The Drawbacks
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The Benefits of Being a Window Cleaner

The Drawbacks of Being a Window Cleaner

Window Cleaning Forums

Ladder Safety


Canvassing/Getting Customers


Pricing Up Jobs

Window Cleaning Technique

Sloped Roofs

Repetitive Strain Injury


Record Keeping/Paying the Tax Man


Keeping Track of Your Round

Water Fed Pole Window Cleaning

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1. Artic Conditions: It can get bloody cold in Winter and because you're handling cold water your hands quickly turn into icicles.

2. Dishonest Customers: Although most people are honest and trustworthy, there are some people who aren't and will do very annoying things like refuse to pay you for absolutely no good reason. It's not a big deal though, you just make sure you don't do their house again, and if you're a really naughty boy or girl you can covertly egg their windows for good measure. I wouldn't advise on doing the latter though because it might hurt your reputation.

3. Collecting: Sometimes collecting your money can be difficult, you'll get people who manage to be out every time you call round to collect payment. What really can become tiresome though is when your customer tries to hide when they hear you knock because they haven't got the money on them to pay.

4. Getting Messed About: You get people who agree to having a window cleaner and are very enthusiastic about the prospect, then all of a sudden 3 months down the line decide they don't want one anymore even though they're perfectly happy with your work. I also had one person who thought it was funny to call me out for a quote and then not be there when I turned up. I realised afterwards this was a prank by what I presume was a meddlesome teenager.

5. Canvassing: This in my opinion is the only surefire way of getting customers for a small, startup window cleaning business, beating leaflet drops hands down. I hate canvassing more than any other part of being a window cleaner, it is absolutely horrid because you know people don't want you on their doorstep and sometimes they aren't afraid of showing their dissatifaction..

6. Nutters: I once had to deal with a mentalist who wanted a quote. I knew she was a nutter when I talked to her over the phone. I should have known better than to bother driving out to give her a quote. This how our conversation over the phone played out.

Me: 'Hi, I'm Dave the window cleaner. You left a message on my answer phone about wanting me to clean your windows.'

Her: 'Dave, I dont know any Dave.'

Me: 'I'm Dave the window cleaner, you left a message on my answer phone.'

Her: 'You want to fix my phone?'

Me: (Beginning to speak louder now) 'No, I'm Dave the Window Cleaner.'

Her: I don't know a Dave.

As you can imagine I was getting a bit exasperated by this point. Eventually though, I managed to get her to understand that I was a window cleaner and not a phone repair man. Later that day I went round her house and gave her a quote, but sadly the flow of the conversation was not any easier face to face. Eventually I gave up and went home telling her to forget it.

7. Dog Excrement: Can also be cat excrement. This a real problem for the window cleaner because when you go round to do the windows of a customer who owns a dog, you will often find the back garden is a minefield. What's more, unlike a landmine, when you step on dog droppings you don't always realise you have done it, that is until it's too late and you've walked it up all the rungs of your ladder only to then come back down and find you've got it on your hands.

8. Dog Noise: Those little darlings who bark at you continuously while you clean the windows can really drive you up the wall. Trust me, you'll want to slice their little throats.

9. Dog Attack: One of the jobs I did before I was a Window Cleaner was a Postman, and I got attacked by Dogs twice. One time it was by a pack of dogs! I was also bitten by a dog as a child. Since I 've been a window cleaner I have yet to be attacked, but I live in fear and they can smell it. I want the world to be aware that I don't like dogs and will not be giving a single penny to Dog Trust's sponsor a dog campaign.

10. Falling off Ladder: If you're an idiot or accident prone I would recommend you do some other occupation because window cleaning is like being a daredevil only without the glamour. I'd like to state that as of yet I haven't fallen off my ladder, although I've had some close calls.

11. Cock-Ups: I'm only human and I make mistakes like everyone else. When you make a cockup there's nobody else to pass the blame onto because it's your business. You have to accept it was your fault. One example of a cockup by me was when I broke some tiles on a roof. A few days later it rained really hard and my customer's roof leaked. I admitted it was my fault the roof leaked and paid for the repairs. The customer to my surprise didn't sack me and I still clean their windows today.


The Bottom Line: To be successful in window cleaning and probably most other things as well, you can't let your failures and outside aggravations get to you. You need to develop thick skin when things go wrong and soldier on with it.

There's always the other option of course, giving up, rolling over and dying. Both are good.

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