I work offshore on a 3 week on 3 week off rotation. I get bored and spend too much money if i sit around the house all day. I am currently working with a commercial glass company I previously worked for 2-3 days a week when Im home. When I got out of highschool I began washing windows here and there, had a few customers without advertising, but never took it to seriously. i have been seriously considering starting the window washing business back up. I will include window washing, pressure washing, gutter cleaning and maybe mobile auto detailing. Since I cant receive calls for the 3 weeks im offshore I plan on having my calls forwarded to my wife who will be able to answer general questions and quotes over the phone. Im not looking to make a ton of money just something to keep me busy and if I profit 8,000 a year it would be worth it. Also I have good contacts with 3 large commercial glass contractors, some residential home contractors, and a few realtors.
Question 1: How long are your customers willing to wait to have services done? Worst case scenario they will have to wait 3 weeks.
Questions 2: Insurance. Seems the general on this site is around $50 a month for a small company. That is acceptable but would I maybe be able to do with less because of the little amount of work? I am stopping by an insurance agent tomorrow to get a quote.
Question 3:Would it be feasable to rent a pressure washer when the jobs come up? I have all my window washing equipment minus a few odds and ends. I am currently about to purchase a house in a few months and dont wanna drop $1000 on a pressure washer until after.
Question 4: Taxes. One of the reasons I am doing this is for tax write offs. Since most of the equipment I will purchase I will need for home seems like a no-brainer. What are some that I could write off in addition to equipment ie. cell phone, internet, a new Porsche?
It wouldn’t be the end of the world to rent a pressure washer for a little while. However you may not be able to get a machine that will allow you do do low-pressure washing, which is by and large the method of choice for experienced members of this forum. It would help to check out threads like this http://windowcleaner.com/vBulletin/power-washing/6085-soft-washing.html
Welcome to the forum, this is hands down the best exchange of information for our industry on the internets.
In reference to the pressure washer rental, I agree with Dan. And I second his suggestion to research soft washing. The main concern is you will have less of a profit margin. But it’s a great way to get started offering the service, you just make a little less on each job after paying for the rental. I did something similar when I first started off. I didn’t want to make the investment into a quality surface cleaner. Having owned a cheaper model in the past, I knew I would rather wait until I could afford something like a Whisper Wash. Instead of buying a cheap model just to get started, I rented a Whisper Wash from a local dealer for $20/day. The rental cost shouldn’t be too steep and can be used as a business expense for tax purposes.
If it were me, I would locate a decent rental spot ahead of time. Ask them about the machines they rent (ask what psi and GPM are available). Make a note of how much the rental fees are for future reference. Then call Bob at Pressuretek and order the appropriate tip set and chemical injector for the machine you plan to rent. Buy some Elemonator as well, it makes a huge difference compared to just downstreaming SH.
Meanwhile, start hunting on Craigslist and online for a good deal on your own machine, save your money from the jobs you get and make an investment when the time is right. Your own machine will be available any time you need, is a direct tax writeoff, and you can use it to keep your new home clean!