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Don’t Want 9-5? – Why Not Start Your Own Window Cleaning Business

So you’ve decided to start your own window cleaning business. You have your bucket, ladder, squeegee, and strip washer. Now what?

This article is an extract from the Advanced Window Cleaning eBook. It will attempt to give the budding window cleaner a brief introduction to window cleaning based on experienced professional window cleaners.

You are about to embark on running your own business and being your own boss. You can be up and running within a week with very little capital or even experience. Business name:

Before you start your lucrative new business you’ve got to think of a good business name. You’ll need something you won’t hate a month later after your business cards, stationary, and advertisements are already printed! Been there got the t-shirt.

A lot of new business owners choose their name (i.e. John Smith Window Cleaning Services) which is absolutely fine. As long as it’s memorable and to the point.

Once you’ve chosen a name check with company house to find out if that name is still available at companies house. If it is available, make sure the domain name is also available too at a domain seller (I’ll explain why later).

If you’re based in the UK you’ll want the “.co.uk” as well as the “.com”. Whichever country you live in you’ll need the domain address that corresponds with your local area, i.e. Australia would be “.au”.

Once you’ve purchased your domain name it needs to be hosted.

What is hosting?

Once your website is completed the site must be placed on a web “Server” (a computer which is permanently connected to the Internet). This means that your site can be accessed anywhere around the world at any time.

My favourite company is 1&1, but feel free to use the company of your choice. You may even get hosting from 123 reg too!

There are several different factors that go into the decision making process when deciding on the right name for your business, and no one could ever tell you what’s right for you, that decision is yours only.

The name you eventually decide to use may impact other aspects of your business and your overall marketing plan. For example, where will you will be placed in alphabetical ad listings such as the yellow pages? Most prospective clients don’t call every listing in the book, just one, or two, maybe three, if comparing price quotes and services.

Registering Your Business with Mr Tax Man

Once you’ve found a name for your business and you’ve got the domain name registered it’s time to tell Mr Tax Man than you have now started a business. The reason why you do this straight away is the fact that there are a series of fines for not letting them know.

As a new business, you have the choice of being a sole trader, partnership or limited company. I’ll give you a brief example of the 3.

Sole Trader

Being a sole trader is the simplest and easiest way to get started in business. Once you have informed the government agencies of your intentions to go self-employed, you can start to trade right away (subject to any specific licenses or insurances you might require).

As a sole trader, you can quickly adapt to changes in your business with minimal bureaucratic changes required and you have complete control over your business and accounting affairs. However, a sole trader is also responsible for any liabilities should anything go wrong. This means that any debts that the business has can be seen as your own.

Partnership

A partnership is very similar to being a sole trader. This is the type of business entity in which partners share with each other the profits or losses of the business undertaking in which all have invested. Not only do both parties share the profits, they also share the liabilities too.

Limited Company

Aside from sole trader status, most small businesses set up as Limited Companies. The term ‘limited’ derives from the fact that the company’s finances are distinct from the personal finances of their owners (unlike the sole trader or partnership arrangement).

Shareholders in limited liability companies are not responsible for company debts, although if required, directors may be required to guarantee loans or credit granted to the company. In essence it is a separate entity.

At this point, I’d ask you to speak to an accountant (chapter 3) to see which direction is best for you. Everyone’s circumstances are different. For tax reasons I chose to be registered as “Limited Company”. This may or may not be the best course for you. I’ll let you decide!

Franchise

So what does a franchise give you? A franchise gives you an established name, cooperative marketing with other franchisees, bulk purchasing power, training and management expertise and much much more. There are some early advantages of buying a franchise rather than building your own business from scratch. They’re the types of advantages solo entrepreneurs might reap — if they’re lucky — after years of hard work in the trenches.

Naturally, franchising has its drawbacks, too. Agreements between franchisors and their franchisees can seem a little rigid, especially to eager, innovative self-starters who expect to grow their businesses as they see fit.

One of the other drawbacks is finance. Franchises can be very expensive to purchase ranging from £9,999 for a mama and papa type franchise to £250,000 (minimum) for a McDonald’s fast-food type franchise. Ouch!

Financing Your Business

If you don’t feel that confident venturing out on your own and want to choose either the Franchise or License model, there are few bodies and organisations you can try tapping for financing your new venture.

Listed below: -

Small Firm Loan Guarantee scheme

DTI Grant for Research and Development

Business Link Access to Finance service

Enterprise Grants

Prince’s Trust