How To Start a Gutter Cleaning Business
This post will go over the steps needed to start your own gutter cleaning business. We will then look at a few considerations related to gutter cleaning for an overview. Finally will look at a collection of resources that can help you in the start-up phase and when your business is up and running.
Follow the steps below to start a gutter cleaning business.
Before looking at the steps for starting a gutter cleaning business, you need to focus on a few points. For example, are you planning on a part-time business? Are you planning on a home-based business? Or are you planning on an operation where you cover a large area and have employees that will help you service multiple customers at once?
It’s easier to plan when you have a vision for how you’ll run your business.
1. Choosing a Location
The location you choose is an important decision. When you operate your business in an area with no demand for gutter cleaning, then it doesn’t make any sense to operate in that area. On the other hand, if you plan to open in an area where the market is saturated with other gutter cleaning services, it will be difficult for you to compete.
Determine if you’re going to locate from home or if you’re operating out of a commercial location.
Another consideration about the location is that this may only be a seasonal business if you’re in the northern hemisphere. But, on the other hand, if you’re located in an area where the weather is nice all year round, you have more revenue opportunities during all the seasons. For more, see Choosing the best location for your business.
2. Choose a Business Name
Name selection is important. There are many resources you can use to get your creativity flowing. For instance, there are a lot of business name generators online you can use to help you come up with a list of names. I suggest creating a list of 10 to 15 names and leaving your list on the side for a few days. You’ll see it from a new perspective when you come back to it.
Once you come back to your list, choose the top five that appeal to you and check to see if they’re available for registration along with a matching domain name. Once you have your list of top contenders, get feedback from a few people you trust. Then use the business name in a few sentences to see how easy it is to pronounce and finally see how the names look in print. Now it’s time to choose your name and register it along with its matching domain name as soon as possible.
Keep in mind the name you choose today is the name you will keep for as long as you own your business.
For more on business names, see the following:
3. Legalizing Your Business
To make your business legal, you have to register it. There are many options for registration, and each has its pros and cons. For example, suppose you’re planning on a part-time or home-based business. In that case, you can operate as a sole proprietorship. It is the easiest and most cost-effective out of the structures available. However, it doesn’t allow you to have partners. In addition, there is no protection for your personal assets in case of bankruptcy.
If you’re planning on a large-scale operation, you may consider registering an LLC or a corporation. If you have partners, then you will want to register a partnership.
Another option is you can start off as a sole proprietorship. Then, if your business becomes successful, you can switch it to an LLC or a corporation as needed.
For More on Business Registration, See:
4. Create Your Corporate ID
A corporate ID has many components, and it’s a part of branding your business. It can be expensive, but you can start off with a minimal package, and as your business grows, you can add as needed. You will want a professional design for your corporate ID; otherwise, you could leave a bad impression on your customers.
Components of a corporate ID include the following:
- Business card
- Business sign
- Promotional items
For More See on Corporate IDs See:
The equipment you choose for your gutter cleaning service must handle the where and tear of a commercial service. Without the proper tools, you won’t do an effective job. You’ll also spend more time on each job with inferior equipment. Therefore you want to take your time to choose the equipment that will help you do an excellent job in the least amount of time. Some of the tools you need include the following:
- Heavy-duty gloves
- Trash bags
- Protective eyewear
- Reliable transportation
- A pressure washer with a telescopic wand and gutter cleaner attachment
- Leaf blower
- A 2-liter soda bottle (cut down) works well for cleaning the gutters. It’s pliable enough to get down into the gutter
- Composting containers
- Essential Office Equipment
6. Estimating Your Start-up Cost
The average start-up cost may vary from a couple of hundred dollars if you already have a lot of the equipment to thousands of dollars if you want top-of-the-line equipment. You can start off small and expand your crew and equipment as you grow. For more, see Estimating start-up costs: are you missing anything?
7. Writing a Business Plan
A business plan is an essential document for many businesses. It’s especially helpful if you’re planning on a large operation and looking for investors or funding.
In addition, a business plan helps keep you on track once your business is up and running and during the start-up phase. Creating a document takes time and a lot of thinking. But once it’s complete, you’ll have a strong overview and a clear vision of where you’re going and how you will get there.
There are a few options for creating your business plan. You can write one from scratch, use a template and fill in the blanks. You can use software that will guide you step-by-step or hire a professional writer to create one for you. No matter what option you choose, remember you are the one that has to provide the information. For more, see how to write a business plan.
8. Banking Setup
You must separate your personal and business transactions. One of the best ways to do this is to open a separate business account bank account for your business. For example, suppose you’re planning on a small operation. In that case, you can use your current bank and open up a business checking account. On the other hand, if you’re considering a large-scale operation and need funding. Then, the bank that approves your business loan will probably be the bank you’ll be using.
You will also want to consider getting a merchant account to accept credit card payments from customers who want to pay using their credit or debit cards. If you don’t have a lot of sales volume, you can use a service like square or PayPal to accept credit card payments.
For More on Business Banking, See the Following Articles:
9. Get the Funding for Your Business
As a small operation, it’s unlikely you’ll need a loan to start your gutter cleaning business. However, suppose you’re considering something on a large scale. In that case, it’s time to get copies of your business plan and make appointments with lenders to discuss a start-up business loan.
Before doing so, look at it from a bank’s point of you. Many small businesses fail in the first few years of operation. Therefore, bankers view start-up business loans as high risk. They would rather lend money to an established business with a good track record than take a chance on a new start-up.
That being said, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a start-up business loan. Still, You have to meet all the requirements and have sufficient collateral to cover the loan if you default.
You must meet all the requirements and have sufficient collateral to cover the loan if you default.
If your loan gets declined, rather than become disappointed, find out the reason and try and address the issues before moving on to the next lender. Also, take a look at our post on, Getting a small business loan.
10. Get Your Insurance
Business insurance is something you must have before any activity takes place.
You could be at any job, and an accident could happen, and without insurance, you’re on the hook for the damages. The cost for insurance is minimal compared to paying for damages yourself. Speaking with an experienced broker can guide you to get the insurance you need, so you don’t have to worry about anything other than doing a great job. For more, see our page about business insurance.
11. Hiring Employees
When starting out in the gutter cleaning business, you’re most likely be doing everything yourself when you first start, and that’s a great idea. Still, as your business becomes more popular and you gain a lot of customers, you may not be able to keep up with demand. Therefore, he may need to hire employees.
It’s important to select the right person for each position. Take your time in the hiring and selection process. You want to fill the position with the right person because it’s much easier to hire than to let someone go. And telling someone, they’re fired is an unpleasant experience for you and the employee.
For more on hiring, see How and when to hire a new employee.
For many homeowners, autumn means gutter cleaning time. This is one critical maintenance task undertaken before winter for people who live close to tall trees.
Cleaning the gutters in late fall is necessary to avoid damage, such as water seeping in behind the fascia board, as well as ice damage in the winter.
Rain gutters carry the rainwater from the roof to the sewer or the ground. The main reason for installing rain gutters is to protect the windows, walls, basement, and flooring from damage due to rainwater. However, gutters get clogged by leaves, twigs, and other debris over time. This blocks the flow of water in the gutter and may cause it to overflow or flow back, defeating the purpose of rain gutters. Therefore, rain gutters must be cleaned before heavy rain.
Providing a gutter cleaning service relieves the homeowner of taking on the messy and somewhat dangerous task of keeping gutters and downspouts clear.
While some gutter cleaning services may charge a flat fee (say, $35 per house), others charge by the cumulative length of the gutters and downspouts (50 cents per linear foot, for example). For a challenging job, the flat fee may be as high as $150, according to Servicemagic.com.
Gutter cleaning is a great way to bring in extra income during the fall and a great way to supplement a lawn care business or similar that slows down in the fall.
Hours of Operation:
Gutter cleaning season may be short-lived, depending on your location. For example, it’s not unusual for the sun to set at 4:30 p.m. in many areas of Canada and the northern US in November. For this reason, you need to make every hour count, even if that means operating seven days a week.
Potential Add-Ons for This Business:
- Offer to install downspout filters. If you buy the mesh needed in bulk, it will cost you about 10 cents per filter. The going rate is $3 to $5 per filter, usually between $30 and $60 per house.
- Add tree trimming. Cut back limbs that hang over the roof. This will make your job easier for the next cleaning and can potentially save the customer costly roof repairs in the future.
- Offer a repair service. For an additional cost, you can repair and replace worn-out gutters, which will help maintain the roof.
- Install gutter guards and gutter helmets. These protect gutters from large debris and add between $300 and $500 per job.
- Add a window and skylight cleaning service. Skylight cleaning generally runs about $20 per skylight, and window cleaning adds $80 to $120.
- Offer roof cleaning services. You can easily clean roofs with a pressure washer and a leaf blower. You can also offer to apply a preventative moss treatment once you have cleaned the roof.
- Whenever you are working on a roof, always make sure that you use fall arrest gear.
- Estimates will widely vary depending on the amount of debris in the gutter, the size of the home, and any unforeseen challenges.
- Remember that gutters and supports are relatively weak materials and will not stand any direct weight. Make sure to use secure ladders to support your weight.
- Put the ladder on firm and even ground and at an appropriate height from the rain gutter.
- You need to take care when using pressure washers. High water pressure will very easily damage relatively fragile surfaces.
- Offering a guarantee will help build trust in your work. It also likely leaves a positive impression, leading to a repeat customer and possibly recommendations to other new clients.
- Beware of the metal parts and screws that are fitted inside the gutter.
- Low start-up cost
- You can be your own boss
- Jobs are usually completed in less than an hour
- You can offer additional related services such as snow removal, lawn care, window washing, etc.
- Work is performed on rooftops or ladders.
- Physically demanding labor.
- Seasonal ups and downs depending on location.
Even though a gutter cleaning service requires little start-up capital, you can earn a significant amount of money in a matter of a few months. In terms of profit, it’s very common for two people to earn $500-$1000 per day.
You should be able to generate a few thousand dollars a week in prime season. The problem is that the gutter cleaning season is very short.
Due to the seasonal nature of gutter cleaning, many companies offering this unique service can’t do the business full-time unless they are based in a warmer climate.
On the other hand, it’s not out of the question to have an influx of phone calls from homeowners in early spring with overflowing gutter troubles.
Below you’ll find that collection of resources that can help you during the start-up phase as well as when your business is up and running. Many of the resources contain links to search results, and that’s because I want you to find the most popular and latest information.
Industry Trends and Statistics
According to national figures, rain gutter cleaning costs around $75 to $200 on average. However, the price has been shown to soar to about $900 in some metropolitan areas.
Most companies list gutter cleaning prices for far less than $200; they can profit from volume. Click here for the latest google search results related to trends in the gutter cleaning industry.
Whether you’re familiar with gutter cleaning terminology or not, why not take a few minutes to go through a few glossaries to either learn the terminology or brush up on it?
Joining an association can be beneficial. Many of them offer news and educational information. Associations also host events where you can attend and network with others in the industry.
You may even want to consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce so that you can network with other business owners in your area.
Click here to view associations related to the gutter cleaning industry. You may also want to check out our page for tips and insights about Joining a trade association.
Top Gutter Cleaning Businesses
By studying other gutter cleaning businesses, you’ll be able to get an idea of the pricing and services offered. You may also come across an idea for something that’s missing. Implementing it in your business could be the competitive edge you need. On the other hand, you could also find something that the other businesses offer that you haven’t considered. Then, you can implement it in your business to keep up with the competition.
Gutter Cleaning Tips
Gutter cleaning is pretty straightforward, but naturally, there are always tips and insights to help you do a better and quicker job. Whether you’re experienced or not, why take some time to see what’s out there related to gutter cleaning tips? Have a look at the search results for tips related to gutter cleaning.
Books are an excellent source of information for virtually any topic.
Naturally, you want to read the book from cover to cover to experience a story with a novel. However, with non-fiction books, you don’t have to read the book from cover to cover to get the information you want. Instead, you can flip through the table of contents and go directly to the chapter that offers the information you’re looking for. View the most recent Google search results for gutter cleaning business books.
The news is another great source of information to see what stories the media covers. For example, you can go to a site like Google News and type in gutter cleaning to view what new and archived stories the media is covering. See Google’s news search results related to the gutter cleaning industry.
YouTube is one of the most popular sites online today. Many visitors are looking for entertainment, and others are looking for tutorials and educational information. One of the functions I like about YouTube is when you type in your keyword, you get videos related to your query and a list of related videos. Many of the related videos are topics you may not have considered.
Links to the Most Popular and Recent YouTube Videos Related To Gutter Cleaning Are Below: