class in college. Or, better yet, the middle school dance. Asking someone to talk to you, be your friend, to do a little business dance can be stressful for many. The good thing is that we are NOT in middle school anymore. The person you are chatting up is not 12 and judgmental, but rather a professional, like you.
In fact, its actually kind of nice to talk with someone who “gets” you. If you own your window cleaning business, your friends all think you have it so easy, what with no boss and all. The truth is you probably work harder and for less pay than when you had a boss. Another small business owner, regardless of the industry, gets that. Instant connection. Easy way to break the ice.
Networking with fellow window cleaners is even better. In fact, it is one of the few times you can talk to people about your work without boring them. Let’s face it, the great debate between huck towels and a chamois does not interest many people outside of the industry. You can use this time to share ideas, problems and solutions.
Look at it this way, networking is a low-cost marketing activity. You can chat in a forum, join a group like your local chamber of commerce or just practice a 30 second “elevator” speech to give the next time someone asks you what you do at a party. It may just get you some leads for more windows to bid and a referral or two. Try it. It can’t hurt.