The Ole Commision

Hey Everyone

I was offered a job as a window cleaner. I do have experience in window cleaning. I have cleaned for 2 1/2 years so not completely new to the scene but just wanted to pick your brain about it.

The pay is guarantee 10/hr or 30% commission, whichever is higher. I need to work roughly 30-32 hours so roughly 300 a week before taxes which is a couple hundred under what my better half and I need to make in order to cover our bills as well as have a little for a rainy day. I understand the principle of commission but I’m wondering is it really possible to make a living on commission? I’m currently on salary so I know exactly what I bring home every week.

I have considered starting my own business but 6 months from now my wife and I will be most likely be moving to Michigan from the south so to me its pointless to open a business for 6 months.

Any tips would be appreciated.


Where in Michigan? I know someone in the Grand Rapids / Kalamazoo area who covers half the state and pays 50% commission. $500 + per week is very doable except not during the winter.

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We haven’t pick a spot yet but we have friends in Mesick so maybe that or Cadillac area

If you’re really interested in starting your own window cleaning business why not work for the next six months for somebody else, learn the ropes and processes and then utilize them once you relocate. If you have zero experience you may be limited on high commisions, you need to learn first, efficiency comes in time.


Well if you are still looking for commission when you get to MI, message me and I’ll try to help out with that.

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Yes but much depends on how much he charges and how busy he is . But you can make a nicer living if you go on your own .

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So you need about 500 per week to live. That’s 26000 year. If you did 30% straight, he needs to be grossing 87k minimum. Really 100k starts to get you in the ballpark.

If you want to do hourly, you are looking at 16.67/hr for 30 hrs/wk.

If that’s what you need, negotiate from there.

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The monthly sales on just window cleaning supposedly are going to be a around that ballpark.

I tried that from the beginning. They don’t want to budge. They would rather do commission. Thats where I am hesitate because it is really hard to say ok I will make this per day.

I would love to open a business but its not the wises course right now.

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God I love your response’s and therefore you

I suppose the downside of being on commission would be the windshield time. If the jobs are widely dispersed that could be a challenge.

I did it that way for many years …its a great motivator . I assume that you would be a employee and not a subcontractor.

Correct. A employee

I think that being on commission would help you adapt the “all or nothing” mindset of a business owner. This could be ideal training that will help you hit the ground running when you start your own business.

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How many employees does he have? Maybe once you get rolling and prove your worth you can get your share of higher priced work.

I agree with the others. Get in and pay attention. Use it as an educational experience for when you’re ready to start your own operation.

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30% commission seems pretty normal…However, it’s 30% of _______?
If he has plenty of work for you and the jobs are priced well, then no problem,
you should do over 500/week.
If he doesn’t have enough work for you or the jobs are underbid…

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He has 2 other employees. His son does mostly sales and the other guy is on 30% as well.

Their monthly sales of just window cleaning is 7-8k. I’m not sure if that’s normal or high or low.


Well. If you are good at cleaning windows then 30 percent commission could make you 30 an hour. You are probably going to average 15 an hour depending on how much he charges his clients and how fast you are

That would work for you if you were the only cleaner.

30% of 7000 is 2100… That’s 510 / wk.
If there is another cleaner (assuming equal cleaning) then you get half.

So you might want to ask him if you go on 30% commission how much does he
think you can make weekly.

but you get half of getting twice as much done