Introduction

We spoke to Joseph Richards, Managing Director, about his move to CleanerPlanner.

Please can you tell us a little about your business?

The Cardiff Window Cleaning Company has been trading for about 4 years. However, we’ve been window cleaning for around 16 years – I started when I was 15 years old with nothing but a borrowed ladder and a squeegee. We’re based in Cardiff, but cover much of South Wales and Bristol. We have a client base made up of around 20% domestic and 80% commercial customers. We combine the use of water fed pole and traditional window cleaning, from the ground or from MEWPS. The company has also built up a team of Rope Access Technicians, with 2 of them recently gaining their IRATA qualifications.

…for a long time, we simply used Excel…whilst it did the job, we found it time consuming and limiting

What window cleaning software did you use before CleanerPlanner, and why did you move?

We’ve tried several other window cleaning software programs in the past, but we until we found CleanerPlanner, we couldn’t find a solution that we felt worked particularly well. So for a long time, we simply used Excel spreadsheets and Dropbox. Whilst it did the job, we found it time consuming and limiting, and it produced a lot of unnecessary paperwork.

CleanerPlanner has saved us time in ways we didn’t even imagine it could.

How easy was it to move over to CleanerPlanner and how long did it take you to get to grips with the system?

You get a 30 day free trial which gave us more than enough time to play about with it and get used to the system. Once we committed, it was a very simple process to add all of our customers and get started.

Has CleanerPlanner saved you time, and if so, can you guesstimate how much time per week?

CleanerPlanner has saved us time in ways we didn’t even imagine it could. For example – producing invoices is now incredibly easy, and you can email them straight from the software. It’s also saved us lots of time compiling figures for our accounts and VAT returns. We have probably saved around 6 hours per week in admin time, so around 24 hours a month – which is a substantial time saving to say the least!

We have probably saved around 6 hours per week in admin time, so around 24 hours a month

Has CleanerPlanner allowed you to take on more business?

Yes, definitely. The reporting features on CleanerPlanner have highlighted areas that we need to improve – showing us which are our most and least profitable jobs, vans and rounds – that’s just not information we had to hand before and it’s so easy to access on CleanerPlanner. Armed with this information we have been able to drop under-priced work, focus on taking on more profitable jobs and push for growth in areas of the business where there is room to accommodate new work.

Has CleanerPlanner allowed you to provide a better service to your customers and if so, how?

The ability to quickly provide outstanding invoice statements to our commercial clients has been very appreciated – it gives them all the information they need in a professional format, which reflects well on us as a business and drives quicker payments. We’re also more focused on obtaining client’s email addresses and mobile numbers – as CleanerPlanner makes it so much easier to keep our clients updated and in the loop.

To be honest, the thought of running my business without CleanerPlanner now is scary.

Are there any CleanerPlanner features that you couldn’t live without?

All of them! To be honest, the thought of running my business without CleanerPlanner now is scary.

Has your debt management improved since using CleanerPlanner?

Dramatically. Unlike a spreadsheet, CleanerPlanner makes it immediately obvious when debts are overdue and by how long. Then in just a couple of clicks, we can send a polite reminder, either by text message or email.

We delayed for too long – there’s no doubt that we should have used CleanerPlanner sooner.

To summarize, how would you say CleanerPlanner has changed your business.

As a company we are simply a lot more organised. We’re able to plan ahead with much better insight than we ever could before. The team love the mobile app and have found it a huge improvement over the antiquated paper spreadsheets I used to provide for them. Our cash flow has also improved with the ability to invoice more quickly, stay on top of debts and get payments in quicker.

What advice would you give to window cleaners that may be considering using CleanerPlanner?

We delayed for too long – there’s no doubt that we should have used CleanerPlanner sooner. Whether you’re a one man band or a large business, if you’re wondering whether CleanerPlanner could work for you – just take out the free trial and you’ll see. The benefits are immediate!

…if you’re wondering whether CleanerPlanner could work for you – just take out the free trial and you’ll see. The benefits are immediate!

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