My Area in Ohio: Small/Medium Sized towns. No competition on most

The only reason I’m reluctant is because of my situation. I’m 20 years old, married, with a baby on the way. I know the money is there, my only thought is “what if I can’t get it?”

Keep Your job with the other company , an start out doing your own stuff on the weekends . Then as you grow see of they would let you work part time of not get a part time gig somewhere else if possable .


Yeah, that’d be my advice too. If you’re working for a Piscine Franchise then you’re probably done by 3 or so. Use that time to go bidding in the town closest to your home. Start building up clients and routes maybe get a few houses on the weekend and get your boat closer to the dock before jumping. Get some cheap carbon copy forms printed up that will double as estimate sheets and invoices and go for it.

The smaller towns might be a great niche for you. But there’s probably more window cleaners than you think. A lot of them aren’t registered in the phonebook, don’t have an office or logo’d vehicle, don’t have a website, and probably take cash only.


anything legally holding you back? If not go for it, it’s easy on the management side, 3 steps

  1. take action
  2. put postcards out
  3. laugh all the way to the bank

Not much to do beyond that…have fun

I would not concern myself with whether or not there is competition. There are lots of window cleaners in my market. Three franchises, and any number of one-man operations. If you’re willing to do the work to go after new business, then it’s out there for the taking.

If you’re going to clean on the side, and you have a non-competion agreement, you better be prepared to get fired if your current employer finds out what you’re doing. And for the sake of decency, even if you don’t have a non-compete, don’t go after your former boss’s clients. It’s just poor form; and bad karma.

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I do have a non-compete agreement with my employer, Fish Window Cleaning. However, I was going to discuss this with the franchise owner, as I would be cleaning only in areas very far outside “Fish territory.” Does that sound like a good idea?
I would never try to swipe business from them. They have been very good to me.

Your in a tough situation. You have a baby on the way so last thing you want is to lose your bread money , especially if it can’t be replaced somewhere else.

What I would do. Yes first offf I would never take clients from someone else especially if they are treating you good . Even if they treated me bad I wouldn’t , and I never have

So what I would do is let him know someone approached you in your area to clean there windows would it be alright if I do that type of thing in my area no where near where you operate. Assure him you are well aware of the no-compete Claus.
Be subtle … An see where. He stands

I agree with Majestic. Talk to him, and explain what you want to do, and that you have no interest in taking any work from him. Especially if you’re planning to work outside of his service area. The worst he can do is say no. Which doesn’t mean you still couldn’t do it anyway; you’d just know where it stands with him.

I’ve had guys leave to start their own gig. I have no problem with it as long as they’re not trying to take jobs that they used to clean for me.

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The noncompete outlines where the territory is. If you’re outside of that then no worries. You’re probably 50 miles out anyway.

I’d recommend talking to the owner and let him know that with a baby on the way you’d like to do some cleaning outside of his territory and you just wanted to make sure it was ok with him.

Do you work for Peter?

Really? That’s fantastic information!


Hey Jared , I don’t see any fish owners/managers ever in here . Is it against policy for them ?

What do you mean? You mean in your area or just in general?

I know a bunch of them in Cali just up and quit the franchise. And since it’s Cali, wasn’t much corporate could do about it.

Sorry , on the forum

There’s some who might lurk. There’s some good guys out there but it’s not against policy as far as I know.

I was unaware that the non-compete contract specified the area. I wish I would’ve known that earlier. My coworkers told me that the contract applies no matter where you are cleaning. However, I then talked to a lawyer, who told me that in Ohio law a non-compete would be non-enforceable if:

  1. You are cleaning outside of the employer’s territory.
  2. You are not cleaning any of the employer’s customers.
  3. The employer did not pay for any training you received to perform the job.

There is no policy against it, but they have their own discussion forum, so they wouldn’t have much reason to visit this one.

The only way that a non-compete would not have a specific area is in applying to trade secrets. That’s not a factor for you. Typically it will have a radius of 30-50 miles from the office.

Non-competes are actually very hard to enforce. If you weren’t stealing his customers, or pretending to still be affiliated with him, it is unlikely that a judge would tell you that you had to stop, even if you were within the area in the agreement.

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good thing is that franchises are by zip code, so if you’re outside his zip code, it’s not his area

look at things from a zip code perspective

This morning I talked to the ops manager, not the owner, as he is on vacation until next week. He said that I can’t clean anywhere else at all, and I also can’t open my own company until a year after I left.
He also said the owner successfully filed a civil lawsuit against a formor employee who attempted such. However, I believe that person was stealing clients from them

A bit discouraged now. An opportunity like this would be a great thing for my young family. Should I talk to the franchise owner when he comes back?

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