photo by @cleanhabitsllc
How can I start a window washing business?
So, you’re considering starting your own window cleaning business. First of all, congratulations!
Now more than ever with today’s rather rocky economy, folks across the country have decided to carve out their own futures by starting their own businesses, so they can be self-reliant no matter what the times bring. One business that has benefited thousands of people is the business of window cleaning (which we at WCR are quite fond of!). In this week’s Window Cleaner University article, we’ll talk about how you can start your own window washing business and thrive, even in times of financial uncertainty.
#1: Gathering Equipment
Now, what makes the business of window cleaning so special? Well, first of all, it is relatively inexpensive to start out. Traditional window cleaning equipment is quite affordable, with an entire starter kit curated by WCR, the Ettore Basic Kit, starting at less than $100. You could potentially begin earning funds as soon as you unbox it from your doorstep. If you were to knock on a few of your neighbors’ doors and clean up their windows, you’d earn back the entire cost of the kit in no time! This is not necessarily how we’d recommend running or expanding on your whole business, but for the sake of comparison, that works out nicely for your wallet and mindset for moving further into more professional approaches.
#2: Learning the Skills
The business of window cleaning is not only affordable for beginners, it is a rather simple skill set to learn, too. Now, we're not saying that it is easy: there are techniques to learn and business plans to create. But, there is an endless amount of window cleaning knowledge available at your fingertips, thanks to our community page, YouTube channel, and various window cleaning experts such as Jersey and SteveO.
Figuring out how to properly and effectively clean windows at an efficient speed definitely takes experience and practice. Luckily, our product experts at Window Cleaning Resource are available to you 24/7 to take your phone call about any and all questions you may have. This includes how to start a window cleaning business, which tools you’ll need, or even how to handle customers, for many if not all of our product experts own and operate their own successful window cleaning businesses that support themselves and their families.
#3: Selling Yourself (Shamelessly!)
Since window cleaning is affordable to start up and simple to learn, why aren’t we seeing window cleaners on the windows of every building out in the world? Well, oftentimes it’s because developing and maintaining a window cleaning business is quite the hustle, and not made for everyone. One size certainly does not fit all, and you’ll have to be unabashed about selling yourself to start earning customers. This, however, is a skill set all on its own: learning how to sell your services has its own learning curve, and takes thick skin to pursue. But, the more pavement you pound, the more customers you’ll earn (and hopefully, keep!).
***Tip: when designing a route for first visiting homes and businesses in order to gain new customers, make sure you focus on one zip-code area at a time, preferably with each business or resident being next to or near each other.
As you go door to door, it will allow you to save time, and also share the experiences with the person you had the door before. The “Keeping up with the Joneses” approach has helped many small business owners confirm scheduled dates with customers, because if they hear their neighbor is doing it, they’ll want to do it, too. Taking down your prospective customer’s name, phone number, and best email (or two), and writing down a window of time that works best for them is also solid. In addition, leaving marketing materials or even a small gift can help win people over, too, as it is human nature to want to give something in return. Once you’ve compiled a list of customers and their preferred time slots, you can go through your list and call them to confirm the appointment at a later time.
#4: Making an Impression
When you’re making your first impression with a customer, whether it’s residential, commercial, or storefront, you’ll want to make sure that you are clean, showered, and presentable. This includes the car you’re driving, too! It is best to be wearing a clean outfit with your logo on the shirt or hat, and driving a clean vehicle. Making sure your breath is nice smelling and hair is well-kempt is also important, as it sets the visual aid that tells the customer you are professional, tidy, and respectful.
Following up later on with your potential customer also allows you to provide them with a second impression of yourself. Personal impressions are extremely important when it comes to selling yourself, because you’re attempting to create a bond of trust in only a mere timeframe of seconds, or if you’re really lucky, minutes. The more warmed up the potential customer feels to you, the more likely they are to confirm a date. Then, once you’ve had a chance to truly show your worth and give their windows a good old fashioned scrub down, hopefully, you’ll have earned someone loyal who’ll give you a call again (and who’ll tell their friends!).
#5: Branding Yourself
Selling yourself doesn’t just mean being a charmer and having “chutzpah” to seal the deal. It also means that you’ll need marketing products to help brand your business and get your name out there. When you don’t have the time to talk to every prospective customer out there, let your marketing materials do the talking! Sending these out as mailers or posting them around town and online can save you time and reach more people faster.
Developing a unique yet straightforward name for your business, designing a logo, getting business cards, fliers, postcards printed, t-shirts, hats, and even creating a website with a professional email attached to it are all components that will help you not only look professional, but get buyers interested. Having a Facebook, Instagram, or even a TikTok account can help get your business’ name out there, too. There are always local groups on Facebook to post your advertisement in, a page to curate, or show off your dazzling squeegeeing skills on Instagram. It doesn’t have to be complicated to do all of these things, especially with print and design services that WCR offers that assists you in creating your branding materials.
#6: Approaching Commercial Businesses & Storefronts
If you’re looking to clean more for commercial businesses and storefronts rather than residences, you’ll want to apply the same sense of establishing your location first, having your marketing materials on-hand, preferably wearing your brand logo on your shirt, and most importantly, getting in touch with the decision makers. The decision makers may be the building manager, the company manager, or even the business owner, who is often not present. Attempt to get the best email or phone number from either reception or an employee of the business, while being extremely friendly so as not to come off as rude or disrespectful. Once you get the information you’re looking for, thank them and leave your marketing materials there. It is best practice that if they reject you, you thank them, too, and walk away without giving a hard time. Some people like a hard seller, but usually, that would be the decision maker, not the part-timer in the front of the house.
Sometimes, you can find the decision maker’s email or phone number online. Usually it will be their professional line, which is exactly what you’d want. Leaving a kind voicemail offering your services is a way to get in their ear. It may be annoying, but persistence has given hundreds of thousands of business owners their success! Don’t be afraid of rejection. Just keep going, and you’ll be earning customers without fail.
#7: Keeping Track of Your Customers
Now, once you’ve got your customers together, creating a scheduling system for yourself so you’re not all jumbled up will be a God send. Google Calendar, keeping a physical journal, or even using your phone’s calendar can keep great track of things. There are also plenty of apps you can find for organizing yourself, and playing around with them can help you find the best way to keep your clients well-informed. They like to know you’re thinking of them, and it eliminates confusion!
In addition, don’t be afraid to move around your jobs so that you’re in the same neighborhood on the same day rather than hopping all over the place to utilize your time best. So your head doesn’t explode and everyone can be serviced with your A-game, asking them for a different date or time is usually not a big deal. If it becomes one? Perhaps this is for the best. You generally want to keep customers who you have a healthy communication with, not those who are going to be too much of a hassle. Which brings us to…
#8: Making Time for Your Well-Being
With all the hustling and bustling you’ll be doing out there for getting your business into gear, you’ll need to make sure you carve out time for your mental health and well-being. The brain recovers most when it is sleeping or at ease, which is why it is absolutely essential you spend time with your loved ones and by yourself to recuperate and recover from all the pavement-pounding and phone calling.
Having a zen demeanor can also help people connect with you easier, which can lead to more work! It’s all about the long-game, and there are no shortcuts to success. But, hopefully, with these tips from Window Cleaner University, you’ll find yourself needing to hire some helping hands!
Still Have Questions?
Don’t sweat it! If there is anything you’re unsure about, want to learn more about, or need advice for, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Window Cleaning Resource is here for you 24/7, with the help of our super-friendly window cleaning experts.
Having owned their own window cleaning business, too, they have tons of information on window cleaning products, business tips, and more, even if you want to talk shop.
This equipment and HUNDREDS more products can be discovered on our fantastic Window Cleaning Resource platforms!
For product reviews, discussions, information, and more:
Check out our informative YouTube Channel
Get advice, share tips, or just talk shop on our Window Cleaning Community Page
Shop professional-grade window cleaning products and more at WCR!
And most importantly - get out there, believe in yourself, work hard, and don’t forget - the rewards of this career are bountiful - so, have fun!
Talk to you soon!
Your friendly professionals at Window Cleaning Resource
Window Cleaning Resource
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