Start a Window Cleaning Business and Make Money! – News on Mother Earth

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PHOTO: PHOTO / RICHARD MAJLINDER

A window cleaning service costs little at first and can bring you additional money.

Last year – after I decided to get away from all the ice and snow in Ohio – my wife, three children (ages 6, 3, and 1), and I packed our ’58 Chevy and headed south to Fort Meyers, Florida .

By the time we got to the Gulf Coast city, I had a total of $ 300 in my pocket (earned from a flea market we held shortly before we left Ohio). Little did I realize that the “fortune” would barely cover four weeks’ rent for my family in a beach town in Florida! However, with apartments costing anywhere from $ 200 to $ 400 a month, we soon realized we needed more bread. And pronto!

Now I believe in making a living just as much as the next one, but with all the beautiful sun, sand, and surfing, I just couldn’t imagine working in an office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 a day. It would be a sin, I persuaded myself, to waste all the sunshine and sea air!

So. I sat under a palm tree and asked myself, “How can I make enough money to live down here and still pretend I’m on vacation?” The answer came to me so quickly that it was almost strange was. I could clean the windows! After all, what skills do I need to clean a window? None That’s right, absolutely none.

Bright and early the next morning, I was walking the downtown streets asking shopkeepers and managers if they’d like their windows scrubbed. And to be honest, most of them said no. Nevertheless, after just two days of research, I had committed to cleaning the shop windows of no fewer than 23 shops, markets and other establishments every two weeks.

I bought a metal bucket, squeegee, and some detergent – which was all I needed since I was using the customer’s water – and got down to business, charging between $ 3 and $ 10 for the windows of an average store. And none of my accounts, not even the $ 10 account, have ever taken more than thirty minutes of my time!

OK. I thought I was fine until another idea occurred to me: Why not clean the house windows too? I mean, consider the kind of people who live in South Florida. I don’t know everyone in Fort Myers, but the people who live in those $ 200,000 homes on the beach definitely have some cash! Also, many of them are in their 70s and 80s and couldn’t clean their windows themselves if they wanted to. With that in mind, I took to the streets again.

As incredible as it may sound, I found it a lot easier to get these private residential jobs than I imagined. After knocking on twenty doors, we had three or four jobs to scrub the windows consistently! Since it was so easy to choose, we decided to limit ourselves to the first floor windows and charge (for an average three bedroom home) $ 15 for the outside only. If the owner wanted the inside of the jar to be done as well (a job my wife did well) the price was $ 25.

We set up four jobs each day and went to work just before 8:00 a.m. every morning. Since it took no more than an hour to complete a single house, we were lying on the powdery white beach around noon – drinking beer – with $ 75 to $ 100 in our pockets. And that was every day! (Ah what a life.)

Well, I don’t know exactly how it came about, but after a while we got homesick for our friends and the hills of southern Ohio. So we made our way back towards the ice and snow. Nonetheless, all Mother Earth News lovers who [1] live in the warmer regions, [2] Have transportation to the affluent neighborhoods and [3] if you need bread quickly, you should at least consider the window cleaning business. Chances are, the company not only helps you pay your daily bills, but enables you to live like on a permanent vacation!

Published July 1, 1976

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