How to Start a Window Cleaning Business in 8 Easy Steps

How to Start a Window Cleaning Business in 8 Easy Steps

HCP how to start a window cleaning company

A window cleaning business is a great option if you want to be your boss and build a business from the ground up. Window cleaning is a service that’s always in demand—businesses and homeowners alike need their windows spruced up regularly. This means you’ll have access to repeat clients and a steady work stream.

The startup costs for a window cleaning business are minimal. You can start as a one-person show, then hire employees and additional crews as your business grows. As the business owner, you get to set your schedule. Want to take time off for a vacation? Go for it.

A window cleaning business offers many compelling benefits. You have the potential to build a successful company with a loyal customer base, all while enjoying the freedom of self-employment. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, starting a window cleaning business could be a perfect outlet for your ambitions.

Starting Your New Window Cleaning Business

Is Window Cleaning a Good Business to Start?

Male pro with bead and sunglasses cleaning window

If you’re looking for a business that requires little startup capital and allows you to be your boss, window cleaning is a great option. This recession-proof industry provides a service that’s always in demand.

In short, yes, window cleaning can be a great career. It’s highly profitable since you collect payment on the spot, revenue is recurring, and overhead costs are so low. You only need basic equipment like a squeegee, scrubber, bucket, and extension pole to start.

There’s satisfaction in building your own business and watching it grow. And for many, a sense of freedom comes from being your boss. While window cleaning may seem simple, you get the opportunity to connect with your clients and take pride in providing high-quality service.

Starting a window cleaning business certainly isn’t glamorous work, but it can be very rewarding for the right person. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and don’t mind some physical labor, window cleaning could be an ideal business for you to start.

Is Starting a Window-Washing Business Profitable?

Starting a window-washing business can be very profitable. The demand for window cleaning services is steady since windows will always get dirty and need to be cleaned! You can make a good living without a college degree as a window washer.

The earning potential is quite high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average window cleaning salary is $15-25 per hour, which is $30,000-$50,000 per year. High-rise window washers, in particular, can make $18 per hour or more.

While you can start small, a window-washing business has huge growth potential. You can expand into commercial window cleaning, hire employees, invest in more advanced equipment, and market your services to real estate agents and property managers.

Startup Expenses for Opening a New Window Washing Company

You’ll need basic tools and equipment to get your window-washing business up and running. You can start with the essentials for around $500 to $1,000. Purchase a telescopic pole, squeegees, scrubbers, extension cords, buckets, and cleaning solutions.

You’ll also want a ladder, preferably a multi-position ladder extending up to 40 feet for two-story homes. These run $200-$500. Invest in a professional uniform to appear credible to customers. Buy a few polo shirts, hats, and sweatshirts with your company logo for $200-$500.

You’ll also want business cards, flyers, and a basic website to help market your new company. Budget $500-$1,000 to establish your brand and online presence. Don’t skip the necessary permits and insurance. General liability insurance will protect you in case of any damage or injury.

Expect to pay $500-$1,000 per year on business expenses. You may also need a business license or permit, typically costing $50-$500. Check with your city clerk’s office for the requirements in your area. If you don’t own a suitable vehicle, you’ll need to buy or lease a van or truck to transport your equipment.

8 Steps to Successfully Start a Window Washing Business

Step 1: Write Your Business Plan

A solid business plan and market analysis will be your roadmap to success. Outline your mission, vision, target market, marketing plan, and operational details.

Outline your business goals, objectives, products or services, target market, marketing strategies, operational details, and financial projections. The business plan will help you:

  • Clarify your business vision and goals. What problem are you solving? What does success look like?
  • Develop a marketing strategy. Who are your target customers? How will you reach them?
  • Determine the financial needs of your business. How much funding do you require initially and on an ongoing basis?
  • Establish operational procedures. How will you manage day-to-day tasks and assignments?

Once complete, review and refine your plan regularly to keep it up-to-date as your business grows.

Step 2: Obtain Necessary Licenses, Permits, and Insurance

When embarking on the journey of starting a window cleaning business, navigating the legal landscape of business licenses, permits, and insurance is crucial.

You will need basic business licensing and insurance like an EIN, business license, and commercial general liability insurance. Some areas require special permits for window cleaning—check with your local government. Depending on your chosen business structure, whether it’s a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC), the requirements may vary.

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This is a tax ID similar to a Social Security number that identifies your business. You can apply online for free. Obtain the necessary business license for your city and county.

Sole proprietors typically have simpler registration processes and fewer ongoing compliance obligations, making them appealing for solo entrepreneurs. However, an LLC offers personal liability protection, shielding your personal business assets from potential lawsuits or debts incurred by the business. 

Regardless of your chosen business model, registering your business with the appropriate authorities and obtaining the necessary licenses is fundamental. This typically involves paying business registration fees and submitting the required documentation to formalize your business entity.

Understanding the nuances of common business structures and adhering to legal requirements ensures a solid foundation for your window cleaning venture, setting you up for success.

Step 3: Secure Business Financing

Housecall Pro business financing on laptop

You will need capital to finance your new window cleaning company. Consider using your savings, taking out a business loan, talking to a credit union, crowdfunding, or borrowing money from friends and family. 

Overall, pursue a combination of options to cover total funding needs. Prioritize the lowest interest options first, turning to higher interest sources as needed. Start small and grow financing as your business and revenue grow.

Need a way to finance your new window cleaning business venture? Housecall Pro has partnered with Stripe to help you with capital to invest for business needs like purchasing new equipment, hiring staff, or covering cash flow gaps. Window cleaning companies can get pre-qualified and access business financing in just a few clicks, with funds arriving as soon as the next business day. No lengthy paperwork or forms are required to apply for financing through Housecall Pro’s partner Stripe Capital.

Step 4: Determine Your Pricing Strategy

Decide whether to charge by the hour, by the window, or by the job—factor in business costs and what competitors charge. You want to be competitive but still make a good profit. Consider offering package deals and discounts to land new clients. Common pricing structures for window cleaning services include:

Per Pane/Window Pricing

  • Set rate per window pane or full unit.
  • Residential: $3-$6 per pane, inside/outside.
  • Larger windows like French doors cost extra.

Flat Rate Packages

  • “Good, better, best” tiered flat rate packages.
  • Based on home size or window count.
  • Bundles additional services like screen cleaning.

Square Footage Pricing

  • Common for commercial buildings.
  • Rate per sq ft of window area.
  • Accounts for larger windows and high rise buildings.

Hourly Pricing

  • Quoted hourly labor rate for complex jobs
  • Factors travel, labor, equipment costs
  • Flexible for unique window types/design

Track your pricing, sales tax, and costs closely during your first year of business. Adjust your prices as needed based on the time required for each job and to ensure you are making a reasonable profit. Over time, you may be able to raise prices as you build a loyal customer base.

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Step 5: Invest in Window Cleaning Equipment & Supplies

You’ll need essential window cleaning supplies like squeegees, scrubbers, extension poles, a truck or van, and a water tank or hose. For efficiency, look into more advanced tools like water-fed poles, pure water systems, and telescopic poles.

Investing in specialized equipment for different types of window cleaning, such as high-rise window cleaning, is essential for expanding service offerings and meeting diverse client needs. High-rise window cleaning often requires specialized tools and safety equipment, such as harnesses, bosun’s chairs, and rope access systems, to reach tall buildings safely and effectively.

Stay organized, maintain your supplies and equipment well, and always look for ways to improve efficiency and save time – that translates into consent revenue and higher profit margins.

Step 6: Create a Marketing Plan

Creating a comprehensive marketing plan is crucial for window cleaning businesses to effectively reach both residential clients and commercial clients. Focus your marketing on establishing an online and offline presence. 

A key component of this plan involves leveraging online platforms like a Google Business Profile and creating a website to list your services, prices, and contact information. By optimizing your Google profile with accurate information and engaging visuals, window cleaning companies can increase visibility in local searches, attracting potential customers seeking reliable services. 

Build a social media presence with Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor accounts. Distribute flyers and door hangers to advertise in your local area. Ask satisfied customers for referrals and positive online reviews. Place ads in local newspapers and on community bulletin boards. Network with local businesses to inquire about referral partnerships.

Lastly, encouraging satisfied clients to leave reviews can enhance credibility and trustworthiness, serving as powerful marketing materials to attract new clientele.

Step 7: Deliver Unparalleled Window Cleaning Services

Focus on quality, safety, and improving your customer service skills. Clean windows thoroughly inside and out. Pay attention to details. Use the proper cleaning techniques and equipment to remove all dirt, dust, grime, and grease from windows, frames, and sills.

Thank customers for their business. Request feedback to identify any issues that need correcting for the next visit. Offer referral or loyalty discounts to reward repeat and referred customers. Make every customer interaction a positive experience that leaves them satisfied with your work and want to recommend you to others. Word-of-mouth will be critical to growing your business. 

Step 8: Systematize With Window Cleaning Business Software

Booking software for cleaning business

To run an efficient window-cleaning business, you need to focus on optimizing key operations. Things like scheduling, customer relationship management, and invoicing are essential to your company’s success. Using specialized software designed for window cleaners can help simplify these critical functions.

  • HCP’s window-cleaning business software allows you to optimize your teams’ routes and schedules, minimizing travel time between jobs. This maximizes the number of jobs that can be completed each day.
  • 24/7 online booking service software that helps customers book window cleaning services anytime, even outside of business hours. Housecall Pro’s “Reserve with Google” integration allows customers searching on Google to book directly from your Google Business Profile listing.
  • CRM software for window cleaners provides an easy way to log interactions, set reminders, and provide great customer service. This ensures customers receive consistent service and communication.
  • Invoicing software automates billing and payment collection. Invoices can be automatically sent to customers after jobs are completed, speeding up payment times and reducing time spent on administrative tasks.

Implementing professional window cleaning software is one of the best ways to improve organization, reduce workload, and set your business up for success and growth. Taking this step will give you more time to focus on expanding your customer base and increasing profits.

Closing Thoughts

Starting a window cleaning business is within your reach if you go into it with realistic expectations. Have a vision for building a successful company, but begin by focusing on finding those first few loyal customers.

Start with homes in your neighborhood or local business districts. Build up experience and reviews, then expand from there. Don’t feel you have to tackle massive office buildings or skyscrapers right out of the gate. Take it step-by-step.

While you’ve created a solid business plan to get started, be willing to adapt as needed. The needs and demands of your customers may change over time. New competitors may emerge. Unexpected costs or challenges may arise. Review and revise your business plan regularly based on what’s working and not working.

Starting a window cleaning business requires motivation and hustle but can be very rewarding. If you have a knack for providing great service with a smile, this may be the perfect opportunity for you. With some practice and the right tools, you’ll be well on your way to running a successful window-cleaning business in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

So, you want to start your own window cleaning business? Before getting started, you likely have some questions about what it takes. Here are some of the most common FAQs for aspiring window cleaners.

What qualifications do you need to be a window cleaner?

You don’t necessarily need any formal qualifications or degrees to become a window cleaner. However, on-the-job training and work experience are very helpful. Basic skills like customer service orientation, physical fitness, and attention to detail will serve you well. With experience, you can become certified through organizations like the International Window Cleaning Association.

What equipment do I need to start a window-cleaning business?

The basic equipment needed to start a window cleaning business includes extension poles that extend up to 50 feet for higher windows, squeegees with rubber blades in frames to wipe windows clean, spray bottles for applying cleaning solutions, abrasive scrubbers for removing stubborn stains, buckets for holding cleaning supplies and gear, safety equipment like harnesses and ropes for high-rise work, ladders for lower-level windows, and a van or truck for transporting equipment between jobs.

How many houses can a window cleaner clean in a day?

An experienced window cleaner can typically clean between 3 to 15 houses in a day, depending on factors like the number of windows, the number of stories, and how dirty the windows are. On average, a window cleaner can clean 3 to 5 average-sized houses with 15 to 20 windows per day, 10 to 15 townhouses with fewer and smaller windows per day, and 1 or 2 multi-story commercial buildings per working day.

How much do window cleaners earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for window cleaners in the U.S. is around $15 per hour, depending on factors like experience, location, type of work, and job duties. More experienced window cleaners typically command $20-$30 per hour, while pay tends to be higher in large cities and affluent areas. High-rise and commercial window cleaning jobs usually pay more than residential work.

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Last Posted June, 2024
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