I have a job but am thinking of being a window cleaner again

Hey everyone,

I’m basically a newb on here, I’ve been reading silently in the background for about a year and I truly appreciate all of your guys’ great ideas and posts.

First off, I did own a window cleaning business with a friend about 6 years ago but have since gone to school to be an A&P mechanic. I now work for a major airline and live just south of Atlanta. I make great money, (at least to me it’s great) I think on my taxes I made $80,000 last year. Since I’ve been working in aviation I have quickly discovered that the work is not all it’s cracked up to be. I found out that I am not all that fond of shift work and after working mid-nights on the weekend for the past 5 years, I’m wondering if I’ll ever get off this schedule. A co-worker of mine has been here for 18 years and is on the shift I am on. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of hope that there will be any sort of normalcy anytime soon. That being said, I truly appreciate my job and don’t want to be seen as ungrateful, but I’m not sure this schedule will work for me when my two daughters start going to school in a few years. My family is important and not seeing them for years while living in the same house is frankly, unreasonable to me. Unfortunately, since the aviation industry is almost exclusively a 24/7 operation I’ve recently been re-thinking my career choice.

I really enjoyed cleaning windows when I had the business in Washington state. Since I shuttered it 6 years ago I am always finding myself daydreaming of starting one here in GA. Question is, am I crazy? I think there would be multiple benefits to cleaning windows again, but this is in my ideal thinking mind. I wouldn’t quit my job anytime soon to do something like this full time but would it be possible to do it part time? One good thing about my schedule is that I have 3 days off per week. I need someone to bounce these ideas off of and perfect strangers seem like the best place to get real answers.

Any advice, similar circumstances and outcomes would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

can you absorb a significant pay cut for 18-24 months?

I was actually thinking of cleaning windows on the side for a a few years to build some clients before I just quit. Does that sound feasible or am I being naive?

[MENTION=7044]jessef15[/MENTION]

nope, that’s a good plan. you can do it. time with the fam and a feeling of well-being is worth a significant pay cut anyway. that might be the best advice i can give you.

Thanks Caleb I appreciate your feedback and I totally agree with you on the pay cut being worth it.

Caleb nailed it.

Many here have done and still do part time. It’s definitely worth a try. Working nights, you could do part time during the day and build a decent business in a couple years. Go for it.

Part time is always good. And while your at it, look for another airline to work for.

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[MENTION=7044]jessef15[/MENTION]

I am in the same boat as you. I’m an air traffic controller by trade. 15 years now. I have a wife and 2 young kids. I started a building service contract company a year ago and I am currently focusing on building the window cleaning portion if it.

What you are asking can be done. It is trying at times and you won’t grow as fast as some of the others on here for pure logistical reasons but keep at it and you will grow.

I love my real job and my business. If it was easy everyone would do it. That statement works for both my careers and yours.

Kg

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I started part time after work and on weekends, when your gone so much the dog growls at you when ya get home, then it’s time to go full time

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First Jesse welcome

Of all people on here i know what you are speaking of. I am currently a MX lead up here in DTW and I due know your sacrifice (and pride ) too keep the tin in the air. I have been in aviation for 20+ years and some think i have the perfect shift (Days mon-thur) but there is somethings you do miss (i have three kids that are grown now). Aviation is great and i have done well in it but family is the most important thing out there.

Plus you can use with your aviation background that you where trained to due your job right the first time every time.

This is a good idea, I don’t know your financial status. But I would try to save money and payoff any debts/loans( credit cards, car loans) and try and cut back on some luxuries before quitting my job.

Gotta live simple, if your gonna be self employed

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Kinda like when it’s time to change vehicle’s

I’m doing it now, plan on being tired and having very little time for anything else for a while. You have to get over the hump, but it will be worth it.

I feel I see people asking this a lot on here. So many guys are in your situation, have a good paying full time job however they just aren’t happy with it. I have two thoughts for you to ponder. 1. Yes, you could do it part time for a few years. Slowly build up clients. But here is the issue I see with this. A lot of people start a business part time with the plan to eventually go full time. In your situation your working tough hours and I would imagine it wears you out. Are you really going to want to go market your business during the day when your not working and cleaning windows on your days off? I’ve seen guys who do the business thing part time and either burn out or give up because its to much.

  1. You could set a date when your going to leave your job ( maybe 6-12 months ). In that time you could save every penny possible. Like some said pay off debt. Put yourself in a financial place where you can afford to not make 80k a year and go full time into the window cleaning business. If you went this route I’d suggest you work twice as many hours the first few years to grow your business to get yourself back up to where you were with the current job.

Its a tough choice. Write down pros and cons to both. Write down the priorities of your family. But also know that anything is possible! Good luck!

I’ve been doing it part time for the last 4 years, its hard but can be done. You know when its time to quit your day job, as I am almost to that point. Best of luck to you!

  1. You can do this.
  2. Get your finances squared away.
  3. Save money
  4. Start part time and do as much work as possible.
  5. Move to full time when it makes financial and business sense.

These are not in any particular order of importance. But, you have a family who probably depends on your 80k, so you cant just quit. If you are like most people, you are probably in debt with not much money in savings. Get rid of things that are bleeding you dry such as credit card debt and vehicle loans. I would make this a a 5 year plan. By then, you will be sitting pretty and can start enjoying work and life.

I would start part-time, I am just about wrapping up my first year doing it since I have a Monday - Thursday “career” and doing windows/gutters Friday-Sunday. If you need to rely on the income I think it is good to get started building before you need it 100%. I had no problem staying WAY to busy the first few months of the year and the past two months, but there was some SLOW months this summer for sure which I know over time with building my customer list I can stay busy those months. Be ready to have no life the busy months as I am coming off a two months working 65-85 hours per week doing it 7 days a week. This was my 4th season cleaning windows, but my first on my own and it was good to get all my equipment, website, and other misc expenses 100% paid for and covered for the coming year so next year besides what I owe the IRS and gas pump goes 100% into my pocket which will be nice. Personally I doubt I ever make the leap 100% as I have a good career with a good company and I like the security of that and am willing to make a little less each year to have it.

Good luck with whatever you choose!

I want to thank everyone for the great advice. My Wife and I decided to go forward and start the business. This will be a part of our 5 year plan to have a viable option outside of where I work currently. So you will be seeing more of me and my newb questions on here.

Thanks again!