Excited about my new adventure..

Steven Johnson

Cleantalk Member
Derek I no the feeling I am 53 now. I do 3 or 4 every day. 3 if its a range cooker.

One tip keep a record of how long each job takes you. Then hopefully when you go back you can plan your day better.

This has been very useful because there will be some jobs that are really easy. This will allow you to earn more money in a day and still get back early with hopefully no extra effort.

I start my first job just before 8am. Usually back every day about 3.30ish. I never stop for lunch as prefer to get home early. Because I no how long all my repeat customers take I can plan my day.

Steve

£200 is good target I aim for £200 to £250.
 
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Duncan McIver

Cleantalk Member
I appreciate we all do things differently , but I cant believe the money that some of you spend on marketing , there are lots of ways to generate business and get customers. In all my years (in my 17th year now) I have never paid for an advert.
There are so many ways to get customers without spending money, I think these days that new people go to the same trainers, who then teach everyone the same way , so they all clean ovens AND look for customers the same way. Also I am not sure a lot of people know how to use a database properly?
I would never look for a tradesman on facebook ( could be because I am getting old). Plus I don't have a web page.
You get busy by being busy and you don't get busy by being sat by your computer.
 
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Derek Dale

Cleantalk Member
Derek I no the feeling I am 53 now. I do 3 or 4 every day. 3 if its a range cooker.

One tip keep a record of how long each job takes you. Then hopefully when you go back you can plan your day better.

This has been very useful because there will be some jobs that are really easy. This will allow you to earn more money in a day and still get back early with hopefully no extra effort.

I start my first job just before 8am. Usually back every day about 3.30ish. I never stop for lunch as prefer to get home early. Because I no how long all my repeat customers take I can plan my day.

Steve

£200 is good target I aim for £200 to £250.
Steve

Thanks for the tip about timing each job at present I use a booking app on my phone and have each job listed with a time on it so every type of clean is allocated a time for that size job but of course some are easier than others.

I dont start till 10 (9.30 at a push)
 
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Derek Dale

Cleantalk Member
I appreciate we all do things differently , but I cant believe the money that some of you spend on marketing , there are lots of ways to generate business and get customers. In all my years (in my 17th year now) I have never paid for an advert.
There are so many ways to get customers without spending money, I think these days that new people go to the same trainers, who then teach everyone the same way , so they all clean ovens AND look for customers the same way. Also I am not sure a lot of people know how to use a database properly?
I would never look for a tradesman on facebook ( could be because I am getting old). Plus I don't have a web page.
You get busy by being busy and you don't get busy by being sat by your computer.
Duncan

If I wanted a tradesman even if I saw van got business card, the first thing I would do is look for a website if they didn't have one or I couldn't find it I would just search for someone else. As business owners we are all different and as customers we are all different
 
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Steven Johnson

Cleantalk Member
Hi derek.

That's why I dont use booking apps. Input all my own data on my own excell spreadsheet.

I can then keep notes about the job. I have all the details I need then when booking in again and don't waste my time.

I can also do my own mail shots off my database using mail merge if needed.

Steve
 
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Steven Johnson

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Derek

As your business grows how will you cope starting at 9.30 to 10am?

I find if you get booked up too far in advance not everyone will wait or can not wait.

It then gets more pressure as time goes by. Are you planning to have a second van or stay on your own?

Steve
 

Duncan McIver

Cleantalk Member
I agree all different , I honestly cant see what having a web page brings, most of my customers are word of mouth.
When bored I sometimes look at some oven cleaning web pages and cant see how they work, MOST are complete rubbish, first of there is absolutely loads of them,so why would a customer pick yours? some of them are so long winded I give up reading them. Cant find a price on some of them, so many of are not kept up to date. Some of them are full of complete rubbish Then at the end you have to phone them anyway.
The best one I have seen (wont name him as he's local to me) has a page on his website called your daily recipe however it says your daily receipt.
Like I say I am getting on a bit now and maybe stuck in my ways,can people post on here how many jobs they get through their website? I reckon it wont be many .however I wait to be proved wrong.
BTW, I clean four a day and have done for years, so changes of me moving with the times are pretty low
 

Derek Dale

Cleantalk Member
Duncan

Ive just looked and had 37 jobs £2800 directly from my website since June as I ask all customers and record it in my bookkeeping. Bearing in mind that the majority of these are recent as when I first built the site you initially are not ranked at all on Google and took me 4-5 months to start getting to page 1 (any lower is pointless) and a few search terms are now in top 3. Website is slow progress for organic searches but once built costs are negligible as I move hosting at the end of offer periods (normally 3 years). So on average I spend about £50 a year other than that its about £10 a year for domain name. Updated regularly because if not you slip down Google rankings.
Its a good question you posted as I am intrigued how other people do from their website.
I do understand your point that most customers are word of mouth you are established but I need the customers that then refer others to me. To do that you need the customers from somewhere. You are in a different stage of your business
 
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Joe Sharpe

Cleantalk Member
Yeah i agree that without the full story it is irrelevant, see my 'target' is £300 a week.
That is as in I have to make money every week as i didn't start with a slush fund.

The first day started i HAD to make money and the basic theory was that I worked and trained for a year on the job with an oven cleaning company who paid me £300 a week before tax to clean 20 ovens a week which at bad times was also working over 40 hours a week.....but not paid for it.

My only context was simply "I can make £300 a week myself doing this and only have to do about 10 cleans..."

All i wanted to do was match what they paid me, take the kids to school to save on child care, do that and build it up slowly so hopefully I can in the future expand a bit when needed.

So far 7 months in its pretty much worked out. My wife works and brings in more than me by far but it is a joint enterprise and i can live very frugally as i don't care for bling.

I used to be in sales for British gas business for 10 years and it paid very well but it was pure stress and the office politics etc was mind crippling, so i will do anything to stay clear of sales or office work ever again (unless i really had to then i would get a grip and man up)...

But weeks like this one with only 3 bookings and a few facebook adverts getting no leads for me are worrisome for sure....
This will be my first week of not getting my 'target' but you start to think how in the hell can i only have 3 bookings!

Do people look at the month overall or each week?
 
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Christina Daniel

Cleantalk Member
I have to say my website brings me in about 50% of jobs. But this is part of my general marketing strategy. I'm on checkatrade, and have a link on this to my web page. So people who are interested tend to funnel into my Web page to find out the prices, and then they either call or fill out my enquiry form via email. But I'm still at the stage where I am building my customer base. I can't see it would be as useful if you are well established. Cruise as you are Duncan!
 

Derek Dale

Cleantalk Member
Yeah i agree that without the full story it is irrelevant, see my 'target' is £300 a week.
That is as in I have to make money every week as i didn't start with a slush fund.

The first day started i HAD to make money and the basic theory was that I worked and trained for a year on the job with an oven cleaning company who paid me £300 a week before tax to clean 20 ovens a week which at bad times was also working over 40 hours a week.....but not paid for it.

My only context was simply "I can make £300 a week myself doing this and only have to do about 10 cleans..."

All i wanted to do was match what they paid me, take the kids to school to save on child care, do that and build it up slowly so hopefully I can in the future expand a bit when needed.

So far 7 months in its pretty much worked out. My wife works and brings in more than me by far but it is a joint enterprise and i can live very frugally as i don't care for bling.

I used to be in sales for British gas business for 10 years and it paid very well but it was pure stress and the office politics etc was mind crippling, so i will do anything to stay clear of sales or office work ever again (unless i really had to then i would get a grip and man up)...

But weeks like this one with only 3 bookings and a few facebook adverts getting no leads for me are worrisome for sure....
This will be my first week of not getting my 'target' but you start to think how in the hell can i only have 3 bookings!

Do people look at the month overall or each week?
I look weekly but also look back at month to date as well. This is because you often get good week then poorer week. I always think you need a 'bit of fat financially' in a business for the poor times. Of course in the early days its hard to build that up, ultimately in our business we want a lifestyle business and I work with my wife just to cover spending money so we dont dip iinto savings. I am fortunate to be in a stronger financial position but like you went into this to ease stress. I also have some mental health issues and wanted to leave the more stressful businesses I have ran in the past..

Im booked up next week and have 2 bookings for week commencing 10th feb. But as mentioned in earlier posts I have spent more on marketing. I'm hoping the website will by the end of the first year in the business be the only marketing as I'm now well ranked on Google and this will lower my costs increasing profits.

Its peaks and troughs that is the risk in new businesses which is why a number fail in the first 3 or so years it's easier said than done to ride these out. I've gone more vigorous in my approach but if course not everyone can and this in itself is a risky approach.
 
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Derek Dale

Cleantalk Member
I have to say my website brings me in about 50% of jobs. But this is part of my general marketing strategy. I'm on checkatrade, and have a link on this to my web page. So people who are interested tend to funnel into my Web page to find out the prices, and then they either call or fill out my enquiry form via email. But I'm still at the stage where I am building my customer base. I can't see it would be as useful if you are well established. Cruise as you are Duncan!
Christina. I ask people how they heard about us so I can look at the real source of the customer, if they saw a leaflet then visited the website then in my view the leaflet is the source of the customer. If it wasn't for the leaflet I assume they wouldn't have found me. And when I ask customers while I'm working they are happy to tell me when I say I like to monitor my marketing
 
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Christina Daniel

Cleantalk Member
Derek, yes I also ask my customers when I'm chatting at the house. It often leads to an interesting response, because people like to verify you and your business by a number of different sources. They often find me on checkatrade. But then my website with more pictures of work (and of me!), the Google business listing etc all work together to reassure customers they are in good hands.
 
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Angela Chapman

New Cleantalker
Lots of advice on advertising. Thank you everyone. Just in the process of pricing some leaflets, logo design, van graphics, work clothing, equipment, insurances etc etc. I'm only going to start off part time and see where i go. I still need to keep the money coming in so don't want to give everything up just yet. If it works out, it works and if it doesn't, atleast I can say I tried. I am pretty confident (but not over confident :smile:) that I will do fine. Im going to avoid the booking apps at first and just use my own spreadsheets to keep on top of timings/customers etc if it get to busy, will then think about going down that lane.
 

Trevor Ives

Cleantalker Veteran
I used a week to a view diary insert for noting appointments.
I then printed A5 size job sheets with all the bits required for the job.
A mate of mine relied on 'electronics' and it crashed taking all the work for the next five or six weeks and customer details.
Having said that I left my diary on the roof of the van and drove 15 miles home!
 
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Derek Dale

Cleantalk Member
I used a week to a view diary insert for noting appointments.
I then printed A5 size job sheets with all the bits required for the job.
A mate of mine relied on 'electronics' and it crashed taking all the work for the next five or six weeks and customer details.
Having said that I left my diary on the roof of the van and drove 15 miles home!
If your mate used an app then if its a good one it will store the info on remote servers so he would have lost nothing. Thats also the problem with excel or similar systems they need backing up otherwise what happened to your mate is the problem. Of course had your diary had fallen off you would have lost your info and if anyone found out could be a problem with ICO under data protection rules as you would have been deemed to have not taken reasonable care over people's data. Thats why I prefer technology but all methods have an element of risk attached its what works for the individual. I used paper up to January but got busier and felt I was loosing control of things so went digital
 

Christina Daniel

Cleantalk Member
Angela, when you get your insurance, make sure you have treatment risk covered. Most places won't do that sort of cover, but there is a specialist company called Gleaming that a lot of us use on here. If you don't have treatment risk, you aren't covered if you accidentally damage/break someone's oven. Public liability will cover the rest of the customers property, but not the oven you are actually cleaning. I got caught out year one and took out a policy that did not include treatment risk. So learn from my mistakes and get it from day one.
 
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Joe Sharpe

Cleantalk Member
I look weekly but also look back at month to date as well. This is because you often get good week then poorer week. I always think you need a 'bit of fat financially' in a business for the poor times. Of course in the early days its hard to build that up, ultimately in our business we want a lifestyle business and I work with my wife just to cover spending money so we dont dip iinto savings. I am fortunate to be in a stronger financial position but like you went into this to ease stress. I also have some mental health issues and wanted to leave the more stressful businesses I have ran in the past..

Im booked up next week and have 2 bookings for week commencing 10th feb. But as mentioned in earlier posts I have spent more on marketing. I'm hoping the website will by the end of the first year in the business be the only marketing as I'm now well ranked on Google and this will lower my costs increasing profits.

Its peaks and troughs that is the risk in new businesses which is why a number fail in the first 3 or so years it's easier said than done to ride these out. I've gone more vigorous in my approach but if course not everyone can and this in itself is a risky approach.
Yep to clarify we have joint savings but no way was i going anywhere near that to start this business!
Was very very close to going with a franchise though at 15k.
Still not totally put off by it and seeing what i have achieved on my own i can definitely see the truth in what they say about driving business with a well known brand behind you.

But yes it was a wing and a prayer. Well i say that but I basically got a job with an oven cleaning company so i could get paid to train basically, so i sort of knew what i was doing.
1 year of 20 ovens a week after 1 months training, they told me that if i left before i'd done 6 months they charge me £1600 for training.... it was in the contract...when they told me that i checked how much people charge for training and it is about the ball park..

It was at that point i thought, well dig in i am in this for at least 6 months lets make the most f it!
Clearly if people pay to train then i am getting PAID to train....
(as well as make someone else loads of money off my hard work!)
 
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