This topic discusses the estimated startup costs for this business idea. Startup costs are what you need to pay in order to be ready to begin business operations. The amount of these costs also helps you decide if the idea suits you.
List of items in startup costs
Note: I am only showing one month for certain expenses. You should be able to get your first job or two in a month. Then these items become operating expenses, not startup costs.
The assumed startup costs for this business idea, using a frugal style of business operations, consist of the following items:
Advertising and promotion (1 month) -- Small classified advertisements in a local newspaper and/or the newsletter of the local property owners association.
Business insurance (1 month) -- Business liability insurance. (Talk to a local insurance agent to see if you need this coverage.)
Governmental requirements -- Local fees and business license. (Note: You might also be subject to state and federal deposits and registration fees, but these will vary. So I have not included them in these startup costs.)
Job supplies -- Typical items needed: sturdy cardboard boxes.
Office equipment -- Business telephone; desk accessories (stapler, paper clips, pen and pencils, etc.); and listing adding machine.
Office supplies -- Check blanks for business checking account, file folders or large manila envelopes (for filing papers), lined writing tablets, pads of accounting journals and ledger, and pads of standard job bid forms.
Other operating expenses (1 month) -- Business telephone expense.
Reference book -- Bookkeeping for Dummies (Paperback) available from Amazon.com or other online bookstores. (Note: The "for Dummies" series of books are easy to read manuals for normal people, not dummies.)
Here are the dollar amounts for a frugal business operation:
Note: See the Planning costs and expenses subtopic in the Business Plan on another page for ways to reduce these startup costs.
This topic satisfies the Starting business operations subtopic in the Business Plan page.
Preparing for business operations
Completing the startup requirements -- This is the last step needed just before you start business operations. See the Listing the startup requirements subtopic in the Business Plan for the items remaining to be completed.
As a minimum, you should have discussed the business idea with your family, set up your business entity, and satisfied all governmental and insurance requirements.
Local information needed -- You need the location of local dumpsites, fees charged for dumping, restrictions on materials allowed to be dumped, and rules for hauling trash.
Operating the business
Soliciting customers -- Place classified advertisements in your local newspaper and/or the newsletter of the local property owners association. Use a simple, honest description of your services. Once you become well known in the community, you should benefit from word of mouth advertising from satisfied customers.
For additional ideas on soliciting customers, see the Sales Methods page in another section.
Getting jobs -- Hopefully, some of the people who read your advertisements will inquire about your services. During this initial telephone conversation, you should determine if you are willing and able to provide the desired services. If so, you may want to discuss the tentative cost of the job. However, in most cases you probably want to inspect the stuck window(s) before quoting a price.
I recommend that you meet with customers in their homes or offices, or at the job site. Your neighbors may object to having a stream of strangers arriving at your home. Also, meeting with customers in your home may violate the zoning rules in your town or city.
Preliminary job activities -- After greeting the customer at the job site, you need to inspect the stuck window and make sure the window is unlocked, is not nailed down, and is not being blocked in someway. If the window is truly stuck, you can proceed with your discussions with the customer.
The customer may be in a hurry and want you to work on a holiday, weekend, or at night to get the job done soon.
You can use your job bid forms to estimate the costs of freeing the stuck window(s). This bid should include the fees for any extra services to be performed, such as working on weekends or at night, any needed painting or staining, and hauling away any trash. The cost of materials (paint or stain, and replacement wood trim) can be estimated, subject to actual retail cost. The bid probably should include a completion date, subject to availability of materials. If the customer accepts your bid, you both can sign the bid form.
If doing the work later on, you need to set the time and date, and arrange for access to the property.
Main job activities -- To free a painted over lower sash, use a utility knife with a sharp blade to cut through the layers of paint where the window sash meets the windowsill at the bottom and the stops at the sides. Do this for both the inside and outside of the window sash. Then gently raise the window, using a pry bar if needed. To pry up on the window bottom, start at the two corners and then work over to the center.
If the window won't budge, don't try to force it. Instead remove the inside stops. Now the window should be free to move. Hold the window while sliding it up and down a few times. Reattach the inside stops, using new nail holes. Don't force the stop tightly against the window sash. Leave a slight clearance so the window can move freely within the channel. You may need to do some paint touchup where the paint has chipped away.
Final job activities -- Inspect the premises to verify you have finished all required tasks. Remove all your equipment and supplies. Gather up all the trash and place in the cardboard box.
Collect your agreed upon fee from the customer. Haul the trash away, if part of your agreed upon services.