Why choosing a smaller company is the better way to go.
There's no denying it, when it comes to this industry there are a lot of options as to where to spend your hard earned money. When making your choice it's easy to be seduced by brightly painted vehicles and expensive advertisements. Often times the staff employed by the big companies are under payed, under skilled, over worked, and disgruntled at earning a fraction of what the company is earning off of their hard work. How do I know this? Because I used to be one of them.
The first thing you get when you call any company is usually the owner. The owner meets you with a firm handshake and offers you a quote and you accept it. Here's where things begin to differ. The large company will put you an a waiting list for up to six weeks or longer. The small guy can fit you in next week. After you wait six weeks for your service, the brightly painted truck arrives with someone you've never met, alongside his rookie sidekick with no experience at all. They will have to rush the job because they have five or six more jobs to pile onto the day before it's over. Contrary - the little guy you met last week arrives, delivers you an excellent service, and has time to focus on the fine details while still charging you less than the other guys. At the end of the day though, it's about getting the most value out of the service you are buying. Does it make you feel better to support grassroots? Or goliath?
For myself personally, this concept transcends all elements of the marketplace where we always have the choice to shop at the big box stores, or take the extra time to go to the famers market. When you support the little guys, you're helping out a single family face to face, and that's worth more than any billboard ad or golden arches. As a one man show I feel twice as much pride in my work than I did as an employee. I always do my best work regardless but, knowing that I was giving over half of the earnings to someone who wasn't even on the job with me to help.. it was a constant knot.
When The Heat is On
I am always at a loss for words whenever it's a roasting hot sunny day and I'm washing windows and a passer by comments: "Great day to wash windows!".
Now, my normal reply to that is something along the lines of: " Its actually a great day for lots of things, like golfing, fishing, swimming.. etc" The truth that most people don't realize is that it's actually the worst time to wash windows. Not because I'd rather be working on my slice at the driving range, the fact is that hot glass is a pain in the..uh, lower back.
When the sun gets hot surface temperatures on windows can reach levels above 100 degrees fahrenheit. This results in very fast evaporation which is detrimental to the squeegee cleaning method which relies on wet lubricated glass in order to achieve a streak free finish. We as window cleaners have to deal with this in several ways because the last thing we want is to have to come back again and rub off some foggy streaks or rubber lines.
First one is obvious, we start early as possible in the day. Its cool then and the glass is too. If the sun is already high in the sky and the heat is on, then we start on the shady side of the building, and most likely when we finish that side, the earth has rotated and the angle of sunlight has shifted away from the hot side. Besides that, keeping the water in my bucket ice cold and lots of it helps to cool hot glass down before my squeegee touches it, you can't put too much water on that window on a hot day. Then there is the actual rubber that is in the squeegee. Surprisingly there are lot's of different companies making various rubber compounds for window cleaners. Some are cheap, some are not, but you get what you pay for. In my research I have found that Ettore Soren rubber is probably the most durable and reliable rubber on the market. I've used it on extremely hot windows with practically no water at all and there have been little to no streaking left behind!
The Window Viper