The window washing business is a one of those solid ideas which are usually met with skepticism but end up proving all the doubters wrong if and when the plan of action is followed to the letter.
The beauty about starting a window washing business is that it’s a service that can be provided by a single person, male or female, and that the requisite knowledge is so basic and easy to muster. Starting such a venture is not a capital-intensive affair – for as little as $100 you can get the set of equipment you require. You don’t have to think about having an office, let alone a store for the equipment; working from home is most ideal. Most importantly, the demand for window washing services is ever existent regardless of whether you are based in a small town or a large metropolis. Conservative estimates for starting a one-man operation in a city with upwards of 50,000 people indicate that a steady gross monthly income of $4000 is a possibility three months after the service is launched. The monthly operating expenses for this venture should be approximately $1000 or less. These figures are based upon price ranges of between $20-25 per hour. This is quite a feasible business idea to say the least.
Required Window Washing Equipment and Supplies
A professional window washing service provider should have the following gadgets in his/her arsenal:
- Several water pails of the galvanized or plastic variety – have some being of a 2-gallon capacity and the others a 5-gallon capacity
- An 8-ft step ladder and a 16-ft straight ladder
- Window brushes preferably between 12” and 18” wide
- An telescopic brush handle made of aluminum
- A couple of squeegees, 6”, 10”, and 18” wide. Obtain separate rubber blades for replacement purposes
- A sharp razorblade scraper
- An assortment of towels, clean rags and chamois
- Liquid soap, 5 gallons to start with
Where to Start Sourcing for Business
In the initial days of the window washing business you should seek for the customers who are in your vicinity – those to whom you are in close proximity. Start with premises that go no higher than the second storey. Visit the owners of these establishments and explain your services briefly, not forgetting to leave them your business card. You can dedicate one day per week for this activity as in most cases it is likely that you’ll have enough work to keep you busy for the better part of the week.
As you become more established you can approach a variety of prospective clients as diverse as institutions, churches, apartments and condominiums. Generally speaking it is better to pursue commercial customers as opposed to residential ones, the main reason being that the latter’s payments are unlikely to be worthwhile for your efforts.
Always maintain a steady supply of business cards, billing statements that bear the business name and address, and mailing and return reply envelops. The quest for new clients can also involve you proposing better deals to prospective clients currently being served by other window washing service providers. Do some detailed prior research by finding out from the targeted clients if they are satisfied with what they are being offered. If you can offer them a better deal do so via a written proposal – remember that the proposed deal must not always be cheaper, in fact you will be doing better if you can quote a higher figure and then deliver on your word comprehensively.
Marketing the Window Washing Business
Probably the cheapest and most effective way to market the business is by issuing your staff with uniforms. Have your firm’s name and contacts emblazoned on the back of their shirts – this not only creates a professional aura about the company but it is a sure way of getting the word out there. Another effective method is the use of magnetic signs which you can adorn on the sides of your vehicle. These should be visible and attractive enough to grab the attention of prospective new clients, ensuring that the logo, name, and contact details are well legible. As the workforce increases you can have them shuttled to and from work in a staff van, and this vehicle(s) should also bear the company details on both of its sides.
It is rather obvious that you’ll provide your telephone contact details, and for this reason you should always have someone manning the phone in your absence. That person should be properly instructed on how to answer inquiries and in the art of setting up appointments. In the absence of such a person you will be obligated to hire a reputable Telephone Answering Service, preferably one that handles typing tasks as well. Treat telephone inquiries with the utmost of care since these are what will determine your business’ growth. As much as possible let your personal involvement be evident to the inquirers.
Putting an ad in the yellow pages, online and offline, is another effective marketing technique especially once the business has been considerably established. Marketing surveys indicate that business names that start with initials A, B, or C or X, Y and Z are most likely to get the more exposure largely because people tend to begin their yellow pages searches from these alphabet extremities.