Sunshine shoeshine.

DieHard

LE
Book Reviewer
#21
I'm not sure if setting up in reception areas is such a good idea. It's basically an arbitrary decision by some manager, but it could just as well be rescinded by another - and for no real reason. My recommendation: scout the industrial estates around your location. The "busy" ones will most certainly have either a permanent or mobile sarney outfit somewhere, or maybe even two. That's where you set up, because folks are going to have to wait in the queue anyway, so they can catch a quick shine while they're at it.

MsG
Your quite accurate on that too. I went to capability green estate which is on the main drag to Luton airport. After a decent recce I discovered that for an estate of offices with appx 4000 working there, they only had one shop selling scoff. Gregg are making a fortune while most office blocks have a canteen of some sort. Doormen and security have already been approached and promised a free boot shine, it's amazing how much they are prepared to help with that promise.
In my initial enquiries my attire was very smart casual. Trousers with razor sharp crease sharper than a woman's tongue, regimental polo shirt and shoes that could blind you from 30 pages.
When it comes to dealing with management though I shall not wear anything related to the army apart from my veteran pin badge on my jacket. After all I'm in Luton which we all know is an active recruitment area for angry men who hate the British military. Most security guards come under 3 headings.
The older retired squaddie who will help in every way he can.
The young guard with bulled boots that joined up but never finished basic. They are easy to spot.
Lastly is the ethnic guard, doing his job and avoiding politics and religion where possible.
 

DieHard

LE
Book Reviewer
#22
I imagine that people who feel that shiny shoes are important to them. Will already have shiny shoes.
To get the other punters to care you need to be offering shiny shoes plus some sort of experience. An example would be all the faffing about snapping cloths as you buff as per every 1930s gangster movie. Just shining a shoe won't be enough.
That's quite helpful, i have been googling and watching guys on you tube. It would certainly help.
 

DieHard

LE
Book Reviewer
#23
Most businesses have someone who's job it is to attract and vet contractors offering services to their staff. Find out who it is for the bigger companies in your vicinity, and discuss it with them. They might think it's a great idea, or they might suggest something that would be more appropriate for them, but still use your skills.


A free service for the security bods might be a good advert.
Cheers, i have security being helpful because of the free offer.
 

DieHard

LE
Book Reviewer
#24
MY suggestion would be to look at railway stations as a possible location, if only for the 06:00 - 09:30 rush hour. My local station has a man with a coffee van in the car park 05:30 - 10:30, he's constantly brewing for punters.
I did a bit of research on train stations and found that 99% of people were in too much of a rush while the rest just didn't give a shite.
However departure lounges at airports could be quite lucrative, especially in the VIP lounge. I still have contacts within Harrods and signature private jet specialist that are positive. The only snag is from personal experience most passengers are taken straight to their jet after a quick passport check and it's the same with most arrivals. But if customs are busy they will have to wait in the lounge. The longest I have waited with clients without problems was about 30 mins. Apart from some guys that were on the special branch radar, i was with them for 6 hours and was asked if I had driven them before, how well I knew them etc etc. Not pleasent when the guy with attitude accuses you of helping organised crime gangs. I just said show me the proof or feck off before I got upset with him
 
#25
Women seem especially bad in this respect and even if things do come to their notice, the solution is to go out and buy a new pair of shoes.
Offer women a shine at half price. Arrange the seat on your stall correctly and you'll be able to look up their skirts. Get yourself a pair of Google Glass video recording glasses and you could start an entirely different and more profitable dot com business. Not so much pay as you go as pay as you co .... <MOD EDIT> HAVE YOU TAKEN YOUR PILLS TODAY MARINER</MOD EDIT>

Failing that, if you can whistle a jaunty tune, apply to TfL for a busker's licence and set up in a busy tube station. Stand in front of the gates at rush hour and don't let the buggers through until they've paid you for a shine.
 
#27
I think the way to go, as some posters have already said, would be to have a gimmick and a regular spot. I reckon somewhere in the tunnels around London bridge tube would be your best bet.

Canary wharf tube might be a good alternative.
 
#28
I did a job a while back with an entrepreneur type and he had checked out renting a shop in one of the big London stations. The basic awnser he got from the relevant office was "Unless you are after a railway arch in the back end of beyond forget it."

The same goes for big companys, I watched a documentary some years ago about a guy that wanted to sell sandwiches to big firms.
The amount of hoops that he would have to jump through was impossible.

But the battleaxe for one of the big accountany firms that he was pitching, to pointed out that if she gave him the contract he would have a potential turnover approaching a million pounds.
 
#29
Remember: Morello does not work on suede and go easy with the blow torch.
 
#30
Due to previous and existing health problems I've found the job market to be less than welcoming. So I've decided to try and start my own mobile shoe shine business going to office blocks at first and setting up in reception areas.
I'm looking for feedback really, would you make use of the service if you knew it was in your place of work?
Wish you well.

Should you use American Shinola polish, you may find this brief instructional clip to be of use.

 
#31
I see some of the entrepreneur types at this kind of thing around the City and Canary Wharf, there are still enough smart show types with brass in pocket to make this work.

How and where you implement your service and get noticed is the thing, it will need to look snappy and sharp though (remember you are in lunch is for wimps territory), as someone has mentioned that snapping the cloths business gets attention.

Whatever you do don't tip up in No. 2s with a "bull your boots sir?" type pitch, they won't have time for all that malarkey.

Good luck with that though, it sounds like more fun than the spreadsheets, meetings, boards, risk registers etc. that I have to wade through every work day.
 

DieHard

LE
Book Reviewer
#32
I blanch to think what the airport owners might seek to charge for granting such a concession.
I imagine quite a bit.
There is a guy in the Arrivals lounge at terminal 5 Heathrow. I saw a short documentary about him and watched closely what he does and how he does it. He charges littrely twice the fee I plan to charge, £12 As opposed to my £6.
It's not just a case of brush on brush off but also the cleaning of the shoe first, working in some nourishing leather cream, getting rid of any dust or grit before doing a brush on brush off polish with buffing from an extra soft and thick buffing cloth.
At the moment I'm using Cathcart Elliot shoe products and have 2 circular horse hair brushes to apply the nourishing cream and the other for the polish. I'm ordering extra brushes, polish in various colours, cleaner including suede cleaner with some non abrasive brushes which will not knacked the suede. The order will be from a German manufacturers and will now include a detachable raised shoe rest on a box where I keep my products.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#33
Whatever you do don't tip up in No. 2s with a "bull your boots sir?" type pitch, they won't have time for all that malark
It occurs to me that, on other hand, when you're established, point out to people what you could do if they left their shoes with you between say start-lunch or lunch-go home. Give them a chance to bring in spare shoes next time, and gives you something to do while they're all in work and not in your queue.
 
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DieHard

LE
Book Reviewer
#35
I see some of the entrepreneur types at this kind of thing around the City and Canary Wharf, there are still enough smart show types with brass in pocket to make this work.

How and where you implement your service and get noticed is the thing, it will need to look snappy and sharp though (remember you are in lunch is for wimps territory), as someone has mentioned that snapping the cloths business gets attention.

Whatever you do don't tip up in No. 2s with a "bull your boots sir?" type pitch, they won't have time for all that malarkey.

Good luck with that though, it sounds like more fun than the spreadsheets, meetings, boards, risk registers etc. that I have to wade through every work day.
I have considered canary wharf and I got to know some people from Barclays at no5 and a couple of commissioners.
It is the latter that hold a lot of power and if i can get backing from them in sure that some management would come onside.
The same goes for some of the hotels. There is a guy at the Dorchester who started the way I am and is now a millionaire. From kiosk to overnight polishing of shoes left out of guests rooms in front of the door. So he did plenty of overnight work and recruited for the day time chair.
Some people may ask if it's possible to bull shoes, i will be willing to do so but with the time needed to do them they may find it cheaper to buy patent leather shoes.
 

DieHard

LE
Book Reviewer
#36
I have considered a military type set up and logo but decided it could create more problems if people object to it.
The other selling point is me donating a small percentage of say 5% to charity. I would probably find one for people with ptsd and point out that it's not restricted to service personal or emergency services but would be for all. A point being the tickng time bomb from the glenworth tower fire from children who have to grow up with what hapoened
 
#37
I’m sorry, it’s just not for me.

Good luck anyway.
 
#38
I have considered a military type set up and logo but decided it could create more problems if people object to it.
The other selling point is me donating a small percentage of say 5% to charity. I would probably find one for people with ptsd and point out that it's not restricted to service personal or emergency services but would be for all. A point being the tickng time bomb from the glenworth tower fire from children who have to grow up with what hapoened
I doubt if anyone would object in the City or CW, you won't find SJWs, Left wingers, snowflakes, Mooslamic law types in those areas.

You will find by and large those who are not really Forces aware (if they want/need their shoes shined you are as likely as the next polisher to get the job) or those who actively support Forces/Ex-Forces and make going to you a positive decision.
 
#40
I did a bit of research on train stations and found that 99% of people were in too much of a rush while the rest just didn't give a shite.
However departure lounges at airports could be quite lucrative, especially in the VIP lounge. I still have contacts within Harrods and signature private jet specialist that are positive. The only snag is from personal experience most passengers are taken straight to their jet after a quick passport check and it's the same with most arrivals. But if customs are busy they will have to wait in the lounge. The longest I have waited with clients without problems was about 30 mins. Apart from some guys that were on the special branch radar, i was with them for 6 hours and was asked if I had driven them before, how well I knew them etc etc. Not pleasent when the guy with attitude accuses you of helping organised crime gangs. I just said show me the proof or feck off before I got upset with him
We're not your market though, we shine our own shoes.

Saw a guy doing shoe shines at Heathrow about a decade ago, don't think he was making a killing as many were wearing trainers and the like for travel.

Might be worth seeing if you can tie in with a local barber or shopping arcade, anywhere people, mainly guys, are waiting about. Bookies mebbe and any hotels by the airport which have conferences.

Good luck, if I'm in Luton I'll keep an eye out.
 

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