Thinking of starting a window cleaning business? It can be an excellent small business option. Whether you want to wash windows in high rises, commercial buildings or homes as a sole proprietorship, it can be a rewarding venture. And as a small business owner, you’ll be the master of your own destiny.

But before you dive in and start bidding on jobs or scaling extension poles, there are a few things you need to consider to get your business off the ground. As a window washer and business owner, you’ll have to register your business, market your services to attract customers, and invest in essential cleaning solutions and equipment.

The truth is that starting any service business requires diligent preparation, especially one involving working with heights or hazardous chemicals. But with the right tools and knowledge, you’ll be on your way to running a successful window washing business in no time.

Establishing your window cleaning business

The first step to starting any service business is registering your new hustle as an official business. You’ll need to decide whether to set up shop as a sole proprietor or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Operating as an LLC can give you protection from lawsuits and liability for debts, but it’s more complicated and costs more in fees than opening a sole proprietorship. As a sole proprietor, you have complete control over your window cleaning business, and registering is easy and inexpensive compared to forming an LLC.

Check which permits and licenses are required in your city or county to operate legally, and contact your local Chamber of Commerce to register your business name. Before you hire employees, you’ll need to register for an employer identification number (EIN). You can do that online in just a few minutes on the IRS website.

You’ll also need business liability insurance, which protects you in case of any injuries or damages. For a window cleaning business, costs are usually between $500 to $2,000 per year.  If you have employees, you’ll also want worker’s compensation. Consider business property insurance too, to cover your equipment and vehicles in case of theft, loss, or damage.

Acquiring the equipment you need to get started

If you want to start a window cleaning business, you’ll need the right equipment. Here’s a list of things you’ll need to get started.

Towels and cleaning materials

Even a small window cleaning company needs enough towels and cleaning materials in various sizes. Invest in microfiber towels so that you can deliver sparkling results without too much elbow grease. Make sure you have scrubbers and scrapers on hand as well so you can remove stubborn messes.

Extension poles and squeegees

Extension poles allow you to reach windows on higher floors without a ladder. Look for lightweight aluminum poles that extend up to 50 feet. You’ll also want a high-quality squeegee or two – a 10 to 12-inch squeegee works for most residential windows. For commercial jobs, consider a 18-inch squeegee to clean windows more efficiently.

Cleaning solutions

Look for a glass cleaner that’s safe for the environment and cuts through grime and debris. You’ll want a separate heavy-duty solution for stuck-on messes. Be sure to have plenty of microfiber cloths,

Other essentials

As a window cleaning business owner, you’ll need a work vehicle to transport your equipment, a business phone, and storage space for supplies. High-rise window cleaning also requires special gear like descenders and harnesses for safe access.

Marketing your new window cleaning business

Once you have the necessary equipment and skills to properly clean windows, it’s time to start marketing your new window cleaning business to attract plenty of paying customers. Here are some of the best ways to raise awareness and bring in clients.

  • Build a website

Having a mobile-friendly website is one of the first things you should do to advertise your window cleaning services. Include details about your business, the services you offer, your pricing, and contact information. Optimize your site for local search to increase your ranking in Google.

  • Cultivate an active social media presence

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google My Business increase your online presence. Post photos, share updates, and engage with your followers to drive awareness, and ask happy customers to leave reviews on sites like Yelp, Home Advisor, and Google Reviews. Good reviews will help convince potential clients that you’re the best choice for the job.

  • Spread offline marketing materials

Don’t underestimate the power of direct mail and print ads. These traditional marketing methods are cost-effective ways to reach potential customers, especially older generations. Design eye-catching flyers, postcards or brochures, and mail them to homes and businesses in your area. Advertise in local newspapers, coupon mailers and magazines.

  • Leverage the power of networking

Word-of-mouth and personal referrals are powerful ways to gain new commercial and residential window cleaning accounts, so attend local business networking events to meet other business owners and spread the word about your new window cleaning company. Join your local chamber of commerce to benefit from the boost they can give you.

  • Offer discounts and special offer bundles

People love a good deal, so discounts and coupons are effective ways to market your small window washing business. Run promotions and special offers like first-time customer discounts, holiday specials or referral programs to bring in new clients. You can also bundle services together at a discount to attract more business, like offering window cleaning and car washing services.

Planning your business: residential vs. commercial window cleaning

As a new business owner, you’ll need to decide whether to focus on residential or commercial window cleaning, or offer both.

Residential window cleaning

Cleaning the windows of people’s homes is a great way to start small and build up your business. Prices vary depending on your neighborhood, but you can expect to charge anything from $40 up to $75 per hour.

Go door-to-door in neighborhoods, hand out flyers, and post on community Facebook groups to find potential clients. Offer weekend and holiday cleaning for those with busy schedules; many home owners will appreciate your flexibility.

Commercial window cleaning

Cleaning office buildings and storefronts can be more lucrative, with professional commercial window cleaners charging as much as $450 per hour. But remember that you’ll also need more equipment, like extension poles and safety harnesses, to reach high rise windows. You’ll also need proper certifications and insurance for working on high rises.

window cleaning business

Check if your city requires a permit or license for commercial cleaning, and attract customers by canvassing local businesses and leaving flyers and business cards. To land bigger commercial clients, you’ll need to present your experience, safety standards, and competitive rates. You’ll probably need to issue professional-looking quotes and contracts too.

Business plan

Whichever type of window cleaning services you decide to offer, it’s a good idea to develop a business plan. A business plan is an opportunity to map your strategy, outline your target clients, and project future income and expenses to determine rates and pricing. It helps you present your business as serious and trustworthy, and it’s often vital for securing a business loan or other startup funding.

Operating your window washing business

Once you’ve started your window cleaning business, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of running it. Here are some issues to bear in mind to keep your business operating smoothly and without too much stress.

Hire window washers

As your business grows, you may need to bring on additional window cleaners. Look for responsible individuals with experience using extension poles, cleaning solutions, and the techniques needed to clean windows thoroughly. Provide training to ensure high quality work.

Keep costs low

Keep overhead costs low by operating out of your home. Only hire employees when demand requires and pay them competitively. Market your services through low-cost means like social media, flyers, and word-of-mouth referrals from happy clients, and use the most affordable equipment and cleaning solutions that still get the job done well

Manage your business efficiently

Focus on efficiency – group jobs together in the same area so you don’t waste time or money traveling from job to job. As a sole proprietorship, you can also deduct many business expenses to lower your tax burden, which makes it even more important to track income and expenses carefully.

Business management tools

As your window cleaning business grows you’ll need tools that can help you keep on top of administrative tasks. An all-in-one window cleaning business management platform like vcita automates invoicing, sending payment reminders, and scheduling, plus it helps you keep track of every client and send marketing newsletters and special offers through email and SMS to increase revenue.

Your successful window cleaning business is on its way

That covers the basics to get your window cleaning business up and running. You now have the necessary tools, solutions, and knowledge to start a window cleaning business and clean windows like a pro. With hard work and persistence, you can build a successful small window washing business. Keep costs under control, promote your business effectively, and continue learning ways to improve and expand for the future. Before you know it, you’ll have a steady stream of clients and see positive revenue flowing in.