How to Start a Window Cleaning Business for Rapid Success

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đź“ťKey Takeaways:

  • Learn the five easy steps to start your window cleaning business.
  • Understand what it takes to make your business stand out with the business fundamentals and scale your business quickly.

Are you looking for a practical guide on how to start a window cleaning business from scratch? Take a look at the quick guide and start your business by following these 5 steps.

Ever since the pandemic, the cleaning services market has been evolving due to increased awareness about hygiene. 

Allied Market Research’s recent study shows that the overall cleaning services market, including window cleaning, floor cleaning, and other cleaning services used by commercial and residential clients, is on the growth track. By 2022, we can expect it to grow at a CAGR of 6.2%. 

So these statistics show you the bright chances to start a cleaning business, especially a window cleaning business.

We hope you are pumped up to start the window cleaning business and looking for some practical guidelines.

To help you, we have put a step-by-step guide to starting a window cleaning business. Dive in to learn about them.

How to Start a Window Cleaning Business in Simple Steps

Step 1: Create a practical window cleaning business plan

Create a practical window cleaning business plan

A business plan acts as a crucial strategic tool for anyone planning to start any business. This plan must contain all the specific steps needed to make a business idea succeed. So your window cleaning business must have the right elements before you proceed.

Before you curate the business plan, as a future business owner, answer this question:

What is your company’s background and vision?

In simple words, why do you want to offer window cleaning services? This question must be answered to curate a clear business plan. Only when you define your vision and set your goals accordingly can you create a perfect strategy to achieve it. So write down why you want to start a window cleaning service. 

Ask yourself where you want to see yourself in three months, six months, or one year. How much do you want to earn, and how many clients do you need to hit that number? 

How will you cope during the off-season?

After answering all these questions, start writing your business plan. 

Your business plan must contain clear details about the target audience, whether you want to join a franchise and your budget. 

Let’s check this in detail.

Choose a target market

Your ideal target market can either be residential or commercial buildings. Some examples are

  • Government buildings
  • College universities
  • Car dealerships
  • Gyms
  • Restaurants
  • Apartment buildings

There are many more different building types. Whether you want to start a commercial or residential window cleaning business, make sure the market is not saturated already.

To conduct a market analysis to get a clear-cut idea of whom to target. 

Work under a franchise or start an independent business?

You can easily start your own window cleaning business and be your own boss. But we personally would recommend joining a franchise rather than owning a business because they cost less than startup costs. Also, when you join the franchise in reputed window-washing businesses, you can expect ongoing training and support and have a built-in customer base.

For instance, Window Genie, a reputed window cleaning business’s initial window cleaning franchise, costs $33,000, and you also need a minimum net worth of $150,000 and atleast $75,000 in liquid capital. 

Create a business budget

You need to invest in tools and window cleaning supplies for window washing. So the good news is this won’t cost you an arm and a leg. However, you must spend some money upfront.  

Here is a list of startup and expense costs you will need to create a business budget:

  • Commercial vehicle
  • Uniforms
  • Liability insurance
  • Invoicing software
  • Business licenses and permits
  • Gasoline and maintenance
  • Microfiber cloths and towels
  • Sales and marketing
  • Cleaning tools
  • Cleaning solution (both standard and eco-friendly)
  • Rent and utility

Make Cleaning Equipment Purchasing Easier

Initial stages of window cleaning business may demand a lot of purchases. InvoiceOwl would be a helping hand to quickly create purchase orders for you.

Step 2: Register your business

how much does it cost to start a window cleaning business

When you have your business plan ready and feel confident to move forward, register your business.

To register your window cleaning business:

Choose a business name

Did you know the Small Business Administration has almost registered 30.7 million small businesses within the US? So while choosing a business name, make sure it isn’t repetitive. You can check your name with the US Patent and Trademark. 

Choose a business entity

The next step is to choose your business entity. This is a crucial step because it can affect how you file your taxes, your level of liability protections and how you structure your business, and more. 

Three common business structures are

Sole proprietorship: This is the basic and simple structure to set up and operate. However, you can’t claim personal liability protection when your business encounters legal or financial disputes. Also, your business taxes will be filed on your return.

Limited liability company: You can form an LLC with an individual or multiple partners. 

Corporation: This is among the popular business model where this independent entity offers liability protections and tax perks. However, it demands more paperwork, such as writing bylaws and forming a board of directors.

Register for an employer identification number (EIN)

When your window cleaning business grows, you will eventually scale up. So when you start hiring multiple employees, you must register for an employer identification number (EIN) for tax filling. 

Even if you don’t hire employees, you must get an EIN, as this will apply for a business credit card, business financing, and more.

Step 3: Decide how you’ll charge.

This is an important segment to consider. Charging less will affect your business’ profit, and acquiring clients can pose a challenge if you overcharge. 

So check out the market prices, spy on your competitors in the window cleaning industry, and gather an idea before pricing your window cleaning services. You can charge per hour, per window pane, or per project. 

Most window washers avoid charging on an hourly basis; rather, they charge by the number of window panes and type of cleaning, whether inside and outside or outside. 

However, on average, the window cleaning prices are $10 to $15 per window pane and $4 to $8 per screen.

It is recommended to charge more for commercial clients than residential clients. Also, charge less for high-frequency clients and more for construction cleans. You can also claim charges for cleaning window sills and tracks.

Step 4: Get business permits, licenses, and insurance.

window cleaning business license

Once you have confirmed the payment for your window washing services, you must get all the business permits and licenses.

Secure your business permits and licenses:

You must obtain state licenses and permits for window cleaning businesses.

First, register for a state business permit then gets a window cleaning license and other required licenses. The documentation might change for each state where you operate your window washing business.

Since there is no blanket license or permit for operating a window cleaning business, don’t forget to check your state’s business resources and other legal things. Better consult a business attorney to ensure you have all the essential licenses.

Window cleaning insurance

Be it a traditional cleaning method or a water-fed pole, we can’t take chances on safety. Accidents or mistakes are bound to happen in any business. This is why window washing business insurance is a must-have. 

When you register your window cleaning business with the right insurance, it not only gives peace of mind to you. But also win the trust of your clients and the staff working under you. 

So what kind of insurance must you include?

Business equipment insurance: If your specialized equipment for cleaning is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can claim a certain amount from the insurance company. 

Employer’s liability insurance: This insurance is important if you have employees working under you. So, legally, you are required to have employers’ liability insurance. 

Note: Your company can be fined if you don’t hold employer’s insurance.

Public liability insurance: If your employees, clients, or public people get injured, or the property gets damaged, then this liability insurance can cover the costs. 

Make professional Looking Estimates & Invoices

Inquiries may flood in as soon as you start promoting your window cleaning business. InvoiceOwl solves estimate-creating burden and quickly helps you create invoices as well.

Step 5: Market your window cleaning business

Market your window cleaning business

Let’s assume you have registered your window washing business and have successfully launched it. Now, what next? You will start work, but how? 

You must find new clients, right? Whether you work under a franchise or a new business, you must carry out multiple marketing strategies to get potential clients for your business. 

So what strategy would you use to get new clients? Now let’s discuss this in detail.

Traditional marketing

Well, we know this is a digital world, but traditional marketing that includes flyers and business cards still hasn’t lost its glory. Even door-to-door canvassing is proven effective in building brand awareness and getting leads for your window cleaning company.

Cold calling

This is another traditional method, but it’s worth explaining in detail. Cold calling has merits, although more businesses have moved to online marketing. Some benefits include you get an immediate interaction with potential clients. Also, it is crucial to follow the clients after the first meeting. 

Online marketing

window cleaning business opportunity

What’s the first thing you do when you need to solve a problem? You Google it, isn’t it? 

Your potential clients will also Google when they want their windows cleaned. So start a website, do SEO and get it ranked. Users visiting your website will convert, and you will get more business. Though it sounds simple, there is high competition and getting your site is challenging. So make sure to create appropriate SEO strategies to get it done. 

Some alternative marketing tips for window cleaners are:

You can create brand recognition by including your logo and brand applied to your window cleaning van or any vehicle you and your employees use. Also, put your logo onto T-shirts and team up with fellow tradespeople to cross-market your services. This can bring more attention to your brand.

After you start a window cleaning business, you must market your services to get leads. 

How Much Does Starting a Window Washing Business Cost?

To start a window cleaning business, you don’t need huge capital. When you start your own business, you do it with $1000 if you are solo and already have a van and truck. Investing in a new vehicle is not recommended if you don’t have a vehicle. Rather, rent vehicles. Besides this, you will have upfront costs where you must buy window cleaning tools, clean uniforms, and other costs to establish your business.

Pro Tip: Save money by operating your business from home and learn business techniques for free on YouTube. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How profitable is a window cleaning business?

    The window cleaning business is profitable. Professional window cleaners, on average, earn between $35 to $50 per hour. So when calculated for a forty-hour work week, gross earnings would be around $72,800 to $104,000 per year.

  2. How much is charged to wash a window?

    The residential window cleaning costs $10 to $15 per window and $4 to $8 per pane on average. Apart from this, a professional window washer charges about $258 for a 1500-square-foot house cleaning, where the hourly pay is between $40 and $75 per hour.

  3. Do you need to be qualified to be a window cleaner?

    To become a window cleaner, you don’t need formal education or experience. This job requires good physical condition since you must be on your feet all day, climbing up and down ladders. Once you join a window cleaning company, you will be trained on everything you need to know.

  4. What equipment is needed for window cleaning?

    Some important window cleaning equipment needed are

    • Squeegee handles, channels, and rubbers
    • Water-Fed Pole
    • T-Bars and Sleeves
    • Belts and Holsters 
    • A Sturdy Ladder 
    • Cleaning Solution 
    • Water purification systems
    • Buckets 
    • Towels


Hope you learned how to start a window cleaning business. If you are starting a service business all by yourself, then be ready to wear multiple hats. Some of the responsibilities you hold running a day-to-day business are

  • Start your new window cleaning project
  • Market your business
  • Maintain your inventory
  • Offering quotes
  • Scheduling appointments with potential clients
  • Handle the overall business expenses
  • Invoicing clients

Though kick-starting your business is hard initially, once it gets traction, there is no stopping. When your business runs profitably, consider expanding it and hiring employees. But make sure to handle these tasks mentioned above properly. 

We know handling the payments and invoices is hard. In fact, still many window cleaning contractors struggle with the traditional method for creating invoices. This is why it is essential to get hold of a robust estimate and invoicing software for contractors, such as InvoiceOwl.

InvoiceOwl is an estimate and invoice software to create estimates and invoices in a minute. With this app downloaded on your smartphone or tablet, you can create professional-looking invoices within minutes. Why stick with the traditional method when you can go paperless with InvoiceOwl software?

There is a free trial available as well. Don’t forget to check it out.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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