Why do you do this?

Just thought I would ask everyone.

Why did you start your own window cleaning business?

What [I]are [/I]you hoping to accomplish, or what [I]were [/I]you hoping to accomplish?

ooh.ooh ooh… this is gonna be good. I can’t wait to hear what gets said here.

Good question. I must admit that according to the E-Myth, I got into this for the wrong reasons. That is, I thought I would be good at and enjoy THE WORK.

Since I liked TO CLEAN it seemed logical to me at the time that window cleaning would be a real money maker.

I soon learned being good at THE WORK had nothing to do with being in business…at all.

I was/am what the book calls; The Technician.

I am learning to be the manager and entrepreneur now.

In reality, I am also learning I hate this business.

I originally got into window cleaning about 11 years ago, working for someone else, I just needed a job, and to be honest I hated the job, not so much the actual cleaning part, but my boss! Then I worked for 2 other companies over the years in other areas, part time and loved it. Then I started on my own part time in another town as a means to supplement my income. Then in 2006 I officially quick working for the man, and moved to a new town and started fresh. I saw real potential for good income, and realized the hard work that would be needed. But I love the freedom this job gives me to spend lots of time with my family. I like the challenges it brings, and the rewards it brings when you nail that really sweet job! Sure I’m not making anywhere near what I want to be making, but then again I’m only into my second year on my own. I know that now is not the time to give up, if I persist, in time this town is mine!

I started 8 months ago part time cleaning the windows of my neighbor’s. (Interior only, Condo apartment) I thought, what a great way to earn a few extra bucks to supplement my income. At the same time I was getting frustrated with my employer of 9 years. I felt he no longer cared about the success of his business and I didn’t want his negativity to bring me down. So last August I quit and started cleaning windows full time.

The first thing I notice was that even on my busiest week (eight days straight) I still had more free time than what I could remember in the past. I felt less stress from the normal day to day things. Phones ringing cheered me up instead of bringing on stress like my past employment.

This winter has been tough though and due to lack of experience and starting a business late in the season, I didn’t have much of a safety net to fall back on. In hindsight, I think I should have gotten a part-time job just for my first winter.

On a positive note, I’m very excited about the spring season and I have many plans for niche marketing, referrals systems and customer repeats.

I stumbled across this business. I have always wanted to own my own business, but never thought of window cleaning. Last August, I left my job to be a stay at home dad. - Our baby sitter had to quit due to health reasons, and my wife was working 3 days a week making what I did working full time. I quit and she went full time. I needed to make a little money and started doing post construction clean up and janitorial work. Soon after that I was asked to clean some windows for a builder that builds 150+ homes a year. I jumped at the chance just to try to get the post construction work from him. I got another job from that one, that is when it hit me I can make the same amount of money cleaning windows that I do cleaning houses. So I started learning. This will be my frist year doing window cleaning full time.

So far I have got 7 store fronts and several bids out. I want to be able to replace half of my income this year. Which right now, I am almost half way there. Long term I want to be able to support my family and grow the business. I dream huge! I want to be the company in town that everyone gets compared to and have more than one location.

Well, I’m sorry it is so long, but just trying to answer honestly.


I love the way everyone is dignifying the question with sincere replies.

Myself, I started 9 years ago, in 1999, working as a franchisee for another larger window cleaning company, and that lasted for 4 years. I worked part-time only, 2-3 days a week. In April 2003 I struck out on my own, with zero clients, zero leads, and zero official marketing education, but I was really good at cleaning windows.

I wanted to go on my own, because I really believed that I could establish something for myself, business-wise, from nothing, and do so relatively quickly. I also believed that I could create a window cleaning business where I could work only 1-2 days a week, support my family, have a nice home, live a comfortable lifestyle (cars + trips + vacations + fun and stuff), and free up the rest of my life for things I am actually passionate about (NOT window cleaning).

I really appreciate Phil’s comment about business + interests not necessarily being a recipe for success. There is so much truth to that.

I’d also like to invite all those people who check out this site everyday but who have NEVER posted to say something here. There’s no wrong answers, remember.

Just curiosity about what makes you drop by this forum and try to learn a bunch of stuff regularly. Why window cleaning?

OK, you shamed me into it Kevin :smiley:
I’ve worked on & off window cleaning since my teens (now in my 40’s). I’ve been doing it in different country’s & find that its not like work, its really quite enjoyable. In between my “proper” jobs, I’ve never found the satisfaction quite like window cleaning.
The only time it feels like work is when I have deadlines or difficult customers. I’ve only ever really wanted to make a living from it, but through the wonder of the Internet, found that it is really more profitable than any “proper” jobs.
I’m finding that window cleaning is gaining a better name over time - well at least more than it was 20 odd years a go. As “Deeper Clean” mentions, I’m also a technician. I wear all the other hats, but I think to truly fulfill the Emyth legacy you will have to employ. I’ve tried & failed in that sector & the laws over here are too harsh to employ on a full time basis.
I’m actually on the job roughly 4 days a week, but in reality live the business 7 days a week.

I appreciate your candor here…

I started a cellular recycling company that bought large quantities of used cell phones here, then sold them to South American Markets. Also low end refurb guys that would sell them for the growing pre paid market. Anyway I started with nothing out of my one bedroom apartment.

I built up to grossing $60k to $90k monthly. Netting $40 t0 $75K monthly. After having nothing before… My ego and pride stepped into the way of my success. Between the internal struggle of the technician, manager and entrepreneur with in me… I failed and lost all.

After that I spent 6 months working in a Furniture Store. Hubris once again got the best of me. Because of my previous successes and failures, I could not listen to advice or accept direction. I wasn’t teachable. But I did prove to be expendable.

Standing at a bus stop because the transmission in my Audi kaputsed. On my way to get refused for unemployment and food stamps because I hadn’t been broke long enough. I look up at a Cingular store and the windows are filthy.

Kinda weird because it was Cingular and AT&T merging that left me with a warehouse full of useless technology. That merger drove me out of business.

Once again Cingular is a catalyst in my career path… hmmmmm…

I started out of neccessity with the last $50 to my name. I would read all night different forums on window cleaning. After a year of reading and trolling, I signed up.

[SIZE=“4”]1. I love the feeling of stepping away from a job and seeing the immediate results.

  1. I love the fact that I do not have to stress over managing a sales office and or warehouse and logistics.

  2. I love being able to improve the quality of my customers lives.[/SIZE]

I could think of alot more reasons as to why window cleaning… but I am too tired. Maybe I can post more later.

Funny how one part of a “business” can be so overwhelming that it robs the joy from the rest.

As funny: How one part of the “business” can bring so much joy it overcomes the sucky part(s).

Not too funny: When the two sides no longer balance.

Nope…not a real answer to the original question but right in line with what really happens if/when one “Business” owner focuses too much on what he likes.

It’d sure be nice to read “Why did you get OUT of window cleaning?”. But those guys never come back to the forums…do they.

Hello Everyone,

I’m new to this forum and saw thread as a good opportunity to introduce myself.

My name is Josh, and I started cleaning windows for a company 9 years ago where I learned the ins and outs of window cleaning. I jumped to another company about 1 1/2 years later and learned different aspects of window cleaning, such as the Water Fed Pole. I stuck it out for over another year there until I quit and went into another field, but kept a few clients on the side. Last year I graduated with an Associate of Arts degree and decided I wanted to go to school full time to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Management. I saw window cleaning as a means to do this.

I started my company early last year and I enjoy it very much. It allows me the freedom that I need for school, and the best part of all; window cleaning pays well. Another great aspect of window cleaning is that I didn’t have to take a part time job where I have to argue with anyone if I need the day off for a test or something. I simply don’t schedule for that day.

I don’t know if cleaning windows is my calling in life, but it is working out nicely at this time and point.

Hey Good Day, good post!

Glad to see this profession is giving you the freedom to map your own destiny.

I started window cleaning in 2004 for a friend who owned his own business. I just needed extra money so I worked for him off and on on the side. A year or so went by while I worked full-time in other fields.

I struggled with paying basic bills and I started getting sick of having others tell me how much I was worth. I would say to myself: " I’m smarter than this. Why are others making bank and I’m struggling to pay rent? What do they have that I don’t have? Nothing!"

I decided I wanted to be able to make more money, set my own flexible schedule, and not work around nonsensical drama in the workplace. I also realized that if I wanted my wife to not have to work in the future here in cali., I couldn’t continue working for someone else. I started examining why my friend, mentioned earlier, was making so much money and realized that not only was he making good money, but that he was making good money despite weak marketing and bad estimating.
I started my business in 2005.

This is funny, I wrote an How-TO start a window cleaning book 10 years ago. Never published it, there was a software glitch. I was thinking about making it into some kind of slide show and giving it away for free… But this is what i wrote way back then in the opening. Please bear with it, I was written in the 3rd person…and back when i thought I knew it all…lol

In the spring of 1984, Stuart Barlow was suddenly offered an opportunity to buy a window cleaning route business from a friend, he was working for a local carpet service and need to make more money to pay the bills. With the country in a recession, jobs were scarce an money was tight. He bought the business with just 1 hour of training and a need to succeed. That next year he built the 20 accounts he bought to over 100 new monthly customers. He was making a whopping $15.00 to $20.00 per hour! Stuart spent hours cleaning just one place.

It took him 3 years to realize that his prices were way off and that he could make much more money, but how? He started taking class on sales, marketing, and read all the how to sell book he could find, but something was still missing. what was it? Training! Not the training of $231.00 worth of books and classes.

No real training on how to save time and cleaning windows right, doing it quick without mistakes. He bought books and videos on window cleaning, the cost of $326.00 just to learn window cleaning. They where very hard to under stand and struggled to perfect my technique.

Now Stuart Barlow will shear his 15 years of knowledge of this incredible industry in an easy-to-learn guide on CD-ROM. this will assist anyone who is willing to work hard and smart to develop their own successful window cleaning business. He devolved this so you would NOT have
to spend $326.00 just to learn window cleaning.