How much window cleaning experience did you have before starting your own business?
What’s the minimal amount of time you believe is necessary working in the field before you can strike out on your own?
Do you recommend any good courses or certifications before starting a window cleaning business?
What type of window cleaning or add on service is the most profitable for you? Residential, commercial, pressure washing, house cleaning, roof cleaning, fleet washing, dustless blasting, gutter cleaning, Christmas light hanging, lawn care, etc.
You certainly should do some research on “starting a small business”.
Whether it is window washing, lawn service, painting, plumbing, window tint installation, photography, whatever - in order to be successful you should have some practice in the field of your choice of course - but also gain some insight about the business side of things.
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I was a teacher and cleaned with my buddy for a total of 30 hrs before I started knocking doors to clean on my own. I was SO GREEN! He usually finished work before I got off work and I needed the extra income (not crying about teachers pay-I knew what I got into) but when he saw me start knocking doors and getting a small house or two every day he offered me his business.I was very detailed and I cared about my clients. It has been the hardest 18 months of my life and I’ve stressed eaten my way to an extra 20 pounds.
There were times I thought of going to work for the larger companies because it was hard and the security is not guaranteed, the customer list I bought was not “clean” and I wanted to fast track some skills I knew I was missing. I felt like a failure for a long time and with all the confidence I tried to show, I knew there were things I needed much experience doing. I still get myself in a little too deep (just posted a bout it-trying to grow before I’m ready and have the systems in place).
What I have found is that window cleaning is not hard but requires some patience in learning and desire to improve. The hard part for all businesses, whether it be window or carpet cleaning, car sales, or software development, is the lack of ownership/business skills. I was a manager for a decade and thought it would be easy to do this but owning a business is a very different set of rules, systems, pains and rewards then running another person’s business.
Learn the business stuff as much as possible before-hand, you can not learn it all but there are tools and org’s out there to help you get on your feet. READ books (start with Profit First, The E-myth) and blogs and watch videos on YT. Burn the search bar at the top of the page. Yes, we look to see how much you’ve read and what. There is no solid answer but if I could do it over I’d quit teaching and worked with the owner for 6 months and started with him and his house and finished with him at his house to learn how he ran the business before buying it.
I would say if you can not work with a friend for 3 months then practice on your own house until you feel confident. Use a window that faces south and clean inside and out. Try with a cloth only, mop and squeegee only, then get some deionized water, get a portable sprayer and try brush and rinse. Window cleaning to a spotless standard is not as simple as it appears.