Window cleaning is becoming more in demand as homeowners have little time to clean all the windows. Cleaning all the windows of a typical suburban home can take the whole day and sometimes more; depending on how big the house is.
Commercial window cleaning is more lucrative as you get repeated business and get paid a lot more. This means that in order to really make money with this business you will have to have access to home owners and businesses that need window cleaning. The barriers to entry are very low, anyone can start this business.
You will need to have a bit of experience; you have to how to properly wash a window and leave it spotless. This is harder than it seems but it’s easy once you know how it’s done. Start by cleaning the windows in your own house and see how well you do. If you are able to properly clean your own windows then you might be ready to begin.
However, you still need more experience if you want to target businesses. There is a huge difference between cleaning home windows and cleaning a window that is 2 stories high. You need to know how to use certain things like a Water Fed Pole system.
Get a vehicle
You need a vehicle to carry all your equipment to wherever you will be working. This should preferably be a van. It’s going to look a bit unprofessional for you to rock up carrying all your equipment with your hands. It’s also going to be very difficult to transport in public taxis. For this reason, it’s best to hire a van or a bakkie if you can’t afford one right from the start.
Get operating premises
You don’t need to have any commercial operating premises; you don’t even need to have offices as long as you are still operating alone. You can start thinking of having offices when you have a franchise or a big team. It’s going to be hard to get enough clients to justify renting offices at first. It’s best to minimize your overhead costs.
Register your business
You have to register your business in order to get commercial business deals. Otherwise, you will forever be working for homeowners and businesses should ideally be your target market. Businesses will continue to hire you as long as you provide an excellent service.
Registering a business currently costs R125 when done directly through the CIPC. You will also be able to have a business account among other benefits.
Market your business
This is the difficult part, it’s very hard to get people to hire you unless you already know exactly who you are targeting. Most businesses won’t work with you right of the bat, so your first target should be home owners.
It’s also very difficult to get homeowners to hire you, some already have a full-time helper who also cleans the windows. The only way to get the attention of your target market is to advertise using local newspapers.
Most homeowners in suburban areas receive a weekly newspaper, which also contains some flyers and papers from advertisers. Make flyers advertising your business and make arrangements to have them distributed with the local newspaper.
Expand your business
Window cleaning is a very tiny niche, although it has high profit margins; you will need to get a lot of clients before making a significant amount of money. You will have to expand by franchising or offering more services.
Instead of doing just window cleaning, you can also do carpet cleaning, bathroom or room cleaning. This will make it easier to appeal to a larger audience. You can also franchise your business but this needs you to build a reputation for your brand first. Franchisees will use your brand and techniques and will pay fees to you for using your brand, similar to how KFC and other popular food outlets work.
This was a guide on how to start a window cleaning business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.