The Realistic Investment

The realistic investment of a window cleaning business start-up.

When researching how to start a window cleaning business it is important to consider your investment.  In order to determine what the real investment will be, you will need to determine the goal when starting a window cleaning company.  Is your goal to make money to pay the bills?  Or is the goal to build a large business and improve your lifestyle beyond just that of an overpaid window cleaner?  Whichever goal applies, the start-up capital required is quite low.  Although, the definition of “low” can vary depending on the your goals, you would probably agree, that the start-up capital to fund a window cleaning business is quite low regardless of the end goal.

Goal: The one man operation start-up

If you are just planning to make a few bucks on the side or even try to build a business in which you are doing all the work yourself, then your start-up costs are probably going to be less than $10,000.  You will need a vehicle that can carry ladders ($5000), Ladders ($1200), Equipment ($300), Advertising Materials ($1000 – $2000), and other miscellaneous expenses.  You should also seriously consider obtaining insurance as well.  If your goal is to clean windows the rest of your life, then this investment is probably in the ballpark.  You don’t really need any infrastructure, expertise, experience, support, systems, etc.  If you have a dream of building a business, then you should probably keep reading.  There is a little more to it than just picking up a squeegee during the day and washing towels in the evening.

Goal: the sophisticated entrepreneur starting a window cleaning business

Fortunately, for the entrepreneur who would like to grow a solid business, there are quite a few one man operators out there.  The level of organization, sophistication, and window washing business acumen is generally fairly low.  This statement is not intended to diminish the skills and experience of all of the wonderful one man operations out there.  However, there are a lot of them out there who have never experienced the joy of a full blown window cleaning company.  If you have a good game-plan, the ability to sell, and good management skills, then you might be able to build a nice sized business.  The game-plan however is important.  Like any business, it is very expensive to start from scratch and try to learn everything quickly.  Try not to re-invent the wheel and use any resources you can to get a head start.

If you are someone that has a little capital and you are looking to invest a little into starting a legitimate window cleaning business, then you can realistically get in for less than $35,000.  This may vary depending on operating capital requirements of the owner.  The main expense you will face initially during stage one will be your advertising expense and your working capital.  As you grow into stage three, your biggest expense will be labor and insurance followed by advertising.  If you choose to utilize a franchise system to get ahead of the competition, then you might also need to consider the initial franchise fee in your initial investment.  Many franchisees agree that the small investment initially to obtain knowledge, training, and support is well worth the price to start out years ahead of the competition and have a solid game-plan.

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*Investment Chart is cited from the 2013 Squeegee Squad FDD.