Decline in the Industry?

Since 2020, I have noticed in our markets a lack of new window cleaning companies popping up. Also several long standing companies have folded or are almost on their way out. The cost to entry in general for business has skyrocketed and my biggest struggle the past 3 years has been keeping cost/pricing in line.

It has been the opposite for powerwashing. A new powerwasher seems to pop up on facebook every month.

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In my area there’s a general increase for the dislike of work, especially manual work and quiting in style over social media is the cool thing to do. The government was willing to pay people, even strong young men, to not work for so long that we’re now battling an extreme lazy culture here. It’s so bad in the job market the our govt is scrambling to drastically increase immigration to fill the needs.

It’s super good for us hustlers because there’s huge holes in market to fill. It’s also another lesson to keep things simple and honed in on a niche. The pandemic retaught us to trim the fat and keep it profitable as a buffer and hedge against inflationary conditions and work downturns.

I make it my aim to have a mentor(s) and to be a mentor in all things including business. Extremely few young men want to learn. They’re too busy at home trading crypto and playing other video games. Not even joking… That’s the response I’ve gotten several times as an excuse not to work.

“Whoever is lazy in his work is a brother to the one who causes ruin.” - Proverbs 18:9

“If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.” - Thessalonians 3:10

“Where there are no cattle the manger is clean, but the crop is abundant because of the power of the bull.” - Proverbs 14:4

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Based on the data I collect, it seems like the industry has grown. It saw a big surge after covid & cleaning became popular. Since 2016 I’ve noticed strong growth.

I’m seeing it level out this year for sure, though. I would imagine industry growth will be totally flat in 2023.

Kyle, with fewer companies popping up and some older ones folding, are you seeing an increase in demand?

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It’s such a weird thing…

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I’ve been telling my son this the last 2 years

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Does your son work with you?

Yeah PT

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Does he like the industry?

Not as much as I do , but he likes the money and flexibility

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I have noticed a large shift in my area away from window cleaning to pressure washing. I am getting older and can’t keep up with demand, but I can make three times more per man hour softwashing a house and it doesn’t involve ladders. Many of the local window cleaners are new hires with zero experience and I never hear the end of the horror stories my customers have been through.

I’m a 27 year veteran washer and people are very grateful and relieved I know what I’m doing. Too bad my health hasn’t kept up.

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Thessalonians 3:10 was used against me by my folks :joy: I was fortunate to be raised on a small farm and had a job FT in high school in addition to playing 3 sports. I’ve always earned my meal, however smerger, it was earned.
Thanks for sharing.

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I’ve seen and increase in the number of cleaners but like @Kyle seen several long standing vanish, I may just be missing them.
Calls slowed for pre-Christmas but spring calls came in during December…? weird here. But regulars/repeats went down slightly.
keep hustling

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I’m oddly busy for a January, it’s a little weird to get calls for estimates. So yeah I think some window cleaners have retired or left town

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Absolutely… We have had massive price increases with no drop in sales. We have got real picky on our window cleaning side with what type of customers we pick. I bought out a couple small companies in 2018 and 2019 and 2020 knocked a few more out. Our window cleaning volume is the highest its ever been and we turn away a lot of work.

We are swamped this January… construction clean ups, residential calls (rare this time of year), and Xmas light take downs. We havn’t laid anyone off our crew yet this winter…

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Yes here in Sydney some of the old timers retired on the back end of COVID, + all the new young guys are taking up the waterfed Pole and don’t really know how to clean a window with a squeegee or off a ladder, good for guys like me. I’ve seen guys posting to my local area Facebook page cleaning ground level patio doors on a wooden deck with the wfp…I’m just shaking my head. Where I live in northern Sydney we are between the ocean and the bush so even the windows on a regular clean always require a bit of extra elbow grease to get off the salt mixed with dirt, spider, webs, batshit, insects, tree pollen etc…don’t get me wrong wfp has a time and a place…but I see too many of the new crew think it’s all the time and all the place…I guess you can’t teach a young dog old tricks!
…once you’ve been in the game long enough you realise that there is an ‘art’ to cleaning windows and once you’ve mastered it the work comes looking for you…

the same way one sees with trad tools, the inexperienced one may only have a 14" mop and squ and a terry cloth towel, but how many refinements there are beyond that! in the same way one may start out with just a basic wfp pole and brush, but how many more refinements there are to that to truly have a more encompassing powerful tool

there’s a lot of wfp products released in recent years that help with things that need more elbow grease (on maintenance jobs), long time experience helps sort which for what and to evaluate the new products potential in short order. like a woodworkers shop full of specialized tools the truck fills up with things that may only be best on rare occasions but are the perfect and sometimes only answer when needed, allowing a humble wfp to become so much more versatile.

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That’s all true , it depends on how you run the business…as I get older I’m all about keeping it simple…carry less, maintain less, store less…

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