This morning when I was out on my storefront window cleaning route, the mailman walked by and said “I love it when stores take pride in there store,” Which is better than the usual “you missed a spot” taunt that window cleaners usually get. A window cleaning route is when you group together a bunch of stores, typically on a weekly basis. When I go out on my route we always stop in to neighboring stores and ask them if they would like us to clean their windows and we get shot down relatively quick.
Typical reasons for getting turned away are “We have someone else that does it” or “We do it ourselves.” To be clear, I don’t expect everyone to hire us. Maybe my offering doesn’t come across properly, they don’t like the way I look, the person that I spoke to is just an employee and doesn’t make those decisions… Who knows? I don’t get offended. But it really bothers me that they’re windows aren’t clean. Do they not take pride in their store?
I’m going to try to see if I can come up with some data that shows
- The exact amount of clarity that is diminished with dirty windows on a store. I’m thinking of picking up a tint meter as it may show exactly how much light will pass through the glass.
- What a customers perception is of a store that has clean or dirty glass (or if they notice at all). I don’t really have the resources for a study group. I thought about sending an email to my database of customers but they’re obviously partial to clean glass. My opinion certainly wouldn’t count as I inspect every piece of glass that I walk by, purely out of habit.
There must be some data that is published somewhere as there are stores, such as the Microsoft Store in the Burlington Mall, that use a type of glass called “starfire.” Starfire glass is special for a number of reasons but the most significant is that it has low iron content which gives it high clarity. You may not notice but iron gives glass a bit of a greenish hue. When the Microsoft store was opening up at their new location we were hired to remove the minor scratches from the starfire glass on the front of their store that had accumulated over time before they moved in. It was very important to them that the front of the store was “museum quality and free of defects.” Below you can see the difference between “jade” and starfire.
Its also very common for starfire to be used in aquariums. Planted aquariums has always been my favorite hobby and some of the nicest fish tanks out there are made of starfire and have no frames. If you want to see some incredible fish tanks, here is my hobby. Its called “aquascaping.” (No, I’m not anywhere as awesome as they are)
There is something about a presentation. I know its not easy for a small mom and pop shop to go all out and buy a starfire storefront, nor do I think that they should. But be passionate about what you do have. These details matter (and I’m going to test and prove that for you). Ben Franklin said “Watch your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” I think that you can roll that over into any aspect of your life by just changing a few words.