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View Full Version : Pluses and minuses of a window cleaning business??


chris
06-20-2005, 12:18 PM
A friend wants me to start a window cleaning business with him.

Anyone have one?

KC Dan
06-20-2005, 12:19 PM
I think Joe Seahawk does it in Seattle. Joe?

ptlyon
06-20-2005, 12:20 PM
Not knowing anything about the business, I would say that if you lived in Seattle, it would be a minus.

bkkcoh
06-20-2005, 12:39 PM
A friend wants me to start a window cleaning business with him.

Anyone have one?

I hear the work is a little streaky!

jspchief
06-20-2005, 12:40 PM
Minuses:
1. Seasonal? I guess it depends on your weather, but there isn't much window cleaning going on in the winter (unless they hire for indoor as well).

2. Finding work. It's not a business that probably gets a large influx of new customers. That means you need to take customers away from existing competition. Not always easy to do.

3. Physical labor. I assume it would include a lot of bending at the knees, and putting your arms overhead. Both things that take their toll over the years. You may think it's easy now, but will it be ten years from now?

4. Self employment. It's challenging to be your own boss. You have to be a good self starter. You also have to pay the full cost of benefits that would be free or cheap when employed by someone else. Things like health insurance and retirement accounts.

Pluses:

1. Seems like it would have low startup costs and overhead. If it's cheap to start the business, you're not out as much if it doesn't work out.

2. Immediate earning potential. Say your car breaks down and will cost $1k to fix. You can put in a few longer days and weekends, to immediately earn that extra cash. That's not always possible when working for someone else.

3. Being your own boss. You don't have to ask for days off. You can budget your time so that your work and play schedules fit you best.

I'd also add that being in a partnership can be very tough. It's like a marriage, except without the love or sex. Odds are, sooner or later someone will be working harder for their share, or accuse the other of not working as hard.

Goapics1
06-20-2005, 12:45 PM
Would you have to work weekends?

Skip Towne
06-20-2005, 12:46 PM
Partnerships are a bummer.

chris
06-20-2005, 12:58 PM
I hear the work is a little streaky!

Groan!

Ari Chi3fs
06-20-2005, 01:25 PM
very lucrative business... you need to be very organized, and get people on a cycle.

1st time you clean in and outside of window.
3months later you clean outside only
3months later you clean in and outside
3 months later you clean outside only.

charge around $6-$8 per side of regular window
Charge around $12 per side for french windows.

Also if you have to use a ladder to reach really high windows, you should charge accordingly.

And you should never bring a potential girlfriend on a firehouse tour on your first date.

Rausch
06-20-2005, 01:27 PM
Positive - one step forward.

Negative- two steps back...

chris
06-20-2005, 02:45 PM
very lucrative business... you need to be very organized, and get people on a cycle.

1st time you clean in and outside of window.
3months later you clean outside only
3months later you clean in and outside
3 months later you clean outside only.

charge around $6-$8 per side of regular window
Charge around $12 per side for french windows.

Also if you have to use a ladder to reach really high windows, you should charge accordingly.

And you should never bring a potential girlfriend on a firehouse tour on your first date.

Thank you.

2 Questions:

1. Your business process makes sense. How did you learn about this business?

2. How the hell did you remember about the blonde and the firefighter? I'm impressed....that was 9-10 months ago.

Ari Chi3fs
06-20-2005, 03:06 PM
Thank you.

2 Questions:

1. Your business process makes sense. How did you learn about this business?

2. How the hell did you remember about the blonde and the firefighter? I'm impressed....that was 9-10 months ago.

1. I worked for Firehouse Window Cleaning a few years back... [true story] made $15 an hour... owner had 3 crews and made like $85 an hour. They actually paid out a percentage of each job to the workers... we busted ass so we receieved more. This is also a good way to get motivated employees... pay them 35% or so, per project. Paid weekly... great incentive... just make sure you advise them of the "random drug tests". This will keep them honest.

2. Well, every 2 months you start a thread... I use the same joke... you forget that I used that same joke two months before... Ill use the same joke 2 months from now.

Rain Man
06-20-2005, 03:16 PM
I imagine this work would have a lot of ups and downs.



Other than that, I'd go with what jspchief says. With any business startup, be prepared to work horrendously long hours for five years or so to get the business up and running.

Iowanian
06-20-2005, 03:17 PM
Its not extreme heights that bother me. Its the unplanned Falls from them.

Ari Chi3fs
06-20-2005, 03:25 PM
Its not extreme heights that bother me. Its the unplanned Falls from them.

Ladders are no big deal, as long as you have someone holding it when you are 30+ feet up.

Also, make sure to always take off your shoes when going inside someones house... even when you are bidding their house for the first time.

DeepSouth
06-20-2005, 03:42 PM
Try to make a deal with the local university to clean the windows on all the female dorms. Offer a good discount on the price. Invest in a quality digit camera. Sell pictures on internet for extra cash.