How to Start a Window Cleaning Business
We all look forward to starting a business and stop running after the bus every morning for an 8-5 job. If you have such a vision, opening a window cleaning business can be a worthy venture to start in the world of business and become your own boss. The good thing about this business is that it is cheap to start and does not require in-depth training, yet its demand is on the rise, mainly in the commercial and residential areas.
If you do it right from the start, you stand to get repeat clients with minimum overheads.
We researched that window cleaning in the U.S. accounts for over $40 billion per year in returns.
Would you be interested in venturing into such a business? This guide will take you through the steps that can aid you in starting one.
- Prepare a Business Plan- A business plan in the window cleaning business is crucial because it will help you accomplish your vision within the stated period. In this case, there are several considerations that you need to keep in mind.
- Consider the Target Market– Depending on what you wish to do, you can establish the business in a residential or a commercial area such as restaurants, government buildings, Storefronts, shopping malls, home apartments, and more. Most importantly, you should not limit yourself to a specific area, as you will also limit your business growth.
- Having a Budget in Place-A window washing business requires the tools of trade, and as such, you need to have a budget plan accounting for start-up costs. However, this is not an expensive venture, and you can quickly start with your little budget. For instance, buying uniforms, cleaning solutions, rent costs, business insurance, and sales and marketing costs are among the expenses that you can account for when starting.
- Join a Franchise- Joining a franchise is an excellent strategy to use in aid of business expansion. Some well-known franchises include the Home Cleaning Centers of America, Window Genie, and the Squeegee Squad. However, a fee is required when joining these corporations, which could affect your financial capability. Always consult before signing up with any of them.
- Set an Office for Operations- When starting, start your cleaning business from home as you work on accumulating costs for a rental space. But it is always essential to have enough room to accommodate your employees if you want an excellent service to be offered to your clients.
- Do not mix Personal and Business Assets- There are financial implications that go along with personal and business assets, for instance, tax payments or when a business is facing liquidity problems. Always separate them to ensure that your tax payments are fully accounted for separately and personal liability, where it’s advisable to open an LLC business to create room for separation.
- Business Registration
If you want to operate your window cleaning business freely, it is essential to register once you lay down the strategies. Below are the steps you can use for business registration
- Select a Business Name– Ensure you get a unique name that will blend with the business and draw customers to you. The names’ availability is usually confirmed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. You should also check if your domain name is available to make it easier for marketing purposes.
- Select a Business Entity– This is essential because it will lay the ground for its formation. For instance, these can be subdivided into;
- Sole Proprietorship- This refers to registering the business as a sole owner.
- LLC– Formation incorporates partners or forms a limited liability company on your own.
- Corporation-This is an independent entity offering liability protections and tax perks as well.
- Registering for the Employer Identification Number– This is used for tax filing in the U.S., and you can register it online in the IRS system. It will also be used for business credit card applications, business financing, contracts closure, and many others.
Before settling for a specific price, it is essential to know how the industry operations are taking place so that you can win clients using your unique pricing model. There are several ways by which you can charge your clients as;
- Per Hour Basis– This is where you charge for the time taken to conduct the window cleaning business. For instance, you can charge $35, whereas others charge $37 per hour and win a competitive advantage.
- Per Windowpane Charge- This depends on the number of windows you clean. Most commercial buildings like it this way. If you decide to charge, say, $5 per pane, no matter how dirty or clean the window is, that is the average charge that will be used as per the agreement.
- Project Basis– This is more effective when working on more risky projects. For instance, in skyscraper buildings, you’ll need to charge higher, taking into account that it requires training as well as is a risky job.
- Pay for Licenses and Permits
It is necessary to obtain the permits to start operating your window cleaning business. Such licenses include the window cleaning license or a state business permit. Always confirm with your state how the permit application is made, and possibly have an attorney work out the paperwork for you.
Besides, have business insurance in place- remember, this is a risky business, and your employees will require compensation in case of injury. It is, therefore, essential to have workers’ compensation insurance.
As much as a window cleaning business does not require the high start-up cost, it still needs to have some start-up funds to support hiring employees, paying rent, or if you wish to join a franchise.
There are various sources of funds; depending on your ability, you can self-fund the business from your savings. If not, you can get a business loan from your bank or seek finances from online lenders such as SBA microloans.
- Marketing Stage
Every business needs to be marketed to create an awareness that it is in existence. To ensure that you have a seamless flow of clients when you start operating, there are many ways in which you can carry out your marketing trends. These include.
- Use of Social Media Pages– you can advertise yourself through your existing social media pages and inform friends and potential clients of your new window cleaning business that is soon coming up.
- Cold Calling- Although there is so much online when It comes to marketing, this traditional way of marketing is still effective. You can email prospective clients, call them and inform them about your business. If they give you an appointment, ensure you make it on time as a follow-up for sale.
Remember to call the prospects you called earlier to get a view of their perception of the business and see if you can do business together. Ensure you save this list for future interactions.
- SEO Ranking- Use unique keywords in t your domain name such that your website will rank high among many companies. Though it may take time for your business to appear on the first page of Google, with positive reviews, it will soon rank high.
- Business Operations Preparations
Now that you are set to have your window business up and rolling, if you start it alone, you need to be an all-around person with experience in all areas. Some of the duties you need to be well conversant with include customer service, inventory maintenance, ability to market, placing quotes, and setting up appointments.
With time, keep hiring employees until the business can stand on its own, but never get intimidated by your employees because you do not know how a specific function works.
A window cleaning business can be an exciting venture but, at the same time, challenging. Take one step at a time until you perfect in the industry. Avoid competing with the high ended companies before you are fully experienced because you could make mistakes that cannot be corrected. Start small and grow with the business till you hit the rooftop.