Is Portland, OR a good place to start a window cleaning business?

I wasn’t sure where to post this. The newbie area seemed best since I am new, here and working on my business plan for a new window cleaning business.

I was originally going to start a window cleaning business in Asheville, NC. I am contemplating moving to Portland, OR to go be with my girlfriend.

My goal is, in 10 years, to create a business that I can be more hands off and draw a passive income. I’m sure I’ll need to be available here and there… but the general idea is to create this business so I can have time to work on building other assets / businesses.

I know the Asheville / Hendersonville / Western North Carolina market well enough to already begin drafting a somewhat plausible first draft of a business plan.

However, my first impression of Portland, OR is that it rains too much to allow time for a profitable business. I am lost when thinking about a business plan in that area. Yet, I’ve seen two quality businesses, from this forum, in Portland, OR!

I’m bewildered and scratching my head… wondering how in the world two AMAZING Portland companies are thriving in the rainiest area of the US.

I’m more intimidated by the rain than the companies. I’m not being cocky, at all. I just assume there is enough work for everyone, especially super high quality companies and I aim to be super high quality. But if there is not enough for the kind of business I want to create I’d certainly want to know. Then I would be intimidated :smiley:

Because of the rain, is Portland, OR a good place to start a window cleaning business? Do businesses help each other out since they are on the same forum or is it all cut throat?

Interesting question, i am curious to see the response because it seems as if Portland is concentrated with window cleaning companies

I know there are others here from Portland. Don’t know how many, but this is a free country and you can set up shop anywhere you like. Good luck.

Thank you, Phil. I appreciate it.

~John Cannon

It rains a lot, I know that!

Yeah, I lived in Eugene, OR for about 4 years. (I never visited or lived in Portland.) The rain was insane!

~John Cannon

Portland. It rains 9 months out of the year. Some customers can’t conceptualize a “6 month cleaning agreement” because it rains so much. Portland has the heaviest of heavy hitters at the top of google, ranking will be difficult. Google search “portland window cleaning” and you’ll get 1.8 million results. Storefront window cleaning is owned by the homeless people. Fish has a presence here.

I’m looking to hire this year, even if I wasn’t one of the “quality” companies here :wink:

Hi Garrett,

It rains 9 months out of the year in Eugene, OR, too. Wow… so it’s the same :frowning:

I’ve only been reading this forum for a week and a half or so. I only noticed two companies, Portland Window Cleaning & Total Window Cleaning. Reading their websites was what made me think of them as quality. I’ve browsed through your website and YES, you are quality, too!

Generally speaking, I find that people who take this forum seriously are quality window cleaners because they put a lot of effort and creativity into their business. And they are internet savvy!

Growing up, I worked in my parents window cleaning business in Hendersonville, NC. They had a thriving business but were no where near as intense / marketing savvy as many people on this forum. They depended solely on word of mouth and did no advertising. Looking back, they could have made a bundle had they advertised. I love this forum because it introduces me to a breed of window cleaners that I strive to be.

Am I open to working for a window cleaning company? Well… It’s a new thought for me, but my initial reaction, is “Yes” I would be willing to work for a window cleaning company. I would have to re-arrange some priorities, think about my life goals and how being an employee would fit into that… but I am certainly open to the possibility. Wow, this forum just rocks.

However, I want to stress that that was not the purpose of my post… and I say this just because I don’t know the forum rules concerning this. I want to follow the rules here and create quality content and discussions. I’m not here looking for a job. But, considering that Portland is a daunting monster because of the rain… I would certainly consider it.

Garret, thanks for the information about Portland and your comment about hiring. I do appreciate it.

Your attitude makes me want to hire you now and I don’t have a business in Portland. Keep up that attitude and if you choose to go on your own or an employee for someone else you will be successful.

Seriously, great attitude!


Thank you! I, genuinely, appreciate your compliment!

~John Cannon

I was going to try to have some fun with you ;). Good luck!

It actually doesn’t rain that much in Eugene or Portland in terms of average annual rain fall. I was born in Portland and raised in Eugene. I lived in Portland a few years before moving to Texas. It just seems like it rains a lot because it stays overcast for extended periods, and when it does rain a lot of the time it is a slow steady rain that last for days or weeks. It averages 37.5 inches per year, Dallas averages 33.7 And it doesn’t seem like it rains much here but when it rains it pours like crazy for a couple of hour and then its done.

I do get your point though. I’ve wondered the same thing because I have often thought of moving back. Do you Northwest guys give rain guarantees? How do your customers respond to the weather? Do they constantly reschedule? Do you have other services to help you theought the winter months when it is mostly over cast?


Hi competition in The PNW ! Plenty of work though…Rain is the way of life here, work carries on inspite of the rain ! It’s the snow and ice that stops work here …around 2 weeks every year maybe 3 but spread out !


Hey Dange,

I was just wondering how you where doing. I hadn’t seen you post in a while. I may have just missed you posting or I did not read those threads. I was going to pm you. Hope all is well.

I don’t advertise a rain guarantee, but if someone needs a touch-up do what I need to keep them happy. All my clients respond differently to the weather. Some don’t even give it a thought while others want to re-schedule if the forecast even hints at rain. For me January thru the end of March are slow, but if you make the most of your busy season and put money aside to compensate for the seasonal nature of our business you’ll do fine.

Note: I do residential almost exclusively, commercial may keep you busier year round.

I am moving my business to Portland too.

I’d watch some episodes of Portlandia first, just to make an educated decision.:smiley:

Is it just me or are outlined boxes appearing on WCR? I noticed it on my mobile app earlier as well.

Hey Trav,

I’m doing good bud, been traveling the Face Book and it’s even more filled with forums then you can believe…Being here is like coming home.


It can be easy to misinterpret things without a tone of voice. Thank you… and the best to you.

~John Cannon