Wednesday, 27 July 2016

More industry events!

You already know about the HUGE convention and what a tremendous opportunity it is to network, learn and grow your business. If you haven't heard about it click here to get in the know. It will be filled with the industry's best classes and seminars as well as a killer tradeshow.


There are a few other industry events in the area you may want to check out. Check out a general synopsis here or read about the most anticipated events below:


1. Jack Kramers Famous Pressure Washing Class
Whether you are new to the pressure washing or roof cleaning industry, want help with cleaning more efficiently, or have employees in need of training, Jack Kramer’s pressure washing class is essential. The class will be on August 11 in National Harbor, Maryland, right before the convention. 

Participants will learn:
• What equipment will best fit your needs – including pressure washers (both hot and cold), GPM, PSI, unloaders, guns, hoses, nozzles, chemical applicators, tanks, and much more
• How to work safely and efficiently
• How to price your job for profit
• Proven methods for washing houses, roofing, and commercial properties– and more! 


2. Jeff Scotts High Rise and Safety Class
Jeff Scott of Safety Green Training will offer a High Rise Rope Access / RDS Training class on August 10 through 11 in National Harbor, Maryland, right before the kickoff of the Huge Convention. It will include two full days of training starting at 8 a.m. 

Day one is in the classroom training and will cover the following:
• Management of Safety Equipment in Industry.
• Defining differences and needs for Qualified, Competent, and Authorized Persons.
• Equipment familiarization and inspection for Harnesses, Helmets, Descenders, Fall Arrest Rope Grabs, lanyards and Energy Absorbers, Carabiners, Ropes.
• Fall Factors.
• Personal Fall Protection to include Fall Restraint, Fall Arrest, Work Positioning, Rope Access.
• Knots to include: Figure of 8 on a bight, Figure of 8 Follow Through, Figure of 9 on a bight, Alpine Butterfly, Double Figure of 8 on a bight, Double Fisherman, and Barrel Knot.
• When to use each and how much each weakens the rope.
• Legislation
• Job Hazard Analysis & Work Plans.

• Rigging & Rigging Theory.

Day two provides hands-on training and will cover the following:
• Properly donning your equipment.
• Rigging.
• Mitigating Pinch points and how to properly access your Seat Board.
• Standard Work Procedure and Motion.
• Self Rescue.

• Pick off Rescue of an incapacitated worker.


Please note that a general admission convention ticket does not include these separate off-site events. But these events do come highly recommended as reputable and worth while.

Exceed Uni-Valve

The Uni-Valve from Exceed is the latest water fed pole in line on/off valve from RHG Products.  It's non-intrusive and no permanent modifications to your pole are necessary.  It's also very easy to operate and install, a great add on for those concerned with water conservation on the job. Click below to check out the Uni-Valve Water Fed Pole Installation Video!


How does it work?

While it will only work with water fed poles that have internal tubing, it's super easy to use! Simply, tug on the tubing at the bottom of the pole to start the flow of water.  Tug on the tubing at the bottom of the pole to stop the flow of water.

Watch this demo showing how easy it is to use the Uni-Valve!



Check out the Uni-valve fitted and in action!

Blog Finished?

Chris Lambrinides taking over the window cleaning blog for a while... what have I done!!
Blog Finished? Nah... just taking some time off for moving house for a little while. Being in Spain has it's difficulties, one of them being arranging internet connection & since I'm moving slightly off grid, it's going to take me a while to organise a company capable of getting connected to the big wide web! I expect to resume blogging sometime around the middle of September, after Mark Munro's show.

Meanwhile, I'll leave you in the capable hands of Chris Lambrinides (pictured) & his team from Window Cleaning Resource. Chris is currently preparing for the biggest window cleaning show in North America - the "Huge Convention", so I'm sure he will keep you posted on what's coming up & fill you in with all of the window cleaning based news. Some UK users will recognise that some of the information is USA based, but don't worry, I'm sure the information will be very useful. Thanks window cleaning blog readers... take it easy!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Survey For 1-14 Standard IWCA

A short survey for US based window cleaners.
I-14 Standard: Why It's Important - The I-14 Committee scope is identifying accepted safe practices for window cleaning and the purpose of the standard is to provide safety to window cleaners and to others such as a passerby, where window cleaning operations are in progress, by specifying equipment with practical and adequate safety factors and features and requiring the safe use, design and maintenance of such equipment. Click here to go to survey.

IWCA I-14 Standard Survey: Please note, this survey is being sent to window cleaning professionals within the IWCA database of all affiliations. Please submit feedback regarding the International Window Cleaning Association's I-14.1-2001 Window Cleaning Safety Standard (I-14 Standard).

The IWCA 1-14.1 Window Cleaning Safety Standard is divided into two parts, which are intended to serve as a guide for window cleaners, regulatory agencies, manufacturers, architects, consultants, designers and building owners. Part A focuses on safety guidelines for the use of window cleaning access equipment. Part B is geared toward those who manufacture, distribute, design, install or maintain the equipment. $50



Monday, 25 July 2016

Lucky Escapes For Amateurs

PRECARIOUS: Serangoon residents were shocked to see a maid balancing on a window sill to do cleaning.
Maid's safety in the balance for 15 minutes: Residents of an HDB estate in Serangoon were shocked to see a domestic worker balancing precariously on a ledge to clean windows on Saturday. The incident occurred at about 2.30pm at an eighth-floor unit of Block 539 in Serangoon North Avenue 4, Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday.

Ms He, a 40-year-old housewife who lives at a block opposite, told Shin Min that she saw a maid climbing outside to clean the windows. "To see that maid standing on the window sill, grabbing on to the window to clean it without any safety measures on the eighth floor, it really frightened me," she added. She said she had wanted to go over to stop the maid but changed her mind when she saw that there seemed to be other people in the unit.

Another resident, Mr Chen, a 45-year-old construction worker, had also witnessed the maid's actions. "I wanted to shout at her to ask her not to do that, but I was worried that if I did, disaster may follow if she got frightened so I could only watch." Mr Chen added that the maid had spent about 15 minutes wiping the windows, most of the time squatting on the sill.

Madam He said this was the first time that she had seen the domestic worker carry out such a dangerous act. "Luckily, she climbed down safely in the end, much to my relief," she added.

Shin Min approached the maid's employer, who said that the woman had worked at his home for about five months. He said the maid was hard-working although they had some difficulty communicating.

After he saw the picture of the maid cleaning the window, the employer was shocked and said that he did not know she had done such a thing. He was normally away from home during the day, with only his mother and children around. He added that he would advise the maid to be more careful and that he had instructed her not to clean the windows' exterior since it would rain anyway.

Another lucky escape for those DIY amateurs. See below for video.
Lucky Escape For Man Stuck in Compost Bin: This guy stood on top of a compost bin so he could clean his gutters. However, the bin couldn't handle his weight, so he fell through and got stuck. He called for his family to help him, but all they did was laugh at his misery. This homeowner got away lightly & shows another case of how hiring a professional to do the job over DIY can pay for itself many times over.

This could have turned out very badly, luckily the man fell in such a way that he didn't harm himself. But in a lot of cases were knee flex is restricted when landing can cause serious damage. Extended knee landing results in serious deformation of the meniscus and cartilage and increases the risk of bone-to-bone contact and serious knee injury when the load exceeds the threshold safety height. This risk is considerably greater than the risk of injury associated with walking downhill or flexion landing activities.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Fantasy & Freeman

Window cleaner Will KuyKhoven hangs out as Spider-Man from The Advertiser building in Waymouth St., Australia.
Window Cleaner Lives Out Fantasy: Was that Spider-Man scaling the outside of The Advertiser building on Waymouth St this week. In reality it was window cleaner Will KuyKhoven, who finally lived out his fantasy of incorporating his day job with his love of super heroes. “I’ve been doing this job for 12 years now and friends are always asking ‘do you feel like Spider-Man?’ or ‘do they let you dress up?’,” he says.

Mr KuyKhoven, 34, also shares his passion for caped crusaders with his sons Jacob, 14, and Byron, 5, but unlike the Marvel comic books, the reality of abseiling down large buildings is vastly different to the adventures of Spider-Man.

“There are obviously many checks and balances involved,” says Mr KuyKhoven. “We use two ropes, a main one that we work off and a safety line, and where we’re connected at the roof needs to be very secure. “All our equipment is checked and double-checked every time we do a job.”

We’re also not sure if Spider-Man ever had to do the week-long abseiling training in Melbourne that Mr KuyKhoven needed before he began work.

Kevin Smith (top right) became a "Freeman" of Lancaster.
Window cleaner becomes freeman of Lancaster: A window cleaner is among 11 people who have been named Freemen of the City of Lancaster. Kevin Smith from Morecambe will now have the right to pasture a limited number of beasts on the Marsh and enter Lancaster city free from the payment of tolls.

Nowadays the role carries few rights, but remains popular amongst those who are proud of their heritage. Those eligible to apply to become a Freeman include sons or daughters of a Freeman or Freewoman, those who have served an apprenticeship to a Freeman or Freewoman of the city for seven years, anyone born within the old city boundaries or who has lived within the old city boundaries for a period of seven consecutive years. You also have to be 16 or over.

The new Freemen could, in time, also be eligible for their share of an annual payment known as ‘Marsh Grass’. This stems from 1900 when the Lancaster Corporation secured Parliamentary powers under which the Freemen’s rights in the Marsh were extinguished subject to the payment by the Corporation of £13 per annum. Each year the 80 senior Freemen (or their widows) resident within the old city boundaries are entitled to claim the payment.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

A Window Washer 3x Quicker - Makes Debut In NZ

Jimmy Haugen, JT Property Wash's business partner, was very happy with how the demo of a robotic window washer went.
Lower Hutt company demonstrates robotic window washer in Wellington: A Lower Hutt company's robotic window washer has been demonstrated in Wellington. The idea by JT Property Wash was to create a machine that could clean the entire facade of appropriate buildings including mullions, seals, facade and windows about three times quicker than traditional abseilers.

The SkyPro Building Wash machine with its automated cleaning technology meant the machines could be remotely controlled and operated safely from the roof and the ground. The machine's brush and spray system did not need chemicals and used water which had been stripped of ions, leaving windows streak free. 

Business partner Jimmy Haugen said that to go up and down a 22-storey building would take 18 minutes. "The main advantages we know this SkyPro machine will deliver are a total building clean done in less time, with more privacy and less intrusion for tenants, giving a much better overall result with increased ease, efficiency, and most importantly safety by reducing the need for abseiling."

The robot, which was imported from America, was weather dependent.  A planned earlier demonstration had to be cancelled because of high winds. The company, which worked all around the country, would use the robot around Wellington.

JT Property Wash account manager Robin Kennedy-Moffat said giving a figure on how much the machine cost was commercially sensitive. "It is a long term investment and partnership with VIU Global that we are very confident will provide many benefits to our customers and our business," Kennedy-Moffat said. 

The machine was very portable and setting up and running the machine could be completed by a team of two people. "We set up a suitable rigging system on the top of the building and at the bottom, if required for added stability, utilising existing features on the building." The rigging system is generally portable unless a building owner invests in a rig that can then stay on the roof of that building. 

Set up time could vary depending on the features present on the roof and the variables we need to work with. "As a general rule the whole rigging system and getting the machine ready to start washing takes less than half a day to set up. If we have the appropriate rigging infrastructure on the roof it can take less than an hour to set up."

JT Property Wash started in 1985 as a division of J.Tomlinson & Co. Ltd, which was a painting company. The washing company had ten gangs as they had had to take on more workers to operate the robot.

video

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Day In The Life Of A Baton Rouge Window Cleaner

Ricardo Ortiz prepares his Fisk descending rope system for a controlled descent from the Medical Plaza 1 building’s roof.
A day in the life of a Baton Rouge window cleaner: Using ropes and counter weights, cleaners from Expert Window Cleaning rappel their way up and down buildings to make the windows on Baton Rouge’s tallest structures squeaky clean. In business for more than 25 years, Expert Window Cleaning services office and commercial complexes, industrial sites and high-rise buildings. The company also provides residential window cleaning services.

Johnathen Smith positions his counter weights, ropes and roof anchors as he prepares to clean the exterior windows of the Medical Plaza 1 building at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

Jack Rudodi begins a controlled descent from the top of the seven-story Medical Plaza 1 building at OLOL.

Sitting in a Bosun’s chair, Rudodi wipes clean the exterior windows of the seven-story OLOL building.

Ortiz cleans the fifth-floor windows outside the lobby of the Pediatric Specialty Clinic at Medical Plaza 1 at OLOL.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

How This U.S. Window Cleaning Convention Became HUGE

This window cleaning convention is a HUGE success in the USA. A labor of love started by Chris Lambrinides & Thad Eckhoff.
Countdown to the Window Cleaners Event of the Century: Why did we start The HUGE Convention for window cleaners? Chris Lambrinides talks candidly about why Thad & himself made the journey to create the biggest window cleaning convention in the United States.

My First Convention
I started my window cleaning & pressure washing business in late September 1999. I spent my days working at beautiful houses thinking about building a large business. I pictured having 50 employees. A big shop space and a full office staff dispatching window cleaners all across our county. Working alone gives you a lot of time to think big and daydream.

It seemed like an impossible dream until I attended my first industry convention. In February 2003, I attended my first conference in Atlanta Georgia. I was broke as a joke and had no business trying to justify a such an expense. I had a good feeling about it though and decided to go. As I look back attending this particular conference is one of the best business decisions I ever made. The experience was so great it was almost magical! It wasn’t something specific that I had heard or learned there that made it so great. Rather it was a culmination of things that came together to make such a great experience.

It opened my eyes to what was possible. For the first time, I got to talk to 200 other people that did the same thing I did every day. It wasn’t the classes or the trade show, it was just hanging around and talking shop with my peers. I met guys that were exactly where I wanted to be. There were actually other people out there that were doing what I had been dreaming about. My dream was possible! I went home implemented a lot of what I had learned and everything in my business immediately changed.

The Decline
Over the years, unfortunately, the conventions started to decline. With the advent of online forums, window cleaners didn’t need to attend anymore. They could find out about all the new tools and information with a couple of clicks. Instead of making an annual trip to a far off part of the country, they could get everything they needed from home.

Complacency also played a role in the decline. A board of volunteers detached from our industry follow a formula and put it together year after year. It gets put together quickly, and they accept almost anyone that’s interested in speaking.

You can’t fault the volunteers because they are just that. They are only volunteers! Busy running their businesses, they don’t have the time to put together a great event. The bare amount of effort gets put in, and a mediocre event is the result. Because of these two factors attendance has cut in half over the years.

Building Our Own Convention
For the past five years my partner, Thad Eckhoff had been putting together a networking event. NOLA was its name, a small and intimate event that saw about 75 attendees each year. I attended my first one in 2010, and it blow me away. For the first time in years, there was a great event. The magic was back!

Thad worked all year to put together an incredible list of industry speakers. They spoke on business topics and took the time to interact with the audience. They didn’t talk about equipment, techniques or the latest gear. They spoke with authority on solid business building topics. Real tangible stuff you could learn about and implement in your business right way.

The whole trick to why this worked is he only invited presenters that he personally wanted to hear. He wanted to learn something as well. The bar was set high and there was no fluff. If they weren’t great, they weren’t invited to speak.


Click to enlarge.
Year 1
We set off to replicate the small exclusive networking feel from NOLA in a larger environment. In 2013, we had our first annual convention in Nashville Tennessee. We wanted to see what would happen if we focused all year on putting together one incredible event. How amazing could we make it?

We spent months attempting to put together the perfect event. Speakers were cultivated and vetted. For the trade show, we only invited the best most reputable vendors. Extreme attention was given to every detail. We sourced industry veterans, with real business expertise and professional speaking abilities.

Our first event went off without a hitch, and the reviews were phenomenal. The 250 attendee contractors that attended raved about the experience. The common thread in all the reviews was how much they had gained by attending.

History was made on August 23, 24 2013 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN. Not only was this the scene of the first annual convention and trade show of the Pressure Washing Resource Association (PWRA) but it was the most-attended pressure washing convention of the decade!

Around 100 attendees were expected. The final attendance ended up at 224 contractors plus 49 vendors manning 22 trade show exhibits. The excitement was palpable as people just kept filling with more and more people ready to learn how to grow their businesses. Read more.

Due to popular demand the Pressure Washing Resource Association returned to the Gaylord Opryland on August 8,9 2014- this time for a joint convention with the Window Cleaning Resource Association. Once again rooms ran in short supply as the expected 250 contractors turned into 387. Accommodations were secured across the street at The Inn at Opryland, also a Gaylord hotel, and everyone had a place to stay for the big show. Trade show space and meeting space was doubled from 2013, and every square inch of it was filled with education and product displays. Read more.

In 2015, the juggernaut that was the PWRA/WCRA Convention reached the next level. It officially became The HUGE Convention. The location moved to the Gaylord National in Fort Washington, Maryland in the Greater Washington DC area. National Harbor is a destination in and of itself with over 150 shops and boutiques, 30+ dining destinations, and waterfront activities such as boating, movies, and live music

The change of venue proved to be a fortuitous move. Instead of the 400 contractors that were expected and prepared for, last minute ticket sales (including many at the door!) put the number of contractor attendees at a record-breaking 507 “behinds in seats”. The main room was set for 500 but with the 150+ vendors present something had to give.

The keynote address was given by business coach and bestselling author Howard Partridge. “Stop Being a Slave To Your Business” was riveting for all in attendance, contractor and vendor alike. He literally had the crowd on its feet as he rearranged 500+ people to physically demonstrate the four basic personality traits of the DISC system and how they interacted with each other.

The trade show opened at 1 pm and it was packed until 7 pm when we had to turn the lights off and lock the doors. Several vendors mentioned that they had never had sales like this at any show in their history of doing industry trade shows. The first round of prizes and giveaways ended with a BANG!

It will be hard to top 2015's record-breaking show, but TheHugeConvention.com will be back at the Gaylord National in Maryland on August 12, 13 to make a run for the gold again! Get your tickets 
now.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Tax Free Team Tina

While in Malta, every single window is cleaned daily by a team of window cleaners. The crew are all on tax-free wages starting at £2,500 per month, with board and food included for deckhands. Click to enlarge.
The inside story of Team Tina: The crew that keep 'Lady Shifty' (and her £100m yacht) shipshape: Two chefs, a dog walker, a hairdresser, a florist, a masseur, an army of window cleaners - just to mention a few! The luxury superyacht, "Lionheart" has finally been delivered to Philip Green and wife Tina in Malta (pictured).

Yes, Lionheart, billionaire Sir Philip Green's amazing floating palace, has finally been delivered to him and his wife Tina in Malta. But as the BHS scandal rumbles on, this usually highly visible tycoon is nowhere to be seen. He is, however, expected to join Tina at some point over the next fortnight, and then spend the next few months on the yacht.

Other essentials on the superyacht include a helicopter landing pad, gym, spa, jacuzzi, swimming pool, beauty salon and exterior bar. The colour scheme is monochrome — Lady Tina is known to favour stark white and black interiors, which she says are 'timeless and tireless', and cites the influence of Coco Chanel. That's not to say that it's cheap: a single armchair from her collection — cream fabric on a high gloss ebony wood veneer — costs £16,000. And white cushions with a black trim? Up to £3,500 each. It was reported that last week the yacht stewardesses go in to every guest cabin and having a shower — to test temperature controls and the water pressure.

Green bought BHS for £200m in 2000, but the firm performed poorly so he sold it for just £1 in 2015. On sale BHS had debts of £1.3bn, including a pensions deficit of £571m. Despite the deficit of £571m, Green and his family collected £586m in dividends, rental payments and interest on loans.
Lionheart has a total of 40 crew, who were brought to the yacht in a fleet of silver Mercedes people carriers. They include the stewards and stewardesses, who look after everything inside the boat, to deckhands, first mate, bosun and engineers. The captain oversees it all, with the chiefs of each section reporting back to him. Keeping a yacht the size of Lionheart running smoothly is like a very well oiled military operation.

While in Malta, every single window is cleaned daily by a team of window cleaners, and the deck is polished with a microfibre broom twice a day. The crew are all on tax-free wages starting at £2,500 per month, with board and food included for deckhands. This rises to more like £6,500 per month for people like the chef and the chief engineer. The captain gets even more. A source indicates that the Greens pay well. 'They believe in looking after the staff who are around them,' he said, 'as that will keep them loyal and working to Tina's high standards.

While in Malta, every single window is cleaned daily by a team of window cleaners. Click to enlarge.


Friday, 15 July 2016

Window Cleaning Girl Power

Women window cleaners, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, 1917. These women worked for the City and Suburban Window Cleaning Company. George Webster, whose name is over the door (right), is listed in Kelly's 1916 Directory as ladder maker and manager of the Robin Hood Window Cleaning Company (premises on Peachey Street and Currant Street).
How girl power got Cambridge through the war years: The 100th anniversary of the First World War continues to yield many stories of the life and death struggle of men in the trenches – but it was pretty tough for women too, trying to keep everything going back home. With thousands of men fighting at the front, women were left to do not only their own work, but the men's work too.

Window cleaners set off to work in Piccadilly, London during World War I.
Females already made up a large part of the general workforce, although they were employed mostly in the textile industry, and in schools and hospitals. When war came, many worked in munitions factories. Some also joined the Women's Patrols, a female police force that went on the beat in public areas such as railway stations, streets, parks and public houses.

Note the women window cleaners in the centre image - click to enlarge.
And they became part of the armed forces as well. The War Office realised many of the tasks undertaken by soldiers in France could easily be done by women, so the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was established in December 1916. A year later, the Women's Royal Naval Service was formed, and a year after that, the Women's Royal Air Force (later the Women's Auxiliary Air Force) was set up. In total, more than 100,000 women joined Britain's armed forces during the war.

The "Scavengers"
In Cambridge, as in London and other cities, two very obvious jobs once done only by men became the preserve of women. One was street sweeping. The women cleaners were known as 'scavengers' and went into action in 1918, although as our photo here of women working in Cambridge in 1918 shows, their clothing wasn't initially very suitable. Dustcarts were generally pulled by horses, but since many of them had been sent off to war too, Cambridge's corporation spent £3,000 on what the News reported were “two large electric motor vehicles and two small petrol motor vehicles for the collection of household refuse."

Click to enlarge.
Another task was window-cleaning. The News reported in 1916: “The Cambridge Window Cleaning Company, owing to a shortage of male labour, have instituted a service of lady cleaners. And jolly smart they look too in their khaki uniform, high gaiters and caps, relieved by red wrist and cap bands. Ladder climbing causes them no qualms and they are quite expert at the work. They are causing no small amount of interest not to say admiration."

A female worker of the Mayfair Window Cleaning Company, London. Circa 1916.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Unexploded Bucket

Window cleaner, Robin Baxter with his "unexploded" bucket.
Road blocked as police investigate Lichfield window cleaner's 'unexploded' bucket: It was a case of 'Danger Unexploded Bucket' in Lichfield this week when police blocked off Tamworth Street to investigate an item which had been left unattended.

Window cleaner Robin Baxter of Complete Panes had nipped into the Acorn public house at around 10.45am on Tuesday for a coffee leaving his bucket outside the BetFred shop. When he came out he was told that the police had been to check the item and blocked Tamworth Street off at the entrance to the pedestrianised zone with a patrol car to prevent access.

"I can understand why they did it but it is obviously a bucket," said Robin. "I can see the funny side but the police have a job to do. "Because of the climate, people are having to look out for unattended items."

Obviously a bomb! 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Apocalypse Window Cleaner

Ian Coulthard, 46, from Gateshead, has trained himself to live in the wild as he prepares for an apocalypse.
Window cleaner spends 10 years burying secret stashes of supplies in woods across UK because he says he has to be ready for the Apocalypse: Ian Coulthard, 46, has been preparing for an apocalypse for last 10 years, fearing social and economic ruin, he has trained himself to live in the wild. Mr Coulthard, who was in the Territorial Army, said: 'Not everyone is preparing for an apocalypse. It's just a very possible scenario'

A window cleaner has been preparing for an apocalypse for the last decade – even burying secret stashes of supplies in woodlands all over the UK. Ian Coulthard, 46, has trained himself to survive in the wild, fearing social and economic collapse could come in the next 20 years. The bachelor, from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, has pinpointed around 35 spots in Scotland, northern England and Wales, where he could seek refuge if his safety is threatened.

Mr Coulthard has always been interested in the outdoors, but in recent years he has become more wary of the potential for 'social and economic chaos' to wreak havoc.
Speaking for the first time about his survivalist lifestyle, he said: 'I am preparing for the scenario where you have to get out of your house fast. 'I have places I can go - safe places - where I have food and first aid supplies stashed, which can last me up to 10 days. 'Not everyone is preparing for an apocalypse. It's just a very possible scenario. 'In the last decade alone, we have had floods, drought, riots and recession, so I hope people can see how prepping is an important aspect of anyone's life.'

Mr Coulthard has always been interested in the outdoors, but in recent years he has become more wary of the potential for 'social and economic chaos' to wreak havoc. His fears include terrorism, a major virus and civil war breaking out in Britain.

Mr Coulthard first got a flavour for the wild when he was in the Territorial Army, for six years in his 20s and again for 10 years, from aged 35 to 45, doing two tours of Afghanistan.
Mr Coulthard, who now runs his own window cleaning business, first got a flavour for the wild when he was in the Territorial Army, for six years in his 20s and again for 10 years, from aged 35 to 45, doing two tours of Afghanistan. He believes the military training and survival skills he has developed himself will help him survive in the wild. And, a decade ago, he started finding secluded places around the UK, keeping a record of each location, meanwhile honing his survival skills and sleeping outside in a hammock or on the floor, even in the snow.

'I prepare for the winter as I don't have gas in my terrace house, just an old coke fire, although I do have electricity,' he added. In each of his 'stash sites' - created for back up, in case the apocalypse hits - he has around £35 worth of food and first-aid supplies, based on army ration packs. He says it is enough to live for 10 days on 5,000 calories a day while on the move, or longer on a smaller diet.

'Social and economic collapse could happen, probably in 15 to 20 years and people need to be prepared to survive', he said. 'It is reassuring that I have these stashes, but I know I could survive and live off the land. 'I really don't want it all to go wrong. I want the world to be a beautiful place – but that's not going to happen.'

Mr Coulthard says he would take his elderly parents with him if they wanted to leave in a last-resort-scenario. He runs bug-out (or emergency) survival weekends, teaching people how to stay alive when evacuating from a disaster. He added: 'I don't think people should go out and panic. But this is a possible scenario and I think people should be prepared for it.' 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Business Survival Rates?

According to statistics published by the Small Business Administration (SBA), about half of all employer establishments survive at least five years and a third survive ten years or more. This is a far cry from the previous long-held belief that 50 percent of businesses fail in the first year and 95 percent fail within five years. Pictured, window cleaner, Russ Cox reaching the 5 yr mark.
What Are The Real Small Business Survival Rates? According to statistics published by the Small Business Administration (SBA), about half of all employer establishments survive at least five years and a third survive ten years or more. This is a far cry from the previous long-held belief that 50 percent of businesses fail in the first year and 95 percent fail within five years.

Those of us who converse with small businesses on a daily basis are well aware that many of them will fail in the first five years. In fact, these odds are a big reason why I assist people in buying well-established businesses that will provide a higher probability of success than a start-up. But what are the real numbers of small business survival? Many people believe that 80 to 90 percent of start-ups will fail in their first 5 years, but is that accurate? Let's take a look at the facts:  

"About half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more. As one would expect, the probability of survival increases with a firm’s age. Survival rates have changed little over time.”
- Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BED

The latest data from the Small Business Administration (SBA) states that nearly 66 percent of small businesses will survive their first two years. That means only about one third of total businesses will actually fail in these first two crucial years, the main cause being a lack of experience. When the data is extrapolated four years out, the number of surviving businesses has been consistently near the 55 to 60 percent mark. This same data shows a five year survival rate that has historically hovered around the 50 percent mark, a far cry from the 80 to 90 percent failure rate so commonly claimed. 

Window cleaner to celebrate 5 years: Clinton Window Cleaner and Services will celebrate its 5-year anniversary Aug. 8th this year. Owner Russ Cox has been washing windows and cleaning out gutters for five years now, all the while working by himself in this labor-intensive job. Cox got this idea from his wife and son, Cox said. They said that since he had janitorial experience from working with the Clinton School District, this would be his best bet for opening a business, he added.

He travels within a 50-mile radius from the Clinton area to clean windows and gutters. “There are surprisingly not a lot of people who know I clean out gutters, too,” Cox said. He does both residential and commercial work. Two-thirds of his work is commercial, because he can go year around with commercial work, he said. He does homes from March to December if the weather will let him. Cox goes to all different homes, from those in the country to condos.

“I get to meet a lot of different people,” Cox said. “I have lived in the area since 1972, but only in the last 5 years I have seen the community in a different way by having my own business. I like the people. I like going to different places, that can be fun or interesting. I even had my granddaughter with me one time.” He said he does not repair windows, but he will help with information on repairing windows or other things in the home to get the help that is needed. “I like to see businesses sprout up that are home-owned businesses,” Cox said.

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