How much money can you, realistically, expect to make?
This resource is provided to help anyone start their own window cleaning business. *
So, how much money can you expect to make running a window cleaning business? This is the first question most of you are likely to ask. It’s an important question because, in the end, generating a good income is what being in business is all about. But you might as well ask “How long is a piece of string?”. It’s difficult to give you an exact figure, as there are so many variables that can affect an individuals ability to earn.
So, what are the factors that can affect how much money you make?
- Your age, lifestyle, health and fitness level
- How hard you’re prepared to work
- The number of hours you’re prepared to put in
- How fast you can work, without compromising quality
- Whether you have a motor vehicle or not
- The size of your business (whether you’re a sole trader or an employer)
- Whether you work in an urban or rural environment
- How far you have to travel to reach your customers
- How many customers you have
- Distance between customers
- How well grouped your customers are
- How many times you have to unpack and pack your vehicle in a day
- How much you charge each customer
- How often you impose a price increase
- How well you retain your customers (you will always have a natural turnover of customers)
- Whether you’re working in Summer or Winter
- Days lost due to bad weather
As you can see there are a number of factors (not exhaustive) that can affect how much money you can expect to make.
Let’s make this easier
Perhaps the easiest way to approach this is to look at an hourly rate, it’s then up to you how many hours you’re prepared to work. On a good day, at present, I can expect to earn about £20 (20 Great Britain Pounds ‘GBP’) per hour (as of 2010/2011). On a not so good day that will be down to about £15 (15 GBP) per hour.
Both rates are certainly better than the UK minimum wage and the UK Jobseeker’s Allowance weekly rates. The UK minimum wage (as of January 2011) is; £5.93 per hour (for age 21 or over) and £4.92 per hour (for age 18 to 20). The UK Jobseeker’s Allowance (as of January 2011) is; £51.85 per week (for age 16 to 24) and £65.45 per week (for age 25 and over). £65.45 could easily be made during one mornings window cleaning.
I’ll put this into context. I’m now 53 years of age (as of 2010/2011), I carry a little extra weight, but I do exercise. I eat healthily and have a healthy lifestyle. I’m a sole trader and I only clean the windows of residential properties. The majority (95%) of my work is within half a mile of where I live, on a housing development in a market town in the United Kingdom. I’m not the fastest window cleaner, but I do a thorough job and retain customers well. The number of hours I do each day varies and, to be honest, I can’t do as much now as I did when I first started in 2002.
I speculate that if I was in my twenties, I could probably get that hourly rate up to about £25 (25 GBP) or even £30 (30 GBP) (as of 2010/2011).
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of the potential earnings from running a window cleaning business (in the UK). The rest is up to you.
As you can see, most of the factors, above, are business related. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be showing you how to start your own window cleaning business and more importantly, how to help maximise your income.
* Please note, this resource has a UK bias, regarding UK legal requirements, otherwise the general principles, offered here, apply worldwide.
I welcome your questions, comments and feedback.
In the next article: Why should you start a window cleaning business?