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If you are looking for a low-capital side-hustle that can potentially fetch good income, then you have found the right place. Starting a window cleaning business requires little investment, only some equipment you have to buy upfront. It is a very flexible way of making money. It can be done on a part-time or full-time basis at your own convenience. You get to be your own boss and there is no lengthy training (more on that later). The costs of starting a window cleaning business are relatively low and you also can provide additional package such as blind cleaning service. It may seem dangerous or maybe even unusual as a job, but it is a very lucrative business, requiring little skill. Here is all you need to know about starting up.
This is probably one of the most important parts of the job. Without equipment, there is no way to clean windows. Now, getting equipment might seem tricky and overwhelming, as there are a lot of tools associated with this business. When starting out, you can’t go wrong with the basics;
- A squeegee: it has a flat, smooth rubber blade, used for controlling the flow of liquid. Most people tend to start out with 12 or 18 inch squeegees, though the 12-inch squeegees are easier to control and better for the small residential windows. As you get more jobs you might need to get an adjustable squeegee.
- Towels: the best towels to use are microfiber towels. They are made of very thin fabric. They are also excellent for cleaning sensitive surfaces like glass. Other types of towels like surgical towels may also serve you well. You should get about four or five towels for a start.
- Extension pole: this will help you with the hard-to-reach parts of the windows. They are detachable and can be attached to different squeegee heads.
- Ladder: a ladder is not a necessity at first, as they tend to be expensive. If you have the money, it is a very solid investment that will keep you open to more window-cleaning jobs.
- Buckets: for holding your water, soap and sometimes your mops.
- Cleaning solution: a simple mixture of dish detergent with vinegar and water works wonders for windows.
- An invoicing system
- Belts and Holsters: for keeping your washing tools accessible while you work. Those are the basic tools needed to start up. As you advance you will definitely get more for the complex jobs that might come up.
Practice makes perfect, right? In this job, as in many jobs, you need to get the hang of making windows spotless. Fortunately, you can learn what you need to know in a few hours, there are also many helpful videos online. You can get started in your own house, and there is the added benefit of having your windows squeaky clean.
What is a business without customers? Finding new customers is one of the hardest parts of any business, including this one. Marketing is essential if you want to stay afloat. For this, printing out business cards can be helpful. You don’t need to hire an expensive agency or spend a lot of money on marketing to get started. Trying out door-to-door marketing may help you reach a new audience. Even social media advertisements can connect you to unexpected clients. If you are good at what you do, your clients may even recommend you to their friends! A note to take here is that you should be prepared to face a lot of rejection. Not everyone wants their windows cleaned, or some people may already have a window cleaner. All you have to do is remain determined and not let the refusals bring you down.
Make sure to get your rates ready before start marketing. The average rate is 15-25 dollars per hour, though it depends on your region. As the business owner, you can earn more depending on the services you offer. Some people decide to charge per window washed (about 2-3 dollars per window), or even offer monthly contracts at a flat fee. You can try out what works for you. Remember that you will need to charge more for construction cleans or commercial cleans than for residential cleans.
Prepare for the downsides
Not all businesses are fun and easy all through. Even a business like window cleaning has its hazards and frustrations. For example, rain; no one wants to go out to clean windows while cold rain hammers down on you. Extreme weather, like heat and even strong wind can hamper your work. Also, be prepared for difficult customers. They can give you a headache, with impromptu schedule changes, rude comments, and payment troubles. It doesn’t happen a lot, but there will always be frustrating people out there.
Note that it is usually a bit difficult for new window cleaning businesses to get a large share of their target market. Already established window cleaning companies usually have an advantage. They have built strong relationships with clients over the years. You can try to compete by offering additional services or even discounts.
That’s mostly what you need to start a window cleaning business. It is relatively easy and stress-free. One more thing, which is very important, is being professional and organized. This cannot be stressed enough. Show up for appointments on time, do your job well, organize your documents, if possible, you can give your clients receipts. Looking clean and presentable at all times is good customer service, it can go a long way. Your customer’s time is valuable, so remember to be as efficient as possible. Getting insurance for your company/business is also very important. It is one of the first things you should do before you start taking jobs.
One great resource a start-up can have is a mentor to guide you through the process. Having a support network to go to when things get hard is a major boosting factor for success with new business owners.
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