It could be argued that one of the trickiest tasks of starting your window cleaning business is choosing a name. Like naming a new baby, you want one that conveys your company's unique personality, one that isn't easy for the other kids (competition) to ridicule, and one that conveys self-assurance. Like any conscientious parent, you try not to inadvertently choose a name that sounds racist or silly or invites abuse.
Good window cleaning business names serve many purposes. They make a favorable first impression, express expertise, are memorable, remain relevant for the long-term, and please the ear of the owner for the duration.
Your online presence – start out right
Your business name also has to translate well online. For example, guess what is a hugely popular search term online that has nothing to do with the window cleaning profession? Microsoft's Windows operating system! Even “window washing” is a name used by software companies that make security and functionality software for the Windows operating system. So keep in mind, people are going to be seeing other results when they search for your window cleaning service name online. “Pane in the Glass” may be cute, but what sort of (possibly lewd) results are going to show up along with it? Offending clients right off the bat is probably just a bad idea.
Clever vs pragmatic?
Does everyone love a clever name? Not really. Cleverness is relative, and we all do not share the same sense of humor. Do you need your window washing co-workers to be clever? Not at all. You need them to do a good job and be dependable. Same goes for your business name. “Pane Relief” is an eye-catching name and serves the objective of branding. But is it a smarter name than “Townville Window Cleaning”? If a customer lives in Townville, guess what they will do an online search for? Townville window cleaning! That company would own that search term and would likely come up near the top for many searches related to Townville window cleaning, washing, servicing, and more. They would benefit from that free advertising for decades. So, who is actually the more clever one as a business owner? Mr. or Ms. Funny, or the person who got all that free exposure by naming their business Townville Window Cleaning?
Being funny is risky
What strikes you as seriously amusing may in fact offend others and hurt your business. Do not be derogatory in your name. Never use racial or sexist slurs. Some names are too clever for their own good. A landscaping business in our town is named the The Dirty Hoes. Sure, it is funny to some but not at all to others. This sort of clever is not the best sort of word-association for your business identity. It may not be worth the gamble of having to be considered witty. After all, this is your livelihood!
The branding obsession
Since the late 90s the word in advertising has been “branding, branding, branding.” As a business consultant, I have seen how people are obsessed with this idea nearly to the point of hysteria. I would like to point out that Townville Window Cleaning is branding! Yes, it helps if it is memorable, and it should be functional as well.
I am all for a clever name, as long as it serves its other functions. Every time I see the name The Mattress Firm as I drive to the grocery store, I chuckle, that was a good one, I say to myself! Just clever enough.
The standard classic way to go
Use your real name or a version of it. Are you working with family? For example, Flo and Eddie's Custom Clean. BG and Son's Cleaning Service.
One downside to using a family name in the business name is that you may wish to sell the business down the road. It will be easier to sell a business that has a branded name not associated with you or your family.
Is the name already in use?
Do conduct some online searches to ensure that the name you want is not already in use in your surrounding area. Don't assume that because you do not recall seeing it that it does not exist. Most service business startups are shocked to learn how many other businesses exist in their service niche.
The quickest way to rule out the easiest local businesses to locate is to search the names online for your area, but do not stop there.
Search for the name using the USPTO
(United States Patent & Trademark Office)
Be sure to check with the Chamber of Commerce and the local newspapers as well.
Here is a list of names to get your creative juices flowing.
Some window cleaning business name ideas:
Shine 'n clean
Top Mops/Mop Tops
Buff Up Boys
Squeegee Window Experts
Squeegee Window Pros
Squeegee Window Specialists
Soap & Water
Two Guys and a Squeegee
Streak No More
Crystal Clear Window Cleaning
Clear Vision Window Cleaners
Vanishing Glass Window Cleaners
Invisible Glass Window Cleaners
Life’s a Pane
Cloth of Gold
Seymour Clearly & Sons
The View Crew
The Window Gang
The Window Washers
Clear View Windows
Clearview Window Washing
The Squee Gees
Clearly Superior Washing
Squeegee Clean (Squeaky Clean)
In The Clear
Let There Be Light
See Clearly Now, the Pane is Washed.
A pane in the glass (how do you really use this?)
I can see clearly now.
Pane Relief is just a phone call away.
Your pane is my gain.
No pane, no gain.
Let me handle your panes.
A difference you can see.
See the difference a good washing makes.
See everything more clearly.
Let the light shine through.
Your pane is our pleasure.
We're clearly the best.
We wipe away your pane.
For a brighter outlook.
Clearly the best!
Set a shining example.
This is the coolest and most fun way to come with a completely original name.
1) Write down your location, name, initials, and ten descriptive words on
pieces of paper. You may want to describe your character with words
such as custom, dependable, quick, flexible, scrupulous, shine,
expert, pro, fine, trustworthy. Or you might describe another aspect of your service. Are you located in a busy city? Use descriptive words such as central,
midway, metro, downtown, and so on.
2) Next, play with the word order. Rearrange the ten descriptive words next
to your initials, name, and location. Record what comes up. Make a list.
Tip: Use popular keywords that are used in online searches. Imagine what your customer would think to themselves as they search for your service. They may think of terms such as local, green, non-toxic, affordable, and so on.
Keywords to consider:
Shine, glare, gleam, glass, window, wash, pane, squeegee, suds, soap, see, clear, sparkle, light, streaks,
Also, you would want to take into consideration variations on the word, such as: streak, streaked, streaking, sudsing, soapy, seeing, sparkly, shining, etc.
Get feedback before it is too late!
This is imperative. You need an objective viewpoint, actually more like twelve objective opinions about your business name. Do not ask your mom. Find people you know to be objective and ask for their honest feedback. Not that your window cleaning business name must please them all, or even one of them. The goal is to get some unbiased feedback before you commit.
Objective perspectives are undeniably useful at this point. These people are likely to come up with an angle or two that did not occur to you, thus saving you from heading down the wrong trail at the start of your enterprise. For example, I had a client that was using the name “Such-and-such cleaning consultants.” And we discovered that people thought they were going to be consulted on cleaning, not hiring a cleaning company. The assumption made little sense, when you think about it. Who gets consulting on how to get their house cleaned? But still, people were having a knee-jerk emotional assumption. The name was triggering resistance. They wanted cleaning, after all, not consulting.
Ultimately, you are the one who has to live with the business name for what could be a very long time. So pick a name you are proud of and that does not get old for you. It may be that the most obvious name is the best name after all.