Starting A Window Washing Business Is Easy If You Eliminate Distractions

Today I wanted to discuss something that is sure to cause some disagreement perhaps. But what’s life without a little controversy, right? :o )

I’m going to challenge the myth out there that basically goes like this:

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”

To explain this statement in case someone has not heard this, it basically means to spread yourself out thereby spreading the risk, so if one revenue stream dries up, you have others to fall back on. Sounds good in theory.

In my window washing business, I bought into this “multiple eggs” philosophy for many, many years. I was always doing at least a half dozen different businesses or money making ventures at once. A little network marketing, a few insurance sales, some credit card selling, a bit of travel fundraising, let’s throw in some paralegal work, etc. etc. It doesn’t work! Sure a little income comes in here and a little income comes in there, but the operative word is “little”. Can you imagine the results if 100% of the time spent was in ONE business-my window cleaning business?

So I’m here to say “hogwash” on having a bunch of different eggs.

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Put ALL Your Eggs in One Basket

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This is contrary to what many, many people believe these days but if you’ll allow me to expand on it, I think you’ll understand the point I’m trying to make here.

So to back up for a second, the first thing we need to do is determine whether the window washing business is a profitable business.

Is it?

Well…let’s look at the facts.

The window washing business will never go away and dry up. Through recessions, boom years, slow home building years, etc. etc, it’ll always be an in-demand business filled with customers who refuse to clean their own glass and won’t hesitate to hire professionals to do it for them. This business year in and year out will continuously be a profit generating machine.

Yes, the window washing business is a very profitable business.

So knowing this, why would we want to dilute our efforts in making this business the strongest it can be?

I talked to one of my students a couple days ago who routinely brings in $400 to $600 per day six days a week and is begging for the phone to STOP ringing. In it less than a year. This is executive type money. I know people who don’t make $600 in a WEEK. He focused and worked on this one revenue stream. Fast forward a few short months and bingo!

So again, is the window cleaning business profitable? Without a doubt.

Let’s look at an opposite situation.

A few months ago, someone bought my window washing program just to stick his feet in the window cleaning business and try it out. I had an opportunity to check out his website. He was selling a bunch of stuff and doing some network marketing all from this one site. And he decided to bring in window washing as another revenue stream. When we spoke, he told me his time was limited. Of course it is. It’s obviously going to be limited with him trying to get multiple businesses up and running.

How successful can this individual really be since he can’t devote quality time to promoting his window washing business? He certainly won’t be seeing the results he could be seeing by eliminating the other two businesses and focusing only on windows.

Something has to give. We only have so much time during the course of each day, right?

I understand of course that some folks get started part-time in the window washing business. They usually work a main job and get window washing going at the same time on a part-time basis. Great. But they are usually able to devote “quality” time promoting their window washing business once they’re off the clock from their other job.

For folks doing multiple businesses and working multiple eggs though, it’s hard to spend “quality” promotional effort on just one thing. Because where does one business end and the other begin? It doesn’t. Everything kind of blends together with the owner/operator trying to juggle all of it at once. It’s real tough to do and usually results in an across the board decrease of your total income.

We need to focus on one thing, build it, and then expand from within. I wish I would have followed this advice. Most of my students don’t know this, but even in the middle of my window washing business which was absolutely booming, I decided to invest in an unrelated business. It was a colossal failure.

I bought an asset protection business. A bunch of time, money, and resources was devoted to it. And guess what? The time and money spent in asset protection was taken directly from my window washing business. So what happened? Both businesses suffered. Eventually I saw the writing on the wall and kicked asset protection to the curb and refocused 100% on my window washing business. It was soon back to where it was before my asset protection purchase. Almost immediately the calls increased and so did the profits.

A more recent story involves The Customer Factor which is my window cleaning software. There are sooooo many distractions online. You can spend 4 hours online before you know it and then wonder where the time went. These distractions got in the way of me building new features into The Customer Factor regularly. So what happened? Well, although new members signed up, they didn’t sign up with the same frequency that they did during the first year of the program’s existence.

But as soon as I recommitted to investing into and growing The Customer Factor, a funny thing happened. My signups went through the roof. So although I’m in front of my computer 7 days a week 12 to 14 hours a day, what I do now is check email and work on The Customer Factor along with spending some time posting window washing articles. Total focus with no more distractions.

Back to the window washing business…So we’ve determined the biz is profitable, right? You have the tools to make it grow. So Grow it! Focus on it! Then once you have the calls continuously coming in, and customers are lining up for your window cleaning service, then perhaps it’s time to look at offering a related biz like pressure washing or blind cleaning. Expand from within. You’ve already got the customer base so provide ‘em another service.

But window cleaning and asset protection? Nah…not a good combo. :o ) I was a biz opp addict who always needed to build additional revenue streams. No regrets because it’s all a learning experience, but sometimes I think about how much faster I would have seen success if I just spent 100% of my time, money, and effort on one thing instead of splitting time, money, and effort in half or into thirds or even into fourths with unrelated businesses.

So if you are trying to create multiple revenue streams, I encourage you look at it objectively and ask yourself if it’s going well. Think how much farther ahead you would be if you focused only on your window washing business. Spend your valuable time and resources on this business. Yes, you may only see one revenue stream, but it’ll be one outstanding and profitable stream. :o )

Again, windows aren’t going anywhere. And they keep on building more. And they keep on getting dirty. So the only way this revenue stream would ever dry up or diminish is if you spread yourself out therefore spending too little time working in and growing your window washing business.

Helpful Pet-Friendly Travel Tips That Every Dog Parent Should Know

Whether you’re flying across the country for a vacation with your dog on an airplane or simply riding the bus to bring him to the vet, the experience always poses some challenges. Aside from making sure that they eat or do their business at the right times and place during the trip, you should also consider their safety and well-being.Here are some easy yet effective pet-friendly travel tips to follow:For car ridesWhen it comes to traveling with your pet in your car, it is best that he remain still rather than free and roaming inside the vehicle for safety purposes. There are plenty of pet-friendly safety travel gear available in the market such as seatbelt harnesses, carriers and crates. According to experts, it is important that your dog has had the opportunity to stretch his legs and had his daily dose of exercise before being placed in a crate, especially for long drives. This way, he will be more inclined to rest, stay still and behave as he has already burned off his excess energy. Be sure to also make the crate as comfortable as possible for your fur baby – bring a nice, cozy blanket, some toys and plenty of treats.For airplane ridesThe Humane Society highly recommends to only travel with your pets by plane when absolutely necessary. If you must travel with your dog by plane, it is crucial to call your airline company ahead of time to know what their restrictions are when it comes to flying a pet. Some has restrictions about size as well as the number of pets. Some also require that a pet has certain immunizations, so be sure that your fur baby is up to date with his shots and have the proper documentation to bring with you at the airport.For bus and train ridesSimilar with airplanes, bus and train companies have different protocols when it comes to transporting pets. Those that allow animals on board usually require pets to be transported using a carrier. To be sure, do some research ahead to find the best pet-friendly transportation options in your local neighbourhood.One more important thing when traveling with your dog is to be responsible for their mess – always have a poop bag and disinfectant spray handy or make them wear diapers. The last thing you want is to have people complain about your dog’s mess while on a bus, plane or train ride!

The World’s Best Brand – Yours!

Those of us who make our living in sales and marketing appreciate the value of branding. Whether it is the brand of the products we sell or the company we represent, we know full well that a recognised, consistent, and respected brand will give us a head start. As we march down our career path, we may get to represent a number of different brands along the way, but the one that means the most, the one that never leaves our side, is the most important brand in the world – our very own reputation.

Yet too often, this personal trademark of ours, our very own intellectual property, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. To put it into perspective in my sales training workshops, I generally break the issue of branding into three components – product, company, and salesperson. Let’s start with the product:

Product Brand

When we are selling products and services, we readily accept that the brand plays an enormous part, particularly when quality, reliability, and support for the product is an issue. Knowledge of the supplier and a show of branding support from us tend to build buyer confidence, and can be the catalyst in their purchase decision. So whenever we depend on the reputation of our branded suppliers to lend credibility to our selling effort, particularly to attract a pricing premium, it is almost unforgivable not to become an absolute authority on them and to proudly and confidently present ourselves as their advocate. After all, they have already spent a fortune to do the ‘pull’ marketing for us, so the ‘push’ on our part is comparatively easier.

Company Brand

On the other hand, I regularly work with some of the larger retail buyers. It is no secret that brand status is top of mind for them, too, when they sit down at the negotiating table with their supplier salespeople. Their aim is to sublimely take a position of authority in their negotiations by knowing more about their supplier’s product, operations, and competitors than even the supplier salespeople themselves, then pitting it against the size and reputation of their own retail brand. This makes for an interesting dogfight, and that old expression, ‘it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog’ comes to mind.

For instance, consumer awareness – product brand versus retail brand – can be a significant factor in determining the rules of engagement, and is the reason why so many small retailers gravitate to branded buying groups and franchise chains to leverage their buying power. For example, if we are a multi-national supplier selling into a small local retailer, or a large retailer buying from a fringe supplier, we will have a fair bit of clout.

From the seller side, this is known as a Unique Selling Proposition (‘USP’), a prime reason why the buyer must consider our offer. From the buyer side, this is often referred to as a Unique Buying Position (‘UBP’), a combination of distribution advantages which positions us as a preferred outlet for the suppliers’ products. But beware the negative side – a danger that we rely too much on this big brand ‘clout’ factor. I have detected this indifferent attitude in some of my trainees, where too much is taken for granted as they lean on their market presence to buffer their proposition.

But it’s not all one-way traffic. Being the underdog usually provides a natural stimulus, and many of my small business trainees, manage to use the ‘size versus flexibility’ advantage they usually hold over their ‘big brother’ negotiating partners to gain an edge. It’s a case of dynamics over mass, meaning that even the combination of product and company brand is not necessarily the ‘be all and end all’. Not surprisingly, whether we happen to be the David or the Goliath in this battle, it will inevitably be our ability, dedication, and reputation – our very own personal brand – which must address the balance. All too often, it is the injection of this third brand into the equation which becomes the tie-breaker!

Personal Brand

Despite this, it pains me though, to find that many of my sales trainees don’t give the same attention to the third part of the branding mix – their personal proposition. Even some of the most experienced of them have the odd relapse, failing to keep in mind that, as well playing a team role in promoting their employer’s brand day-by-day, they remain the sole caretaker of their very own personal brand year-by-year.

Yes, our reputation follows us throughout our lives, wherever we go, whatever we do, and with whomever we share it. We owe it to ourselves to relentlessly build, proudly cherish, and selfishly protect this individual brand of ours. We mustn’t overlook the fact too, that our personal stature enjoys the ultimate copyright protection. Nobody else can borrow it or take it from us. There will be times when others will influence it, even try to tarnish it, but in reality, it is we – and only we – who have the choice, and the right, to use or abuse this exclusive trademark of ours.

There is no escaping reality here. Remaining consistent and blemish-free can be a hard call, but it comes with the territory. Our greatest asset as a career salesperson is our reputation, based on how we present ourselves and how we conduct ourselves. There is simply no room for black marks on the report card. They will be noticed, they will be remembered, and over time they will be accumulated.

On the surface, others will acknowledge our politeness, our naturalness, and all those ‘in the moment’ things, but deep down in their subconscious they can’t help but form impressions that will last a lifetime. They will be judging us on critical things like trust and believability, irrespective of the company we now work for, or the brands, products and services we now represent. Even to a stranger, this personal brand of ours will be revealed through our attitude: it is reflected in our presence, our poise, our self-confidence, our manners, our openness, and our enthusiasm… it will shine like a beacon!

So forget the likes of Mercedes, Nike, and Shell – it is this unique personal brand of ours that is truly the priceless one!

About the Author:

In a distinguished career spanning half a century, Keith Rowe has managed the full journey from shop floor to boardroom. Along the way, he has headed the Australian sales and marketing operations for three of the world’s largest Consumer Electronics manufacturers – Toshiba, Sanyo and Sharp.