Home Business Entrepreneurs: Window Washer, Macrame and Typing

The Bootstrap Businesses column showcases home business entrepreneurs: This issue covers window washer, macrame and typing jobs.

| September/October 1977

Home business entrepreneurs enter into new businesses, including window washer, macrame and typing jobs.

If you now operate — or have ever operated — a successful home business that was inspired by an article you read in MOTHER, tell us (in 500 words or less) when and where — and with how much "seed money" you started your venture. It your story can be fitted into an upcoming installment of Bootstrap Businesses, you'll receive [1] the warm satisfaction of knowing that you helped someone else find the happiness you enjoy and [2] a free two-year new or renewal subscription to THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS

After reading the articles on window washing by Dennis A. Conley and Andrew Safer in MOTHER NO. 40, I decided — since I had no job and live in an area that seems like "The Land of Glass" — to give this particular window washer employment venture a try.

First, I called around and priced supplies. Next, I went out and spent $40 in "seed money" on two squeegees, a natural sponge, a bucket, cleaning solution, a brush (I started with a cheap one: half synthetic, half horsehair), and an extension pole. Then I went home and practiced on my own win dows, after which I asked a friend if I could clean her plate glass store windows for free. With that much practice behind me, i felt confident enough to go out and start canvassing.

My girlfriend hand-printed some cards for me and, after going around for a few hours a day for less than a week, I had several accounts and was clearing about $5.00 an hour. I concentrated on store windows (sometimes i do houses, but-because it's preferable to build up regular accounts — I mostly stay away from residences), and after included the time I spent driving from one store to the next.) Two factors that helped: My speed picked up quite a bit with practice, and I replaced my original cheap brush with a $50 boar bristle model that was much easier to work with.

As if that degree of success weren't enough, all of this led me into another enterprise which now accounts for 60% of my income. One day I got to talking with another window cleaner who happened to pass me as I worked, and he said, "You know, if you ever want to sell me any of your accounts I'll be glad to pay you — for each one what that account grosses in three months."

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!