$1500 Starting Out

Hi everyone,

I have been around reading this site everyday for at least a month. I have been planning on starting my business this spring/summer. I am currently a college student and there is a government program that will cover up to $1500 to start a summer business that can be continued once the summer is over. What I have been trying to figure out is where is the best way to spend the money and what I should focus my services on. At this point I don’t think I could afford a wfp but I could get the basic tools a ladder, and maybe a pressure washer. I’d like the business to grow into something permanent. Also I’m not sure if it makes a difference but I am in Canada.

where in canada, i’m in winnipeg

I’m in Belleville, Ontario

Good luck! Here’s my answer.

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too bad, you coulda worked with me :slight_smile:

Welcome to the forum! I’m near Toronto and spent about $700 on my starting tools.

Edit - Actually only thing I’d change from that list is 24’ Werner ladder, Moerman Liquidator channels, and Unger Ninja 4" scraper.

Where do the Canadian guys get your tools from?

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Mark is a solid dude, he gets his supply from the guy who runs this forum/store I think so I’m allowed to link him… right @Chris ? :stuck_out_tongue:

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your business venture!

Tommy has it right, that’s the site we use. Also sometimes you can find deals on Kijiji. I’m from Belleville originally, we now live in Calgary. I think you’ll very well there. Welcome to the club.

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There are some conditions to the program, first of all I get up to $1500 to cover expenses but I have to produce a cost sheet. So if my costs are $800 I will only get $800. So I want to maximize the money that is available. Also I have to work at least 420 hours over the summer (this shouldn’t be a problem). I have been thinking the tools won’t cost too much maybe a few hundred. I was going to get a 17ft multi position ladder, some shirts, a website and some business cards. The lady who runs the program said someone did power washing before and did well but from what I have read you need a power washer with 4gpm and they are $1500. I also don’t want to bite off more than I can chew lol.

Dude, I started with one purchase as home depot for $112. And that is more than others on here. You dont NEED a pressure washer to start washing Windows. I’ve got one job in four months that needs stuff beside Windows washed. I throw my buddy a couple of bucks for lending me his pressure washer. Seems like this money is to pay for a learning experience. Learn first then go execute. Guys post mile long lists all the time on here of stuff they NEED. I bet most of them end up packing it in a closet or selling it off because they didn’t get the work first. Go get work first.


Sorry I didn’t mean to sound like I needed to spend a bunch of money to get started. I realize there are a lot of people who started with almost nothing. I am just saying I have up to $1500 available, if I only spend $100 I will only get $100, so why not spend the whole $1500 to get the best possible start


mark is good, you can also check janitorial supply places.

I use a 17 foot multi ladder, a 21, and a 28 ft ladder. The 28 and the 17 have leg levelers and a stabilizer and work for most everything. Depending on your program (if you need to produce receipts) you should be able to find some of this on Craigslist (not sure if they are in canada). I would get some basic tools - squeegees of various sizes, extra rubber, a few tbar/mops (6 inch, 14 inch, and maybe an 18 inch), soap, bucket, steel or bronze wool, your ready to go. You can develop a basic website for $150 on wix or another platform. See if someone at your school can design you a logo. Find some inexpensive business cards and go from there. 1500 can disappear quickly so I would definitely be lean on your spending and get yourself the basics before moving into more expensive advertising, logo designs, Web development, etc. To get business started you could start in your friends/ neighbors homes and get some practice and then move into lead generation websites until you get the business moving.


If the $1500 can include marketing materials, work on door hangers / flyers and a solid EDDM campaign. Equipment wise, you can have everything you need to clean a window for cheap. You need customers, and EDDM is a proven business generator.

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It can be challenging to project which advertising expenses give a good return on investment. The guidance I got from this post has been helpful in the development of my marketing budget. http://windowcleaner.com/t/advertising-x-of-gross/36146/11

I had to look up EDDM stuff, but I think that’s an awesome idea. The money can be spent on marketing, I got a quote for $520 for 1000 post cards and I am supposed to be able to target demographics, so I’m thinking senior homeowners. Also when I was at school today talking about my business I had people jumping to get their windows cleaned.

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