Here's a business that, almost more than any other with equal potential for real wealth, meets the most strongest requirements of just about any skeptic.
In fact, there's so much in favor of the "little guy" with this business, it's a real mystery why more people don't choose this one as the vehicle for their ultimate independence and financial security.
This is a business that can make you rich very quickly, it's a kind of service business that can very profitably be operated by one person - male or female.
The basic knowledge needed for success is simple and easy to learn.
Very little monetary investment is needed for equipment - usually less than $200.
There are virtually no storage space requirements.
You can operate out of your home for virtually as long as you like, and yet, there's a real demand for this type of business everywhere.
The success potential for window washing services is present even in the smallest of towns as well as the largest metropolitan areas.
Your risks will be minimal, while your rewards can far surpass even your wildest dreams.
Generally, a one man operation in a city of 50,000 can expect to gross $8,000 or more per month after just 90 days.
Operating expenses for one persons operations grossing this amount should be less than $1000 per month.
Ideally, your plan should be to solicit new accounts, do the work yourself and establish a regular customer route.
Once you've established such a route, and you're beginning to realise a good profit, you should hire part time help to do the work while you solicit new accounts and establish regular customers.
You should concentrate on providing regular window washing services for all the one and two storey office buildings and shop fronts in your area.
Start with those closest to your home and expand your efforts outwards.
Choose a busy thoroughfare leading into your city's central area. Select the one closest to your home, and begin calling on business owners and shop managers all along this street.
Find out who's currently doing their windows for them, if they have any coíplaints, and how you can offer them a better deal. Always leave a business card, after briefly explaining your services.
When you've actually investigated the service they're already contracted for, and you're certain you can offer them a better deal, put your ideas into the form of a written proposal, and give it to them.
Don't be afraid to submit a proposal for a better deal, but remember when you do, your proposal should offer more than just a cut price.
Undercutting a competitor usually means less profit for you, and an overall deterioration of your reputation.
It may temporarily result in more work for you, but you're in business to attain wealth - not work yourself into an early grave!
If your spouse is at home during the day, they can answer the phone for you and generally set up appointments for you, while you're out making sales calls. They may also be able to handle your accounts.
Should it not be feasible, or if there is no-one at home during the day, then look around for a good, dependable telephone answering service.
Many of these telephone answering services also handle typing jobs, so if you're lacking someone to handle these jobs for you, chances are that you can find all the services you need without too much of a search.
It's important with this type of business that you have a "live" voice answering your calls.
Selecting the right people to handle your calls, and spending the extra time necessary to train them according to your desires even paying a little more to have things done the way you want them done - is almost always well worth the time and added expense.
Remember, this is a service business with your growth dependent upon the personal contact you and your representatives have with prospective clients.
Work on it, develop it, and cultivate your personal contact transactions.
As the size of your company increases and you hire crews of people to handle work assignments, you can usually get your answering service to take on the added duties of job assignment notification or dispatcher.
All of this simply points up the possibilities of operating your business out of your home indefinitely, should you choose to do so.
If somewhere along the line you decide to set up an office in a location other than your home, you might want to make an offer or otherwise induce one or two of the people from your telephone answering service.
Regardless of how large your work force becomes, its always best if you supply the window washing equipment and supplies.
Employees should be allowed to take the equipment home with them, and you can require them to use their own vehicles for transportation to each job site.
By all means spend the extra money to supply your workers with uniforms, matching shirts and trousers - this is not only impressive in projecting a professional image, it's also one of your cheapest and best advertising methods.
Once you've hired people to do the actual window washing for you, get a couple of magnetic signs showing your company name and telephone number.
Be sure to "wear" these signs on your car as you make your sales calls, and spot checks on the progress of your work crews.
Later on, you can get similar signs for your crew managers.
If you should opt for company owned vehicles, you'll find vans to be the most convenient and serve your needs the most efficiently.
Be sure to have your company name, phone number and logo painted on each side of these vehicles and allow your crew managers to drive them home at night - all of which benefits you with practically free advertising.
The kind of equipment you'll need to professionally wash windows is relatively simple.
A 12 or 18 inch brush, aluminium telescopic brush handle, 6 inch, 10 inch and 18 inch squeegees, with replacement rubber blades. A couple of plastic or galvanised buckets, one 2 gallon, and the other 5 gallon. And an 8-foot step ladder, plus maybe a 16 foot straight ladder.
Your start up supplies should include 5 gallons of liquid soap, a good supply of clean rags, towels and chamois, and a sharp razor blade scraper.
This entire list of equipment and supplies should total no more than $500 in cost.
You'll need to add to your equipment only as your business grows and you have need to hire more staff.
Some professional window washers are proclaiming an alternative or "better method" than with the use of window brushes and squeegees. They're advocating the use of "strip washers".
These are 3/4 inch pieces of aluminium pipe covered with a nylon sleeve that fits the pipe.
These are similar in appearance to the handy do it yourself paint rollers, and are used in much the same manner.
These strip washers reportedly work very well on all but the dirtiest of windows.
Another alternative is an extension pole and brush device. Water is pumped through the handle and out the brush in a rinse - wash - rinse cycle.
Most professionals claim this device is ideal for second storey windows, but for best quality workmanship, they still prefer the basic brush and squeeze approach.
Still another alternative is a hose water fed brush that utilizes de-ionised water where ladders aren't feasible.
De-ionized water is a kind of water from which all minerals and foreign elements have been removed.
Using this kind of water assures the window washer an easier and faster job with no worries about streaking or water drops.
Your prices should range between $40 and $50 per hour. Pay for hired help should start at $10 per hour.
It's important that you do some homework on the various glass treatments in vogue these days.
Many of these coatings or coverings require special treatment such as the use of soft towels instead of brushes that might scratch the surface of the window coating.
The professional technique for washing windows cleanly and in the least amount of time is as follows:
A few drops of cleaning solution in your bucket of water. Remember, too many soap suds are detrimental to quality work. Wet your brush from the bucket and then scrub the window. Take your squeegee and make one wiping pass across the top of the window. Be sure to keep the end of the squeegee pressed firmly against the moulding or top sill of the window frame.
Wipe the squeegee and then do the same thing down each side of the window.
From this point on, it's just a matter of wiping the window clean with one continuous stroke.
You do this by arching and looping your wiping strokes across the window pane, back and forth, never stopping or lifting the squeegee blade from the glass.
With this method, you can wipe clean even the largest window clean in just a matter of seconds.
Practice at home on your own windows and those of your neighbours. You'll quickly develop a knack for this method and wonder why you never discovered it before. When you've finished with the squeegee, take a chamois and carefully blot-wipe any excess water that may not have been picked up along the sides and bottom of the window frame.
In reality, that's all there is to it.
You'll find the spring and summer months to be your busiest, but because of the increasing popularity of painting holiday scenes and special sale announcements on business windows, be alert for year round opportunities along these lines as well.
Keep plugging away and offering your services to businesses throughout your area, particularly those along the thoroughfare where moving traffic contributes to the build up of dirt and grime on windows.
When you're ready to hire helpers or people to do the work for you, a simple ad in your local newspaper's "Help Wanted" column should bring you more applicants than you'll ever use.
After you've hired vhe one or the ones you want, keep a record of the ones you liked but didn't hire, and check with them when you want to add onto your crew of workers again.
Notice boards will also bring in a surprising number of applicants.
About the only regular advertising you'll need to do is a medium to large display ad in the yellow pages.
This is a must because once you're established, you'll find at least 50% of your business comes from having seen your ad in the yellow pages.
An insiders trick to advertising in the yellow pages. Try to name your business with the very first letters of your business beginning with ABC, or XYZ.
Statistics and surveys tend to prove that when people look for a service in the yellow pages, they invariably pick from either top to bottom or bottom to top of the classifications.
The business can be very profitable and very rewarding - we wish you the best of luck with it.