Opinions Please

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by mb30, May 30, 2017.

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  1. mb30

    mb30 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    18 1
    I've wanted to startup my own business for a long time, having spent years working for an employer the opportunity of redundancy came and I took it to follow my dream of becoming self employed. Unfortunately as I have a rather large mortgage to pay monthly I cant afford to waste months over thinking and looking into every idea that comes into my head so I've narrowed it down to 2 ideas, if anyone here has any experience in either of these 2 businesses, I would greatly appreciate your advice and opinion be it positive or negative, all opinions are appreciated, and thanks in advance for any replies to this post.

    (1)
    Cleaning Contractor, Specializing in:
    Window cleaning via heated waterfed pole system (domestic + commercial customers)
    Solar Panel Cleaning via heated waterfed pole system (domestic + commercial customers)
    Gutter cleaning using high reach vacuum (domestic + commercial customers)
    High level vacuum (Industrial customers)
    Electrostatic sanitizing and disinfecting cleaning (healthcare + commercial customers)
    Soda blasting (commercial + industrial customers)
    Builders Cleaning
    End of tenancy cleaning (landlords + estate agents)
    Trash house + hoarding house clearance (landlords + estate agents)

    (2)

    Haulage Contractor:

    -Buy own Articulated Truck + 45ft curtainside trailer
    -Specializing in haulage of general haulage of bulk materials

    I already hold a Class 1 artic driving licence + CPC, and have been offered work already

    ----------------------------------------------------

    My gut feeling is to go buy a artic truck and trailer, apply for my haulage O licence, get insured and go to work, only negative thoughts being I've been assured theres work there over the summer months hauling recycled materials however no assurance it's long term work, ???

    On the cleaning company well I have been trying for weeks to get a window cleaner with a modern heated waterfed pole system to clean my windows and its impossible no window cleaner in my area has the heated waterfed there is 1 company about 5 mile away however they wont entertain domestic customers there are 28 detached houses in my estate having spoke to 5 of my immediate neighbors they too cannot get a high quality window cleaner leading me to believe there may be demand for this and some other cleaning services..
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: mb30 Member since: May 28, 2017
    #1
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    15,594 1,718
    Haulage - working for another company and taking the jobs they give you?
    Or taking the jobs your rig is free for?
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #2
  3. mb30

    mb30 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    18 1
    Operating on a subcontractor/owner driver basis, basically delivering/collecting loads for individual companies and other large transport companies that require additional help moving loads. From the research I've done so far it seems theres bits of work here and there, haven't came across anything long term, I guess my fear is this work may not be sustainable long term.
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: mb30 Member since: May 28, 2017
    #3
  4. Mitch3473

    Mitch3473 UKBF Regular Free Member

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    Go for the cleaning....everything gets dirty and you can dictate your hours to a degree. If it all goes horribly wrong and there's no reason it should with decent local marketing and the right set up, you can always go driving. Plus your initial outlay wont be anywhere near as much as a 40' artic.
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: Mitch3473 Member since: Aug 25, 2011
    #4
  5. mb30

    mb30 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    18 1
    Thank you for your input Mitch3473
     
    Posted: May 30, 2017 By: mb30 Member since: May 28, 2017
    #5
  6. pentel

    pentel UKBF Regular Free Member

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    Definitely with Mitch on this one. And if work is tight and / or while you are building up your business do some driving on a temp basis.
     
    Posted: May 31, 2017 By: pentel Member since: Mar 12, 2011
    #6
  7. Ashley_Price

    Ashley_Price UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    Agree with Pentel and Mitch on this.

    With the cleaning you are showing you have already done the research and there could be a market for your service.

    I would express a word of caution though, what people say when you're just asking them a question is very different to when you're trying to get their business. Don't assume, just because your five immediate neighbours can't get a decent window cleaner, it means they will definitely use you.
     
    Posted: May 31, 2017 By: Ashley_Price Member since: Feb 9, 2008
    #7
  8. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    I would not count on there being a demand of this service. You might think that it is the best thing since sliced bread, but the traditional squeegee and bucket of water has been used for cleaning windows for years quite successfully.

    The important point is that many people see cleaning windows as just another domestic chore which people have been doing for centauries and does not need high tech expensive equipment to do a quality job.

    Also, compare this equipment now with pressure washing 20 years ago. 20 years ago anybody who wanted their drive or walls pressure washed, would hire someone to do it. Now most people will buy pressure washer and do it themselves.
     
    Posted: May 31, 2017 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
    #8
  9. Mitch3473

    Mitch3473 UKBF Regular Free Member

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    I actually drove for an airport parking firm from 5.30 in the morning for a few months whilst I was starting a previous business. I remember changing from a suit into my work clothes in the van.
     
    Posted: May 31, 2017 By: Mitch3473 Member since: Aug 25, 2011
    #9
  10. Tim Grindley

    Tim Grindley UKBF Contributor Free Member

    51 1
    As other have siad do the window cleaning thing. Put the word out, pass out fliers, put them through the door of your target area and also knock those doors and introduce yourself. This is especially true for the houses between your existing (or will be) customers as they might be there wondering how they get you to do their windows.

    Use local forums to ask if there are any areas where there is no existing window cleaner.

    Do this as it is of little cost to start and you can do some agency driving to pay the bills untill it takes off and you don't have to buy the massively costly lorry!

    If it does not work you can always do the haulage business afterwards. But don't as it is a boring job with loads of competition.
     
    Posted: May 31, 2017 By: Tim Grindley Member since: May 24, 2017
    #10
  11. Ashley_Price

    Ashley_Price UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    Waterfed poles are in much wider use, as window cleaners cannot use a ladder to go up to first floor, or higher, windows now, especially if the ladder is on a public footpath or pavement. I believe this rule protects both the window cleaner (in case he falls off, or someone knocks the ladder as they go past) and passers-by (from having a bucket drop on their head).
     
    Posted: Jun 1, 2017 By: Ashley_Price Member since: Feb 9, 2008
    #11
  12. Clinton

    Clinton UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    You do know Uber is getting into the haulage and courier businesses, with their own vehicles, and intend to disrupt the haulage market?
     
    Posted: Jun 1, 2017 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
    #12
  13. mb30

    mb30 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    18 1
    Thank you very much to everyone for your opinions, it's hard trying to decide on which path to take but I guess one will never really know what way things will work out unless they go for it.
     
    Posted: Jun 1, 2017 By: mb30 Member since: May 28, 2017
    #13
  14. mb30

    mb30 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    18 1
    .
     
    Posted: Jun 1, 2017 By: mb30 Member since: May 28, 2017
    #14
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