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Should You Start a Window Cleaning Business?
Window cleaning can be a highly profitable career. The overhead costs are low, there is recurring revenue and you can even collect payments on the spot.
However, you’ll fill your days with more than just cleaning windows. You’ll need to bid for jobs, canvas for work, scheduling visits, dealing with customer service issues and other day to day operations. So, it can be a varied and interesting business.
It is worth considering that a window cleaning business is not for everyone. There are a number of requirements to create a successful business. In addition being physically fit enough to handle the cleaning, you’ll need:
- The ability to handle some rejection, particularly when you’re canvassing and cold calling
- To feel comfortable working at heights
- Attention to detail
- To be organized
- A knowledge of lifting equipment
- Basic numeracy skills
How to Start a Window Cleaning Business?
Step 1 – First Get The Job Yourself
Before you even contemplate setting up your own window cleaning business, you need to decide if you like window cleaning. So, first you need to get a job window cleaning.
A major benefit of getting a window cleaning job is that you’ll get on the job training and experience. You can then decide if it is a job that you would enjoy turning into a business and career.
Step 2 – Do The Numbers
Once you determine that you setting up a window cleaning business is a good choice for you, you’ll need to the numbers for your new venture.
Start by calculating your costs. Setting up a window cleaning business does mot require vast amounts of capital, but you will still need some initial cash. If you already have a vehicle, you’ll need less than $1,000 for tools and equipment, marketing, uniforms and other costs to establish your business.
After you get a rough idea of your initial costs, you can think about your operating costs and margins.
Step 3 – Establish Marketing Strategy
Before you spend a cent, you need to establish your marketing strategy. Think about how you can attract customers and build your client base.
One of the cheapest ways to find clients is to canvas door to door, but this can be extremely time consuming. You’ll also need a tough skin, as you’ll face a lot of rejection.
Another cost effective marketing approach is to use local internet SEO. You can set up a website or promote your services on social media.
If you’re more old school, you could pay for listings in local newspapers or post flyers.
Each of these methods has associated costs, so this may also impact your choice of strategies.
Step 4 – Take Care of Legal Side
Before you can create a legit business, you’ll need to take care of some legal issues. You will need to register as a sole proprietor or LLC. Creating an LLC incorporation is more costly, but it provides a legal shield and greater liability protection. This is the best option if you plan on growing your business and hiring employees later.
You will also need a business bank account. Consider how you will keep your books in order. There are lots of good accounting software packages, but you’ll need to choose one to record your expenses, track your accounts receivable and document all your income.
Additionally, you may need to register for a business permit. Some states require business owners to obtain a window cleaning license. So, you’ll need to check the requirements in your state and county.
Finally, you will need insurance. There are several types of insurances necessary for a window cleaning business. These include:
Liability insurance is a must for any business. Even if you are super careful, you need protection in case someone trips over a hose or slips on some spilled water.
This is mandatory if you have employees. The workplace compensation board in your region will take a percentage of your payroll. This will be used to compensate any of your employees should they suffer a workplace injury.
High rise window cleaning insurance:
If you’re planning on cleaning the windows of high rise buildings, you will need additional coverage. Some states also require that you undertake safety training, have specialized equipment and achieve certification.
Step 5 – Buy Windows Cleaning Equipment & Supplies
The next step is to buy your equipment and supplies. You’ll need the right tools to do the job well. Fortunately, traditional tools are widely available and affordable. Your basic starter kit should include:
- Microfiber cloths
- A squeegee
- An extension pole
- A scraper
- A ladder
- Cleaning solutions
- A T-bar and sleeve
Once you have these initial supplies, you will need to repurchase items as and when you need them. Additionally, once you have more clients, you may want to invest in some advanced tools, such as a water fed pole and water purification system.
Step 6 – Find & Atract Customers
So, now you’re ready to clean some windows, you need to find some customers. This is the time to implement the marketing strategies you considered during the planning phase. Although it may seem daunting, even just a few customers can be a great start to your business. Once word spreads of your solid work, you’ll get referrals and other new business.
Step 7 – Hire Team
While you may be able to handle the initial work, at some point, you will need help to cope with your growing client base. At this stage, you will need to hire a team.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to advertise your vacancies and find some new team members. Just be aware once you hire anyone to work with you, you will need to make sure that your insurance coverage is adequate.
How Much You Can Make as a Windows Cleaner?
The average salary for window cleaners is $17 to $19 per hour or $30,000 per year. Depending on your region, it may be possible to earn as much as $60,000 or more.
As the owner and operator of a window cleaning business, you can scale your business and earn more. You can also boost your earnings by offering additional services. For example, you could charge more by offering house cleaning packages. You can also increase your earnings by using more efficient technology such as water fed poles. So you can complete jobs in less time and therefore increase your hourly rate.
How to Make Your Windows Cleaning Business Successful?
While cleaning windows may seem straightforward, there are some important tips to increase your chances of developing a successful business.
Tip 1 – Ensure Every Customer Gets Your Best Work:
It may seem frustrating to only have a small job that may not pay much. However, that customer may have lots of friends and family members. This can lead to referrals if you do a great job, or could cost you a lot of potential business if the customer is unhappy. Therefore, it is important that you ensure that every customer gets your best possible work.
Tip 2 – Maximize Your Efficiency:
When you only have a few customers, efficiency may not seem important. But, you don’t have all the time in the world to complete your work and this will only become more apparent as you get more customers. So, you need to think about maximizing your efficiency from day one.
This can include measures such as planning your cleaning route to minimize fuel costs or scheduling your jobs in blocks, so you can then spend the rest of the day marketing your business.
Tip 3 – Keep Accurate Figures:
It is impossible to have a successful business if you have poor bookkeeping habits. If you fail to adequately track your expenses, you could miss out on valuable tax deductions. Alternatively, failing to properly record your income could lead to a hefty IRS bill or audit.
Even when you’re dealing with small amounts, it is a good idea to put proper bookkeeping methods in place. The best way to do this is with accounting software, but you can record all your figures manually.
Learn More About Windows Cleaning Business
If you’re still unsure about how to start a cleaning business or whether a window cleaning business is a good option for you, consider learning more.
There are courses available to help guide complete beginners on the process of setting up a window cleaning business. A great example of this is the Udemy course.