Starting up a window cleaning business is a great way to earn lots of money fast and work at a time and pace that suits you best. Being your own boss means freedom to decide your own flexible hours, your own staff and best of all, your own rate of pay.
However, a little work (and money) is required to get a window cleaning business up and running. Creating a brand, working through legal processes and promoting your business are all challenges that face those who start up their own window cleaning business. Lucky for you, with the following tips and tricks you’ll be on your way to becoming a business owner in no time.
Before starting up a window cleaning business (or any business at all), your finances will need to be in check. While window cleaning businesses require little initial investment in comparison to other business ventures, starting up a window cleaning business does require some form of cash to kick things off. The British Window Cleaning Academy says that ‘proper business planning, as with any venture, is very important’ and proper financial planning is a big part of this. If you’re struggling with other debts, but you’re wanting to start up a window cleaning business, a loan such as those for debt consolidation in the U.K., may help to get you back on your feet.
So, you’ve decided to start up a window cleaning business and you’ve organised your finances (whether through saving or through debt consolidation in the U.K. etc) - what’s next? For anyone starting any kind of business in the U.K, you must be registered with HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC). But before that, you’ll need to decide what kind of business you’ll be registering.
Are you the only person running the business? Are you involved in a partnership? Businesses can be set up as sole trader, in which you alone will be directly responsible for all of the finances of the business. Registering as a partnership is the easiest way for those with two or more people involved. You can also run as a limited company where the finances are separate from your personal finances, but there’s a lot more paperwork with this method. Whatever legal structure you choose for your business, you can register through HMRC. More info on the legality of all of this can be found here.
Window cleaning has reached the 21st Century! While you may have in your mind images of cleaners hanging from 15 ft ladders dangling from windows with a squeegee and a bucket of hot soapy water, the equipment available to window cleaners has improved drastically in the last few years.
Water fed poles with brushes attached are the most commonplace piece of equipment. Water fed poles allow for cleaners to reach high windows without the need for dangerous ladders. You’ll need to secure other equipment, but there’s no need to go for the most expensive pieces you can find just yet. As your business grows, you’ll be able to upgrade your equipment to meet demands. You’ll also need to be able to travel often, so purchasing a vehicle suitable for your business’ needs is a must.
Perhaps one of the most important things on this handy tip list! Window cleaning is (obviously) not a sit down at your desk kind of job. While most window cleaners no longer use ladders for those hard to reach windows (see the equipment tip), health and safety measures need to be of utmost importance. As your business grows beyond a one-man team, you’ll also need to make sure any employees are adequately insured. Public liability insurance will protect you if for any reason someone is hurt because of your work. Employee liability insurance will protect any staff working for you. More info here.
The window cleaning business is a fast-growing market, but it can still be hard to differentiate yourself from other rival businesses. By creating an individual and different brand, you’ll be able to stand out.
Create a name that sticks, an eye-catching logo and join social media. Push your brand into as many places as you can by making posters and flyers and placing them in public places. Put an advert out in your local paper and hand out your card to as many people as possible. Maybe even specialise in a certain demographic i.e. the elderly, or students. There are many ways to build your brand and promote yourself in the social media age. Use it to your advantage. Word of mouth will help your brand grow slowly, so give it a push with Facebook/Instagram/Twitter.
If you’re just starting a window cleaning business, you’ll need to be paying yourself an hourly rate. These rates need to be able to cover labour costs, equipment costs, travel costs, and any business cost in general. But your rates also need to be competitive. You might be earning less than you need to be profitable to begin with, especially if you have high personal payments outgoing each month.
If you’re not earning enough to cover all of your combined business and personal costs, if can be beneficial to get out a debt consolidation loan as these often have lower repayment amounts spread over a longer amount of time. Beware though - these aren’t a magic fix. Try to keep your initial business costs low and work your rates out based on your competitors. Within no time, you’ll be recouping any money spent.
If you don’t keep organised, you’ll struggle. Running your own business requires a lot of organisation (much of which is detailed above). With a window cleaning business, payment will often be small amounts of physical cash from many, many different residents in one day. Keep on top of who has paid, who still owes, and who has paid in advance. You don’t want to be cleaning windows for free, and similarly, you don’t want to ask customers who have already settled up in advance for payment - it can put people off.
If you’re not collecting money regularly and from every customer, you may be out of pocket. If you have employees, ensure a sufficient system for the payment of their wages is in place. Cleaning windows can be a thankless job, and you don’t want your staff feeling demoralised that they’ve not been paid for what they’ve worked, or not on time.
Having decided to set up your own window cleaning business, there is clearly a lot of various aspects to think about. You’ll need to organise your personal and business finances thoroughly. A debt consolidation loan may be helpful here. The legal structure of your business will need to be registered with HMRC, as well as insuring your business and staff. Push your brand as far and wide as you can to develop a solid customer base and work out a solid rate system for those customers. Your customers are the most important aspect of your business, and you don’t want to give them poor service. Above all else: keep organised!
Member since: 30th January 2018
Mandy Bular is a freelance content writer. She has written many good and informative articles on different categories such as technology, health, fashion, education, career, travel etc. She is a featured...