How to start a window cleaning business

Fancy yourself a stellar window cleaner? Why not turn those skills and that passion into a glass cleaning business by starting your own window cleaning business? Window cleaning businesses specialise in offering professional window cleaning to their customers.

There are essentially two types of businesses that provide window cleaning services: commercial window cleaners (specialising in rope access) and those working on low-rise and residential buildings.

Starting your own window cleaning business

Choose your area of expertise and the type of window cleaning you would like to specialise in. Rope access window cleaning has a higher set-up cost and greater health and safety concerns, but commercial cleaning jobs generally pay more. If you specialise in residential window washing, you’ll have lower set-up costs but get paid less.

Create a window-cleaning financial plan

Strategic planning can put you and your window cleaning business on the road to business success. Using your research, develop a business plan to guide your business. This might include your:

  • business objectives and goals;
  • business structure;
  • target market;
  • competition; and
  • market your business using a marketing plan.

You can always seek assistance from a professional accountant or business lawyer to assist you with this if you aren’t confident in developing a business plan yourself. It’s important to revisit and review your business plan regularly.

When starting a new window cleaning business there are certain critical elements you will need to have in place before you actually start cleaning windows. These include the following:

Meet the legal requirements for window cleaning

It’s essential that you have the right legal documents in place before you start taking on window cleaning jobs. These can include important documents such as a Service Level Agreement and a Cancellation Policy to set out the terms and conditions of your window cleaning services.

As your business expands and you take on staff, you may also need to introduce a formal Employment Agreement.

Register your business and choose your business structure

There are four ways that you can structure and register your business Australian cleaning business, as outlined at business.gov.au. These include:

Window cleaning licences and permits

Window cleaners are required to hold certain licences and permits, but just which licences or permits are right for you? Well, it depends on the nature of your window cleaning work.

If you work on large commercial window cleaning jobs, you will need to hold a rope access/abseiling licence, which can be obtained through Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) outlines the requirements.

For residential window cleaners, a cleaning licence is not mandatory, but it can be a good qualification to have. Additionally, having a Certificate II in Cleaning Operations is a great step in understanding cleaning requirements in a variety of different fields.

How to price your window cleaning services

Pricing is tricky for all business owners, and that includes window cleaners. There is a lot at stake when determining the price points for your professional cleaning services. Will you price your cleaning services lower to attract more clients? This can be a great strategy if you have recently started your cleaning business and want to raise the profile of your business.

However, over time you may nudge up your cleaning prices to keep pace with inflation. Also, as your cleaning business grows and you develop a reputation for great cleaning work there will be scope to increase your rates.

Equipment and supplies

Whether you work with commercial clients or residential clients, you will benefit from investing in high-quality cleaning tools, products and equipment and applying them correctly.

This can be essential in both residential and commercial cleaning. So, choose your cleaning equipment and supplies carefully important to consider what type of window cleaning equipment will work best for you.

You may test the product on your own windows or glass before using it. Inflicting damage on someone else’s property could lead to legal issues and hurt your business reputation. It is worth doing some research to find out what products are trusted by the industry and which chemicals are safe.

Wearing the right PPE on the job will keep you and future workers safe.

1. Create a business strategy

Prepare a business proposal that outlines the services you will offer, market research on your competitors, and the pricing of those services. You may also consider a small business loan.

2. Create your brand name and logo

Check the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website to see if you can register your chosen business name. Then, select a business structure for your company. In many cases, a sole trader or partnership can be the most cost-effective way to start a small business. However, there are some situations where registering as a corporation can be advantageous.

3. Consider your legal requirements

Be sure that you have the correct legal documents, including a service agreement and a cancellation policy. These documents will set out your terms and conditions. You will also require an employment agreement if you intend to hire staff.

4. Market your business

Your marketing strategy will be guided by the services you will offer and customers you will target. If you specialise in high-rise building, you might want to directly target the property managers and landlords of commercial properties and offer your prices to them.

If you offer residential window cleaning in low-rise houses or apartments, your reach will be wider. Consider creating a social media presence and list your service on online marketplaces.

5. Qualifications and courses

Depending on the types of work you intend to accept, you may be required to have a licence from the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association or an equivalent. While a formal qualification isn’t required for residential window cleaners, they may consider enhancing their skills through industry training, such as a Certificate II in Cleaning Operations.

6. Essential professional equipment and tools

Your company vehicle will be the hub for your business, as you will be traveling to different locations. A van or ute large enough to transport all your supplies may be required. You’ll also need good quality equipment, including:

  • scrubbers;
  • squeegees;
  • extension poles;
  • glass scrapers;
  • T-bars, sleeves and sleeves;
  • step ladders;
  • towels; and
  • buckets

Window cleaning FAQs

What types of insurance* should window cleaning business owners consider?

Three types of business insurance that can help window cleaning business owners reduce their risk include:

Public Liability insurance: Provides protection for you and your business if a customer, supplier, or a passer-by is injured or sustains property damage due to your negligent business activities.

Business Insurance: Do you rely on your own cleaning equipment to do your job and to delight your customers? How would you continue to provide your services if your essential tools were damaged or stolen? The great news is you can protect your portable equipment with Business Insurance (also known as General Property (portable equipment) cover.

Personal Accident and Illness insuranceProvides cover should you become permanently disabled or pass away as a result of an accident. Cover can also include a weekly benefit for loss of income if you are unable to work as a result of an unexpected injury or illness (even if it occurs outside of your employment).

What are the licence requirements for window cleaners in Australia?

In Australia, some states require that window cleaners have a licence. For example, New South Wales requires a licence for minor maintenance work that costs more than $5,000 in materials and labour (including GST).

If you are unsure about whether or not you require a licence for your work, consider checking what (if any) cleaning licencing requirements exist in your home state.

How profitable are window cleaning businesses?

Generally speaking, window cleaning is an uncomplicated business idea that offers low start-up costs, low overheads, and minimal hassle when it comes to getting started. With professional window cleaners typically in high demand, especially in capital cities, this line of work can certainly be a profitable business idea.

Are you ready to get cracking with your own window cleaning business?

If you are ready to roll with your new business – be it residential services or commercial jobs, remember that BizCover can help your business go the distance. We know small businesses, and we do business insurance the way it should be done – online, fast, and simplified.

You don’t even have to speak to us – unless you really want to (we won’t be offended if you don’t). Compare competitive cleaning insurance quotes from Australia’s leading insurers and save on your cleaners insurance this year.

Choose BizCover for an easy and breezy business insurance experience and make buying your cleaners insurance simple. Compare competitive business insurance quotes for your business. Start a quote now

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2023 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769.

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