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Here's a business that, almost more than any other with equal

potential for real wealth, meets the most stringent requirements

of just about any skeptic. In fact, there's so much in favor of

the "little guy" with this business, it's a real mystery why more

people don't choose this one as the vehicle for their ultimate

independence and financial security.

This is a business that can make you rich very quickly...It's a

kind of service business that can can very profitably be operated

by one person--male or female..The basic knowledge needed for

success is simple and easy to learn..Very little monetary

investment is needed for equipment--usually less than

$100...There are virtually no storage space requirements...You

can operate out of your home for virtually as long as you like;

and yet, there's a real demand for this type of business


The success potential for window washing services is present in

the smallest of towns as well as the largest metropolitan areas.

Your risks will be minimal, while your rewards can far surpass

even your wildest dreams. Generally, a one man operation in a

city of 50,000 can expect to gross $4,000 or more per month after

90 days. Operating expenses for one person operations grossing

this amount should be less than $1,000 per month.

Ideally, your plan should be to solicit new accounts, do the

work yourself and establish a regular customer route. Once you've

established such a service route, and you're beginning to realize

a good profit, you should hire part-time help to do the work

while you solicit new accounts and establish more regular

customer routes.

You should concentrate on providing regular window washing

services for all the one and two story office buildings and

storefronts in your area. Start with those closest to your home

and expand your efforts outward. Choose a busy thoroughfares

leading into your city's downtown area. Select the one closest to

your home and begin calling on business owners and store managers

all along the street into the downtown area.

Usually, you won't have to do much more than introduce yourself,

briefly explain your services, and leave your business card. We

did this regularly on a once-a-week basis, and after 6 weeks, we

had enough business to keep one man busy--6hours a day, 5 days a


Until you become well established, don't even bother soliciting

work on windows higher than the second story. However, it's best

to call on every business, one after the other as you make your

way to the downtown area. Later on, you can call upon churches,

private schools, businesses located on side streets branching off

the main thoroughfares, and even homes if you'd like to try that

market. Generally though, you'll find the residential market too

time-consuming to make your efforts really profitable, plus the

fact that you simply won't be able to charge enough to make it

worthwhile in comparison to your commercial customers. Apartment

houses and condominiums are quite a different story however,

particularly when you can land several customers in the same


As mentioned earlier, you can headquarter in and operate

completely out of your home. You can store your cleaning

equipment and supplies in a corner of your garage. Your

bookkeping and other paperwork can be taken care of at the

kitchen table, with whatever office supplies your need, easily

stored in a dresser drawer.

Speaking of office supplies, you should have a supply of

business cards--and an adequate supply of billing statements with

your business name and address, plus mailing envelopes and return

reply envelopes. You can get away with rubber-stamping your

business name and address on your statements and envelopes, but

your business will grow faster--you'll probably save time and

money as well--by going with printed supplies from the beginning.

There are nor "real reasons" not to list your home address as

your business address, but listing a post office box number--if

you prefer--wil not really harm your image. Te important thing is

personal contact--someone from your company regularly calling

upon prospective customers.

Talk with them. Listen to them. Get to know them. Find out

who's currently doing their windows for them, if they have any

complaints and how you can offer them a better deal. When you've

actually investigated the service they're contracted for, and

you're certain you can offer them a better deal, put your ideas

into the form of a written proposal and give it to them. Don't be

afraid to submit a proposal for a better deal, remember when you

do, your proposal should offer more than just a price break.

Under-cutting a competitor's price usually means less profit for

you, and an overall deterioration of your reputation. It may

temporarily result in more work for you, but you're in business

to attain wealth--not work yourself into an early grave.

If your spouse is home during the day, she can answer the phone

for you and generally set up appointments for you, while you're

out making sales calls. She can also type out your monthly

statements, see that they're sent out on time, and pretty much

handle your bookkeeping for you. Should it not be feasible, or

for some reason inconvenient for your wife to handle your

incoming calls for you, look around until you find a good,

dependable Telephone Answering Service. Many of these telephone

answering services handle typing jobs as well, so if you're

lacking someone to handle these chores for you, chances are you

can find all the services you need without much of a search.

It's important with this type of business that you have a

"live" voice answering your calls. selecting the right people to

handle your calls, and spending the extra time necessary to train

them according to your desires--even paying a little more to have

things done the way you want them done--is almost always well

worth the time and added expense. Remember, this is a service

business with your growth dependent upon the personal contact you

and your representatives have with prospective clients. Work on

it, develop it, and cultivate your personal contact transactions.

As the size of your company increases and you hire crews of

people to handle work assignments, you can usually get your

answering service to take on the added duties of job assignments

notification or dispatcher. All of this simply points up the

possibilities of operating your business out of your home

indefinitely, should you choose to do so.

If someone along the line you decide to set up an office in a

location other than your home, you might want to make an offer or

otherwise induce one or two of the people from your telephoning

answering service. Regardless of how large your work force

becomes, it's always best if you supply the window washing

equipment and supplies.




Employees should be allowed to take the equipment home with

them, and required to use their own vehicles for transportation

to each job site. By all means, spend the extra money to supply

your workers with uniforms. Matching shirts and trousers with a

big patch on the back of the shirts, listing your company name

and phone number, is not only impressive in projecting image,

it's also one of the cheapest and best advertising methods.

Once you've hire people to do the actual window washing for

you, get a couple of magnetic signs showing your company name and

telephone number. Be sure to "wear" these signs on your car as

you make your sales calls and spot check on the progress of your

work crews. Later on, you can get similar signs for your crew

chiefs. If you should opt for company-owned vehicles, you'll find

vans to be the most convenient and serve your needs most

efficiently. Be sure to have your company name, phone number and

logo painted on each side of these vehicles--and allow your crew

chiefs to drive them home at night--all of which benefits you

with practically free advertising.

The kind of equipment you'll need to professionally wash

windows is relatively simple...A12 or 18 inch window brush,

aluminum telescopic brush handle...6 inch, 10 inch and 18 inch

squeegees with replacement rubber blades...A couple of plastic or

galvanized water pails, one 2 gallon and the other 5 gallon...And

an 8-foot step ladder, plus maybe a 16 foot straight ladder...

Your start-up should include 5 gallons of liquid soap..a good

supply of clean rags, towels and chamois..And a sharp razor blade


This entire list of supplies and equipment should total no more

than $250 in cost. You'll need to add to your equipment only as

your business grows and you have need to hire more personnel...

Some professional window washers are proclaiming an alternative

or "better method" than with the use of window brushes and

squeegees. They're advocating the use of "strip washers." These

are 3/4 inch pieces of aluminum pipe covered with a nylon sleeve

that fits the pipe. These are similar in appearance to the handy

do-it-yourself paint rollers, and are used in much the same

manner. These strip washers reportedly work very well on all but

the dirtiest of windows.

Another alternative is an extension pole and brush device.

Water is pumped thru the handle and out the brush in a

rinse-wash-rinse cycle. Most professionals claim this device is

ideal for second story windows, but for best quality workmanship,

they still prefer the basic brush and squeegee approach.

Still another alternative is a hose-water-fed brush that

utilizes de-ionized water where ladders aren't feasible.

De-ionized water is a kind of water from which all minerals and

foreign elements have been removed. Using this kind of water

assures the window washer an easier and faster job with no

worries about streaking or water drops.

Your prices should range between $20 and $25 per hour. Pay for

hired help should start at $5 per hour. It's important that you

do some homework on the various glass treatments in vogue these

days. Many of these coatings and coverings require special

treatment such as the use of soft towels instead of brushes that

might scratch the surface of the window coating.

The professional technique for washing windows cleanly and in

the least amount of time is as follows: A few drops of cleaning

solution in your bucket of water. remember, too many soap suds

are detrimental to quality work. Wet your brush from the bucket

and then scrub the window. Take your squeegee and make one wiping

pass across the top of the window. Be sure to keep the end of the

squeegee pressed firmly against the molding or top sill of the

window frame. Wipe the squeegee, and then do the same thing down

each side of the window. from this point on, it's just a matter

of wiping the window clean with one continuous stroke. You do

this by arching and looping your wiping strokes across the window

pane, back and forth, never stopping or lifting the squeegee

blade from the glass. With this in method, you can wipe even the

largest window clean in just a matter of seconds. Practice at

home on your own windows and those of your neighbors. You'll

quickly develop a knack for this method and wonder why you never

discovered it before.

  When you've finished with the squeegee, take a chamois and

carefully "blot-wipe" any excess water that may have not have

been picked up along the sides and bottom of the window frame. In

reality, that's all there is to it.

  You'll find the spring and summer months to be the busiest, but

because of the increasing popularity of painting holiday scenes

and special sale announcements on business windows, be alert for

year 'round opportunities along these lines as well. Keep

plugging away and offering your services to businesses throughout

your area, particularly along those busy thoroughfares where

moving traffic contributes to the build-up of dirt & grime on


  When you're ready to hire helpers or people to do the work for

you, a simple ad in your local newspaper's "help Wanted" column

should bring you more applicants than you'll ever use. After

you've hired the one or the ones you want, keep a record of the

ones you liked but didn't hire, and check with them when you want

to add onto your crew of workers again.

  Bulletin Board notices will also bring in a surprising number

of applicants. Another good idea is to spread the word that

you're looking for part-time help, amongst your local firemen,

policemen and teachers. depending on your area's pay scale, you

can do pretty well by contacting the temporary help services in

your area.

  About the only regular advertising you'll need to do is a

medium to large display ad in the yellow pages. This is a must

because once you're established you'll find at least 

50% of your business coming from having seen your ad in the

yellow pages. An "insider's" trick to advertising in the yellow

pages--Try to name your business with the very first letter of

your business name beginning with A-B-C, or X-Y-Z. Statistics and

surveys tend to prove that when people look for a service in the

yellow pages, they invariably pick from either the top or bottom

of the alphabet.

  Aside from the yellow pages, your next best advertising will be

the "reminder" kind, such as note pads with your company name

imprinted on them, special calendars or holders, special date or

appointment books, and/or sports caps with your company

name/emblem on them. However, as this kind of advertising is

quite expensive, it's good to keep in mind, but best to hold off

until you can well afford it.

  Any radio, television, newspaper and/or direct mail advertising

efforts will cost you much more than any business you receive

from it, so don't even consider this type of advertising.

However, do think about, and submit "press release" material to

these media as often as you can, because any publicity coverage

they give will surely be well worthwhile.

  Telephone soliciting for business works well, but you should

have a list of businesses and their telephone numbers, plotted

out according to new routes you're trying to build. Time spent

travelling between jobs will cost you money, just as time spent

looking up telephone numbers along a certain planned route will

seemingly take forever. If and when you decide to drum up new

business by phone, you'll have much greater success if you can

offer some sort of promotional gimmick to get them to try your


  We had great success one time by offering to do windows for

free if they'd let us put a sign in the window--These windows

cleaned by AAA Window Cleaning Service--666-5824... Another time,

we did the windows for half price as an introductory offer..And

still another time, we joined with our telephone answering

service--on a combined promotion...half price on three months of

telephone answering service just for trying our window washing

service...The ideas, gimmicks and promotions you can use are

limited only by your imagination...

  Later on, we hired some good-looking college girls--on a

commission basis--to call on businesses along the new routes we

are trying to develop. They just introduced themselves as

representatives of our firm, explained our services and offered a

half priced introductory service. They ended up selling better

than 60% of the business they called upon.

  During one summer, we even tried a crew of these young ladies

as window washers--they weren't the best...We dresses them in

snappy red & white suspender-type short-shorts and drew quite a

crowd on each job. It was good advertising for us--we got free

newspaper and television coverage, and an untold number of new

business leads--but the glamour of the whole thing grew old very

quickly. But it was a gimmick that brought in new business,

caused a lot of people to recognize that we were in the window

cleaning business, and made our selling job easier.

  Truly, this is an easy business to start...and with just a bit

of imagination on your part, as well as persistence and quality

workmanship, you can easily become financially secure as you

want...And it takes is action on your part, so reach for it and

may you always enjoy the fruits of a bountiful success!