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I'm going to wash windows for money tomorrow for the first time in my life. Any tips?

piano

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So tomorrow I'm going to try it. Knocking on peoples' doors and wash their outside windows.
There is just something that kind of bothers me:
-I'm going on foot (I'm just 16 so no car) and I wondered if I should just knock on peoples' doors with all my equip on my back/hands etc. Is this something to worry about (does that reduce my image? I kind of think so)?
-(related to first question ^) When I look like a one man army window cleaner, should I just be honest and tell them that I'm actually just working by myself instead of a company? I saw in pretty much all window cleaning videos that the solo workers basically always lie about being in a company.

I think these were my main concerns. Perhaps you have any answers to the above?
Also, any other tips are very welcomed.

Imma update you guys tomorrow on how it went!
 
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Stargazer

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You don't need to lie about anything.

If you knock on my door I can see perfectly well that you are a school kid which explains why you have all your equipment with you. It also means I totally understand that you are in my area right now, are a local kid and can do all the windows for less than a company would charge.

Unless you are planning to charge me a lot you really hardly have to say much at all. Just a simple transactional conversation.

Dan
 

Edgar King

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So tomorrow I'm going to try it. Knocking on peoples' doors and wash their outside windows.
Best of luck! Did a similar thing so might be able to chip in.
There is just something that kind of bothers me:
-I'm going on foot (I'm just 16 so no car) and I wondered if I should just knock on peoples' doors with all my equip on my back/hands etc. Is this something to worry about (does that reduce my image? I kind of think so)?
I've approached a lot of businesses to clean their windows on foot and they never asked me about a "van". They probably don't care about that. The equipment probably helps to look professional though. After talking to a business owner, he explained to me why I might be struggling with getting clients.
-(related to first question ^) When I look like a one man army window cleaner, should I just be honest and tell them that I'm actually just working by myself instead of a company? I saw in pretty much all window cleaning videos that the solo workers basically always lie about being in a company.
Don't lie. Be honest and transparent. It's true presenting yourself as a company can make you look more professional (I made a logo with a company name and that wowed a prospect). But it might not be much of a deciding factor. If they need someone to clean the windows, and you're there, they'll probably be very thankful.
Also, any other tips are very welcomed.
It may be different for you, but prepare yourself for gruelling rejection at first. I went up to 16 businesses to ask if they wanted cleaning but was all but turned away because they already had window cleaners and/or my price was high. You'll grow through it all and walk away with more knowledge in the field. Take notes of any complaints they have, or market echoes and see if you can solve them. Enjoy the journey and not just the destination too.

You're already taking action and that's something to be very proud off.
 
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Itizn

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Keep in mind you'll be selling cleaning services to home owners and not software to fortune 500 companies.
Meaning that your interactions don't need to be drawn-out and overcomplicated.
When I used to go door-to-door I would fall into the trap of wasting a long time trying to convince skeptics for the business when someone just down the same block would hire me within a minute of meeting me.

Also if you don't have people skills you'll certainly gain some. Always keep level-headed when dealing with the general public.
 

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Work into your sales pitch the reason why you are doing this. "I'm saving for a car" or "I'm saving money for college".

That will switch the prospect focus from "do I need my windows washed" to "should I reward this kid's moxie", and you should get more yesses.

Good luck. Let us know how many people say yes.
 

heavy_industry

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When I look like a one man army window cleaner, should I just be honest and tell them that I'm actually just working by myself instead of a company? I saw in pretty much all window cleaning videos that the solo workers basically always lie about being in a company.
Do not lie.

Good luck with this activity! It's awesome that you're taking action instead of playing video games and wasting time like your peers.
 

SEBASTlAN

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Johnny boy

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Let me tell you the most important thing I wish I realized at 16.

It might seem crazy now...but

$1000 a day is easy.

You should say it to yourself until you believe it, because it's what kept me from being a lot more successful when I was 16.

Raise your expectations. Not expectations of results from poor effort, but expectations of yourself to go out and do what it takes until the results are high enough.

Make a high goal, do the math and then go hit it. You will have a different attitude to you, you'll walk like you've got someplace to be.

1000/day

charge 175 a house

do 6 houses a day.

put together a killer script and pitch it to people on here and get feedback

save up money to get a logo on a polo

say "I'm gonna do it pro from the get go" and go be a professional. Pro's make all the money.

wake up and say "I am going to be excellent at what I do today". Everyone will look at you and think "F*ck, I wish I had what that kid's got when I was his age".
 

WillHurtDontCare

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So tomorrow I'm going to try it. Knocking on peoples' doors and wash their outside windows.
There is just something that kind of bothers me:
-I'm going on foot (I'm just 16 so no car) and I wondered if I should just knock on peoples' doors with all my equip on my back/hands etc. Is this something to worry about (does that reduce my image? I kind of think so)?
-(related to first question ^) When I look like a one man army window cleaner, should I just be honest and tell them that I'm actually just working by myself instead of a company? I saw in pretty much all window cleaning videos that the solo workers basically always lie about being in a company.

I think these were my main concerns. Perhaps you have any answers to the above?
Also, any other tips are very welcomed.

Imma update you guys tomorrow on how it went!

Expect to get rejected. Expect rejection to suck. Expect to get over rejection and keep plowing forward.

You can look at property appraiser websites to see which neighborhood's have expensive houses.

Keep your eyes peeled for signs out front that say "lawn care done by whoever LLC" - those will be 'warm lead' indicators of a sort - because you know those people will pay people to make their homes look good.

You could also check Facebook & yelp reviews of local businesses. Like the signs I mentioned above, these reviews could give you a sense for which neighborhoods are already paying other people to make their homes look good.

You can also use Google maps to drop pins and take notes for certain areas to review later. And jot down how many doors you knock on.

But don't overthink it. Just set a goal for # of doors to knock on, go to a nice neighborhood, and get knocking.

Also, don't let any one day affect you too much. If you get no results, that's fine, try again. If you get great results one day, don't get too down on a bad day.

It's awesome that you're starting so young.
 

Roli

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So tomorrow I'm going to try it. Knocking on peoples' doors and wash their outside windows.
There is just something that kind of bothers me:
-I'm going on foot (I'm just 16 so no car) and I wondered if I should just knock on peoples' doors with all my equip on my back/hands etc. Is this something to worry about (does that reduce my image? I kind of think so)?
-(related to first question ^) When I look like a one man army window cleaner, should I just be honest and tell them that I'm actually just working by myself instead of a company? I saw in pretty much all window cleaning videos that the solo workers basically always lie about being in a company.

I think these were my main concerns. Perhaps you have any answers to the above?
Also, any other tips are very welcomed.

Imma update you guys tomorrow on how it went!

Dude, if a 16 year old kid knocked on my door with a ladder and window washing equipment, I'd give him the job whether my windows needed it or not.

Youth gets a bad rap these days, so you'll probably find a lot of customers will have that reaction, there is something really wholesome about seeing a kid getting out there and making it.

No need to lie, just be yourself, be friendly and outgoing, do a good job and try and go that extra mile and you'll find that your customers will give you referrals.
 
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piano

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Mission report:

I left my house and got to the "rich area" (only I call it that).
I was walking with my extension pole and bucket in my hands and looked at the houses but didn't really spot many houses with dirty windows. When I spot a house with windows that I could fully reach (and sometimes slightly dirty) and didn't look like it was worth 5.000.000€, I knocked or ringed the door and waited. Out of perhaps 4-5 doors I approached, only 2 answered. Both were old grumpy German men (I feel like I'm going to see those a lot here...) and they easily warded me off. While walking around along those beautiful houses, I even saw a window cleaner. I think he used a Kärcher Squeegee? I didn't like him to say the least.
These houses were all so tidy. At leasted it looked to me like that from afar. I'm pretty sure that there's a lot of competition in my area since I live in a rather expensive area.
Well, I think I'd still call it a victory since I actually got my a$$ off my chair for once. I also saw some really dirty windows at a psychatry or whatever the English name for it is. Hell, I don't even know the German word for it lol.
Talking of storefronts, I think I should perhaps start there first? The residential houses here are pretty intimidating to me...

Well, I'm actually still kind of baffled tbh. This experience was pretty scary even though I was just walking around and knocking on a few doors.

So, I have a few questions that arised to me while walking around:
-Are the windows that look clean to me (from afar) actually all that clean? And if they are, should I just knock anyways?
-Should I try to start at storefronts first? These residential houses look intimidating, especially since I just started learning this monday lol.

I hope these were all the questions I had. My head is all around the world right now ^^'

And to all the tips and ecouragements: Thank you!
I'm going to write responses to a few of them:

It may be different for you, but prepare yourself for gruelling rejection at first.
Thanks for having warned me lol

OP have you watched Gravy Boats video when he hustles to sell gutter cleaning door to door?
No, I can't find the video. Could you link it to me?

Dude, if a 16 year old kid knocked on my door with a ladder and window washing equipment, I'd give him the job whether my windows needed it or not.

Youth gets a bad rap these days, so you'll probably find a lot of customers will have that reaction, there is something really wholesome about seeing a kid getting out there and making it.
Hm, might just be my insecurities kicking in, but I'm a bit sceptic towards this because I think the German attitude is a bit different. I feel like most of us are grumpy and "strict" by default.
I'm going to find out more in the future anyways!
 

Private Witt

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Awesome job getting out there!

The video seems to be taken down but the jist is he went out at sunrise till sunset with the goal of cleaning gutters of something like 5 houses for 500 (think he did over at like 650ish). No equipment asking to use a ladder and hose. Obviously you would need your own equipment for windows. He walked all day and did not give up, rejected by a huge number but got his nut in and was a great video to watch.
 

piano

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Awesome job getting out there!

The video seems to be taken down but the jist is he went out at sunrise till sunset with the goal of cleaning gutters of something like 5 houses for 500 (think he did over at like 650ish). No equipment asking to use a ladder and hose. Obviously you would need your own equipment for windows. He walked all day and did not give up, rejected by a huge number but got his nut in and was a great video to watch.
Sounds like something I would have loved to watch...
I guess brute willpower can you really bring you somewhere huh?
Thank you!
 
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Itizn

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Commercial buildings are a good bet but start with local and small businesses (pastry shops, stationary stores, pet stores) as the owner or one of their family members will be who will hire you. Larger businsses have a more complex cycle.

When I used to go door-to-door my pitch was along the lines of:

"Hi, I'm with xyz company. We're doing (your service offering in 3 words or less) in the area. Do you...(qualifying question, also in as few words possible. In my situation I inspected gas meters so I'd ask 'do you have access to the gas meters)?.

Important that you got day one out of the way, continue tomorrow.
 

ZCP

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here is his old hustle thread
 

Daniel.

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These houses were all so tidy. At leasted it looked to me like that from afar. I'm pretty sure that there's a lot of competition in my area since I live in a rather expensive area.
Don't worry about competition, ever. Be aware that there IS competition, but don't let that stop you - there's enough for everyone out there.

It's a common misconception to see the competition as "enemies" but that is further from the truth.

Here's a TIP:
Call up nearby solo cleaners and chat with them, there is always a job or two that they don't want to do. Perhaps it's too small for them or they don't have the time. In return, you can pass 'em jobs that are out of your scope or reel them in on bigger projects that YOU need help with. Win-Win.

Talking of storefronts, I think I should perhaps start there first?
Storefronts will pay bottom prices but how serious are you? If you can't close them on a few bucks, tell them you'll clean them for free. Why? you'll gain experience and you'll take before/after pictures to start adding to a GMB (Now "Google Business Profile Manager") page. You don't NEED a site to get started.
business.google.com

Well, I'm actually still kind of baffled tbh. This experience was pretty scary even though I was just walking around and knocking on a few doors.
You've taken more action than most! Good stuff. Knocking on doors is what you call "Boots on the Ground" marketing. Your marketing channels depend on the time/money that you have. Currently, you have more time than resources so you're doing great. I recommend tracking your visits which will give you a high overview of which neighborhoods you're having the best success rate in.

Hm, might just be my insecurities kicking in, but I'm a bit sceptic towards this because I think the German attitude is a bit different. I feel like most of us are grumpy and "strict" by default.
I'm going to find out more in the future anyways!
Everyone believes that THEIR city is the worst. They are ALL full of grumpy and NICE people, you'll find 'em.

Are the windows that look clean to me (from afar) actually all that clean? And if they are, should I just knock anyways?
Yes, you should. You'll be surprised at how dirty windows are when you're in front of 'em and start cleaning.

----------------------------------------------

It's easy to get discouraged when getting rejected over and over, it happens. You may not see this now but believe me when I say that this experience will serve you well in your future personal and business endeavors.
 
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Last edited:

fridge

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I can send you 100 small blank yard signs (worth about $150) that I was going to use before I got custom printed signs. Keep door knocking and if you want, I'll send you the blank signs you can write your info on and put out on street corners. Signs are how I got a lot of work when I was pressure washing.
 
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piano

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I can send you 100 small blank yard signs (worth about $150) that I was going to use before I got custom printed signs. Keep door knocking and if you want, I'll send you the blank signs you can write your info on and put out on street corners. Signs are how I got a lot of work when I was pressure washing.
Thanks for the offer! It's just that I don't think that it's really needed right now.
Appreciated though!
 

Johnny boy

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Use a stopwatch to measure your time between houses. Walking+knocking+waiting+talking+walking to the next one

It’s like 1-2 min.

If you do it for 4 hours that’s 240 min so you should be able to knock on a TON of doors.

Raise the expectations. And go to average homes. For our lawn care company the most typical customer is a middle class teacher living in a development house with a tiny yard. They are the nicest people. The old dicks living in the 2m houses are all shrewd and mean and cheap, that’s how they saved up their money. Go after middle class people they have more emotion, and those development houses are usually people who do not like taking care of their own home services. They have an office job and don’t want to get dirt under their nails and the work takes less time. Easier to charge a relatively high price per window and bang out a quick job.
 

piano

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Use a stopwatch to measure your time between houses. Walking+knocking+waiting+talking+walking to the next one

It’s like 1-2 min.

If you do it for 4 hours that’s 240 min so you should be able to knock on a TON of doors.

Raise the expectations. And go to average homes. For our lawn care company the most typical customer is a middle class teacher living in a development house with a tiny yard. They are the nicest people. The old dicks living in the 2m houses are all shrewd and mean and cheap, that’s how they saved up their money. Go after middle class people they have more emotion, and those development houses are usually people who do not like taking care of their own home services. They have an office job and don’t want to get dirt under their nails and the work takes less time. Easier to charge a relatively high price per window and bang out a quick job.
Thank you so much for the advice!
Imma try that soon!
 
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Tubs

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Awesome job getting out there!

The video seems to be taken down but the jist is he went out at sunrise till sunset with the goal of cleaning gutters of something like 5 houses for 500 (think he did over at like 650ish). No equipment asking to use a ladder and hose. Obviously you would need your own equipment for windows. He walked all day and did not give up, rejected by a huge number but got his nut in and was a great video to watch.
He took down all his vids after an incident that happened last year. His hustling was great, but not his commitment to safety.
 

BizyDad

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Are the windows that look clean to me (from afar) actually all that clean? And if they are, should I just knock anyways?

Yes. Yes you should.

This is one of the most common mistakes young men make whether it's in sales or dating. You rejected yourself. Instead of going up and knocking on the door, you decided that the person wasn't going to like you.

Let them tell you that. They may just surprise you and hire you, or date you, just for having the moxie to ask.

But you need to approach with confidence. Which means you need to let go of this negative opinion you have of German people. Not all Germans are grumpy. If you keep thinking that every person you're going to talk to is grumpy, you're going to approach with a passive body language and no one will believe in you because you don't believe in yourself.

Go back out there and be excited to get some yesses.

Talking of storefronts, I think I should perhaps start there first? The residential houses here are pretty intimidating to me...

Businesses will feel more intimidating once you do it. Part of your problem will be that the business owner will be the one making the decision, and the business owner may not even be there.

Stop trying to overthink it. Go knock on more residential doors before you move on to businesses. Get some experience under your belt.

Hm, might just be my insecurities kicking in

Yep. That's exactly what's going on. You're going to have to get over that.
 
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Simon Angel

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Good job on getting out there.

To reiterate what others have said, just knock on more doors next time.

When they do open, say what comes naturally to you and be straight to the point. Focus on the number of houses rather than your exact wording.

To get into the mindset, just imagine that you've already made ENOUGH money cleaning windows that day, that you're AWESOME at cleaning windows, and that people would be LUCKY to have you clean their windows.

You're not desperately hunting for your first sale but rather just checking out this new area for some extra customers. It's not a big deal for you. You know that while there are many people who'll tell you "no" , there are more than enough who'll say yes.

So you just spend a few hours knocking on doors every day to find the latter category of people.
 

piano

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Reading your post, you're very right. I do overthink a lot.
Businesses will feel more intimidating once you do it. Part of your problem will be that the business owner will be the one making the decision, and the business owner may not even be there.

Stop trying to overthink it. Go knock on more residential doors before you move on to businesses. Get some experience under your belt.
Today is sunday and it's basically a rest day here in Germany, so I'm not too sure yet if I should knock on residential doors today. I'm going to ask restaurants today. Imma tell you who I find more intimidating later ;)
Thanks for the great answer!
 

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