The perfect window cleaning business

I find myself over the years thinking a lot about what the perfect window cleaning business would look like. Sometimes I imagine it to be a hands off machine that just runs with limited involvement from the owner… Other times I picture it being a small 1 man operation with highly profitable clients where the owner operator works maybe 8 months out of the year and only 4 mellow days a week during those 8 months…

What do you imagine to be the perfect window cleaning business?

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to me, it’s right in the middle of those two things. maybe four well-paid skilled guys, owner included, and maybe a fifth part-timer you were grooming as a replacement if any of the others moved on. owner works in the field two or three days a week, sales and customer relations for one day, and then chills on the fifth day, maybe messes with equipment or inventory or something.

you would need a large enough client base that you could easily fill a schedule without too much leg work, and a good referral system. and then it would be a matter of just cherry picking the most profitable work. you could just rake from april to december, then everybody gets a fat cash bonus (maybe like $4000) plus unemployment for the winter.

i think an owner could pull out a really nice salary from that setup with minimal stress and a very do-able amount of field labor.

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Everyone has different goals. I like being a one man operation working 20-25 hrs a week.

Some people can handle having employees. As long as you are reaching your business goals is all that matters.

For me, I always wanted a business where I could work part time. I like to keep things simple and I do not handle stress very well. This is the perfect window cleaning business for me.

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[MENTION=6146]Provost Services[/MENTION]- I was thinking of your business before you even posted. I think this is essentially where I’d like our business to get to, though it might require a few more hours a week due to a shorter work season up here.

The “perfect business” is obviously going to be different for each owner. It all comes down to [I]what you value[B] most[/B][/I], your goals, and what you’re willing to sacrifice to get there.

For me ideally, I want next season to be my last one man show season. After that I’m looking to add one full time helper, already know who it is and have trained him from the start way back when. So now I just need the business so he can be paid well to work with me.

3 years after that I want to add a part time helper, that will get me out of the truck and into the sales/office/everything else full time. The planning has already begun in order to make this a reality.

There’s my 5 year plan, I’m not trying to be cleaning glass when I’m 35. I want to create a business my kids can take over down the road, if that’s what they choose.

Mike Radzik
Pro Window Cleaning
Central Massachusetts

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I think the perfect business would be a cross between Chads and Charlies. :smiley:

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Hey Alex. I like the way you described the perfect business. Are you a one man operation as well?

a pool of three to five well trained great part timers to choose from, me working 4 light days a week in the field with two trucks going and 2-3 guys during the season, this is just for power washing. Highly profitable work, small, efficient and profitable. 6 months a year actual work days. 10 years and Im done.

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Great topic [MENTION=1]Chris[/MENTION]

I think all of us find ourselves thinking about this topic.

I see many folks here have different views what a “perfect window cleaning business is”.

I think it all depends on what your life goals are.

Are you referring to Charlie Laurie (windowman)? I greatly admire what he’s done as well.

Hopefully this thread will continue. Never hurts to get ideas and give ideas for a subject like this.

I think 3-4 trucks, with two guys and a helper to deal with screens and such. I think that one person in the office.

I suppose the perfect company is only theoretical until one has attained that goal and has had time to decide if it’s as good as one has imagined.

Currently, I envision an “ideal” situation for me being one of the two that follow:

  1. Me working 3-4 days a week alone, totally cherry picking. Maybe grossing in the $2500-$5000 range weekly. Roof cleaning and Power washing with some real primo window cleaning could make this happen.

  2. One full-timer who becomes field manager. Three part-timers, averaging three days a week. Me laboring when needed, sometimes to train or monitor. Mostly me bidding, scheduling, and marketing. One office employee who can do all the basic book work and accounting work. Also she/he can handle phone calls and scheduling when I’m not available. This is based on my current amount of work. I might need to get a bit more volume to make it feasible for me and crew.

YES, Charlie Laurie.

Chrsi I am going to post this same in the pw forum (thads) if you don’t mind great question

Sure have at it.

The perfect business is a business where I own the business and the business never owns me.

Can’t say it much better than that, Jeff.

I’m a newbie and plan to retire in Feb.2015 and will just try to get to where you are. Do you do mostly res. or Comm.?
If res. do you do in and out, screens and storms?
I’m full of questions. It just sounds like where I would like to be making a little to help my retirement income.