Archive for Guest Posts

Guest Post: 3 Tips for “Streak-free” Business Networking

Nighttime City Skyline

This week’s article is a guest post from Larry Miller–window cleaner, IWCA member, and owner of the company Larry Miller, Inc.

Power networking for your business is a lot like professional window cleaning. It’s a skill you learn that gives you an advantage to see opportunities clearly. Networking isn’t just about business. It’s about building relationships. Today, meeting face-to-face is more memorable and a stronger way of getting to know people. Especially in this fast-paced, high tech environment. Here are three tips I suggest that you use in your strategy to help sustain and grow your window cleaning business.

  • Join your local chamber of commerce and become an active member. Participate at networking events where you can meet members, exchange business cards and get to know each other. Find out more about people you connect with and help them find leads for what they’re looking for. The more you help them, the more they’ll remember you.
  • Many chambers also have “leadshare” groups. Find out if your chamber does and go visit one or two leadshare groups. When you find a group that feels friendlier and more comfortable for you, join and start building relationships.
  • Get to know more about non-profit charities that have activities going on in your local community. Help sponsor an event that shows you care about a cause and support it. For instance, my company (Larry Miller, Inc.) supports The Daffodil Ball (http://www.thedaffodilball.com/) and Habitat for Humanity (loudounhabitat.org/). Think what you and your business could do for your community.

Want to learn more about how to start your spring right and make your business more profitable? We can help with that! Comment below or email us from the About Page!

5 Tips for Starting Your Own Window Cleaning Business

Houses and windows

Today’s post is a piece submitted by student and new window cleaner, Cale Nard of Oklahoma…

There are many obstacles to consider when starting your own business.  The five most important are attitude, startup materials, transportation, advertising, and how much to charge.

How do I know this?  Well, my name is Cale Nard, and I started a successful window cleaning business on a budget.

Why?

  1. Because I want to earn money.
  2. Because I enjoy doing it.
  3. Because it fills a need.
  4. Because it makes other people happy.

The biggest thing that helped me in starting my business was God.  He steered me through and guided me to success.  However, God doesn’t do everything for you.  You still have to put forth the effort and work toward your own success.  God helps those who help themselves.

Another factor was my family.  They have always encouraged me to do things well and do them right.  I would not be where I am now without them.

Support is good, but having the drive and determination to succeed is even more important.

Interested in starting your own window cleaning business?  Here are five key points that helped me achieve my goal.

Attitude

Most importantly, you should always maintain a proactive attitude.  If you don’t do what you say you will do, customers won’t want to hire you and they certainly will not refer you to their friends.  Being kind and quick to smile helps too.

Startup Materials

Keep in mind that you will most likely have to use cheaper materials to get yourself started.  Expecting to be a huge business overnight is unrealistic and nearly impossible, unless you have a great deal of funds to start out.  More than likely, you will have to start small and build up.  As you gain customers and business, you can expand your tools, making your work quicker and more efficient.

To start, I got a small, cheap tote container.  This I filled with my cleaning solution.  I also purchased a few towels, a belt and pouch, a squeegee, and a washer.

Transportation

Getting to and from jobs will be an important part of starting up a window business, as well as transporting your tools.  To start, I used my bike.  I purchased a basket that hooks on the rear of my seat, similar to those police bikes have.  This made it easier to carry my tools with me.

Advertising

Once you have the basics figured out, you need customers.  To find your initial customer, you have to advertise.  For this, I went out and bought a cheap flash drive.  I made up a simple flyer on my computer, and I took it to the UPS Store (Fedex/Kinkos, Staples, or OfficeMax will also work).  They printed my flyers for about 5 cents per page.

Then, I had to distribute the flyers.  I rode my bike around my neighborhood and sent out about 600 flyers. Some people might say this is a less efficient way of doing it, but apparently it worked.  I found over a hundred people wanting me to clean their windows!

Fees

Throughout my childhood, a man lived down the street from my house and he was the nicest guy that you could ever meet.  I went to him one day and told him I was thinking of starting a window cleaning business, but I did not know how much to charge.

“How much do you think that I should charge?”

He told me that he thought that I should just start out small like $8 bucks for all their windows.  So that’s what I did.  About every 3 months I bumped the price up a dollar.  Pretty soon with the help of my brother, Pruitt, we were making it rain money!

And getting started is really that simple.  There’s not much to it other than determination and hard work.  Make sure you have a good foundation and once you have that, your business will grow and grow.

Have a story to tell?  Want to write a guest post for the Brilliant Windows blog?  Contact me for more details!