Saturday 30 April 2011

Email Marketing For Window Cleaners

Email marketing for window cleaners. Get a notebook & pen & learn how it's done. Chris Lambrinides from Window Cleaning Resource gives out his ROI (return on investment) for clients in his own window cleaning business. Promoting your products or services by email can be a powerful and flexible form of direct marketing. Through email, you can communicate your messages more quickly and cost-effectively than using paper-based marketing. You can tailor your message to specific types of customer. You can also build customer relationships and acquire new customers through relevant, well targeted emails that interest recipients.

What is Email marketing: Email marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fund-raising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business. And also sending email messages with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something, often immediately.

Opt-in email advertising, or permission marketing, is a method of advertising via email whereby the recipient of the advertisement has consented to receive it. This method is one of several developed by marketers to eliminate the disadvantages of email marketing. In 2002 the European Union introduced the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. Article 13 of the Directive prohibits the use of email addresses for marketing purposes. The Directive establishes the opt-in regime, where unsolicited emails may be sent only with prior agreement of the recipient. The directive has since been incorporated into the laws of member states. In the UK it is covered under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 and applies to all organisations that send out marketing by some form of electronic communication.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 authorizes a US $16,000 penalty per violation for spamming each individual recipient. Therefore, many commercial email marketers within the United States utilize a service or special software to ensure compliance with the Act. A variety of older systems exist that do not ensure compliance with the Act. To comply with the Act's regulation of commercial email, services typically require users to authenticate their return address and include a valid physical address, provide a one-click unsubscribe feature, and prohibit importing lists of purchased addresses that may not have given valid permission. The CAN-SPAM Act was updated with some new regulations including a no fee provision for opting out, further definition of "sender", post office or private mail boxes count as a "valid physical postal address" and definition of "person". These new provisions went into effect on July 7, 2008.

Friday 29 April 2011

Window Cleaning News + A Spate Of Franchises

My heart goes out to all the window cleaners who have been caught in the latest tornados, twisters & storms in the U.S. Twister death toll 318; most since 1932 outbreak: Authorities say the death toll from the devastating tornado outbreak across the South has climbed to 318, making it the deadliest day for twisters since the Great Depression. Alabama was in the path of the most destruction from Wednesday's storms. Authorities on Friday raised the number of confirmed dead to 228. More than 30 lost their lives in Tuscaloosa, which is home to the University of Alabama. Two students are among the dead. In March 1932, 332 people died, all in Alabama. In April 1974, a series of twisters killed 315 people in 11 states. The largest death toll ever in the U.S. from twisters was on March 18, 1925 when 747 people were killed in storms that raged through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. In that outbreak, a single, 219-mile-long tornado killed 695 people.

A deal to save the Meadowlands Racetrack could be in the homestretch after a key union’s executive board today voted to accept an offer from New York developer Jeffrey Gural, who wants to lease the financially troubled facility from the state. The unanimous vote by the executive board of Sports Arena Employees Local 137 of AFL-CIO sets the stage for Gural to present his plan to Gov. Chris Christie, who had threatened to end live and simulcast harness racing by May 12 without a union agreement. Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak today said he would limit reaction until the administration learned more about the vote, but noted: "It sounds like a very positive development." Today’s vote overrules a decision by the full union membership to refuse to consider Gural’s proposal nearly two weeks ago. The union, with 250 members representing tellers, cleaners, box office workers, window washers and money-room employees, had said it would not consider Gural’s proposal because it called for a 20-percent pay cut and eliminated seniority from assigning shifts to tellers.

MIDDLETOWN — Besides umbrella sales, it’s hard to find a business that has benefited from this month’s record rainfall. If your business is somehow connected to the outdoors, it’s been all wet in April. From golf courses, to window washing companies to lawn service businesses, all are reporting dismal sales. Blame it on Mother Nature.

Cleaning industry focus: More than 21,000 jobs up for grabs: cutbacks and tough times. And if you think these jobs are dull or dead end, you may be surprised. The variety of roles and opportunities is endless and they can easily fit round the rest of your life. “Every type of business needs a cleaner, so you could be working in a small shop, a big hospital or even a grand palace,” says Darra Singh, of Jobcentre Plus. And the training opportunities are great. “Cleaning is beginning to be seen as a skilled job with real career prospects,” said Richard Beamish, chief executive of Asset Skills. “There are now solid opportunities out there for young people to get the right training and carve out rewarding careers for themselves. “We have developed the cleaning apprenticeship and a range of other vocational qualifications in consultation with the industry. These are helping to raise the profile of cleaning as a job worth having, with clear career routes involved.”
WHERE ARE THE JOBS? Walk into your local Jobcentre Plus or check vacancies out online here and you will find in the region of 15,800 vacancies. These range from cleaners and domestics to window cleaners and road sweepers. We found thousands of jobs starting at £5.93 an hour (the national minimum wage for those over 21).

Car Week: Miscellany celebrates all things motoring - Windscreen wipers: Mary Anderson is credited with inventing the first operational windscreen wiper in 1903 – she originally called her invention a window cleaning device for electric cars.

A Pencoed man involved in a seaside rescue with a friend on Easter Monday says he didn’t want to be a hero and would do the same for anyone. Eight people, including a brother and sister, were rescued by Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat, Rose of the Shires, on Monday, April 25 in the water off the River Ogmore, at Ogmore-by-Sea. David Gibson, 41, of Hendre Road, Pencoed, became involved in the incident after he and his friend, Graham Pugh, of Clydach Vale, saw mother chase after her two children – a boy and a girl – who were having difficulty in the sea. Father-of-two Mr Gibson said: “I swam in, but when I realised how strong the current was, I swam back out and told Graham not to swim in. “I told someone to phone the RNLI and grabbed the dingy. The adrenaline was pumping so much, I was sprinting and swimming to get to them.” Mr Gibson, who owns a window cleaning business, added: “I don’t want to be a hero, I would have done that for anyone.

Fallbrook Window Washing Co. provides high quality service with a smile: Finding an excellent service that does not skimp on friendliness and courtesy is hard to find; however, Fallbrook Window Washing Co. has been providing those qualities to home and business owners in Bonsall, De Luz, Rainbow and Fallbrook since 1973. Rick Williams, the owner of Fallbrook Window Washing Co., joined his father Eric in the business nearly 40 years ago, and has worked hard to offer the best window washing service possible. However, this business is not a one-man team. Jan Williams and Jamie Stewart, Williams’ wife and daughter, help manage the office and schedule appointments. "We have a tag team," said Williams. "My wife and daughter are invaluable to the business as business managers, customer service, and support. With my son Eric working with us, our business has been in the family for three generations."
As part of the window washing service provided by the Williams team, Williams physically goes to each prospective property to offer a free estimate. "It’s important to meet the people interested and explain my services to them," said Williams. "Not only do I want to give an accurate quote, I want them to see who will be working on their property." Fallbrook Window Washing Company’s service includes the washing of all windows, inside and out; the cleaning of the window screens and the vacuuming of the window tracks. Williams stated that Fallbrook Window Washing Company’s attention to detail is what allows the company to provide stellar work that is only accomplished by someone who specializes in window cleaning. "Most housekeepers wash windows by hand with a rag, basically smearing the windows, which can be seen when the sun shines through," said Williams. "We use soap water and squeegees, leaving windows residue- and spot-free." In order to have pristine windows year long, Williams recommends that clients have the
windows professionally cleaned quarterly, touching them up by hand in between appointments. "If customers are going to have a special event, we offer a partial service, in which we clean the most important windows, such as the dining room, kitchen and family room," said Williams.
For the Williams family, providing superior window washing services is not enough; as longtime residents of Fallbrook, they consider getting to know their customers essential. "Some of my customers tell me that they’ve known me since I was knee high to a grasshopper," said Williams. "I have had the pleasure of seeing some customers every few months over the span of almost 40 years, so they have known me my entire working life. That’s the pleasure of working in Fallbrook; you become a part of the town." In addition to window washing, Williams serves his community as a volunteer firefighter in De Luz, and was one of the brave firefighters who battled the Rice Fire in 2007. Currently, Williams also has a personal dog training service, and volunteers as a puppy trainer for K-9 Companions for Independence, which trains canines to help disabled individuals live a full and independent life. This commitment to serve the community is what drives the Fallbrook Window Washing Company to excellence. "I enjoy being a part of Fallbrook, running into folks I know," said Williams. "I am proud of the reputation I have in town, and I would not trade that for all the gold and silver in the world. People know that we are friendly and courteous."

I recently installed some film on a friend’s townhouse over by the beach. It all started when she mentioned that she was taking a few days of vacation to sew custom slip covers for fabric-covered chairs in her dining room—a room that faces west and takes direct Florida sunlight from mid-day until sunset. When she finished, she proudly showed me her work and although it was impressive, I was more curious why she would go to so much effort. Then she showed me the older sun-faded slip covers, which led to a discussion about UV fade and my work in the solar control industry—window film to the rescue! I’ve been touting the benefits of window film for many years and, although I’ve seen it many times, this experience was a perfect example of how serious sun fade is from a consumer’s perspective. And, regardless of what I know about window film or how long I’ve been in the business, this was a reminder about how damaging effects of the sun generate legitimate selling opportunities.
It did not take long before I found myself giving a full-fledged passionate presentation for the product we all love. I displayed how the film worked and told her about product options, making sure I listed all the additional features and benefits—such as improved appearance, reduced glare, and of course, added protection against glass breakage. When I was the director of marketing for Bekaert, we used to say that window film had a “bundle of benefits” and when you think about it, how many products can people buy that have so many added benefits above and beyond the primary one that motivated the purchase decision. During our conversation, I felt my passion for the product energize as she realized window film was the perfect solution for the problem. Like most consumers, she was simply not aware of window film or its long list of valuable benefits (By the way, I made sure I did not over sell or create any unrealistic performance expectations in the area of fade reduction).
A couple of days later, I brought over a sample of a popular dual reflective film, solar specs and a BTU meter to show and tell the window film story. I’m not sure if it was the film-on-glass sample, or the BTU demo that did it for her, but at one point, all she wanted to know was how soon I could get the film installed, surely with the protection of her new slip covers in mind. I’m not a window film dealer installing film every day so I took my time making sure I cleaned the glass thoroughly. I even included a cleaning of her outside windows because I have always felt that doing so is good way to increase the job completion “wow” factor and it’s an additional profit center for proactive dealers. In this case and since I was helping a friend, I didn’t ask for any money, but I did get a really great home-cooked meal out of the deal.

NIC student takes education to the street: Shawn Wood is a 27-year-old entrepreneur enrolled at North Island College who is putting his schooling to good use this summer. In NIC’s business administration program for two years, Wood decided to open his own business. Operating a College Pro Window cleaning company, he purchased a franchise from the well-known company. “Being in the business field, I will be able to apply all the practical knowledge I have learned to my own company. My intentions are to hire as many college students as I can. “I want to help others earn their way through school as well as myself,” he adds. “I want to make a difference in the Comox Valley. “By offering free services to needy non-profit business, I hope to promote both myself and the businesses. “I have nothing but high hopes as I canvas door-to-door for clients over the next few weeks trying to get houses booked for May.”

Acrotech Invites Franchise Partners For Their Window Washing Business: Window washing isn’t an easy job for most people and organizations. But, it is nevertheless something that needs to be done to maintain the hygiene. Your home will most certainly have glass windows, and they will definitely get dirty due to the weather elements. You would either have to clean them yourself or get them cleaned from professional cleaners. Even commercial office premises dread the thought of window washing, gutters cleaning, and power washing because the maintenance staff is not adequately trained to do a good job, and sometimes they do not have the right equipment as well.
But cleaning the windows is not a problem anymore, at least not in British Columbia Thanks to Acrotech that has emerged as the leading service provider in the Vancouver area, and elsewhere in the state. Offices, commercial properties and individual homes in British Columbia are all turning to the company when they want their windows cleaned and maintained. The company offers many advanced services such as power spraying, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, power washing, roof cleaning, moss removal and others.
Acrotech is now taking in new franchisees for the window cleaning services. The company representatives are saying that the market is huge, because both businesses and individuals must get their windows cleaned. And all of them need to hire professional services, because it is almost impossible for most homeowners and property managers to clean the windows themselves. The company feels that there is not much competition as very few businesses offer the modern approach to window washing like Acrotech. Most of them do not have the high-end equipment as well. So it seems that after becoming a big success in Canada, Acrotech is finally ready to move in to the US market.
It certainly seems like a good business opportunity for those who want to grow with a business leader and that too in a niche that is growing. There is no need to have prior experience because Acrotech is promising a lot of support for their franchise partners. It took Acrotech more than five years to perfect the technologies, product approach and services offered, but the franchises can hope to gain right from the first day. Working with the leader, they can learn about the use of modern technology and the best-practices.
Those who are interested to become a franchise will need to fill out a “Request Info” form that is available at the company website. For any queries, businesses can also call up Acrotech. Once Acrotech has received all the applications, they will scan through them and decide about their franchisee partners.
Acrotech is taking in new franchise partners because the business wants to emerge as a global brand, which is recognized beyond Vancouver and Canada. The young and dynamic company wants to dominate the market niche of window washing, gutters cleaning and power washing.
About Acrotech: Acrotech is the market leader in window washing and maintenance services in Vancouver, Canada. The company employs modern gadgets and professional cleaners to serve individual homeowners and businesses in the area. Acrotech is now inviting franchise partners for various areas of the US. Please visit to learn more about the company, the window washing services, and the business opportunities.

PVC Wizard franchise offers a sparkling ‘window of opportunity’: A bright new business opportunity awaits visitors to this year’s British Franchise Exhibition, in June – when specialist conservatory cleaning company PVC Wizard conjures up some excitement. PVC Wizard, headed by successful Lancashire businessman John Feeney, is about to launch its UK-wide roll out as a franchise network – and it will be the first specialist conservatory and PVC cleaning company to appear at the exhibition, at Manchester Central, on June 10 and 11. Although the official launch will take place at the exhibition, the PVC Wizard team is already attracting a great deal of interest from people keen to snap up franchise territories. “There is a clear gap in the market for our service, and our eye-catching brand offers a unique window of opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to join us across the UK,” said John. “Based on the excellent trading figures of our existing franchise operations, we’ve developed a very attractive franchise package with a strong support structure and exciting marketing campaign,” he added. And with more British householders choosing to improve their existing homes, rather than move during the recession, potential sales are forecast to remain strong. John, who previously designed and built conservatories, has worked at some of the biggest conservatory installer firms in the country. And that’s where he first came up with his bright idea for business…eight years ago. 
He explained: “I was seeing conservatories installed every day but there was no thought given to how they might be cleaned. PVC manufacturers like to say that their installations are maintenance-free, but this is not really true as anyone with a grubby conservatory and stained window frames will tell you.” John added: “I realised the potential of setting up a professional conservatory cleaning company in a field of work that traditionally has attracted here-today gone-tomorrow operators. It’s a service rarely offered by window cleaners and it can be a dangerous and messy job for homeowners. “We were inundated from the first month because of our system of cleaning and the specialised products we use to bring weather-beaten conservatories back to their original pristine condition, inside and out.” Initially run under the company name of Specialised Conservatory Cleaning, the company has just re-branded as PVC Wizard as part of its franchise roll out across the UK as a household name in conservatory cleaning.

Top Dawg Franchise Announces Best Franchise Business Opportunities in the Cleaning Industry - PRLog (Press Release) – As a leading provider of free and complete information on the best franchise opportunities, Top Dawg Franchise recently announced its most popular residential and commercial cleaning company picks. Many of these franchisors offer comprehensive cleaning jobs, including professional window cleaning, carpet and upholstery cleaning and restoration, green home maid assistance, as well as HVAC and duct cleaning and maintenance. Hailed by Entrepreneur Magazine as the #1 Growth Franchise in Commercial Cleaning for five straight years, JAN-PRO is easily one of the largest and best recognized commercial cleaning companies featured in the Top Dawg Franchise website. Aside from JAN-PRO, Top Dawg Franchise also offers free franchise information on established cleaning companies such as Stratus Building Solutions, Eco Maids, Chem-Dry Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, and Ductz International. It allows potential investors to choose from among hundreds of the best franchise business opportunities available on its user-friendly website. Options are arranged alphabetically or according to state, industry, or minimum required investment.

Sonia Viles shows some of the lost property handed in at Wellington Central police station. Ever checked out of a hotel and left your birdcage? Or wondered what an unmanned canoe paddle was doing on the train seat next to you? Scarves and jerseys are among the most common items to haunt lost property boxes – but are far from the strangest. Probably the most surreal moment in executive housekeeper Denise Thornton's 37-year career was the time the window cleaner called to report a body in the hotel garden. A panicked Ms Thornton ran out of the James Cook Hotel expecting to find a bloodied corpse – but was instead greeted with a grinning window cleaner holding a deflated blow-up doll. At least one mystery was solved. Three days earlier, a room cleaner had found a large, empty cardboard box with a picture of an attractive doll called "Shirley". "He brought the box to me giggling his head off. He said: `I don't know where she's gone, but here's the box'," Ms Thornton says. Musings as to her whereabouts were silenced. "There was Shirley, she had been pushed out of the window at some stage and she was lying in the garden very deflated."

Bravery award Stockton dad after sea rescue: A courageous dad who ran into a rough sea to rescue an elderly man has been awarded one of the country’s top lifesaving honours. Gary Lennon risked his life when he swam in choppy waters to save a confused man who had walked into the sea at Redcar. But the modest window cleaner from Hardwick, Stockton, says he only “did what anyone else would have done”. Gary was sitting on steps on the Esplanade, with wife Jane and daughter Natasha, last September, when they saw an old man wade into the sea. “It’s all a blur really. I just thought ‘I’ve got to get him out’,” said Gary, a 40-year-old dad-of-two. “I ran down the beach stripping off to my boxer shorts. He was quite far out and I had to swim to reach him. “I swam back with him and pulled him onto the beach.” Jane could only stand and watch in horror. The University Hospital of North Tees ward clerk said: “At one point I couldn’t see the pair of them. “It was awful for Natasha. She kept screaming ‘My dad, my dad’.”
The man, in his seventies and suffering from dementia, had been on a day out with his family. When he wandered off, a police search was launched. When Gary emerged from the sea he found himself surrounded by a crowd of people applauding him. But he was more embarrassed because he was still in his boxer shorts! Gary, of Tithe Barn Road, said: “People say you’ve risked your life but you don’t think about it. I think anybody would have done it.” Wife Jane disagreed. “He doesn’t see himself as a hero, but clearly everyone else does,” she said. Son Macaulay, 15, a pupil at Our Lady and St Bede school in Stockton, and daughter Natasha, 18, are very impressed. Natasha, who works with her dad, said: “It went straight on Facebook. I’m really proud of him.” Now Gary is to get a commendation from the Royal Humane Society for his bravery after Cleveland Police recommended him for the award. Society secretary Dick Wilkinson said: “Gary was the right person in the right place at the right time. “Without his prompt action, though, the incident could have had a far less happy ending. He richly deserves the award he is to receive.”

Window-cleanding business opens: Tom Zupancic has opened Fish Window Cleaning at 195 Lehigh Ave. No. 13A, Lakewood. The company provides window cleaning, commercial and residential, to customers in Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights, Toms River, Asbury Park, Belmar, Howell, Neptune, and Manasquan. Before opening his company, Zupancic managed regional and global IT teams for Credit Suisse. Fish Window Cleaning has 239 locations in the United States and was named to the 2010 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing businesses.

Residents face some early water restrictions: Residents of North Cedar face early water restrictions this year due to the ongoing rehabilitation work on two wells that serve the area. The restrictions began on Friday and will continue to May 20, which means there's less water at this time for everyone in that area to use. The Stage 4 water restrictions include no washing of vehicles, driveways or sidewalks, no filling of pools and hot tubs and no window washing.

High hopes rust away in Australia - The world's tallest residential building was to be the Gold Coast's shining beacon, but the towering steel structure has been marred by claims it is rusting. Only six years after its completion, Q1 is allegedly riddled with corrosion. The body corporate representing the owners of the tower's 526 apartments is now suing luxury Queensland developer Sunland Group for millions of dollars worth of repairs to the 80-storey tower. It is alleged the steel structure's protective coating was never applied correctly. The corrosion became a feature of one resident's window frames only 12 months after she and her husband moved in. "We were one of the first to move in and I noticed the rust pretty quickly on the outside of our window," said the resident 'Julie', who requested not to be named. "It wasn't a great deal [of rust], but the building wasn't even 12 months old." There were also problems with the coating of the steel frame of the balcony. Although the frame was re-coated with what Julie was told was the correct protective material, the same problem still exists. "When we first moved in [I noticed] the inside [frame] of the balcony just wasn't done properly. They eventually came back a re-coated the balcony, but even today I can't wipe [the edging] down, because [the coating] just peels off," she said. "It's like silver paint coming off on your hands. Even if I'm cleaning the windows I try not to [clean] too close to the edge because the [coating on the steel frames] will go all over my windows." Julie said she felt duped by the developer and sales agent.

The Many Revenges of Kip Flynn, by Sean Dixon: A fire-breathing, tattooed flaneur takes the title of Sean Dixon’s second novel. One of Dixon’s great strengths is his ability to tease out evocative characters from the streets and alleys. He is able to pump up fleeting players until they float like balloons through the streetscape, so charmingly free-floating you nearly don’t notice their weightlessness. Still, it is often a joy to soak up the hustle and bustle through Dixon’s eyes. At a certain point he quotes William Blake — “Everything that is is holy” — and it’s a maxim he works hard to prove, with his evocative and appreciative descriptions of everything from the alien-tripod Ontario College of Art and Design building to heady asides into urban planning to finely captured moments between two strangers on a window-washer’s rig.

Today from the archive we have the story of Seattle’s first streetcar, which began service in 1884. The P-I’s first known printing of the streetcar image in the P-I came Sept. 23, 1909 when the driver, George Washington Williams, recounted what it was like to drive the route. In any case, the streetcar line had some tough times with mud. “It was worse than the picture shows,” Williams said in 1909. The gradients were estimated at 4 percent to 8 percent, and Williams – then 29 – had to carry a 4-by-4 to put the car back on the track when it derailed. The basic fare was a dime, and longer runs were 25 cents. A profitable day brought in $6, and Williams, an African-American, was paid $50 a month. Williams appears to have worked on the streetcar line for 14 months before changing jobs. In 1909 he was working as a window washer. Click here to read a PDF of Williams’ recollections about the 1884 Seattle streetcar.

By Christopher Todd Matthews

One hand slops suds on, one
 hustles them down like a blind.
 Brusque noon glare, filtered thus,
 loosens and glows. For five or
 six minutes he owns the place,
 dismal coffee bar, and us, its
 huddled underemployed. A blade,
 black line against the topmost glass,

begins, slices off the outer lather,
 flings it away, works inward,
 corrals the frothy middle, and carves,
 with quick cuts, the stuff down,
 not looking for anything, beneath
 or inside. Homes to the last,
 cleans its edges, grooms it for
 the end, then shaves it off

and flings it away. Which is
 splendid, and merciless. And all
 in the wrist. Then, he looks at us.
 We makers of filth, we splashers
 and spitters. We sitters and watchers.
 Who like to see him work.
 Who love it when he leaves
 and gives it back: our grim hideout,
 half spoiled by clarity.

Thursday 28 April 2011

Prince William The Former Window Cleaner

The Prince took some time out before university in the year 2000 to work on volunteer projects in Chile. He learnt a great deal from his window cleaning days working mainly on private houses for the rich & wealthy. Of course his window cleaning days will all be at the back of his mind as he gets married tomorrow. I wonder if he still carries a spare rubber?

It's our big day as well: It may not be Westminster Abbey, but window cleaner Luke Robinson and Vicky Mee’s royal wedding day marriage will have a certain regal feel. The couple will wed at 11.30am tomorrow – only 30 minutes after Prince William and Kate Middleton, the participants will be dressed in royal blue and the newlyweds will make their home at Windsor Terrace, in West Cornforth, County Durham. Luke, 24, from Tursdale, and Vicki, 21, from Brandon, met through friends in 2006. Their wedding day has been three years in the planning and the date was set last May – well before the world knew what other significance Friday, April 29, 2011, would assume.
“The first thing that crossed my mind was prices will go up,” said Luke, a window cleaner. “No, it’s canny. It gives us something extra to remember the day by.” The couple will wed at Durham City registry office, will have lunch with relatives at Whitworth Hall Hotel, near Spennymoor, enjoy a ceilidh in Mainsforth village hall, before honeymooning in Rome.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Free Wagtail Swoop Picks Up Momentum For Window Cleaners

The new Wagtail Swoop is taking the window cleaning world by storm. You won't believe it until you try it! The benefits:
  • Fastest Squeegee out there: Quicker by half yet again
  • Can be used as a true one-pass squeegee, just wet the sleeve & squeegee normally
  • Can be flipped independently in one action as applicator/scrubber & then squeegee
  • Less detailing due to construction
  • Pad clips off for easy washing
  • Superior rubber
  • Great for inside work and solar panel cleaning
  • Clean with less weight than a normal applicator/scrubber
  • Ergonomic design to reduce wrist, elbow & shoulder strain
  • Faster accurate cleaning with an extension pole
  • Wagtail Swoop is now regarded as the fastest window cleaning tool in the world
John the Brit who lives & works in Germany shows off the Swoop in all it's glory in the video above. Only owning a Swoop for a few days, John manages to show how versatile the Swoop can be & reckons every professional window cleaner should have one in his arsenal.

I'm giving away Wagtail Swoops for professional window cleaners that are serious about window cleaning every week while stocks last. Just leave a comment on the Robinson-Solutions facebook page. Choose either 14" or 18" & I'll message you if you're a winner. N.B; The Swoops I give away are with the yellow pad for finer detailing.

Also available to buy from these outlets - click to go.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Australian Insurance Could Have Window Cleaning Benefits - Get Listed!

Danielle Schuster enlists children Liam, 6, and Maya, 2, in a window-cleaning project. Picture: Dean Martin
Housework insured for a tidy sum: They are the chores that, if paid for, would make Australian mums a fortune. From cleaning and washing clothes to cooking and grocery shopping, the housework of a mother is seemingly never complete. Now an insurance company is offering mums the chance to insure the housework they do - for $17.50 a week. If they become injured or ill, Million Dollar Woman, a member of Suncorp Group, offers them $900 a week to pay someone to complete these chores for a period of up to 13 weeks.

Financial Planning Association of SA former chairwoman Kerrin Falconer said while the insurance, claimed to be an Australian first, sounded promising, potential customers should read the fine print. "People really need to look carefully at what it does and doesn't cover, whether it might cross over with something else and if the money is really worth it," she said. "It's hard to think of an insurance that is the same, you can't get income insurance unless you're technically working, so that's not the same. But there is critical illness cover and it could come close."

Naturopath Danielle Schuster said the insurance seemed like a good idea to help with housework and caring for children Maya, 2, and Liam, 6, if she became injured. But the Gawler resident questioned whether she would actually sign up. "It does sound interesting, but I think it would be hard to prove, that there would be a few legalities that could make it tricky," she said. "Although, when you look at trying to work, raise the kids and you have a husband that works, if anything did happen, getting the housework done with throw up real problems."

A Newspoll survey found about 1.2 million Australian mums were injured so badly in the past six months they were unable to clean their house. Dislocations, sprains, torn muscles and ligaments were the most common injuries, followed by cuts, open wounds or bruising. The Million Dollar Woman Living Expenses Cover cost of $17.50 a week and pay out of $900 a week for 13 weeks is based on a woman aged 35.

Never done: Stay-at-home mum Allison Marler with her children Luke, 5, and Chloe, 8, agrees insurance cover for mothers is a good idea. Picture: Liam Driver
Million Dollar Woman Living Insurance to provide cover for mothers' unpaid work: "This has taken 100 years, but the housework that Australian mums perform every day is finally being recognised and valued," Million Dollar Woman chief executive Lynette Argent said. "This unpaid work is crucial to the Australian economy as it has traditionally allowed the primary breadwinner to dedicate themselves to their paid job." While the insurance policy is aimed at stay-at-home mums, housewives with no children and stay-at-home dads can also be eligible.

But like most insurance policies, there is a catch. A woman must be sick and unable to perform domestic duties for at least 14 consecutive days before compensation will be paid. A doctor's certificate is also needed and smokers will have to pay a higher premium. Policyholders could choose to be covered for a weekly payment of either $500 or $750. For an additional premium, there was also a Bill Booster option that increased weekly payments by $150.

"For more than a century, products have been offered that cater for the main income earner of a household, typically men, if they get sick or injured," Ms Argent said. "We will pay women up to $900 a week if customers are hurt or ill, which could be spent on a cleaner, cook, nanny or to pay someone to do their grocery shopping while they rest and recover." Mother-of-two Allison Marler said the gesture was nice, but the cost might be too much. But she said insurance money would come in handy. On one occasion when she was ill her husband took three days off to care for her and their two children.

Monday 25 April 2011

Bubble Truck Window Cleaner - Advertising Window Cleaning

Bubble Truck Window Cleaner: Adam Froman admits that his way of advertising brings them out of the woodwork. "This is a publicity stunt to advertise my window cleaning business," he says. Adams Window Cleaning, operates from Kent, WA. serving King, Pierce, Snohomish counties in Washington State - around 20 miles North East of the Seattle area. Since starting with the bubbles, Adam has had continued success attracting new customers & thinks you would probably have the same result to. Adam has added his secret of bubble success below, just in case you too want to follow his lead.

History of the bubbles:

I squeezed a dishwashing liquid bottle and a bunch of cute little bubbles came flying out. After that moment, a dream was born. My dream became; with a bubble blowing machine (a small one) on top of my bucket , it could attract some attention. I didn't have much money to start.

I bought a little bubble blowing machine. It was a little 10” tall blue plastic bear that dipped a little bubble wand into a small container. It brought the wand to it's mouth and blew a few bubbles out. There are many like this. Little Tikes - Bubble Bellie Series in Target or Walmart. It took about 4 AA batteries. I placed it on top of my lid of the water bucket for dipping my scrubber into. The bucket was next to my sign for window cleaning. It would run for up to 2 hours. I would have to replace batteries.

I was mostly using these at storefront cleanings. A few bubbles would drift, it was starting to look cute. Every once and a while, little children around 2 years old would drag their moms or dads over to look at the bubbles. My conclusions at this point; these use a lot of batteries (I like to recycle so I don't like this), dollar stores have batteries cheap (in my search to keep the machine going), it did attract some people, and this setup would work best for kids at home.

My dream became bigger. Now in my dream; there would be a cloud of bubbles around the front of the storefront I was working at. I purchased a bubble blowing machine made by Gazillion Bubbles. It is just called a bubble machine. I got it at Target. It was about $15. It took 4 AA batteries. It is about 10” tall, purple on the outside, and yellow spinning bubble wands. It produced a lot of bubbles. The machine would last for about 2 hours till I needed new batteries.

I liked the amount of bubbles, so I bought another machine. I placed (2) machines on my water bucket and cleaned the storefronts. Now the bubbles carried across the storefront and on to the next storefront or two .. this was a great result! Then about 2 hours later, The batteries died. Sometimes it was enough time to get a job so I kept buying batteries to try. No changes - batteries still dying. After a week or two the machines themselves broke. It turns out the wiring inside is very small.

My dream became bigger .. now I wanted the cloud of bubbles to last the whole time I was working the storefronts. I began to research a little into solar power and wind powered bubble blowers. So far, the best I can find to do is buy a solar cell to charge a car or marine battery and run the bubbles AC off of that. I was not happy with results of recharging AA or C batteries. I didn't get any good results with homemade wind powered bubble blowers just yet.

Then I noticed the bubble blowers that work on 110 volts AC and figured about plugging them into a converter, attached to a car battery. This is about when I had the idea about putting the bubble blowers on my truck. I attached (2) machines to my truck. I found them at Party City. Each was a black bubble machine that is made of metal and shaped like a stop sign. It was about $40 for each one and many companies make machines like this one on the net also. Both of those plugged into an extension cord. That extension cord is plugged into a converter that converts 110 AC to 12VDC. I got at Staples or Office Depot. I got the smallest one. It was about $40 also.

With the bubbles on the truck, I began driving around. I stopped using the bubbles at the storefront and now focused using them on the truck. With the bubbles on the truck a lot of new things began to happen. I would keep the bubbles on while I was cleaning storefronts and houses now. While driving, I would see people in other cars smiling, pointing at the bubbles, giving me a thumbs up symbol, and people waving (like a parade wave) to me.

Now when at a job with the bubbles, I can almost guarantee some child will come out of the woodwork and start playing in the bubbles and that would drag a mother or father out with the child. I rarely get a job in these situations but I know the advertising is working.

After having the bubbles on the truck for a little over a month, when I go to the bank or a store people ask me if the bubbles are mine. I say, ”Yes.” and they say, "my children love your bubbles”. I ask them where the kids are and they say that the kids saw me driving around town. I think more and more people are seeing the bubbles. I think teenagers respond best, young children second, and adults last. But when I drive by a group of teenagers, they yell, “Bubbles!” Young children smile, play a little, and definitely try to show their parents.

I did notice a situation at this point. The cost of bubble solution. I found solutions range in price from $3 to $20 per gallon. I learned the $20 per gallon Gazzillion solution works as good as the $3 per gallon kind. I found the best deal at Walmart or Target. They have the $3 per gallon pricing. Bubble solution is a seasonal item, so I am buying up stock to get ready for slow bubble solution months. I have begun for fun, to see if I can find a bubble solution sponsor.

For fun, I got another 3 machines, another battery, and another converter. I drove around. One lady asked if I could park in front of peoples homes during birthday parties and such. I told her no so far. I got one other question like that before. It puts out a lot of bubbles, but I think it is just as effective with two machines. There is one other truck on the internet with bubble machines on it. He has more bubbles coming out of the truck. He charges $160 per hour to park the truck for parties and such. This is the only other thing like this idea I could find on the web.

As far as cops go, I haven't had any bad situations. I have passed many local cops and they haven't done anything. One cop was writing a ticket, and the bubbles came flowing in and he just smiled and kept on writing. I even had a cop following about 2 cars behind me and still he didn't do anything.

I have ran the bubble in all types of weather. One time, it was a regular rainy dreary day, someone called me in a car behind me, saying the bubbles had changed their day to be happier!! I even had the bubble machines running in the snow. I just pulled them inside the house at night when the weather turns to freezing.

I think the setup I am going to is: to keep the (2) machines on the truck and use another bubble machine setup at the storefront. For the storefront, a smaller bubble machine and smaller battery like for a wheel chair. I have (2) batteries and I will be starting this setup soon. The two locations both seem to get customers. Not many, but the whole setup has paid for itself twice.

I am completely open to people copying the idea. I think it would be great that when people see bubbles, they think of window cleaning. I do know that some people around here when they see bubbles, they think about me. Anybody reading this, I am open to any new ideas. As Adam says; "Don't keep up with the Jones,"- "BE the Jones!" "Please feel free to contact me, Adam of Adams Window Cleaning. on 206-423-7408.

If you would like to add your unique story to the blog - please contact me.

Sunday 24 April 2011

Window Cleaning News + Squashed Noses

50 Animals Squashed Against Glass - You know what’s funny? When someone presses their face against a pane of glass. (Ed. Note: Except when you've just cleaned it.) You know what’s much more hilarious? When animals do the same thing. This post is mostly inspired by the work of a California basset hound named Mr. Hambleypants, and his owner Susan, who takes endless amounts of genius photographs of Hambley furiously licking the backdoor of their home in an effort to be let inside. Thanks to the two of them, I spent the better part of hundreds of hours scouring the internet for the 50 best photographs of animals distorting their faces against panes of glass. And I bring them to you here, in a list I’m calling 50 Animals Squashed Against Glass. You’ll notice that lil’ Hambley P makes more than a single appearance… Feel free to add him as your Myspace friend. See the rest here.

Oops! Why did the other guy get the job? By Jim Mastin Sr: Have you ever tried to land a contract for a window cleaning job, only to be passed by and you could not figure out why?  There seemed to be no reason you shouldn’t have gotten that project instead of the other guy. What is the difference in me and him that he got the job instead of me? I have lived long enough to see a couple of generations of contractors and customers go by. I can tell you for sure, you can’t do business today like we did 30, 20, or even 10 years ago.  The customer is a different breed than in the past. The information age changed all that for us. For instance, if a home owner wants to make an improvement to their home, they don’t start by calling the local contractor and ask for ideas. Their first contact is “Google”.  They search the web and begin gathering information on cabinets, counter tops, appliances, flooring, etc.
We have passed the days when you as a contractor could walk in with a few samples of vinyl flooring and a ring of samples of Formica, and two cabinet doors to choose from.  A customer with a laptop and some time can learn more than the average contractor knew a few years ago.  They will know about current products, current trends, and in some cases, pretty close to what costs should be, even before looking for a contractor to do the project. The bar has been raised for the contractor, to meet the expectations of the customer. So, the contractor needs to prepare themselves to meet the challenge. So, how do you do that? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Stay on the cutting edge of your trade. Know all you can about the evolving process in your work. Whether you are in landscaping and need to know the latest weed killer or a roofer that needs to be an expert on the many different types of roof coverings available today.  Read trade magazines. Search the web. Be a part of contractor forums and see what’s going on. Go to home shows in your area and visit the booths in your trade venue to see what’s going on.
2.  Present yourself well.  Contractors of the past were “good ole boys” and got along fine. Today we deal with a younger home owner who is more business savvy and expects first class service. They want to get it done, done right, and done as soon as possible.  They want an agreement in writing that resembles an actual contract.
3.  Join a lead referral service that offers pre-certification for their contractors. This will throw a great deal of weight your direction as far as credibility.
4.  Have the required license for your trade and make it available to the customer.
5.  Have a printed list of previous customers they can contact for a referral. Better yet, have a short paragraph from several of them on the same sheet
6.  Have a copy of your insurance policy for the customer to look over if they wish.
7.  So, which one of these did the “other guy” have that you don’t have that got them the job?  The answer is to be as prepared in every possible area to present yourself as a reputable, reliable, honest, trustworthy, qualified, and fair contractor. Good luck becoming “the other guy”.

Dutch Window Cleaning Software: "ItsClean" is a complete solution for the cleaning industry including a specialization for the window cleaners. With "ItsClean," AaRiverside offers a software package that is designed from the ground and is distinguished from other packets by its simplicity, practicality and flexibility. The program consists of several modules - by clicking on a module, it will enter a short description of the client. The work is automatically billed per job, per week, per month etc.. There may also be billed based on actual costs. The hours worked are simply imported and then included in the invoice. The automatically generated invoices are processed in the integrated financial administration part of the program. The scheduled tasks are displayed in a graphical planner. The work will be shown with compact information about the project and the employee. If the cursor is placed on the job, some of the data appears as compact as possible (such as the planned hours, address and phone numbers). By a double-click a task, the project opens and all data is visible.
On May 18, 2011 is the ninth edition of the Wall Glazenwassers handlers and Trade Fair held in the Nieuwegein Business Center, Nieuwegein. "AaRiverside ItsClean" will attend this fair. If you interested in the (latest) "ItsClean" features, visit us on the façade and Glazenwassers Cleaners Trade Fair between 9.30 hours and 17.00 hours. On the Tuesday (May 17) at the G & G Trade Fair, for the third time the National Championships hold window cleaning events. AaRiverside sponsors this event. If you are in possession of a diploma SVS, you can show your qualities and perhaps defeat the winner of 2009? This year there is a new initiative: the Speed-Wash competition. Anyone who thinks quickly and can clean to a streak-free standard may participate.

Already imagining―in vivid detail―how you'll spend that tax refund? Let us guess: new roof, window cleaning service, maybe some spiffed-up landscaping. If things are tight until the actual check arrives, take a look at the below deals around town. One of them does fall into the Home Improvement category, while the others are sure to add a little frugal cheer to the first real spring-like week all year long.  (Remember to check with the merchant for additional conditions.)

OXO cleans up with a squeegee for every occasion: Take the strain out of your spring cleaning with OXO's versatile collection of squeegees, guaranteed to make household glass sparkle and shine. The large, oval handle of OXO's original household squeegee nestles comfortably in the palm of your hand while the flexible silicone blade whips over flat or curved surfaces in a flash. Perfect for ensuring windows are smudge free everytime, the household squeegee also removes limescale and grime from your bathroom tiles or shower screen. Price: £8.68. Classy cleaners are sure to love OXO's stainless steel squeegee - with its cool contemporary styling you can add a touch of glamour to those household chores. Lightweight and easy to use thanks to its low profile design, the squeegee comes with a suction cup holder so you can neatly store it away or leave it proudly out on display in the bathroom.
The brushed stainless steel finish is extremely easy to maintain unlike highly polished versions, offering classic good looks all year round. And best of all, the stainless steel squeegee is a snip at just £10.21. OXO's mini squeegee really comes into its own when tackling small panes of glass, leaving surfaces gleaming and spot free. Its cute, compact size makes it ideal for cleaning French doors, mirrors and highly polished granite worktops, and works wonders on car windscreens and windows too. Store it in a kitchen drawer or hang it inside your cupboard door with its suction cup. Price: £4.60. Designed to make everyday living that little bit easier, the OXO Good Grips range offers over 200 stylish, yet practical tools for the home including kitchenware, organisational tools, bathroom and cleaning products. The company has also now extended into the nursery with the launch of OXO Tot, an exciting new collection of baby equipment including essential feeding and weaning tools, highchairs and bathing products. The OXO range is widely available from a selection of national retailers.

Automated Window Cleaning System offers optional fan package. Able to clean windows, frames, and exterior of buildings at rate of 17,000-35,000 ft²/hr, Sky Pro® Window Cleaning System has optional dual fan package designed to push brushes against building to optimize scrubbing pressure. Fan package can eliminate need for counterweight arm and is recommended for use on buildings over 30 stories tall, in windy areas, or on buildings subject to unexpected wind gusts. For Green cleaning, Sky Pro uses only filtered water without chemicals or soaps.

Questions about Dawn® Dish Soap: Can I use Dawn to clean things other than dishes? Dawn is so effective in cutting grease on dishes that over the years, consumers have used Dawn on other greasy messes around their homes, from cleaning kitchen messes like grease build up on the stove range hood to oily spots in the garage. Dawn is not recommended for window cleaning, car washing, body wash or washing hair.

Amazing miniature art is a Lilliputian gallery: Quirky photographer Vincent Bousserez loves creating funny inch-idents and you always need to take a second look at his work. He's become an internet sensation, with websites showcasing his collection of 80 photographs which sell for up to £1,800 each. The amusing vignettes show tiny folk sledging on a toilet roll, mowing a stubble lawn, washing windows, quarrying cake and putting out fires. 'They have made me quite famous,' said the Frenchman.

What is Thumbtack? Why can you go online right now and buy any product you want but you can't do the same for tutors, handymen, dog walkers, or other local services? Thumbtack is changing that. Thumbtack isn't like typical local search directories that simply return business listings with ratings and reviews, leaving you no better off than the paper Yellow Pages. Instead, Thumbtack gives you the ability to vet, contact and book service professionals the moment you find them. At Thumbtack, we understand that hiring service professionals requires a high degree of trust. This is why we go out of our way to make sure that our community is held to the highest standards and that you have all the tools you need to feel comfortable hiring someone online. Thumbtack helps you get the job done at the time and place you want, with someone you know you can trust.

In other business, this week, the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners approved a $3,280 contract for window cleaning services from Moses Window Cleaning Services, also on Culman’s recommendation.

Q. When I raised the shades at 7:34 a.m. It was -7 degrees outside and 61 degrees inside at the window (42 percent relative humidity). At 8 a.m., you can see that the condensation had largely evaporated so there was no moisture that reached the sill. Not sure why the internal temperature dropped to 57 degrees, perhaps from the cold coming from the window. I have some concerns about the moisture that sits between the glass and the sash. (You can see it if you zoom in on the photo.) Do you have any ideas on this?
The reason the temperature is 61 degrees at the window when you raised the shade is that the shade kept the ambient temperature warmer while the air caught between the shade and the glass cooled overnight, causing condensation. As soon as you raised the shade, the room air was able to absorb the condensation, but that caused the ambient air at the window to drop a few degrees because the cold air could escape. To prevent damage to the wood sashes, keep a tight paint seal at the glass/wood joint and wipe the moisture as soon as the shades are raised.
Q. Do you have any suggestions to help me wash my windows and not end up with streaks?
A. Professional window washers use a squeegee to remove most of the cleaning fluid and follow it up by wiping with newspapers. What a way to recycle newsprint, and they can be put in your compost bin. (!!!)

Real Estate Sales Heat Up: The exact peak of this period tends to vary each year due to weather, interest rates, and Wall Street bonuses. Many buyers will try to make a purchase in April-May-June which would allow them to close and move June and July and be ready for school in September. One of the busiest closing days is June 30. The next active buying and selling period is mid-September through Thanksgiving. The market then slows down for the holidays and the next cycle begins again after Super Bowl. If a homeowner is an avid sports fan, they really do not want to leave their home and flat screen TV for a public open house or a buyer showing appointment on a Sunday in January. Hence, we tend to go from touchdowns and chili to staging, window cleaning and listing homes for sale as we start the Spring Market all over again.

A man in his 60s was airlifted to hospital after falling more than 30 feet through a glass roof at industrial premises in Park Street, Kidderminster. The incident happened just after 1.45pm yesterday afternoon. One ambulance and the Midlands Air Ambulance based at Cosford attended the scene. A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: A man in his 60s sustained head and shoulder injuries after falling 30 feethrough a glass roof at premises in Park Street, Kidderminster. “The condition of the man was stablised by ambulance staff at the scene and he was placed on a spinal board with a neck collar as a precaution.” The casualty was later airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for further assessment and treatment.

Drive-Thru Large Dead Window: You’re busy – you got plenty of things on the go. The last thing you have time for is to pay your respects when someone passes. But what is a busy mourner to do? You can ask to have the recently deceased displayed in an open casket in the drive-thru display window of Robert L. Adams Mortuary in Compton. In business since 1974, Adams funeral parlor brings the dead to the drive-thru and convenience to the living. There are a few of these parlors running in the US, but this is the only one in Southern California. The drive-thru is located off of the main entrance, is 12 feet wide and features a long glass display window that you can see from the street. “It’s a unique feature that sets us aside from other funeral parlors,” said owner Scott Adams. “You can come by after work, you don’t need to deal with parking, you can sign the book outside and the family knows that you paid your respects.”

Beginning next week, the remaining section of SE Pioneer Way in the downtown area will permanently convert to an eastbound one-way street. The first section of roadway, from City Beach to Dock Street, was converted to a one-way in March when road crews began pulverizing the street. Work on phase two, from Dock Street to Midway Boulevard, is scheduled to begin Monday morning. To combat dusty conditions, Strider will have a water truck on hand. Also, the city has doormats available for businesses and has arranged to begin periodic exterior window cleaning.

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