When is it too late to start a business for the season?

Hey guys,

I have moved from debating starting a window cleaning business to what’s the next step in actually getting this idea in motion. I am fully committed to this and with A LOT of research, I’ve realize it can be very profitable and am looking to do it full time and finally start working for myself.

But I have two questions. 
  1. I live in Utah and today is the last day in May. Is it too late to start my business up for the season with zero customers to start? Also, I don’t have a ton of start up costs so I’m looking to do single story store front or residential because I won’t have a water fed pole or a ladder. (Or a truck that could carry a ladder) but have the vision to move up to multiple floor residential.

2.There are about 3 decently sized window cleaning companies in the area with a few big ones. But there are literally millions if not more windows in the area and I know there are customers out there so I think there is a realistic idea that I can squeeze myself in for a good slice of the pie. But how much would that really affect my business? And should that be a deterrent?

I am very passionate about becoming self employed and this is the first step in many to own multiple thriving businesses. Any and all help is appreciated. Also my name is Tim and I’m 24



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Angela WCR

[MENTION=39890]Conglet42[/MENTION], welcome Tim! You’ve come to the right place.

I think very few of us started our businesses at the “ideal” time of the year. And Fall can be really great for making money, as well. You can begin getting customers before you leave the security of your current employment. Tell prospective customers you only have weekends available between now and xxxx (your quit date). You don’t necessarily have to tell them why.

What type of vehicle do you own? I wouldn’t write off residential just yet. Most 2 story homes can be completed with a 17’ multi-ladder like the Little Giant, and those ladders will fit in most sedans/wagons that have fold-down seats. You can also get a “base rack” system for nearly any car from Inno, Yakima, or Thule, which will securely hold an extension ladder.

To answer your second question, I’ll say that nearly any new business is going to have existing competition. That’s part of doing business. Now how well that competition has the market “locked down”, I can’t tell you. There’s a good chance that none of those companies are providing the one thing that will set you apart and allow you to get market share. It will take time and experimenting to figure all of that out, but you’ve got a huge resource of information to get yourself there.

Oh, and definitely join the WCRA. Great marketing materials & discounts, and a lot more nitty gritty details are shared in the private forum.

Every day you wait

Sent from my iPhone using Window Cleaning Resourceyryx

i started my business in december… still doing it

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[MENTION=4]Alex[/MENTION]lacey thanks so much for your advice I really appreciate it! I own a Kia Spectra 4 door. I think I could make it work but I don’t know how early I should get insured so to avoid any situations with falling from a ladder I was thinking sticking with a water fed pole. But maybe I should just invest in a ladder cause it would be good to have period. Especially sense I might do gutter cleaning and pressure washing as an add on.

I’m glad to hear you think the slice of the pie is available like I do. And that now is good as ever to start this business.

Thanks again for all your help!

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Get insurance as soon as you can possibly afford it. It’s mostly to protect your customers’ property than yourself. General liability won’t help you much if you fall off a ladder, but it will help if you land on their Mercedes ;).

A ladder is a must have, imo. There will be plenty of times when a WFP just won’t cut it. And gutter cleaning is a great, easy add-on. For pressure washing, you shouldn’t need a ladder very often if you’re doing it right. The only time I’ve gotten on a ladder for power washing is when there’s a section of the house set back over a long roof.


I opened up shop in September ( after busy season ) - It worked out.

Hey also are you a sole proprietor or do you have a partnership? I’m looking into more of just me rather than getting a partner. Pros and cons to that? I have my own thoughts about it and why I am leaning towards sole proprietor.

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I am a sole proprietor. After a 32 percent tax last year we are going the s corp route

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I would start as a sole proprietor

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Me too. My wife lost her job at the beginning of August 2007, I quit my job the third week of August, Started up full time Sept 1 2007 and never looked back. First 2 winters were pretty scary but it got easier.

Hey also is it better to do straight hourly for each job or like $35/hr Or do per window? And how do you decide that? If there is a proper forum that this question should be put in feel free to let me know

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Please don’t charge $35/hour for window cleaning.

You work 4 hours and you’re going to charge $140 for a job? Aim for $75-$100+ per hour and save yourself the hassle of repricing those low ball jobs down in the future.

Mike Radzik
Pro Window Cleaning
Central Massachusetts

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Do you charge per hour or per window for your own business? Which is more profitable

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Always charge by the window. Find out the pricing in your area and decide what you want to start at.

It’s way to late… Time to reconsider…

Hahaha! So encouraging.
If you’ve done the research and your heart is in it then why wait? Do you really want to wait another 10 or 11 months just so you can start in March or April of 2016? It’s going to take some time to get your feet off the ground and get steady work whether it’s in April, July or September. If you get started now you’ll be rolling by this time next year. There’s always more to learn.

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I started mid August 2013, first winter was tuff . Second winter was ok

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Just go do it. I don’t know much about the weather in Utah, but I don’t think you would have too harsh a winter. If you’re worried about leaving a good paying job, go out after work and on weekends, bid storefront, hang door hangers, etc and get some jobs under your belt. Get the boat a little closer to the dock before jumping in.


For storefront, you can start with $2 in/out per pane and see if you get jobs. Get all the jobs, raise your price. Get none of the jobs, lower your price. For residential, start at $4.50 in/out per pane and see if you get jobs and raise/lower accordingly.

You’ll probably be dialed in within a couple weeks.