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Gutter Cleaning

Is a Gutter Cleaning Business Profitable?

Gutters are an essential part of any home. They are effective at collecting water from the roof and directing it through specific channels away from the property. However, gutters also collect other debris including dirt and leaves.

While cleaning gutters is a job that homeowners can do on their own, many prefer to hire somebody to do it for them. Not only are gutters high up on a property meaning that you need to climb ladders to clean them, but it can also be a time-consuming and messy job. Gutter cleaning businesses visit clients’ homes to remove debris like branches and leaves that has collected in the gutters over time.

Gutter cleaning is a part of the building exterior cleaning industry, which has seen a huge 5% annual growth over the past five years. If you don’t mind dirty work or heights, gutter cleaning can be a lucrative option for a potential business owner.

How to Start Your Business and Find Gutter Cleaning Jobs

The first step to starting your gutter cleaning business is a clear business plan. This will help you identify business specifics, discover more about the industry, and find out what you are going to need succeed. Your plan should include things like what you are going to name your business and how much you will charge customers. Figure out who your target market is and get a ballpark figure for the start-up and ongoing costs.

Gutter cleaning businesses are not always expensive to set up. In fact, you can start your own gutter cleaning company for less than $2,000 if you have some suitable equipment already.

What Do You Need to Get Gutter Cleaning Jobs?

To start your own business cleaning gutters, you will need some basic equipment.

You will need a vehicle such as a van or truck that can easily transport a ladder. When it comes to ladders, a sturdy one that will reach the gutters is essential. 24-32 feet is usually enough for most jobs. You should also invest in a safety system to keep the ladder stable when you are working.

You will need some heavy-duty rubber gloves to wear to protect your hands when cleaning debris from the gutter.

A hard hat and other personal safety equipment is also recommended.  

You will also need buckets and tarps for collecting debris, and a tool belt so that you can safely go up and down ladders with your equipment.

Leaf blowers are a good investment for quickly cleaning dry debris away.

You may also want to invest in a pressure washer for quick cleaning of gutters and downspouts.

How to Get Gutter Cleaning Jobs

When you are first starting out, you might find it helpful to get started on sites where people post jobs that they need doing including gutter cleaning. You can then bid on gutter cleaning jobs and offer your services. However, this can be a very competitive way to do things. Chances are that you’re going to be up against more established gutter cleaners in the area. Because of this, it’s important to widen your options by considering other ways to find jobs too.

Having your own website for your gutter cleaning business can help you find more work. This is because a website shows that your company is legitimate and provides prospective customers with more information. You can include a photo of yourself at work for a more personal touch and pictures of work that you have done to show potential customers what they can expect when they decide to hire you.

The good news is that building your own website for your gutter cleaning business has never been easier. You can find a range of great DIY web building tools like Squarespace or Wix to get started, even if you have no website building experience.

Another way to find more gutter cleaning jobs in your area is to set up your business profile on Google My Business. Make sure that you include your location, a photo, and as much information as possible. When your profile is active, anybody who searches for gutter cleaning near them in your area is more likely to see your business appear as a local result, which can help you get more business.

Along with this, you can also turn on reviews. When you do a good job and the customer leaves you a positive review, this can encourage more customers to book as the review will generate more trust in your business.

How to Price a Gutter Cleaning Job

One of the main things to consider when starting your gutter cleaning business is how much you are going to charge customers. There are several factors that you must keep in mind when you decide how much your work is worth.

The first thing to do is check out the websites and price lists of other gutter cleaning companies in your area. Knowing how much your competition is charging will make it easier for you to set your prices competitively.

Going a little bit under market value is usually ideal. Too high and your customers are going to choose your competitors instead. But offering much lower prices than your competitors can mean that customers are wary of booking you. They’ll suspect that for the price, you are not going to do a quality job.

The price for gutter cleaning can vary quite a lot. In general, homeowners pay an average of $100 for a typical two-story home and $75 for a ranch house. Requesting some quotes from your competitors can help you determine how much to charge if you are struggling to find out the going rate in your local area.

Who Is Your Target Market?

Knowing your target market is the first step to finding work for your gutter cleaning business. Most of the time, you will be carrying out work for homeowners who can afford to pay for some maintenance. However, other clients may require gutter cleaning services.

Landlords, for example, might need gutter cleaning carried out on the properties that they rent out. Tenants who are responsible for some maintenance on the property that they are living in may also hire you.

You can also advertise your gutter cleaning services to commercial clients including retail stores, hotels, offices, and anywhere else that has a roof and gutters.

What Insurance Do You Need?

Before starting your gutter cleaning business, it’s worth exploring the types of insurance that you are going to need.

General liability insurance is a must-have. This ensures you are financially protected in the event of harm or damage coming to somebody’s property or person as a result of your business activities. You will also need commercial auto insurance on the vehicle that you use for your business. Professional liability insurance is also worth getting to protect you if you are sued by a client for an action that caused them to lose money. Consider getting any tools and equipment that you use including ladders, safety systems, pressure washers, or leaf blowers insured against damage or theft.

How to Make More Profit

Gutter cleaning business owners can earn around $200-300 for a day of work. However, this might not always be a daily thing. The work tends to be seasonal with more customers looking for gutter cleaning services during the fall compared to other seasons. The rest of the year, you might find that it is harder to schedule a full day of work.

To make your business more profitable, there are several other services that you may consider offering. Many gutter cleaning businesses also offer minor gutter repairs or the installation of skylights. Other services that you may get more demand for throughout the year include window and skylight cleaning services.

Do You Need a Permit?

Many areas require gutter cleaning businesses to obtain a seller’s permit, which enables the state to record and collect taxes from the sale of taxable services. Failing to get the necessary licenses and permits can lead to large fines or could even cause your business to get shut down.

You should check with the city, town, or county clerk’s office to find out more about any permits or licenses that you will be required to obtain for your gutter cleaning business. The US Small Business Association also offers a local business resources directory that you might find helpful. You may also need to get other permits regarding the vehicle that you drive for your business. If you use a tow truck you will usually be required to have a Class B CLD license to operate.

Gutter cleaning is ideal if you want to start a business offering a service that is always needed. It helps if you don’t mind working outdoors in all weathers and are comfortable with working at height. With the right equipment and vehicle, you can get started from home and begin finding gutter cleaning jobs straight away. Why not give it a go this year?

Bertan is a Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Appjobs. He enjoys building scalable digital solutions with international teams.

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