Starting 1 man operation.. how much did u spend?

Hello all, I’m starting up. Full on 1 man show… residential, commercial, solar, construction. I’m about to put in my order here soon (coming weeks), I’m thinking I’ll need around $10k to start (steveo wfp set, + 5k ish in misc supplies like rubber, handles, extra poles, etc.) I was curious if this was seemed reasonable for a healthy start up package. Thanks. Any other tips for a beginner is appreciated.

This is my opinion.
Start out learning how to use a mop scrubber and squeegee; learn how to use an extension pole without drips running down the glass or leaving streaks; learn how to safely remove stuck on debris and avoid scratching glass. Do this new found task of window cleaning the traditional way then work your way up to water fed pole. That way YOU will KNOW how much to spend and have a clearer idea of how much of YOUR money you will need to spend. Even with the ownership of WFP you will still have plenty of work the traditional way, so be proficient at that first. $10k might be bit high to start out without discovering that you could have spent much of that money on something else. Education is more bang for your buck.


i started with $100-200 for myself and helper (i had a step ladder and a 28 foot extension already).
added a $200 multi ladder later the first year (all i carry now).
second year i added wfp atm about $2000. also had website built with good seo about $2000

i don’t sell anything, happy to chat.


Thank you!! I’ll start more simple

“Any other tips for a beginner is appreciated.”
Have you cleaned windows before?
I can’t imagine dropping 10k ( or even 2500) on tools and equipment for a business I know nothing about.
You can buy everything you need to get started doing storefronts or single story homes for under $100.

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Yes just not in a business manner yet. The goal was to just eat the large bulk upfront so I could practice as much as needed now and never say no to a job unless it was to high/dangerous. But you all are correct. It’s smarter to start small then buy later. Thanks!

Set half of that aside in your business account and add to it with each job you get, then as you need tools, supplies, etc. you won’t have to worry about where to find the money.
Also, set up your business account separate from your personal account. Divide percentages from your business receipts to allocate the different areas you need - i.e. taxes, business ins., business profit, payroll (YOU), supplies.
You will find the greatest asset to your assets in the book “Profit First”.

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Spend like $10k on marketing and $200 on tools


yeah but not all at once!

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Ya, way too much. Don’t invest what you can’t afford to give away.

Start with a basic trad setup and a bike. Save. Spend what you saved on a sweet wfp and DIY pure water setup.

Keep riding your bike. Makes tons of $$

Totally agree that you shouldn’t need to invest in much initially. We invested about $150 at first for two people:

  • Boabs
  • 2 large and 2 small squeegees with basic handles (ettores)
  • Two 2 bars and sleeves
  • Bucket and soap, using existing towels

This helped us to see what we like, don’t like, and how to upgrade if the business worked out. Now we have invested more than 10k with additional trad tools, WFP setup, heated pure water generation, trailer for gear, etc. We are a family operation, so we understand how it is to start off and keep it simple.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten was to just keep things simple. No fancy vehicle, no fancy equipment, just working smart.

Keep things simple. Especially is this true in the beginning. To be as profitable as possible you have to think as simple as possible. Don’t over due it in the fragile early stages of business.

Thinking simple will serve you well. As a 1 man show with this little bike/wfp setup I grossed well over 6 digits during 2020 when many other companies went the way of the dodo. After 5 years with this setup I still get laughed at by some companies in the area. (I don’t consider them my competition. They market for me… They lose clients and I gain them at double the price) More than spending money up front, think about the bare minimum you need to be profitable. Remember… It’s not about what you make, it’s about what you keep.

Don’t buy into the hype with these expensive pure water systems. Here’s a video of a super cheap system that does the same thing as any other system costing 4+times more… Pure Water Window Cleaning system - homemade diy save tons of $$$ - YouTube


I appreciate all the advice and support. Thanks, I’ll keep it simple!!

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Like some others said man keep it simple! I started with a $2,750 old Nissan Frontier truck that I still drive today (wanting and can buy a newer one just haven’t, nice having low insurance and no payment or that extra 12-20k id spend). Then I had all the basic squeegees, towels, step ladders/ladders and multi ladder so say $600 or even $1000 to be safe. You’re under 5k right there. That’s literally all I had and could have done it way cheaper. I cleaned windows out of a sedan car working for someone else before that and had a step ladder and the biggest multi with snap on horns.

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