I. Introduction (5 minutes)

II. The Different Hats of Management

The different hats of management are as follows – operations, marketing, sales, finance, staffing, and you as a window cleaner (or what we may also call as a practitioner). We will be discussing these topics one at a time and in a plain and simple manner for better understanding.

A. Management/Operations (18 mins.)

1. Administration in General –

As a business owner, you have to operate your business hands-on. You are responsible for the effective and efficient day-to-day operations of your company. The job entails administration in general, setting up the office, managing office documents, operating your CRM software, managing prospects, answering calls, scheduling projects, mapping and routing, setting up voicemail greetings, preparing phone scripts, email templates, and buying supplies and equipment. Most of these are discussed in detail in the Administrative Manual (part of your Franchise Kit).

2. Office Set Up – In all likelihood your office will be setup in your home. How should you setup your office? 

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a. Set Your Office Up for Productivity –

Avoid distractions. Pick a quiet spot in your home, not in the kitchen where your wife is busy preparing meals or your kids constantly opening the fridge. Get tough with distracting people. Let them know that working from home still means working.

Paint your space a soothing color you enjoy. Studies show that green is supposed to be great for productivity. 

Distractions may also come in the form of social media notifications that prevents you from doing your job. Be disciplined and pick a time to devote for such distractions. If you don't set your boundaries, no one's going to do it for you.

Also, make sure that you have everything you need for the job within your reach, whether in your office or on the computer.

b. Get comfortable –

To work effectively, you must be comfortable in the spot you choose and have a comfy chair as well. Don’t get so comfortable as to ignore working hours. Napping on the job is not acceptable. If staring in front of your computer for hours make your eyes hurt, take eye breaks. Reduce eye strain by following the 20-20-20 rule. Every twenty minutes stop looking at your screen. Stare at something 20 yards away and hold it for 20 seconds. Your peepers will thank you. You might also want to consider getting an anti-glare screen for your computer.

c. Declutter Often -

Things have a habit of collecting in home offices – piles of paper, coffee cups, knick-knacks – and these become a distraction when they pile up and not put away. It is that you limit the items in your office to those that are required strictly for office administration, no household items or storage boxes, etc.

d. Work with Purpose –

Make a list of tasks you need to complete every day--and then do it. Cross items off the list as you go. We provide a to-do list in the Administrative Manual to get the habit forming.

e. Dress for the Part –

Because working from home is still work, dress appropriately. It will help you set your mind to the fact that you are a professional and that you are working. Put your pants on. 

3. Office Documents –

Document management is the process of handling documents in such a way that information can be created, shared, organized and stored efficiently and appropriately.  Following our document management system is critical for businesses because you will want to be able to store documents in an organized and secure way that still allows documents to be found easily. 

While there are document management software or apps in the market, these are simply designed to improve your business’s handling of electronic files. The problem is that many small businesses have to deal with mixes of old-fashioned data on paper and electronic files – and in some cases, the proportion of paper data is much larger.

Converting all your business’s documents to electronic form can be done but will take a lot of hard drive space and time-consuming as well.

Setting up a document management system involves three steps:

a. Creation of a document management plan -

We give you templates for most of the documents that you will need to run your business (it's in your Franchise Kit), so that takes care one part of the problem. 

The next aspect is organizational. How will documents be filed? The key to filing documents is to follow good file management practices. Once produced, documents such as invoices can be organized according to date. The same rule applies to time stamped documents.

How are you going to organize these documents? Create a folder in your My Documents to separate yung office documents from other files that are not related to work. Move all office related documents into this folder.

How will you store documents? Electronic files have to be in folders you can easily identify and find. The same rule applies to hard copies that are in filing cabinets. The truth is, it is easier to find files electronically than manually going through a filing cabinet. When filing hard copies of documents, make sure you make labels for each folder, and be sure that the document goes into the right folder.

Additional tips: 

Back up your files though cloud storage or an external hard drive. 

Protect your documents from employee theft by limiting access to your files, locking your filing cabinets, and having security systems in place.

Be sure to remember your password(s) if you are going to lock your computer and/or your folders, otherwise you won't be able to access it when you need it.

b. Implement the document management plan –

If you decide to give access to others, make sure that all your staff know the details of your business’s document management system and are following appropriate procedures when creating, storing and retrieving documents.

c. Follow through

You’ll also have to be sure that everyone who accesses and uses documents within your organization follows through, doing things such as naming and storing documents appropriately. Spot check on a regular basis to test whether particular files can be easily found and to guard against misfiling.

4. CRM Software

Customer relationship management software are tools to organize your contact info and manage your relationship with current and prospective customers, clients, and other contacts.

We use Google Contacts to contact, add detailed contact info, write notes about each contact, and find email messages they sent you in Gmail. You can even organize contacts into groups, perhaps to keep customers in one list and new leads—people interested in your products—in another.

A CRM app will do that and more, thanks to the R in its name: Relationship. A CRM will help you get the big picture of your contacts, and help you know exactly what to talk about the next time you meet or email someone.

Marketer Jennifer Burnham summed up the importance of the R in CRM when she wrote on the Salesforce blog that “while a CRM system may not elicit as much enthusiasm these days as social networking platforms like Facebook or Twitter, any CRM system is similarly built around people and relationships.” It's true. A CRM is like your own mini social network filled with details about the people most important to your business.

Happy Window Cleaning uses A Better Software. We use it because it helps us with:

a. Contacts - It is built around your team's emails and phone calls with customers. You can then easily see what other people in your team have talked about and refresh yourself on what to say before emailing or calling a client.

Human touch is important. When you learn something important about your customer—their birthday, their current position, or hobbies—you’ll be much more likely to make a lasting connection.

b. Conversion - It helps you close the deal with your most promising leads. You’ll track potential customers and clients as "leads", add info as you work on convincing that customer to use your product or service, and then turn that lead into a "deal" once they've decided to buy your products or services. The CRM helps you log the steps, tracing the interactions that led from the first contact to the finalized deal, and is crucial for working together in a sales team that otherwise would struggle to know exactly where the deal stood at any given time.

CRM Terms

Contact: The simplest of all, Contacts are people. Just like in your address book, a CRM's contacts they can contain the names and personal info of your customers and clients. You’ll likely also see Company or Account in your CRM alongside Contacts; these are specialized contacts for the organizations you work with, and you’ll likely link your individual contacts to a Company or Account.

Lead: Some contacts are special: They're people who seem to want to do business with your company in the future. Leads are the people to whom you’ll want to pay particular attention.

Opportunity: Turns out, that lead was really interested, and you think you’re going to be able to sell them your product or service. Now they’re an Opportunity, someone actually likely to buy your product, and you’ll want to list info about what exactly this opportunity is and track it in your CRM.

Quote: You’ve worked with a Contact, turned that Prospect into a Customer, and now you’re almost ready to make a deal—so you’ll give them an estimated price for the service. That’s what estimates are for—the place to list the price you quoted to potential customers, not the place to store your inspiring business quotations.

Deal: Everything worked out and you’ve sold your product—or perhaps it didn’t, and the Opportunity fell through. You’ll track both of those with Deals, which will show your Won and Lost Deals.

Profiles: Typically, these would be the people inside your own company that use the CRM app. Each of them may have a role, or a particular set of permissions in the app—your sales team might not have access to your Suppliers list, say, while perhaps only you can edit details on your team Profiles.

Campaign: You'll use our prescribed CRM for marketing, and this is where you'll track that outreach. Campaigns are where you'll track your marketing work. Each campaign will list the contacts and companies most crucial to that marketing campaign, along with results, notes, and more.

Tag: Similar to tags in Gmail or metadata on your photos, tags give you a way to add extra info to a Contact, Deal, or anything else in your company's CRM. This extra data gives you more ways to filter and sort through your CRM.

Activity: Activity in a CRM typically refers to anything that’s happened in the app—new Deals, Contacts, Opportunities, or perhaps just a message from your colleagues. Activity is usually listed in a Facebook-like news feed so you can look over them easily.

How do you make the most of a CRM? Your CRM will only end up truly helping you and your team with customer management relationship if you actually use it and rely on it to help you do your job. Make it a core part of your work.

5. Prospect Management

Prospects are individuals or companies you are eyeing to be customers. Sometimes they contact you first by asking for an estimate, other times you have to look for them and make the first move.

Customers have a right to know what work you’ll do and how much you’ll charge. But that means you must spend time — and often money — creating a bid or proposal. We have a template for that. Realistically, you must be responsive to all potential customers. But you can limit the amount of time, money and effort you spend on dead-end shoppers and turn more of them into paying customers. While we value prospects, we don’t want to exhaust to much of our resources while preparing the estimate, so we normally do our estimates through satellite images available online.

Tricks for Responding to Prospects:

a. Have standard information ready. Most prospects try to figure out whether a company is a good fit before taking up too much of their — or your — time. Have your standard presentation template ready.

b. Ask questions and use our call sheet as you get the prospect’s information. If the prospect sends you an email, ask questions as well. The more questions you ask, the more you are able to give a reasonable estimate. Also, by asking a few simple, nonintrusive questions, you get a much better sense of how serious the prospect is, what is important to that person, and how much time you should spend. 

c. Don’t get starstruck. It’s easy to get excited if a large or well-known company approaches you. Those kinds of clients often demand extensive proposals, take longer to make decisions and expect highly competitive bids. Expect your proposal process to be a business development expense and make sure the project is profitable for you.

d. Create a ticking clock by providing a timeline. Give prospects a reason to make a decision sooner rather than later. Follow up after 3 days or so. Make every bid time sensitive, so your proposal expires after a reasonable period.

e. Show your ankle, not the whole leg. When giving a proposal for your professional advice or services, be cautious about giving too much information in the proposal process. Some prospects use proposals as a way of getting free advice. Then they use your plans with less expensive competitors.

f. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. It’s easy to get excited about a prospect, especially if it’s a big one. Remember, a deal isn’t a deal until the check clears.

6. Answering Calls – These are just some of the tips about answering calls. 

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a. Answer before the third ring. You don't want to leave callers waiting. If you are working on a new smartphone, make sure you know how to operate it so you can respond promptly when the phone rings, check your voicemails or respond to text messages.

b. Wait until you have the phone next to your face to start talking. Many people rush to speak before the phone is in place. If your phone doesn't pick up on faraway sounds well, it can leave the caller hearing only the very end of what you are saying. 

c. Introduce the business and yourself when you pick up the phone. If there is an official greeting for at your place of work, use it. If not, your safest bet is something like, "Good morning. This is Happy Window Cleaning. Scott speaking. How may I help you?" Scripts are available in your Administrative Manual (part of your Franchise Kit)

d. Speak clearly and loudly to be understood. Don't eat or drink while talking on the phone.

e. Be appropriately formal. Instead of, "Just a second," say, "May I put you on hold?" Instead of, "Who is this?" say, "May I ask who's calling?" You should always sound more formal at work than you would at home or on your own phone.

f. If the call isn't for you, transfer it to the right person. If you don't know how to transfer calls on your phone, ask someone to show you as soon as possible. If the right person isn't available, take a message and give it to them. Be as helpful as you can, even if it isn't your job.

g. Smile when you speak. It comes through in your voice.

h. Be Empathic. Show care and concern in your conversation. Let the customer feel relaxed and know you genuinely care. This is an area every call handler needs to master. You can win loyal customers with this simple act. Everyone wants to be cared for.

i. Provide Realistic Answers. If the client has a complaint or is making an inquiry, do your best to satisfy this need. However, do not promise or commit your company to what you cannot handle just to please the customer. Be realistic about what you can do. On the other hand, make an effort to exceed the customer's expectations when you do the job.

j. Remain optimistic. Even if your company cannot help the client, make an effort to help in another way. You have disqualified yourself from the client’s list of companies he will patronize in the future. When you cannot be of help to a customer, you should apologize for this. Then, ask if you can be of help in any other way. (Example: customer is looking for a service you do not provide).

k. End the Call Properly - Summarize the conversation before ending it. Also, let the customer be the one to take the initiative to end the call. However, you may discreetly say a thing or two to suggest that the call should be ended when it is apparent that there is nothing more to be said. For example: “Do you have any other question for me?”  If the client is ready to drop the call, ensure you thank him for calling before he drops the call. You may have heard some customer care agents say “Have a nice day” shortly before you drop the call. This is okay provided you are sure that it is daytime in the time zone of the caller. Finally, always allow the client to be the one to drop the call.

7. Scheduling Projects

After emailing a prospect, he will either accept or decline the estimate. If he accepts, then make sure that the date and time he chose is an open schedule in your calendar. Book him and then confirm that he has been booked for that time and day. If he declines, usually it’s because of the quoted rate, you can reason with him in a professional manner so much so that if he is not happy with the window cleaner he hires, he will not have second thoughts about hiring you. Regardless of the reason, try not to strain the relationship. 

Reminders of an appointment are usually given the day before the scheduled appointment. If the customer provided an email address, reminders will be sent automatically via the CRM. If the customer doesn’t have an email address, then you will have to call him the day before.

If you are fully booked and the next available date is more than thirty days away, you can make an offer to the customer. Suggest that you book him at the next available and if he wants to, you can add him to the list if someone cancels. Unless they are preparing for an upcoming event (graduation, party, etc.), regular customers who have experienced the efficiency of your service are usually willing to wait for your availability than hire another window cleaner they haven’t tried.

8. Mapping and Routing

If possible, schedule your crews’ projects methodically. Ideally, you will want to schedule jobs for one area in one day. You don’t send them to job sites that are poles apart. Time is money. Schedule jobs in such a manner that saves time and money.


If your office is on the north end of town, for practical reasons, you might have to pay rent parking on the south side to save drive time and labor costs.


The exception to this rule is if you are scheduling a job for a former customer, you will want to send the same window cleaner who served him last time. One reason is that he is more familiar with the requirements of the job, and secondly and most importantly, the customer is already acquainted, if not quite familiar with your employee. On this score, the comfort of the customer is given primordial consideration.

9. Buying Supplies and Equipment 

a. Control who can buy what by setting up a corporate account. Large office supply chains like Staples provide corporate accounts that include an online portal that can be used to control who can purchase items on behalf of the company. It can also limit the items that employees can purchase to a specific set of products. Another incentive: the products can sometimes have a discount off the retail prices available in-store or online. Amazon has a similar program called Amazon for Business.

If you still are able to purchase supplies from a small or local company, talk with them about their supply-control options. Sometimes you will discover they have relationships with wholesalers who can provide the same types of inventory management and online ordering systems. Sometimes, local and regional suppliers actually use large companies like Staples to handle fulfillment of orders on some or all of their inventory ordered online.

b. Buy in bulk. For the items your company orders a lot, buy in bulk. It won’t make sense on items you rarely need, but if you are using lots of paper, for instance, look for savings through bulk purchases. (Or even better, use less paper.)

c. Create a supply station. By setting up a common work space with a full set of office tools and supplies and space to use them, you will keep from having to purchase redundant items. By doing so, you are able to keep track of what you have and don’t have.

d. Don’t wait until you run out. By purchasing ahead of time, you’ll be able to keep impulse buys at bay. This goes hand in hand with our tip about office set-up – make sure that you have everything you need when you need them.

Test your knowledge by taking the quiz. 

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5355 Northland Dr. NE Suite 210

Grand Rapids MI 49525

Tel. No. 616.914.0720