If you’re looking to form a business with relatively low start-up costs, then look no further than a window cleaning service. In the article below, we’ll go over how much money you can expect to shell out when beginning, and we’ll also talk about overall operating expenses.
With that said, there’s a great demand for window cleaners in both the residential and commercial markets. In fact, some reports suggest that the entire cleaning industry is worth more than $40 billion within the United States. Therefore, you have the potential for lots of business.
There are some other advantages to starting and running your own window-cleaning service, however. As with any entrepreneurial endeavor, you get to be the boss. The industry is almost evergreen as people will always need clean windows. As mentioned above, the start-up costs are pretty low, and you have the potential to scale the business.
Keep reading as we break down what it’s going to take to launch.
Before you decide that a window cleaning service is the best entrepreneurial endeavor for you, there are several things that you should consider. For instance, will the work entailed be a proper fit for your lifestyle and schedule? Will you be able to afford the start-up costs, low as they are? Will you have money set aside to run your business once you launch? Do you have your own transportation? Often, you’ll be required to travel to your clients’ locations—all things to think about.
With that said, a big plus right off the bat is the fact that you can keep your start-up costs super low if you’re willing to go guerilla-style right out of the gate. For example, by operating out of your house initially and keeping your supplies and tools to the basics, you can launch your business and start getting clients for as little as $1250 – $3500 in start-up capital.
Bear in mind that many people don’t like operating like that, even in the beginning. If you’re the type who needs an office, you’re looking at significantly higher costs.
Here’s a rough breakdown of the things you may need, along with what they typically average in cost:
- Office rental (depending on location, the price could vary wildly. In some high-end areas like the heart of New York City, you could be paying more than $50,000/month. At the same time, locations in the center of the USA might be as low as $1,000/month).
- Utilities (around $1,000/month).
- Business formation fees (insurance, legal, permits, and business structure together average $4,500).
- Business software plus support ($3,000).
- Website design and launch ($200 – $6,000).
- Marketing and advertising ($75 – $3,000).
Remember that you don’t have to go all-in on super expensive websites or advertising campaigns at the very beginning. You can purchase signage and engage in social media and word-of-mouth marketing efforts to get your first few clients and build from there.
Your operational expenses won’t ever stay static. While there may be specific bills you can always count on remaining pretty much the same, other costs vary. To know what your operating expenses will be, you should do some research before jumping in. Find someone already working in the window-cleaning service business and invite them to coffee. Don’t ask anything from them other than the chance to pick their brain. If they accept, you’ll be able to gain a wealth of knowledge.
If you purchased some basic accounting software and learned how to use it, then you’re ahead of the game. On the other hand, if you don’t have the aid of a computer, you need to create an operating expenses list by hand, as mentioned above. You should classify expenses by type. In other words, break things down into categories.
Some types of expenses to track include things like:
- Internet service; and
Keep track of everything for at least six months. At the end of that period, you should notice that your total expenses should be roughly similar from month to month. If there’s a spike in how much you paid, you’ll find that it’s usually due to a one-time major expense. However, it’s worth double-checking to make sure it’s something that was indeed part of your operational expenses.
One of the best places to get in-depth information on calculating start-up and operating expenses is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website. It’s highly recommended that you take the time to investigate the resources they offer.
With that said, there are just a few other things you should consider when figuring the cost of running a window cleaning service. For starters, how fit are you? Washing windows is a physical task where you’ll be required to stand, wipe windows, and lift buckets of water for extended periods. Plus, you may have to work outside of high-rise buildings. You need to be okay with working at extreme heights.
While you may have plans to hire window washers at some point, many of you will be a one-person show until you’ve gained enough clients to expand. As long as you’re prepared to do much of the work yourself in the beginning, a window-cleaning service could be an excellent choice as a business venture.
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