Alan KarrWritten by Michael Draper This issue we talked to Alan Karr from Canada. See how previous employment helped him launch his window cleaning business.
Getting involved in the Service Industry, happened by accident…. I was laid off from the Gaming Industry, due to the economic down-turn in 2007. I applied for a temporary telemarketing job at Weedman Lawncare. They needed a cold-caller to call local home-owners, and simply ask, “would you be interested in a quote, for Lawn Care?” It was a simple, mind-numbing job, that I later realized, would be one of the more important jobs at the company. The management told me that i would be laid-off in three months, however i managed to quickly, move up to phone sales, and from there, would wear a number of hats in the Sales Dept., and in the field.
After a few years at Weedman, the Lawn Care Industry as a whole, was changing. The Province of Ontario, decided to implement a pesticide ban, that would change how we did business. Weedman, and companies like Weedman, would have to embrace natural products, and try to convince the consumer, it was business as usual. It was a tough sell…. prompting the franchise owner to sell the franchise, which resulted in a mass lay-off.Now what?
I was back where I started - trying to find meaningful employment in a shaky economy. Being at Weedman was an amazing experience. I had a front row seat, to everything that happened at the franchise. Before the lay-off, i was supervising door-knocking and telemarketing teams. The experience was priceless, and opened my eyes, to what was possible in the Service Industry.
After the lay-off, I decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. My first thought was lawncare, but after watching the struggles at Weedman, i knew i would have some challenges. I kept getting SPAM email from a marketer, who was trying to sell his cd’s, on “How to become a Window Cleaner.” Becoming a window cleaner, was never on my radar…. To be honest, I had never seen a window cleaner in our area. After some research, I realized that you didn’t need much to get started, and i already knew how to, and was comfortable with, marketing to home-owners.
Step 1, was to design a cheesy logo, and make some cards, and begin the process of getting my first customers. I didn’t have much of a budget, but I managed to buy a brass squeegee, and a bucket and mop at the local janitorial store. Acquiring my first customers was easy… cleaning their windows was another story. It took me all day to clean my first home, but the feeling was simply AMAZING. Learning to use a squeegee is not as easy as everyone might think. Thankfully, I discovered all of the window cleaning videos on Youtube. There is a video for everything! Video has come a long way and has become the window cleaner’s greatest resource.
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