I’m in jail

I am currently in jail for a DUI. I have a year left in my sentence and in that time I am going to create a window cleaning business.

Last summer I was staying with a friend in a small town in Idaho and decided to try out residential window cleaning. I had almost no money so I went to the dollar store and purchased a squeegee (like one you would use for a shower) a bucket that you would keep cleaning supplies in, some dish soap, vinegar, a spray bottle, and microfiber towels. I was literally the definition of bucket bob. I was okay with that.

I practiced on the windows at my friends house for a few days until I wasn’t leaving streaks. Built up some courage and went out knocking on doors around his neighborhood. This was a tiny town and I was sure there were no window washers in the town.

I was offering to clean all exterior windows for 40 dollars. That included dusting the screens with the head of a broom I unscrewed. I figured I had to take the screens off anyways so what’s another 15 seconds to dust it off before I put it back. Most the houses were single story about 1000 sq ft.

The first door I knocked on a woman answered, I told her I lived in the neighborhood and started a window cleaning business and was offering all my neighbors a special price of 40 dollars to clean all the exterior windows and screens. She accepted. It took me about 45 minutes to do all the windows and screens.

I knocked on a few more doors and nobody answered until maybe the 3 houses later. A guy answered and I gave the same pitch except told him I had cleaned Cindy’s windows a few houses down. He accepted and it took me the same amount of time. He paid me 60 instead of 40 because he said I could have charged more.

For the next 5 hours or so I knocked on doors and got 4 more houses on top of the first 2. This was in the middle of the afternoon on like a Wednesday. I made 260 dollars that first day. I would have been happy if I would have just gotten one person to say yes. I took the money and went to Lowe’s and bought better squeegees and equipment.

I did this for the next few weeks making between 260 and 400 a day, 3 or 4 days a week until I went back home to the state I actually live in.

For me that was a test run to see if I could have at least some success at window cleaning. I did not approach any businesses or store fronts so I have no experience with that.

I am in jail, but on work release which allows me access to my computer and cell phone while I’m at work. So far, I have registered my business with the Secretary of State as an LLC. I am in the process of building a website.

What else can I do to create this business and make it legit so that when I am released from jail I will just need to do the marketing and footwork? I have capital so purchasing basic equipment isn’t a concern for me at this point. I have a year to figure it out so I’m not in a rush.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


I am sure you have figured this out - society errs on the side against giving second chances to people who have made mistakes. This is unfair but accept it as natural when somebody has nothing to discriminate with except one piece of information. I wouldn’t disclose this information until somebody knew me well or I was asked directly. This is not dishonest because society has a low resolution idea of the justice system and can’t make meaningful distinctions. You wouldn’t want to weigh your prison visitation into being an important part of your identity - the smart thing to do is put it behind you as fast as possible - which I see you’re doing here. The human species doesn’t run this planet because we have great powers of recollection - we have appalling memories - it’s our other strengths.

I would focus on capital improvements. Capital has lots of faces - money in the hand is just one. Cash, Labour, Reputation, Skill, Tools, Business organization.

The person who runs this show WCR wrote a book on window cleaning marketing. Read until dogeared and make plenty of notes. Available for free but I’d get the print version for writing in the margin. You can design your own advertising campaign material in advance.

I would practice using a Unger or Ettore squeegee. I don’t know the rules for your prison stay but if at all possible practice dexterity on each window cleaning squeegee technique over and over, switching hands when one wrist gets tired.You have access to the internet and can start by making a list of the techniques described on Youtube. Then you need to improve your eye by noticing where your mistakes are. Cutting in, coming down the mountain, zigzag, fanning, closing out. I would improve my upper body strength and arms for when I had enough money to purchase a WFP system. Those purchases can be scheduled in advance of having the money for them which gives you a series of waypoints. Chris Lambrinides says live lean and pour everything into the capital. It’s not all that different to unlocking new abilities or environments in a videogame.

1 Like

I’m just gonna put this out there… what’s your mailing address? I’ll send you a few of my favorite paperback books that helped me out.

I understand if you don’t want to put that out publicly, so if you’d prefer and since you have internet access, you can send me an email with that info



Good for you man !! You can do this ! While your in there learn what it takes to get your website to rank ! A website is one thing getting it to rank is another.
If you can’t do it you’ll have to pay someone to do it for you.
Secondly Come up with a logo idea for your business ,an then have a logo done. My reason for a logo , cause it’s going to be on everything. Your cards , your shirts , your website , your marketing pieces ,your wrap hell you can get a Tat !! why not !
An why not spend a little on it to get it done right.
So it’s more for advertising than branding in my eyes.
You’ll hear the argument that it’s not necessary in my eyes it is.
You already have an idea how to do the job you just need to get the work.
While your in there figure out a business plan an some marketing strategy an when you get out hit the pavement.
Good luck you can do this !! An stop drinking an driving :+1:


Sent you an email

I appreciate your feedback. I mentioned me being in jail because I wanted people that offer help or suggestions to know I can’t really go to places other than my job or the jail. Everything I do is basically online. As far as reputation goes, I probably won’t post my business info or location publicly on the forum. But I totally understand where you’re coming from on the subject.

I had a friend go to Lowe’s and get me a Ettore squeegee and mop. At my job there are about 30 large windows, it’s a restaurant. I do practice daily and I don’t leave streaks which is encouraging. I have always been a nut about that even as a kid. I hate streaks. I’m in a small strip mall and might go ask the business owners to clean their windows. There is only about 5 businesses. I’ll probably offer to do it for 10 dollars each place for the outside only and 15 for inside and out. I don’t really care about the money at this point as much as the experience. Thank you for your response and time!

1 Like

Thanks for the response!

I have experience building websites and have built a handful for friends and other companies that I have worked for in the past. I’m okay at building websites but I very good at SEO. The last company I worked for had me redo their website and within a day they were the first ranked website in that industry in Denver. They are still the first 5 years later. But we will see if my SEO skills pan out for window services. My worry is that if I launch the site I will start getting calls and will not be able to accommodate customers. So I am building the site but am not going live with it. But once I decide to it’s just the click of a button.

As far as logo goes, I am using freelancer.com. I have used it before for logos in past ventures. Basically I offer 50 dollars to anyone that comes up with a design for my idea. I give them information and what I do any and people from all over the world compete for that 50 dollars. It’s awesome. They send me proofs and I choose which I like best. But I totally agree with you on the importance of logo. It’s not just for looks but it’s building a brand.

I see you post a lot on this forum and again I appreciate you taking the time to respond!