Route work. This term could mean different things to different window cleaners. I’m referring to the commercial storefronts that need to be cleaned on a regular basis. It could be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Some window cleaners hate route work, some do route work exclusively. If you were curious about this niche, here’s a few things you should know.
- A $6 job may not seem worth it. In fact, with gas at $4 a gallon, it may cost more to drive to the account than you charge the customer. The key is to MAKE it worth it. Build that $6 up to a dollar amount that makes it worth it for you. Approach the rest of the stores in the stripmall or the other offices in the complex and offer to clean their windows, too.
- Winter. For some of you, that’s enough said, right? Winter can be lean months for residential window cleaners in northern climates. Having a small established route can help with your cash flow.
- Get a bucket with wheels. You’ve seen them on the Detroit Sponge site, but if you focus on residential, it may not have seemed like a wise purchase to you. If, however, you have a whole row of commercial glass to clean in a strip mall, you can just slide it along the sidewalk as you go.
- Meet the owner. If you end up cleaning all the windows in a complex, find out who the owner/landlord/maintenance company is. Send them a business card, introduce yourself and offer your services. Who knows? They just may have been looking for someone to help out at another building or maybe they needed someone to powerwash the sidewalk.
- It’s not like it used to be. The economy has affected route work just like every other aspect of our society. Many storefronts have switched to using an employee to clean the windows in order to save money. Sure. It looks bad, but they are saving money, right?!
- Consider barter. Ask to clean the windows at your favorite sub shop. A few minutes of your time can get you a free lunch. It may not pay the bills, but it is a solution that appeals to some small business owners. And, it never hurts to ask.