How to Set up a Window Cleaning Business

We recently posted an article about why you should set up a window cleaning business, and those considering doing so might be wondering where to start.

Choose your method

The first choice you need to make is what window cleaning method you are going to use. Traditional methods require a smaller initial investment, but you have to balance that with the added risks of working with ladders. Pure water fed pole systems require a bigger initial investment, but they are safer, allowing you to offer more services and potentially earn more revenue.

Choose your target customers

You’ll need to decide what kind of customers you want to go after. Residential customers are easier to obtain and require less equipment to service. Commercial business is harder to obtain, requires more equipment and investment but has the potential to earn more revenue. Generally, the most common route for new window cleaning businesses is to target residential customers initially and expand into offering commercial services at a later stage.

Invest in the right equipment

Depending on the kind of customers you want, you need to invest in the right equipment to get the job done. You can spend anywhere from less than £100 on traditional equipment to tens of thousands on full commercial water fed pole setups and vehicles. Most people are limited in how much they have to invest in equipment, so common methods of getting a foot into the industry include starting with an entry level water fed pole system like a small van setup or even a trolley system (that could allow you to use your current, non-commercial vehicle). Another common alternative is to start using traditional equipment initially, build up your customer base and earnings before and then upgrade to the water fed pole system at a later stage.

Perfect your technique

Whilst it’s not rocket science, both window cleaning methods require a level of skill, and you need to make sure you can offer a good quality service before you take on customers. Do your research, learn from other window cleaners and practice with your equipment until you can clean a window properly.

Develop business

Next, you need some customers. You have three options:

Canvass for business yourself

  • Probably the most common method new window cleaners use to obtain and grow their business is canvassing. This involves targeting an area, getting out and knocking doors or visiting businesses to offer your services directly to potential customers. There are other sales and marketing techniques but, particularly when targeting residential work, canvassing is by far the most effective. Of course, the speed at which your business grows is entirely dependent on how much time you have or are willing to spend canvassing.

Employ a canvasser

  • It might be that you need quicker growth for your window cleaning business than you can achieve canvassing yourself, or maybe you just don’t fancy the idea of canvassing. In which case, you can employ someone to do it for you. There are numerous canvassing services available specifically for window cleaning businesses, and you normally pay them based on the work they get in for you.

Buy a round

  • Another increasingly common option is to purchase an existing window cleaning round. There are several websites that list window cleaning rounds for sale, and generally a round is valued at between 3 to 5 times its monthly revenue. Whilst requiring a potentially substantial up-front cost, it does allow you to earn more from the outset.

Of course, it’s possible to grow and develop your window cleaning business using a combination of the above methods.


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