Starting a window cleaning business

Hi, I wanted to share some of my experiences setting up my own window cleaning business. Everything is my personal opinion and was learnt the hard way over time, making mistakes, learning and adapting.


A little history for some context, in 2010 I was made redundant from my retail job, it was a tough time for my wife and I, having to resort to food banks and skippings meals to make sure our children were fed. After 6 months of applying for absolutely everything I finally landed a job in a service industry. It was an ok environment/business to work for, however at £7.18 an hour (less than the living wage) and with no prospect of an industry standard pay rise, I knew it wouldn't be a long term thing. In 2013, with struggling to make ends meet, I promised myself we wouldn't go back to the food bank situation. I came across the idea of window cleaning and instantly looked down my nose in disdain, thinking why the hell would I want to do that and lower myself to a 'window licker'? But the idea just kept on circling in my head. One day I was stood just looking out our window and thinking to myself, I counted the windows I could see and thought "say at £1.00 a window, that a lot of £1.00's...." That was the moment I started to think with hard work, window cleaning could actually be quite lucrative. I started to research everything I could find online and watched 100s of hours of 'how to clean windows' video's. 


Ten year later 2023 and the business is one of the largest residential window cleaners in the area, employs, has own premises and a six figure turnover....


My first advice is applicable to anyone thinking of starting their own business = do it! If you don't, you'll always be wondering 'what if'. The worst case scenario it doesn't work out and you do something else. Don't spend to much money on it, nothing more than your willing to lose and keep it simple. The simpler you make it, the more chance of it succeeding.


I heard a story once of someone who started their own business, let's say selling a product for the example. They invested in the product, a premises, fancy office furniture and more.... before they sold a thing. With all the expenditure and no income, the business soon failed with a mountain of debt.  


Second = know your market and where you want to be. I like to look at the local supermarkets to an area, in my area we pretty much have them all and so I market my business in the middle.


I found sterling silver paper clips for around £100, in the wrong market that's expensive and I certainly wouldn't pay that for a paper clip! In another market a person may not think anything of spending that sort of money....


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