Like most window cleaners who get into the business, I wanted to have a ‘side hustle,’ something that I could do to make extra money every month, but that wouldn’t take much money to get started. I couldn’t get this thought out of my head and was constantly thinking about some field I could get into when I came across a TikTok video of a guy cleaning windows. In the video, he said that he made $400 for cleaning the windows at that house for about 5-6 hours of work, and honestly, I didn’t believe him. I knew absolutely nothing about professional window cleaning and thought there was no way he made that much money in that short of time. It occurred to me that I was currently working 12-hour shifts, twice that long, and didn’t make that much money that he did in six hours. I was so intrigued by the video that I started watching hundreds and hundreds of other professional window-cleaning videos from all over the internet. I started researching the costs involved in the equipment needed to get started and how much that would be. I looked into how much experience and education you needed to become a professional window cleaner since I knew nothing about it. I also googled ‘window cleaners in my area,’ to see how many there were and what my competition would be, and virtually no one was doing it in my area. I live in a smaller city of about 30,000 people, and I never saw any window cleaners at any residential or commercial locations or work vans driving around. The more research I did in this field, the more I got excited about it, thought that I could do it, and wanted to give it a shot.
In March of 2021, I went to Lowes’ and bought some basic squeegees, scrubbers, poles, scrappers, rags, Dawn dish soap, buckets, a step ladder, and a few other minor things and spent just $380. I also got online and bought a professional holster to hold my squeegee and scrubber. I told myself I would use this equipment to get started and make some money with the first month or two of jobs, then invest that extra money on more and better equipment. I also got online, designed some basic business cards, and just printed them off on the home computer to start passing out. With my new equipment, I practiced on my own windows and some neighbors’ and friends’ windows. I got comfortable with my work and started passing out the business cards. I walked into a local family-owned restaurant to pick up some breakfast I had called in and noticed their windows were very dirty. It was more than likely that they had never been done. I asked to speak to the owner and told him I could clean his windows for $100 if he ever wanted to clean them up. He immediately accepted my offer and asked when I could do it! I returned the next day and cleaned his windows, and he said he was happy with the results. I was so excited about my success that I went up and down our busy streets with all the businesses and handed out my business cards. I also posted everywhere I could on social media and asked people to share my information. In my first month, I had seven jobs and made $425. I was pretty happy with this amount since it more than paid for the equipment I initially invested in in the first month. In my second month, I ended up with 12 jobs and $1300; in the third month, I had 13 jobs at $1710 since I started to do the interior and exterior of bigger homes and higher-paying jobs.
The calls started coming in about this time since there wasn’t a window cleaner around, and people were hearing about me! Since I worked 12-hour shifts, I only worked 14 days a month. I could still do these jobs and build the business on my days off, so I could save most of my window cleaning money and invest it in growing the company. I was very busy and extremely happy with how it was going, so I decided to get serious and make it a legitimate business, and I got busy!
I first wanted to get a business account set up in the company name to do all the company banking through this account. I also wanted to secure more commercial accounts, meaning the company had to be insured, so I called an agent and got a liability insurance policy for the company setup. The next thing I did to legitimize the business was set up an LLC in the company name, in addition to getting my logo made for the business and having company shirts made with the logo on them. I wanted as many people as possible to find out about me, so I set up my business on Google My Business (GMB), and now when you Google ‘window cleaners near me,’ I’m on top of the list. This one step has been extremely successful since many people tell me they found me on Google. I also got more inexpensive advertising, like door hangers, yard signs for residential homes, and company estimate forms made at a local print shop. I was able to set up a company website to post pictures and videos for customers to view.
In the second year of business, I purchased a WaterFed Pole (WFP) system, which has been a true blessing for me and has taken the company to new heights…literally! I also found a Ford Transit Connect work van that is very professional looking and serves my business well!
I recommend these steps to anyone wanting to start their own window cleaning company. I would tell them not to be afraid, to follow their dreams, and invest in themselves!