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How To Start a Window Cleaning Business

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

Full disclosure.

I don't own a window cleaning business; I actually started off as an auto detailer. Though, after watching plenty of Keith Kalfas, SteveO The Window Cleaner, and Luke The Window Cleaner, you can think of this as a regurgitation of their content (with a mix of my input as well) into one post.

Before we jump into what you really came here for, I do want to mention one thing. Anything you read here is meant to be built off of.

Meaning, you should use these not as set in stone tips, but as building blocks for new creative ideas within your window cleaning business.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's finally jump into it.

Be Smart When Purchasing Window Cleaning Equipment

When you're first getting your business going, I wouldn't recommend going out and buying top of the line gear. Now, with that said, you also shouldn't buy cheap gear that'll make your life miserable.

Start with window cleaning gear that can help you get the job done, without any extra hassles. This way you aren't spending a fortune right from the beginning. You'll give yourself some time to practice, get good at what you do, and start making some money before investing in top of the line gear.

As an extension of that, some people might argue that having top of the line gear will shorten the duration of the job. That might be true, but you won't become truly great at what you do, if you start off with all the extra amenities.

Later on, when your window cleaning business begins to grow, that's when you start investing in higher-end equipment.

Just Start Doing It

There's a ton that goes into starting a window cleaning business. How do I get my first customers? What gear do I choose? Do I need insurance? How much do I charge? And on, and on. You can very easily get stuck in the endless loop of questions and never start your business.

Don't expect you'll get those questions answered by just sitting in front of your computer thinking about it. Many of these questions will be answered by just trying things. Along with that, there are plenty of other people that have had to figure out what you're trying to do.

Frankly, the questions that I used as an example above... can all be found on YouTube! There are literally people posting what they've found works best, all you need to do is be actively looking for answers.

But, be careful, when it comes to searching for answers, it's easy to tell yourself that you've spent your day productively. By all means, looking for answers and learning is important, but if you're wanting to start a window cleaning business and haven't because you want to have all your questions answered beforehand, then STOP!

Step away from the computer and get out there! Go around to your friends, family, neighbors, whatever and start cleaning windows. You'll NEVER have all your questions answered before you start something new.

By working with friends, family, and neighbors you can work out any kinks that might occur when dealing with a true customer. This is the best way to practice and get really good at what you're doing before advertising yourself to new people.

Of course, here in the beginning, you won't be charging your "test subjects" full prices (it may even be free sometimes). This is purely to gain experience and knowledge about becoming a window cleaner and owning a local window cleaning business.

You'll never imagine all of the different situations that can occur before you actually get going, so the best way to learn something new is to start doing it.

Establish Your Window Cleaning Business Anywhere You Can

Now that you're ready to get your window cleaning business started, you need to establish yourself as a real business. To do that, you need to put your business anywhere your customers are hanging out.

To start, you're going to need a website. Unfortunately, I see a number of window cleaners who haven't created a website for their business. If you don't create a website, you're making it harder for your customers to find you.

People want to visit your website, it's where they can learn more about your business and what you offer. If you take that away, you're leaving potential customers hanging, potentially giving them away to competitors.

Next, you want to be on all the major review sites that cater towards local businesses. Yelp, Google, and Facebook all allow people to leave reviews on businesses, plus each of these sites bring in tons of traffic. Not only will this help your customers find more information about you, but it will also help your website's SEO.

Finally, you need to get your window cleaning business on social media. I know, social media is a big waste of time, but it's essential for building lasting relationships with your customers.

You don't need to be everywhere. The major places you should be are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and maybe Pinterest. At the end of the day, you need to decide where your customers are and what social media would be the best fit for your business.

But really, all of these work towards one goal and that's to make it easy for existing and potential customers to find your business.

You Need To Know Your Ideal Window Cleaning Customer

Before you start advertising your business, you need to first spend some time constructing your ideal customer. Not only will this help you write better, more appealing copy, but it'll save you money because you're not advertising to everyone with a house or office.

When you're writing an ad, it's important that you keep them in mind, so that the copy stays personal and effective.

As you're first starting your window cleaning business, you probably won't have an idea of who your ideal customer looks like, you may not even know where to start when building one.

You'll want to start breaking your customer down by certain characteristics like house size, income, neighborhoods, etc. That'll begin to paint a picture of your ideal window cleaning customer's financial situation.

Then, you'll want to know who exactly you'll be talking to. Look for certain things like pain points, interests, values, and the gender of who will most likely be scheduling the job. Based on the gender you're talking to, your marketing copy will need to change to fit them specifically.

Once you've established those, you'll want to put them together and create a super personalized message for your ideal window cleaning customer. The more personalized you get, the more effective it becomes.

That was a super brief explanation of how to identify your ideal window cleaning customer. Digital Marketer has a great post on creating a customer avatar, which goes more in depth.

Keep Your Business Simple

Nowadays simplicity is becoming king. Whether you're a window cleaner or in some other industry, keeping your business simple is super important. When I say that, I mean keeping it simple for both you and your customer.

On your end, it can be really easy to wear every single hat in your business. In the beginning, you may be able to get away with that, but as your window cleaning business grows and acquires new customers, you'll easily become overwhelmed with your situation.

On the side of your customer, you could be doing exactly what your competitors are doing, but that doesn't mean it's the easiest way. Thinking outside the box on how to simplify your customer's life is key to keeping them around (other than building trust, of course...).

So, with that said, implementing strategies or even software solutions to simplify both you and your customer's life is important to make things easier on both ends.

Things like implementing solutions to simplify scheduling will go a long way for both you and your customer. With automated scheduling, you're not having to get on phone calls and ping possible dates back and forth to find a time that works for both of you.

Put simply, customers could literally go to your site and pick a time in order to schedule a free quote or any type of window cleaning service, right from their phone (Learn more about automated scheduling).

Aside from scheduling, simplifying the review process is a great way to get more reviews for your window cleaning business. The easier something is, the more willing someone would be to actually do it.

There's a cool software product, called NiceJob that was built to help simplify and automate everything when it comes to business reviews.

There are plenty of ways you can simplify your business, but the point is, keeping things as simple as possible for both you and your customer is extremely important. The larger your window cleaning business grows, the harder it is to maintain. Ensuring things stay simple and intuitive will take a huge amount of stress off your shoulders.

Invest in Local Ads For Your Business

Now that you've figured out who your ideal customer is and are ready to start acquiring new customers. It's time you utilize the tools out there to get in front of as many people as possible.

The two major places are Facebook and Google. Both platforms allow you to target people within a radius of your location, along with the option to target people based on certain characteristics (discussed earlier in the post).

This way you don't advertise to people all over the United States or even the world, you only target people near your actually business location.

Facebook allows you to advertise to people within their Newsfeed. For example, if you were to be running an ad for your window cleaning business, I'd see it while I was browsing Facebook.

Whereas, Google has several different options for advertisement locations, but the major one is the text ad. This is where you look like the other search results, but you would show up at the top.

If you want to rank number one for "window cleaners near {insert your city}," then running a Google Adwords campaign is the way to make that happen.

Running local ads are a great way to acquire new customers at a decent pace. Though you'll be paying money, it will allow you to bringing on new customers faster than if you were just focusing on door hangers or something along those lines.

Facebook and Google both have their own perks when it comes to advertising a window cleaning business. In terms of Google, you'll be reaching people as they're looking for a business to do their windows, which is the best time to advertise your window cleaning business to someone.

One watch out though, be sure that you're advertising to the right location. I'd imagine you probably don't want people calling for a free quote 500 miles away.

Create an Experience Your Customers Won't Forget

Once you've started getting new window cleaning customers, it's time you spice things up a bit.

People won't feel self-motivated to share your business with other people if it isn't anything special. The ultimate dream would be to have customers that do your marketing for you, via word of mouth, and spread the word to all their friends, family, neighbors, and pets.

The problem is that most businesses offer an experience that is satisfactory, but not necessarily unique. If you put a twist on your window cleaning business and set yourself apart from all of your competitors, you'll be giving your customers something to talk about.

Wouldn't it be awesome if your customers stopped sharing your business like this,

"I'd recommend {insert business name}, they're pretty good."

and started sharing it like this...

"YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE what {insert business name} did last week. Best window cleaners ever!!!"

Those communicate very different messages, one is more "eh" and the other is more "heck yeah."

If you want to stand out, think of something creative, yet on-brand, you could do that would shock your customers. If you want to get crazy, your uniform could be a costume. Who knows, I'll let you brainstorm this one, that way you can come up with something awesome that fits within your business.

Wrapping Up How To Start a Window Cleaning Business

Starting a new business is hard, it takes tons of time and effort to get that first bit of momentum. In the end, when you do get your window cleaning business off the ground, it will all be worth it.

One thing you'll realize when owning a business is that your job transitions to a full-time customer service rep. You're going to be dealing with feedback, suggestions, and comments from customers all day long.

There was a fantastic quote I heard (it's not mine):

"You're in the people business and happen to be window cleaning."

It went along the lines of that, but I think my attempt at repeating the quote gets the point across. Getting started, you're going to want to be on your A-game when it comes to dealing with people. Every interaction you have with your customers very much affects the reviews they give you.

Additional Resources For Starting a Window Cleaning Business

- Here are 5 ways you can separate your window cleaning business from the competition. Check out the YouTube video

- Curious what window cleaning supplies you should start with? Check this video out by SteveO The Window Cleaner

- Here's some advice on how to price your window cleaning services. Check out this video by Keith Kalfas

- Responding to negative reviews correctly is super important, otherwise you could worsen the situation. Here's how to respond to negative reviews

- Here are some tips to market your window cleaning business (Brain dump by Keith Kalfas). Check it out on YouTube

- Interested in getting started with door hangers? Check out our complete guide on how to structure and create professional window cleaning door hangers. Here's the blog post where we talk about creating door hangers

- Looking to insure your window cleaning business? Here's a conversation about insurance pricing. Check out this conversation on Window Cleaning Resource