Window cleaning is an essential service to businesses, especially those located in large, or high-rise buildings with hundreds or even thousands of windows to tackle. Whether you already own a cleaning business and want to extend your service offering into window cleaning, or you’re an individual looking to start your own business, we’ve put together a complete guide to setting up a window cleaning business.
Plus to test your knowledge about the world of window cleaning, at the end of this blog post you’ll find our tricky window cleaning quiz – find out if are you the ‘Ultimate Pane’!
Decide Which Type of Window Cleaning Business You Want to Have
There are three distinct types of window cleaning services that you could develop. When starting out, you may wish to choose between the following specialisms:
- Residential window cleaning: Window cleaning services provided to domestic properties.
- Commercial window cleaning: A window cleaning service provided to businesses and organisations, often as part of a contract.
- High-rise window cleaning: A form of commercial window cleaning that specialises in cleaning windows at high levels.
Setting Up Your Window Cleaning Business for Success
Once you’ve decided which type of window cleaning service you’d like to offer, you need to take time to plan what your approach will be.
1. Research Your Market
Market research is essential when setting up a window cleaning business. You need to decide who your customers will be, who your competitors are, and how much of the existing market your competitors already take up. For example, if you want to set up a residential cleaning service, it’s essential to know which competitors work on which patches, to ensure you have the market to approach with your new business.
2. Identify Your Company Aims
Do you want to work as a sole trader, grow your company into a larger business – or develop the window cleaning offering of a larger cleaning organisation? Knowing this will help you to estimate start-up costs, such as how much window cleaning equipment to buy, and make estimates of what you need to earn and spend to develop the business – as well as whether you’ll require any training.
3. Decide on a Name
One of the most exciting parts of the process – and a must-have for your business – is picking the company name. Traditionally, names beginning with ‘A’ have been favoured, as they appear higher-up in alphabetical directory listings, but you could choose a name that includes ‘window cleaning’ to clearly state the type of service that you offer. This will also help people to find you when searching for your services online.
4. Choose the Right Window Cleaning Equipment
One of most appealing reasons for starting a window cleaning business is that it has very low start-up costs, and for most types of window cleaning (with the exception of window cleaning at height), you can get ready and working straight away.
However, you need to make sure you have the tools of the trade so you can work effectively and efficiently. For us, your start-up kit can contain the following:
- A bucket: one of the most essential pieces of equipment to carry water and liquid cleaning solutions. You’ll be able to carry products like this Lightweight Window Clean Bucket between jobs with ease.
- Glass and window polish: For residential, commercial and high-level cleaners alike, you need to make sure you have the right cleaning products to do the job. You need to choose a polish that has enough power to remove build-ups of dirt and grime, as well as leaving a streak-free shine. A number of ready-mixed solutions are available, as well as innovative environmentally-friendly cleaning products.
- Mop (or washer): Needed for applying cleaning solution, the mop does the main body of the washing.
- Squeegee: No window cleaning kit could be without a squeegee. The squeegee helps to remove the dirt and cleaning solution from the windows. Depending on whether you’re cleaning commercial, residential or high-level windows, you may need a variety of sizes per task.
- Scrapers: Scrapers help you to remover tougher stains and residue on the window – they come in a variety of sizes. You can also use very fine wire wool to remove unwanted substances such as tree sap.
- Telescopic pole: Telescopic poles allow you to clean high and difficult-to-reach windows by attaching to your washer, squeegee and scraper – an essential item for both domestic and commercial window cleaners. For cleaning indoor windows, products such as the Unger Stingray Indoor Cleaning Kit are ideal.
Need more inspiration on the tools of the trade? Our blog post on What Do Professional Window Cleaners Use to Clean Windows? should tell you everything you need to know.
Promoting Your Window Cleaning Business
An important part of setting up your business, and identifying your audience, is knowing how you’re going to reach your customers and tell them about your services.
For residential window cleaning services, going door-to-door and meeting potential customers can be a brilliant way to present yourself. If this approach is too direct, you can also create leaflets and distribute them on your chosen route.
For commercial window cleaning, you may need to write to or telephone local businesses, to see if they are interested in your services. You’ll need to provide a risk assessment to businesses in order to sign off work – find out more in our Completing a Window Cleaning Risk Assessment: What Do You Need to Know? blog post.
Think you’re ready to take the plunge and start your own window cleaning business? Our window cleaning quiz Are You The Ultimate Pane? will separate the squeaky-clean from the drips! Take the quiz below, and leave us a comment to let us know how you fared.