Starting a window cleaning business can be one of the most attractive ventures in the home service industry. Aside from being your own boss (which is crazy worth it alone), there isn't a lengthy training process, overhead costs are extremely low, high growth opportunity and income potential is huge - if you do it the right way.
If you're reading this, you've taken the most important step into starting a window cleaning business. Yes, we know, it can be both exciting and a little worrisome in the beginning. Venturing into something you may no very little about can be. But trust us, starting your very own window cleaning business is so worth it in the end.
This article will guide you through the steps involved in starting a business in the window cleaning industry.
With a window cleaning business start up, the key steps are: What is required to perform the duties of a window cleaner, understand the costs of starting the business, gather materials and purchase insurance, and finally, marketing and window cleaning business tips to drive customers to your door.
Starting a Window Cleaning Business
Before starting a window cleaning business, it’s imperative to understand what it’s all about and what makes a great window cleaning company. Not only do you need to clean windows, glass surfaces and doors at a high level of quality, but being able to provide a great customer experience is vital to the future of your window cleaning business. If you think you have what it takes to perform these tasks at a high level of quality while providing amazing customer service and experiences, then read on.
Creating a Window Cleaning Business Plan
A window cleaning business plan is a required document for all new businesses. It outlines the purpose of your business, its services and products, marketing strategies, financial forecasts and more. Whether you are seeking investment money or running this venture on your own, it will be helpful to have an up-to-date window cleaning business plan in place that can help you keep track of where you stand with your company's progress. Here are some points to help you get started:
Choose a target market
As a window washing company, you have the ability to service commercial and residential clients, including:
- Car dealerships
- Government buildings
- Multi-story buildings
- Apartment buildings
- Condo complexes
- Conducting market analysis will help answer questions like "What's my target audience?"
Window Cleaning Business Budget
Fortunately, window cleaning equipment needed should not break the bank but still require some investment up front - this could include squeegees ($10 - $100), window washers soap ($6-$20) and other supplies like buckets or pads depending on how often they're used. Most window cleaning expenses to consider are:
- Liability insurance (Need this before working)
- Gasoline and maintenance (Getting to and from your clients.)
- Work Truck (if you choose to buy one)
- Microfiber cloths and towels
- Cleaning tools (ladder, buckets, squeegees, water hoses, hard hats, extension pole, scraper, buckets, surgical towels)
- Cleaning solution (both standard and eco-friendly)
- Sales and marketing
- Business licenses and permits
- Window Cleaning Software (We use Servgrow and it's our #1 choice. We've grown 500% since starting with them. Get 20% by mentioning Squeegeezy.)
- Rent and utilities (if you rent office space)
Keep your business and personal assets separate
Savvy business owners understand that distinguishing between personal and business assets is important for both personal and professional reasons. On the one hand, proper accounting will allow you to make informed decisions about purchasing equipment or filing taxes; on the other hand, corrupt behavior of any sort reflects poorly on the company.
We suggest that at least one separate bank account for both personal and business expenses will make it easier to distinguish these two types of expenditures. It also helps to prevent nefarious charges from being put directly on a credit card, which may make it seem like an illegal purchase by breaching the company's codes of ethics or by making it impossible for accounting professionals to identify what was purchased or why - often preventing them from granting approval for any reimbursement if unsure about what was purchased.
Base of Operations
If you want to start a window cleaning business from home, this can save on costs. But if your goal is for the company to scale and grow in profitable renting an office could help achieve these goals. More office space and centralized operations allow for more customer service representatives or dispatch teams and gives employees a better work environment.
Register your window cleaning business
It's time to make you business official-and legal. The steps below guild you in registering your window cleaning business.
Choosing a Business Name
Your Company's name and tagline should be catchy and memorable, which will help people to recognize and remember your brand. "TAG" is a good choice of word for a business name because it starts with an easy-to-remember letter and stands out easily.
To come up with a good company name, start by brainstorming words that represent what your company does or what you want to achieve (for example, words like “window cleaning” or “sparkling windows”). Then narrow down your selection using this list of criteria:
1) Does the company name sound like it could be confusingly similar to another company?
2) Is there any other existing registered trademark that conflicts with the proposed Name?
In addition, with the internet rapidly becoming a part of everyday life, it's almost inevitable that you'll need an online presence. Be sure to check if your domain name is available as a company name. Last thing you want is for it to be taken by a competitor that your customers find when searching for your business name. Sites such as Name.com or Godaddy can verify whether or not your company name is available as a domain name.
Choose a business entity
Choosing a business entity is one of the first key steps in launching a new and prospering window cleaning business. A lot of time and effort goes into researching what business entities are good for you, so we've compiled some of the most popular types here.
Sole Proprietor: Independent contractors who set out on their own without any legal protection or liability entitling them to pursue debts or lawsuits as faceless creditors. Once temporary privileges (EIN) expired, this entity loses all protection.
Limited liability company (LLC): LLCs let you enjoy some personal liability protections, unlike sole proprietorships. You may establish an LLC as an individual or in conjunction with other people. You can be taxed as a C Corporation or a pass-through entity when completing your taxes.
Partnership: This type is an agreement between two parties where there is no clear specified ownership, hence it does not grant its participants with independent rights like sole proprietorships do; which means that both partners share and contribute
Corporation: If you're expecting to grow aggressively, corporations tend to be a popular choice. This independent entity offers tax perks and liability protections but comes with the task of a lot more paperwork. Some of that work includes forming a board of directors and writing bylaws.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
The employer identification number (EIN) is a nine digit number that the IRS issues for employers in the United States. You can use your EIN when you register for a window cleaning business license or when you fill out a 1099 tax form. Keep in mind that forming a corporation with partners will require an additional tax id called a "partnership," which has an identifier of either five digits or eight digits, so be careful if registering with partners--you may have to issue multiple numbers at different times.
You can start this process by going to the IRS website and following these 3 steps:
Step 1-Create your free account
Step 2-Complete your profile
Step 3-Request employer identification number (EIN)
After these steps, you only need to wait for confirmation whether it has been successfully registered or not. If there is something wrong with the information provided, then the request will be rejected and you will get a reply back with an indication for what needs to be rectified.
Price your window cleaning services
When deciding how to price your services and what to charge for window cleaning, do some research and study the competition. You want to entice new consumers without sacrificing your service's profitability. The usual approach to charge in the window cleaning business is either per hour, per window pane, or per project.
Charge Per Hour
This technique for charging is simple. Let's assume you charge $35 per hour and it takes you three hours to clean a two-story home. You made $105 from that single job and spent three hours of your time completing it.
Charge Per Window
Charging by the window is usually a more efficient way to charge, as it encourages efficiency. You may earn more money by completing multiple jobs on a per-pane business model if you have competent employees that can clean windows quickly without sacrificing quality.
The window cleaning standard rate is $2 to $7 per pane. This industry rate is generally used by commercial window cleaning businesses when billing for business customers—particularly those on multi-story structures. As an example, let’s say you charge $5 per window and a building has 70 window. You can net $350 from that single job.
Charge Per Project
Charging per project might make more sense depending on the intensity of the job and everything it entails. Take a high rise with luxury apartments for example, you have added exposer, a higher level of training, knowledge to clean aluminum window frames, and will need added preparation time to complete this job. Your rate should reflect this in a per project basis.
Costs of Starting a Window Cleaning Business
Usually, a window cleaning business doesn’t need high start-up costs. However, it’s important to understand that it’s more than buying a few buckets and sponges, even if you are aiming at setting up a small business. Besides the cost of buying the required equipment, start-up costs also include training and insurance costs. You’ll also need to hire some equipment such as ladders, in the beginning, to keep your business running. Therefore, you need to your calculations well to determine the amount you need to start the business.
Gather Your Window Cleaning Equipment
The traditional window cleaning kit contains items such as sponges, squeegees, blades and a scraper. However, if you have the capital, you should invest in modern equipment such as filtration kit and water fed pole. Other items you’ll need include ladders to reach high-rise buildings, tough stain removers for removing stubborn stains, and microfiber towels. These items are easily available in your local supermarkets or home improvement stores.
4. Invest in Proper Insurance
Window cleaning is a risky job. It involves climbing up tall buildings with a ladder. You are also washing glasses which are fragile meaning they can easily break during the cleaning and lead to injuries. So, you’ll need to buy proper insurance to cover you in case these accidents occur. Because window cleaning windows involve scaffolding and climbing ladders, you may have to increase your premium. An insurance agent or broker can help you lower your premiums.
5. Market Your Business
The last step is to market your business to potential clients. There are many ways of marketing such as through your social media and print media. For a start, social media such as Twitter and Facebook are the best as they are free and easy to reach many people. You can also use flyers, Yellow Pages, and Daily Mail to spread your word to your potential customers.
Don’t Know How to Start A Window Cleaning Business?
Don’t know how to start a window cleaning business? Putting the heights aside, the average window cleaner pay is surprisingly high when including the bonuses, commissions and fees. By simply providing the best service, and listening to your clients, you can make your window cleaning business successful and profitable.
Starting a window cleaning start up may seem overwhelming but trust us, it's so worth it in the end.