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How to Start a Window Cleaning Business in 10 Easy Steps

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While window cleaning businesses can be quite lucrative, it's important to be familiar with all the ins and outs of this unique field before you begin. Below, learn just what you need to know about starting a new career as a window cleaner.

Window Cleaning: The Basics Before You Get Started

Prior to getting started as a window cleaner, you should familiarize yourself with a wide range of window cleaning techniques. Also, you'll need to know how to pick the best equipment for the job, promote your business, and hire the right employees. However, it's essential to understand the fundamentals of running a business first.

Window cleaning - is it for me?

Make sure that the field is right for you before you go any further with this potentially lucrative career. The following are a few tips that can help you decide whether or not window cleaning is the right line of work for you:

  • Determine whether you'll be able to lift heavy items. This is essential because you'll need to transport window cleaning equipment to the job site and at the job site.

  • Evaluate whether you're in good physical condition. In addition to lifting equipment, window cleaners often need to be on their feet for extended periods of time.

  • Ask yourself if you know how to effectively promote your business through word of mouth and online.

  • Understand that you'll need to be able to effectively manage your finances as a business owner.

Window cleaning equipment - what do I need?

In order to successfully run a window cleaning business, you'll need the right equipment for the job. Here's what you'll need on the job site:

  • A window cleaning squeegee

  • A water-fed pole

  • A filtration system

  • Glass cleaner

  • A ladder

  • Scaffolding if you clean high rises

  • Vehicles

Water-fed pole vs. traditional window cleaning

A water-fed pole will allow you to deliver a continuous stream of water to the windows that you're cleaning. In some cases, this can allow you to get the job done more quickly, and it may improve the quality of your work.

However, traditional cleaning simply involves using a window cleaning squeegee on a pole. It's important to realize, though, that water-fed poles are quickly becoming the norm.

How much do window cleaners earn?

If you start a window cleaning business, your potential earnings are entirely dependent on your ability to get and impress clients. Starting a successful business as a window cleaner takes time. Luckily, you can ultimately expect to make anywhere between $30,000 and $80,000 per year as the owner of a window cleaning business.

Window cleaning training

Courses are available from the International Window Cleaning Association. Not only will these courses provide information about how to effectively clean windows, but they also offer all the information that you'll need to comply with all regulations.

How to Start a Window Cleaning Business in 10 Steps

If you're starting a window cleaning business, it's critical to have the right plan. We've outlined 10 steps that you'll need to take to become a successful window cleaner below.

Step 1: Write your business plan

Your business plan should detail how you will promote your services, the prices that you'll charge, your income, and any expenses associated with your business. The following are additional things you'll want to be aware of when creating a business plan.

What are the costs involved in opening a window washing business?

Most of the costs associated with opening a window cleaning business are related to your equipment. However, you'll also need to spend a certain amount of money to get your business licensed and insured.

What are the ongoing expenses for a window washing business?

As the owner of a window cleaning business, you'll have certain recurring expenses. You'll need to hire a team of workers, and they'll be paid on a weekly, monthly, or per-contract basis. You can usually expect to pay your employees $12-$20 per hour.

Who is the target audience?

Most business owners could potentially hire a window cleaning service. In addition, you may want to offer services to residential customers as well. Consider your service area, demographic factors of the area, and competition within the market when determining your target customers.

How does a window washing business make money?

Window cleaning businesses make money by cleaning windows on commercial and/or residential buildings. You might charge by the hour, per window or pane, on a project-by-project basis, or even through flat-fee contracts.

How much can you charge customers?

You can set your own rates, which means that the amount you charge is entirely up to you. However, you generally don't want to charge more than $60 per person, per hour of work.

How much profit can a window washing business make?

On average, a window cleaning business makes around $60,000 a year. However, your earnings and profits will vary depending on the number of customers you get, your clients, tax rates in your area, and other variables.

How can you make your business more profitable?

The best way to increase the profitability of your business is to get more customers. You can do this through successful marketing campaigns.

Step 2: Secure startup funding

Fortunately, the costs associated with starting a window cleaning business tend to be relatively low. If you're getting started as a sole proprietorship, your startup costs could be as low as $1,000. However, your expenses are likely to increase as you expand and begin hiring employees.

Step 3: Register your business

It's important to register your business with the local and state agencies. Luckily, this will usually cost less than $300.

Form a legal entity

You'll usually need to form a legal entity for your window cleaning business, such as an LLC or corporation. This can help to protect you from lawsuits. Alternatively, you can also register as a sole proprietorship.

Step 4: Register for taxes

Your business structure will determine how you file your taxes, and it can influence the amount that you pay. If you start your business as an LLC or corporation, your business will be taxed separately from your individual taxes. However, this is not the case if you run a sole proprietorship.

The amount that you'll pay in taxes as a small business owner will vary depending on your income and business structure. Furthermore, the region that you live in will have a strong impact.

Step 5: Open a business bank account and credit card

In order to run a successful business as a window cleaner, you'll need a business bank account and credit card. This will help to make it easier to manage your finances.

Open a business bank account

In order to properly manage your finances as the owner of a window cleaning business, you'll need to open a business bank account. Choose from a wide range of checking and savings accounts that are designed specifically for business owners.

Get a business credit card

A business credit card will be set up specifically for expenses related to your window washing business. These cards are not designed to be used for other expenses.

Step 6: Set up business accounting

In order to succeed in the window washing business, you'll need to properly manage your finances. Even if your business is small, it's often best to hire a professional accountant. However, this decision also depends on the size of your business and the amount of experience that you have with financial management.

Step 7: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

It's essential to get all permits and licenses required in your area. Obtaining a business license is typically fairly inexpensive, and you'll only need to pay around $50-$100 in most states. However, the specific permits and licenses that you'll need vary from one region to another when you're starting a window cleaning business.

State and local business licensing requirements

State and local business licensing requirements vary from one region to another. However, the expenses associated with state and local business licensing are usually quite small. You can learn more about your state's requirements with the Small Business Association's resource page.

Services contract

As a window cleaner, you'll be performing jobs on a per-contract basis. Creating a legally binding contract will play a crucial role in preventing non-payment.

Labor safety requirements

You'll need to ensure that your business always complies with all OSHA regulations and guidelines that pertain to the use of disinfectants. This will help to prevent potentially serious lawsuits.

Certificate of occupancy

Ensure that you get a certificate of occupancy for your physical business location. In order to get this certification, you must verify that the building meets local codes.

Step 8: Get business insurance

You’ll need a general liability insurance policy to cover your business from losses resulting from accidents, theft and negligence. You will also need workers’ compensation insurance if you have any employees.

Step 9: Price your services

You can either charge by pane or set an hourly rate. If you charge per windowpane, most window cleaners set a price of around $4 for each one. However, window cleaners that charge an hourly rate typically set a price of approximately $50-$60 an hour per person.

In addition, some window cleaners charge a flat monthly rate for repeat customers. This can allow you to offer clients a discount for using your services multiple times, which can be a great way to improve brand loyalty.

It's also important to take unique aspects of a specific job into account. For instance, if you will be cleaning the windows of a high rise, you can charge more than you would for ground level window cleaning.

Step 10: Market your window washing business

It's important to make sure that you properly advertise your window cleaning business on and off the web. Not only do you need to create a website that ranks well for local traffic, but it's also important to set up an effective Google My Business profile. This will help to make your business more visible. It will also create a platform for customers to leave reviews, which can make it easier to attract new customers.

You'll also want to promote your business through word of mouth and on social media. Social media platforms are not only a highly effective promotional tool for window washing businesses, but they can also be a great place for customers to share their experiences and engage with your business. This can help to attract customers and improve customer retention.

It's also a good idea to offer a few other services, such as gutter cleaning and pressure washing. This can help to expand your reach and attract new customers. Furthermore, it can help to improve brand loyalty. Consider offering discounts for the different services during certain parts of the year.

We Offer Comprehensive Business Insurance for Window Cleaners

If you're planning to start a window cleaning business, you'll need the right insurance. Luckily, that's exactly what we offer. In fact, we offer comprehensive liability and professional indemnity coverage, which is designed to protect window washers.

All of our policies offer at least $1 million worth of coverage, and we'll always be more than happy to answer any questions that you have about our policies. Give us a call today to inquire about our plans, or request an appointment online.