The Competition

The Window Cleaning Business Competition

The window cleaning industry to remains fragmented in the United States.  Although it is difficult to compete with the growing presence of national franchise organizations like Squeegee Squad, the majority of the window cleaning industry remains vastly composed of sole proprietors and small organizations.  There is still some space for one to start a window cleaning business.  For those wondering how to start a window cleaning business you should read more.

According to a supplier *survey of over 1000 window cleaning business owners: 

  • 76% of all window cleaning businesses have gross revenues of $100,000 or less than that per year.
  • 57% of all window cleaning businesses have gross revenues of $60,000 or less than that per year.
  • And only 4% of window cleaning businesses have gross revenues of $200,000 or more per year.
  • The majority of these 1000 window cleaning businesses have been in business for 4 years or longer.

According to the Squeegee Squad Window Cleaning Franchise public disclosure document (2016): 

  • 100% of Squeegee Squad franchises have gross revenues of $100,000 per year or more.
  • Many of these Squeegee Squad locations have gross revenues of between $300,000 and $700,000 after five years in business.
  • And the biggest Squeegee Squad location had revenues upwards of $2.7 million.

One Man Operators
If you were to add up all of the window cleaning companies in the phone book or in a Google search you will probably find the majority of window cleaners out there are mainly one man operations.  If you have ever tried to call a window cleaner to get a quote during the busy months you might find it very difficult to get one to answer the phone.  Many are too busy working on a ladder.  Some potential clients become frustrated with their search to find a window cleaner and there tends to be a lot of missed appointments due to a lack of organization and follow up.  This presents an opportunity for the sophisticated entrepreneur who would like to enter the industry and build a business.

Window Cleaning Companies
You will also find that there are a few operations in each market that have been able to build a business beyond a one man operation.  Many of the developed window washing companies also struggle with quality from time to time however.  Some have built a bigger client base and have established an employee base to do the work but many have not developed sufficient methods to handle employee turnover and quality control.  Although there are some good quality companies out there, there are a many companies that struggle with growth and employee retention.  Many owners get frustrated and burn out as they grow.

Window Cleaning Franchises
One new development in the window cleaning industry is the entry of franchise organizations.  There are a couple window cleaning franchise brands out there that are gaining momentum in the industry.  Franchises tend to attract sophisticated entrepreneurs who wish to enter the industry and build large window cleaning businesses.  Franchises have more sophisticated and developed systems for marketing, research & development, employee training & management, and quality control.  These systems can help to alleviate some of the growing pains that will be encountered during the start-up and intermediate growth phases.  Franchises also have an element of shared knowledge and resources that the franchisor can use to support the franchisees and provide a competitive advantage for each franchise owner in their market.

Based on the figures above, if you want to clean windows as a one man operator, you might as well do it on your own.  If you want to grow a large window cleaning business, you might be better off looking into joining a franchise system.

*2015 Window Cleaning Census (2016) Retrieved on 4/28/17: https://shopwindowcleaningresource.com/2015-window-cleaning-census-results.html

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