Hey [MENTION=11487]jkim[/MENTION], is there any way you would be able to shadow another window cleaner for a little while? I think that anyone thats new to the profession should try and get the chance to do so. It would help you to decide the direction in which you want to go with your company in regards to equipment, techniques, and so on.
Regarding the WFP vs Ladder debate, I think most here on the forum would say that wfp’s cannot entirely replace ladders in this profession. First time cleans, wood framed windows in poor shape, windows with storms, etc, will all present challenges to the wfp-only model. That being said, a wfp can greatly reduce your reliance on ladders, thus minimizing your risks.
As far as sectionals go- they can be a great tool, are safe when used properly, and are pretty convenient for maneuvering. But they do have a considerable learning curve (especially if you want to assemble them vertically). I used a set of sectionals for a good while when I was starting out, and I never really got used to them. I eventually bought a 17’ multi-ladder (similar to the little giant). They are a bit heavy, and not quite as convenient in some instances (like setting it up indoors for high ladder work). But I found the multiladder to be quite versatile and allowed me to tackle pretty much anything I came across in the two story homes I clean. Later I bought a used 28’ Louisville extension ladder, which reaches the three story work I do (commercial 3 story work will require something taller, like a 40’).
so to make my point short- unless you’re very selective about what jobs you do, you’re going to need ladders in this business. Try to find ones that fit the situations you’ll be dealing with, and learn how to maneuver and set them up safely (and make sure to get leg levelers!). Handling ladders is much more about balance and leverage, than it is about brute strength. I’m 5’9, 140 lbs, and I’ve handled a 40’ ladder all day before by myself (not fun, btw).
WFP will be a great investment, but don’t view it as a complete replacement for ladders. And while you’re still in your first year, doing a lot of first time cleans on neglacted windows, you might find it will be better to get practiced with the ladders, and save up for a fancy wfp next year