Big FISH in a big pond

Has any one considered taking on a Fish franchise or is there anyone on here that already runs a Fish franchise?

What benefits does a franchise really offer?

Fish franchise owners: please could you email we love you personal feedback on this topic.


Hi Justin can you email me on my personal email

I understand what you have said. But you would agree that an existing franchise with an existing customer base is a viable option. What else would one have to consider?

I would just like to say that I would love to hear views from people who dont think its a good idea either. Email me at

I had a sense that the Fish franchise would rattle a few cages in the US. Why is it so successful, do you think? The biggest window cleaning franchise you guys have. They must be doing something right, right??

Sorry Lee I had posted my opinion as a non Fish Franchisee, then realized you may have been looking for people who owned the franchise. So I deleted my post. I am very opinionated when it comes to Fish and instead of writing a very long email, feel free to give me a call and I’ll answer any questions you have. Phone numbers on my website.

They may be the biggest window cleaning franchise here in the US but if you measured each individual company up to others in their area, they may be a little fish in big pond. Just my opinion :slight_smile:

No problem Justin, I may take you up on that call. I spent an hour on my mobile (cell) yesterday calling the US. I dont think they will get the phone bill through my letter box this month!!!

Seriously though, I fully understand what you are saying - its an interesting story. If a company is so bad, why does it do so well. A US window cleaning friend of mine told me the other week that it is so bad ( Fish franchise) that local window cleaners avoid purchasing red uniform in fear of being recognised as a Fish window cleaner.

I want to hear opinions from people like you my friend and franchise owners.

Is it a case of sour grapes? We know how territorial we window cleaners can sometimes be.

All their plans are a 10 year agreement in buying the Fish franchise. It roughly cost $150,000 to 200,000 to even buy it. That makes no sense in having just there name and some what of a reputation. On top of that you have to pay $200 a month just to use there computer program for your invoices, contacts; etc…I could give you more detail but you get the gist. I know this cause my Uncle years ago bought one up North.

Are them figures right Joshua, they seem very high. Who’s got that kinda money?? What value of work would you get in return.

It is true that buying a franchise your buying a brand and business model that has been proven. Are you sure your Uncle didnt get an office down town for that too??

He got no office, your not allowed to operate out of your home. You are required to get an office soon after you start. There was one good thing I liked, they send their Regional Manager over to your location to help out selling for the first month or longer which is a nice start. I’ll ask if the figures are right but there close. There are some Fish locations that are decent with the competition but their alot more that just under sell everyone which alot of people on WCR don’t like.

Avoiding the red shirts - That’s funny Lee, probably true though.

I think you’re confusing their great success. They have had great success selling the Fish Franchise, but I wouldn’t consider each individual that bought one to be a great success. I’ve actually heard of a lot of Fish franchisees going belly up. Again this is just my bias opinion on fish.

I’m on good terms with at least a dozen window cleaning company’s in my area. Pretty close friends with several. We send each other work (Example - I don’t do high rise, but one of my friends does). I don’t consider myself territorial at all. I do have secrets and information that I wouldn’t dream of sharing with them, but I don’t get bent out of shape when I see them on my turf :slight_smile: This is just me and now I’m curious to your stance. Tell us a little a bit about yourself.

Do you have a current company?
Are you considering buying a fish franchise?
Are you already a Fish Franchisee?

Yeah underselling and bad business pratice is not the way. By the way you missed my joke on the ‘office’ reference. I ment that the franchise cost was so high I wondered if the cost included an office lol

But surley underselling and bad business pratice is not the franchise remit. Im sure the people at the top would not like that to happen. Its would effect the FiSH brand. Surley its just in a few areas, right?

I’ve experienced this undercutting first hand. Also I’ve read about similar experiences. If the people on the top aren’t teaching it, then I’m curious to where the franchisees are learning it. Strange coincidence. Perhaps this is what has given them the bad rep? It’s definitely not a territory dispute.

I read on here where a FiSH franchise owner told people that the window cleaner had packed up and quit when he had not. When he phoned the area manger for that area he was really sorry and promised to sort it by talking to the offending FiSH window cleaner.

I worked for a franchise as an employee for almost 6 years. The individual franchise was among the top 5 or so franchises in the nation as far as profits are concerned. I learned everything I know from that company, however A LOT of jobs were underbid. I know every company is going to have underbid work, but hopefully not to that extent.

I made a good living just being an employee. Bought my first house, provided for my family.
One thing I will say is owning a franchise is like any other business, it’s all in how they are managed. The owner in this specific franchise was an excellent salesman, however didn’t treat his employees very well. In turn that created a HUGE turnover rate. I saw a lot of guys/gals come and go in those few years.

I think you can be very successful being a franchisee, however you won’t get any respect from the other companys.

It’s easy to spend the bucks and buy a business.
But when you build your business from the ground up, and make a very good living at it, now thats something to be proud of.


Excellent and honorable answer…


Hi Ryan, do still work for a franchise company or do you run your own business now. By the way that is the first half positive thing I have seen on this topic.

I have tweeted on twitter requesting some one to give me any positives on FiSH. ( If your interested just search Lee Burbidge on twitter)

Im still waiting, I am sure there is some positive somewhere, it cant be all bad, right?

That’s because Ryan didn’t say he worked for FISH. what was the franchise you worked for Ryan?
I try to stay away from commercial work (especially storefronts), because Fish does underbid on every job that I’ve bid against them at, and too many other window cleaners are willing to drop their prices or under-price as a general rule in the commercial market to get work. I got a call to bid on a commercial building a month or two ago, it had around 300 individual window panes, up to about 15’ off the ground. They wanted it cleaned Inside and Outside and around 70 of the windows were going to need construction clean-up. It would’ve taken my employee and I between 8-10 hours together, so I bid $800. I called back the next week. Fish got the contract at $240. HA HA HA, that’s sad. I ended up booking a new residential house on the day I had open for that job in my schedule. Took us 3 hours and made $400.

It sounds like you won’t even be your “own boss”. If you have to follow through with everything tell you you have to do. What’s the sense? I work for myself simply because I wanted to be my “own boss”. Who wants corporate breathing down your neck? Not me

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We don’t have Fish Window cleaning in UK but I believe there is at least one company that operates in a similar way. Personally I HATE the idea. It’s just a middle man taking a chunk of your profits and a way of channeling more money into fewer hands. It is bad news for this sector of business in particular, and by extension is bad for the economy.