Before listing the 7 steps on how to start a window cleaning business below, I'd like to first say that I'm going to assume you know that you need to register a business name (preferably with the term "window cleaning service" or "window washing service" in the name). OK...let's move on... |
1. Image - In order to grow your window cleaning business the way you want to grow it, you MUST establish a high quality image. There are window cleaners all over the place that look "average". They show up to do a window washing estimate and they look like they just rolled out of bed. Put yourself in a prospect's shoes. 3 window cleaners show up to provide 'em an estimate. Only one of them (hopefully you) is in company uniform (polo shirt/logo) and presents a nice estimate presentation package (references, cover letter, etc.) with a written estimate (most window cleaners provide verbal estimates with no references). Who do you think the prospect will choose to clean their windows. Um...let me think. YOU!
2. Market - Do some initial research into your target market of prospects and what subdivisions/areas where they live. My markets were generally higher income homeowners and retirees. Then distribute flyers into these areas. Flyers are cheap and they generate activity, calls, and jobs. You can expect on average about a 1% return, so don't just put out 100 flyers and think you're good to go. Sorry. It doesn't work like that. You can eventually reinvest into postcards to automate more of your marketing.
3. Market...Again! - This is actually what separates the successful window cleaners from the not so successful window cleaners. You need to absolutely repeat your marketing efforts to the SAME prospects over and over again. Repeat, consistent flyer distributions, postcard mailings, etc., is what will make your business and window cleaning customer base skyrocket. The first time someone sees your flyer, they say "oh hum, who are you?" The next time they see your flyer, now they know your company. The 3rd time they see your flyer, they begin to trust you. And now is about the time they'll call you if they need their windows cleaned. And it gets better and better each time you market to them. Sure...you'll get calls the very first flyer distribution you do, but it'll be your weakest response. It goes up from there.
Hot Tip: When I first started marketing to an area/subdivision, I would do it once every 3 or 4 weeks to this same subdivision for the first 3 months. No exceptions! At the end of this 3 months, you'll be well known in these particular subdivisions and you will have plenty of jobs on your calendar.
4. Reliability - When you and a customer agree to a job time, be on time. Elementary and I shouldn't even have to mention it, but unfortunately I do. And if you're running late, call the customer. No one likes to wait. So it's a great way to make the wrong impression by being late. Do it too many times and you'll see your customer base start dwindling.
5. Get Insured - I saw a video on YouTube the other day where this window cleaner recommended that you don't carry insurance. His reasoning? It's too expensive. That is the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time. You're exposing yourself and your company w/o the proper insurance coverage. If you're in the window cleaning business for the long haul, then why risk it all? But you also need to understand that you can charge more if you're insured. So the insurance premiums are paid for by the extra profits you'll make. At the end of every estimate presentation I made to a prospect, I always said: Oh by the way , I'm fully insured and bonded.
6. Be thorough - I know window cleaners who refuse to open up the windows that they're cleaning. In my opinion these window cleaners are not doing a complete and thorough window cleaning job. A window cleaning service has to consist of cleaning the glass, tracks, frames, sills, screens, etc. If any one of these are not done, then what's the point? No sense having clean glass and dirty screens, right?
7. Communicate - The window cleaning business is a repeat business. That's what makes it the ideal business. BUT you have to treat it as such. Don't "forget" about your customers after the job is done and you have your money. First, you should always send them a "thank you" letter a day or two after the job is done. And next you should stay in touch throughout the year by sending greeting cards regularly. Too much work you say? Maybe. But every single time w/o fail that I sent out a batch of greeting cards to my customers, I walked away with exceptional profits. So...is worth it? Yeah...I think so.
Repeat 1 through 7 over and over again, and when they build a Hall of Fame for window cleaners, you'll be in it. It'll take you from a so-so, average window cleaning business to a successful, extremely profitable business that you'll be proud to call your own.
Related Articles -
Window, windows, window cleaning,