Do You Need a Business Plan For a New Window Cleaning Business?

Start a window washing business

Most small business experts recommend writing a business plan for any new business, but it may not be necessary for a window cleaning business. While many small business failures can be blamed on poor planning, others are often the victim of too much planning. Here’s how to jump-start your new window cleaning business and decide if you really need a business plan to succeed.

The secret of a successful window cleaning business is in providing great customer service. Little things matter, like using slip-on shoe covers or removing your shoes to avoid muddy footprints on a customer’s carpet when you go from cleaning outside windows to inside windows. Great customer service also includes listening to your customers. Ask them if there is anything you can do better, or any related services they might use, like gutter cleaning. A business plan can’t tell you that, but your customers can. Instead of spending long hours coming up with a fancy business plan, follow Michael Jordan’s slogan and “Just Do It.”

No matter how much planning you do, it’s only a guess about the prospects for your new business. The danger is devoting too much time to planning and not enough time to new marketing ideas, like flyers and discount coupons, to bring in new customers and retain old customers. The secret of budget marketing success is to test your ideas without spending much money, then improve those ideas based on your testing successes and failures.

Here’s an inexpensive way to do a simple business plan for your new window cleaning business. If you plan to borrow money from friends or relatives (that’s where most “seed” money comes from), do an “executive summary” business plan to show them that you’ve done your homework. This short business plan should cover the basics, including an overview of the business, a market analysis, including a look at the competition and an estimate of your first year sales. Here’s a sample:


Business Overview: Crystal Clear Window Cleaning Service is a new business based in Bend, Oregon, specializing in residential window cleaning. Crystal Clear will offer window cleaning service in the greater Bend and Redmond area, focusing on high-end and second homes that are abundant in this resort town. Our customers are affluent homeowners, absentee homeowners and retirees who prefer to pick up the phone rather than clean their own windows.

Market Analysis: The demand for reliable, reasonably priced window cleaning service has been growing in the Bend and Redmond area for several years, as the town also keeps growing. In addition to a growing population, more of the new arrivals are retirees, who would rather play golf than clean their own windows. While there are six window cleaning businesses in the area, only three focus exclusively on residential work, and one has a reputation for poor customer service. We believe there is plenty of room, especially due to our growing local service economy, for another reliable window cleaning service.

Marketing Strategy: The marketing strategy of Crystal Clear Window Cleaning Service will be to provide dependable and affordable window cleaning service to local residential customers who have a regular need for this service. As most residential customers have their windows cleaned in the Spring, Summer and Fall, this will insure a steady income from repeat customers. The second part of our strategy will be to contact local property management companies, who need window cleaning services regularly for the properties they manage.

First Year Goal: Based on the size of the local community and the number of “high-end” homes here, and the fact that Crystal Clear will be a one-person business, our sales projection for the first year is $60,000. We plan to build our regular customer base through direct contact with prospective customers, using flyers and discount coupons, and word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers to continue to grow sales, focusing on profitable add-on services to grow our income.

You should be able to fit this basic business plan on a single sheet of paper. Easy to read, containing just the essentials. Since the start-up costs are low for a window cleaning business, this summary plan should be sufficient for prospective lenders, such as a friend or family member. To learn more about starting your own window cleaning business, read: Profitable Window Cleaning.