How long did you work for a company before you cast off on your own?

I’m second season in, and learned while working for a reputable company for 5 months. I told the owner that I was interested in starting on my own, but will put in good, hard work while I was there. I started with CCU’s and weird cut-up jobs. I think the dude just wanted me to give up. I pushed through, and became a supervisor in a month while getting my own work on the side. I find everything much easier now than when I went through this “hell-week” process of WC boot-camp.

How long did you all work for a company before starting off on your own?

I also want to hear about those of you who started without experience, and some stories that came from those learning days!

Congradulations walkthru👍


5 years

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I worked for 12 years for the largest commercial window companies in the state I lived in, learned every aspect of window cleaning and gained huge experience,7 years as a supervisor of up to 20 guys on some jobs.

I worked for a very large residential company for 5 years, maybe a little longer.

If I didn’t do that and had to learn the WC aspect on my own there is no way I would be as efficient and as good at this.

The hardest part for me now is learning how to properly run a business from the office aspect along with doing sales and attempting to implement systems that will help me stay organized and on top of my paperwork.

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i worked for a company on Nantucket for a summer in 99, the a few years later worked for Fish for about a month before I said “I can do this on my own”.

I had my original company (extra cash, storefronts) from 2005-2006, then started my current company in the very beginning of 2010

i worked for a buddy for about a year doing storefronts and the occasional home. then switched to a different buddy’s dad’s company and worked two seasons there. then i moved to the detroit metro area and started my own company in 1999, when i was 22.

the only thing i learned from previous experience was how to clean windows. at the time i didn’t realize that was like the least important part of owning a window cleaning business.

I started with no window cleaning experience and took my inspiration from a “bucket Bob” working on a storefront where I was shopping. He claimed to be on track to making pretty good in his 2nd year ($80k) and I thought I’d give it a go. I spent a long time on this website and Youtube and practiced on my own home before going out to tackle some store fronts. I have found that presentation and customer relationships make all the difference. I get $20 for storefronts where my competitor charges $10. I enjoy what I’m doing and now that I’m in my 2nd year the money is getting better. Worst experience I had was taking on a mansion before I invested in WFPs. I was 1 month in to my career and washing down a store front when a shopper ask me to bid and do his home. It was August and the soap dried on the glass faster than I could get it off. Additionally, my extender pole failed to stay up by the end of the day(consumer grade) and my results were horrible. I didn’t get paid and my reputation in that gated community is forever tarnished. Oh well. The proper equipment for the job is the key. Thanks to lots of help from the WCRA; who I never fail to ask for advice and get my equipment from. I recall in the begining Facetiming the WCRA when I couldn’t figure out how to remove a window screen and they helped me through it. Determination and advice from others helps. As time goes on and I get more experience I hope to grow my company and become better at delivering superior service to my customers. This forum has been a great asset for me and I hope this helps other newbies gain confidence. My concern is the barrier to entry into this career is very low so keeping up professional standards is important to me so that people are willing to pay enough to keep me interested in providing this service. Its hard work being a sole operator and I’m considering hiring a full time worker to help me grow. I recommend to anyone to join a networking group to enlist their support and referrals. Mine has 27 members, meets weekly and only costs $299/year.

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An there you have it in a nut shell . Cleaning a window is the easy part. Running a business is the hard part
I was always told that by my first employer. You have it easy this is the easy part , I have to go game an do paper work book app. Deal with people who don’t pay., and I was always like ya whatever
Even though he was a Dick he was right

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It is funny seeing it from the other side. I have had several people work for me and a few started their own businesses later on. I am still friends with them all and they DEFINITELY thought that cleaning windows and cashing checks was all it entailed. I have heard them tell me stories of people who wouldn’t pay or who were crazy or who didn’t show up and it made me happy to see that they were getting a view of what I deal with everyday. Even though I haven’t heard it from anyone specifically, I think that some guys now respect what I did for them a lot more after dealing with it first hand.

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…12 years until the owner sold it and the new owner fired me 6 months later… I “didn’t fit in with the new direction”… I started on CCU too and it was a bear. Ended up in 3 months as trainer and supervisor for windows, carpets. tile and grout cleaning, pw, and general ccu. Started on my own 5 years ago this week, but only doing windows, a big helping of “no thank you” to the rest of it.

I put some business cards in peoples doors after practicing at my house


[B]I love this![/B]

And least stressful…
And least exhausting…

You could put me on 6 pieces of ladder, with a damp toothbrush and some C-folds…
And it would probably be the easiest part of my day!

I started with no experience and just a lot of youtube videos. My wife loves how good the windows look at the house while I was practicing. Now I have been doing it part time for a month and I have two customers. One monthly and one quarterly.

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I’m just learning the business part with E-myth, etc., but nothing quite fits into the window cleaning niche as it presents itself a less-visible business. I think visibility and professionalism are critical in this world. At least in my area.

7 years

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In other words, he knew you were a threat and didnt want you to see how he operates lol

When you run your business (after working for a company) have you tried to solicit its clients or you found new ones?