Building a domestic window cleaning round


When starting up as a window cleaner, or when developing the work that you have, there are various things that you can do to gain more work. Domestic work is the easiest to develop to begin with. We take a look at the pros and cons of various methods of increasing your round.

  • Leaflet drops
  • Word of mouth
  • Local advertising
  • Door to door canvassing
  • Employing the services of a company to canvass for you
  • Buying an established round.

1. Leaflet Drops

Most window cleaners start with domestic work and begin by leaflet dropping a concentrated area. Generally, if you hit on an area where window cleaners are few and far between then you should get a fairly good response. Often though, out of 1000 leaflets, you may only get 10 new customers. It’s a good idea to follow up the leaflet with face to face contact to turn them into sales.


  • Leaflets target where you want the work to be.
  • The potential customer may not call immediately, but may keep the leaflet for future use.
  • Customers that call are actively looking for a cleaner and therefore are more willing to pay for the service.


  • If you don’t follow up the leaflets by canvassing, the results may be disappointing, depending on the area.
  • If you have bills to pay and no other source of income to support you, (for example you have quit your previous job to window clean) then this method may be too slow as a way to gain work.

Tip: Take a walk around some local areas to where you live in daylight and note areas or streets where the majority of houses appear to have no window cleaner. You will have little success if you drop the leaflets in a street already well covered by another window cleaner.


2. Word of mouth

Once you have a small round going you will likely start getting the odd referral through word of mouth. Friends, relatives and neighbours will soon come asking you if you prove yourself to be reliable and professional.


  • The customers you pick up are likely to have heard good reports about you which helps to dispel suspicion of strangers.
  • There is a good chance that they were actively looking for a window cleaner and so they are likely to be regular, consistent customers.


  • The houses are likely to be scattered meaning more travelling and less earnings.
  • Your round will develop very slowly if you rely on word of mouth alone.
  • If you have bills to pay and no other source of income to support you, (for example you have quit your previous job to window clean) then in the meantime whilst you build the round you are certainly going to feel the pressure.

Tip: Develop a good rapport with your existing customers. If your customers know and like you they are more likely to recommend you with confidence to others. Tell your customers that you would like to expand your round and that if they are happy with your service you would appreciate it if they could pass on your details to others that they know that do not have a window cleaner. Give them a few business cards or leaflets to distribute and maybe offer to do some extra jobs or a discount as a thank you for any leads.


3. Local advertising

If you want your name to get known in your local area then advertise in local directories. More and more people use the internet these days and many internet directories are free to register your details. Some may charge for a priority listing which provides a link to your web site. The Window Cleaner Directory provides this for free. Internet directories are free to list your details and only charge for priority listings.
If you have a domestic round make an eye catching leaflet and advertise in the window of the newsagent local to your work.


  • It doesn’t cost anything to be listed on many internet directories.
  • A local newspaper advert will only bring in calls locally.
  • Customers that call are actively looking for a cleaner and therefore you can perhaps charge more.


  • Again the work that you find is likely to be scattered around meaning more travelling, less earnings.
  • The response won’t be fantastic and the new customer rate will be slow.
  • If you have bills to pay and no other source of income to support you, (for example you have quit your previous job to window clean) then in the meantime whilst you build the round you are certainly going to feel the pressure.

Tip: Many people use search engines such as Yahoo, Google or MSN to find what they are looking for. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers and try typing in a search term as if you were looking for a window cleaner and see what results come up. Follow the links to any directories that show on the first page and advertise in those. A list of popular internet directories can be found here.


4. Door to door canvassing

If you have good people skills, patience, tenacity and some time in the evening door to door canvassing is definitely an effective method. It is not always easy but for your hard work and effort you will have your own round and be deservedly proud of it. If a householder says that they have a window cleaner then don’t insist. You could save yourself some time by asking the householder if they know which other houses that he cleans in the street so that you can concentrate on those without a window cleaner. If they say that he does almost everybody in the street then it may be best to try a different area. Dress presentably and introduce yourself in a friendly manner with a smile. A typical scenario would be something along these lines:

Window Cleaner: “Hello, my name is........, I have a local window cleaning round and I am trying to expand it. Could I ask, do you have a window cleaner already?

Householder: “Yes, we do already have a window cleaner.” or “No we don’t, we clean them ourselves.” or “No we don’t, how much do you charge”

You can prepare what you would say to each of those responses accordingly.


  • The rate of work gained is very good.
  • The work is where you want it to be and is more likely to be compact.


  • Knocking on stranger’s doors isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.
  • The reality of canvassing a round is that it takes lots of determined effort, and for a good quality round, lot’s of time.
  • You may upset the local window cleaner if he is the territorial type.

Tip: Choose your area wisely. It may be worth testing areas with a leaflet drop first and then concentrate on the area in which you gained most response. Follow up leaflets through door to door canvassing as soon as you can. If another window cleaner has already developed a compact round in the area leaving only one or two houses here and there, then you will struggle to develop a compact round. Look for an area that doesn’t seem to have been sewn up by anybody else. It is likely that a somebody will be cleaning one or two houses in the street, but if the majority don’t have a cleaner then you have room to expand and develop your round. Don’t undercut other window cleaners in an effort to take their work or you could make an enemy of the other local window cleaners.


5. Employ the services of a company to canvass for you.

This avoids you having the hassle of canvassing, particularly if you don’t feel comfortable knocking on stranger’s doors. Usually, you pay around twice the monthly value of each customer signed up. If the customer cancels within the first couple of months, then a reputable company offering this service will refund you the money. The round will likely be fairly scattered as it would be if you did the canvassing yourself to begin with and you will likely still need to develop it further for it to become an established, lucrative round. That said, it’s a good way to get started if you have the funds available. Be sure to stipulate what you want the canvassers to do. Give clear guidelines as to your prices and as to what method you will be using.


  • The rate of work gained is very good.
  • It can be cheaper than buying a round.
  • You save time by not having to do the canvassing yourself.


  • You don’t make the initial contact or give the price so issues of access and pricing may need to be resolved.
  • There is a substantial financial outlay and the canvassing company usually require immediate payment for the work.
  • There is often a waiting period from the time that you call. It could be a few months before they can book you in.
  • The work that you buy is not established and although there is a time window for refund, it takes a few months before a round settles in. In the meantime you may lose more customers.

Tip: Ask for recommendations from the company and speak to someone that has used their services to get an idea as to what to expect. Be specific with your instructions and put them in writing if possible. You are paying them to build a round tailored to your needs. If you don’t want to do georgian or leaded houses then tell them that. Be realistic when it comes to the prices you want them to quote.


6. Buy an established round.

The shortcut is to buy an established round and perhaps build on it or integrate it into your own work. Prices of window cleaning rounds vary according to area, type of work and how established the work is. Beware of buying freshly canvassed rounds for any more than two times the monthly value unless they are guaranteed. Your money can be spent more wisely elsewhere. Look for a round that has been established for a good while and preferably worked by the same window cleaner for most of that time. For a good quality, well priced window cleaning round expect to pay upwards of three or four times it’s monthly value.

Goodwill is a tricky thing to sell since it is not a tangeable item such as a car etc. There needs to be a measure of trust from both parties for the transaction to work. A seller will be careful not to part with the work list until he receives the money and a buyer will not want to part with his money until he is sure that the round is legitimate. Try to come to a compromise.


  • The round is already established.
  • The work is more likely to be compact.
  • If you are leaving one job to start window cleaning, then buying a round will allow you to pay the bills and cover your expenses straight away.


  • You don’t make the initial contact or give the price so issues of access and pricing may need to be resolved.
  • Buying a good round often requires a large financial outlay.
  • You are buying goodwill and therefore there is a certain amount of risk involved.
  • You may not be able to find a round for sale in the area that you would like to work.

Tip: If you already have a fairly decent round but it needs to be more compact, buying work form other window cleaners that work the same area is a wise investment. Be friendly to your fellow window cleaners and leave them your card. Tell them that if ever they wish to sell any work locally that you would be interested. Even if their prices aren’t as good as yours, you can always raise them to match yours once you have developed a customer rapport.


In conclusion;

The good thing about domestic work is that it is secure. If you have 200 customers and lose one then you have only lost 0.5% of your work. Whereas if you only have 20 big commercial jobs and lose one, you have lost 5% of your work.

Domestic work once established and compact can be as lucrative as some commercial work. There is a lot to be said for keeping things simple if you are only going to be concentrating on domestic clients. Growing a huge round and having employees work it may look good on paper but unless you have good managerial skills and the right employees it can lead to a lot of hassle.

Householders like to know who is coming and a different face every month can lead to cancellations and a weakened round and reputation. A round that supports two window cleaners can be developed and refined. Once you have enough work, you can refine the round. Quote well for new work and let poorer work go. Eventually you will be left with only prime work. By using a combination of the above methods and with some effort you can build a very good round in a relatively short period of time.

Get Organised!

Your round has a potential monthly average value if all jobs are done on time. Do you reach that potential value or by the end of the month have you missed quite a few jobs meaning lost earnings?

Much of your success in being organised and reliable depends on the arrangements and commitments that you make with your customers.

Click here for some ideas on how to organise your work schedule

Scroll to top