What Do You Need To Start A Window Cleaning Business – Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and business formation. She has more than 25 years of experience in business roles, and has written several entrepreneurship textbooks.
David has been writing and teaching about business, finance and globalization for a quarter of a century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
What Do You Need To Start A Window Cleaning Business
Windows need to be cleaned regularly, which is why window washing is a $2 billion industry in the US and a legitimate business opportunity. Additionally, the market saw nearly 7% growth in 2021 as the economy began to revive after the pandemic.
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While you don’t need a college degree or business experience, you do need a well-thought-out plan and a willingness to work hard to be successful in window washing. Fortunately, you have come to the right place.
This step-by-step guide will walk you through the development and launch process to put your stuff on the road to window washing success!
Do you want to register your business? A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is quick and simple.
Once you know the market, you can identify growth opportunities and strategize to better package your window services. But first, let’s dive into some pros and cons of the window washing industry.
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Your road to success begins by knowing the pros and cons of starting a professional window cleaning service.
You don’t need a ton of cash to start a window cleaning service. In fact, you can start with as little as $2,000 if you work alone and have a truck. If you don’t have a truck, set aside an extra $2,000 to $5,000 to help you get started. Here is an example of what you need:
Window washers earn anywhere from $1,800 to $8,000 per month, depending on the type of cleaning job, pricing model, expertise level and reputation.
In your first year or two, you can work from home and earn $1,800 a month, bringing in nearly $22,000 in annual income. That would mean about $20,000 in profit, with a 90% margin. As you gain more experience, your income can increase to $60,000 per year. At this point, you will be renting a commercial space and hiring staff, reducing your profit margin to about 40%. You will still make a profit of $24,000.
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The window cleaning industry is relatively easy to enter. The start-up capital is low, and you don’t need formal educational or professional training to get started.
However, not everyone who starts a cleaning company can turn it into a thriving business. Some of the challenges you are likely to encounter when starting out include:
If you’re still not sure if this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your way to entrepreneurial success.
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Market research will give you the upper hand even if you are already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Doing market research is important because it can help you better understand your customers, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.
Window cleaning is a highly competitive market mainly due to few barriers to entry. Your direct competition will be established local cleaning companies, large and small. Research their service offerings and pricing to get an idea of what works well among your target market.
To gain a competitive advantage, look to identify market gaps and fill them. For example, you can use the latest window cleaning technology such as telescopic poles, robots or drones to stand out.
You will also want to provide excellent customer service to make you the best cleaner in your service area.
Guide: Launching Your Window Washing Business
You should consider creating a niche for yourself by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry. This can start your word of mouth marketing in your niche market.
Window cleaning can start as early as 8am and end after 6pm depending on your client’s schedule. And you may also have to work weekends.
The standard rate for residential window cleaning is $10 to $15 per window. Most commercial window cleaners charge an average of $250 for a 1,500 square foot property, or about $40 to $75 per hour.
Although these are the typical operating rates, you can choose your rates depending on location, target customer and cleaning tools.
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Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your markup and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.
Your target market is the group of customers to whom you plan to sell your services. Target customers are the pillars of your business. This will influence your marketing strategy and services you will offer.
Ideally, you will want to target people and businesses that can afford your window cleaning services. This will include homeowners in luxury suburbs, offices, hospitals and restaurants.
Your location can also determine who to target. The closer your ideal client is to you, the better.
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In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs down. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and perhaps rent an office. You can find commercial space for rent in your area on sites like Crexi and Instant Offices.
Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that sums up your goals, services and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since a lot of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Once you have a list of potential names, visit the US Patent and Trademark Office website to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” greatly increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these.
Finally, make your choice between the names that pass this selection and proceed with domain registration and the creation of social media accounts. Your business name is one of the most important differentiating factors that sets your business apart. Once you choose your company name and start branding, it is difficult to change the business name. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider your choice before starting a business entity.
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Every business needs a plan. This will serve as a guide to take your startup through the launch process and keep you focused on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:
If you’ve never created a business plan before, it can be an intimidating task. You may consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.
Registering your business is an absolutely necessary step – it is the prerequisite for paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account and other guidelines on the road to getting a business up and running.
Moreover, registration is exciting because it makes the whole process official. Once completed, you will have your own business!
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Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements and income. Most people will register their business in the state they live in, but if you’re planning to expand, you may want to consider looking elsewhere, as some states can offer real benefits when it comes to window cleaning.
If you are willing to move, you can really maximize your business! Keep in mind that transferring your business to another state is relatively easy.
Business entities come in several varieties, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The legal structure you choose for your window cleaning business will shape your tax, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely.
We recommend that new business owners choose LLCs, as they offer liability protection and pass-through taxes while being easier to set up than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will make sure your business name is available before you file, file your articles of organization, and answer any questions you may have.
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The last step before you are able to pay taxes is to get an employer identification number, or EIN. You can file your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship, you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.
Once you have your EIN, you will need to select your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine what taxes you will pay.
It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure that you complete them correctly.
Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family,
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