WINTER, I know what a scary word right? Well at least in the industry of window cleaning. A lot of companies big and small, established and not established don’t really know what to do with winter. Winter is tough to handle in the south, but is a completely different animal in the northern states. A lot of companies I know up north even shut down entirely in the winter.
“So what do you do? How do we handle this?”
The life of owning a window cleaning business can be a wild journey, throw weather in the mix and it becomes a roller coaster. Let’s think about the big picture for a second. What keeps your company moving forward in progress? “THE GRIND” I hate that phrase but we will use it for a lack of better terms. What keeps the doors open with the lights on? “THE GRIND” so if you can treat this time of the year as a “restart” if you may, then you will do just fine. That is exactly how we run our company every November to February.
By restart I simply mean a rolling over, depending on what part of the country your business is depends on when your restart begins. For us we have been doing it long enough to predict exactly month to month when we will have a massive profit and when we will just be coasting along. I hate to beat a dead horse but the only way to survive in the winter and keep your company afloat is systems and planning. A lot of companies make it just fine with having an established storefront route, those don’t happen overnight. Other companies work really long hours in the summer, spring and fall months so that they can take the weekends and early days off in the winter.
Let’s face it, working in the winter can be miserable for you and your crew.
It takes a lot of mental toughness to get out of bed in the morning and shovel the snow out of your driveway just to get to work and work with water. (If you have ever had to water fed the side of a 3 story house with only a couple feet of room to work with you feel my pain) you have made it this far, you have worked the long hours, fought through the summer heat, gone through about 10 bottles of wasp spray. Now is the time to enjoy the slower part of the season, we all know every year winter is coming but I also feel like we forget about it until it creeps up on us.
The residential does die down, BUT the commercial picks up, who doesn’t love those commercial checks am I right?
Pushing to the end can mean a couple of different things, just because you don’t have a lot of jobs does not mean you can’t work. Going back to the restart, what we like to do is as soon as November starts we like to have more meetings during the week, I once heard a quote that said “if you don’t listen to your employees your company will only be as good as your brain” see what’s going on in the company, we also like to make winter months for getting organized. The shop, the trucks, the systems we have in place, reel them in tight in these months. Go back over the year and see what advertising was working and what was not and tweak it for next year. Look at the goals you set in January, did you meet all of them? Some of them?
If you do shut down for the winter month what business have you opened up? Or do you even work those couple of months?
Pushing to the end does not mean you have to break your back funneling money into advertising with a low ROI, and it also does not mean you need to structure your company like anyone else.
Pushing through till the end can be exactly what you make of it, maybe you’re like us, maybe you can use those slow months to have a hard reset and evaluate the company to MAKE SURE that you can make the best of the following year with the warm climate, hot leads, and busy schedule.
-By Austin Grubbs