Dont be shy, please. Holla!
Only ONE? Not encouraging.
It’s not easy, especially when you do it from the ground up by yourself.
Almost there! I have 3 techs that work for me plus me and my wife. I work 1 maybe 2 days a week. When I do work its me and my wife as a crew. So not quite there but i will be out of the field next season. I need one more guy to fill my spot and then I will have 2 crews of 2. So 2 trucks running at the moment. We started officially in oct 2014.
Great growth Dean!
I remember when you first posted on the forum!
Thanks Steve! Thats awesome that you remember that. It has been a fun adventure the whole way. A lot of credit goes to this forum and the great guys who are a part of it.
@thorSG1 A dose of reality for us all perhaps?
Dean that is awesome. I started in May 2014. Must be a good year for window cleaning.
David, how many crews are you running?
Did you start by working in the field or just hired at startup?
Would you change anything about how you started in the industry? Franchise or no franchise is what I was wondering.
all depends on the individual im not disappointed by not having crews. when we started with our first venture we had couple crews running and i didnt like it.
ive also worked indoors at a desk for 50hrs a week and id rather be in the field with fun jobs and fun people.
That is me at this point so I have structured my business to adapt when i choose to switch roles and take it in a different direction.
Since March 20 something of this year I have been at 3 job sites. Might have worked at one of them briefly.
Jeff we have 5 crews of 2 currently. In the Spring it will be 8, maybe 9 crews. Also 1 Operations Manager.
I started in the field. Was in the field about 6 months before hiring, somewhat because I like to learn by doing, but mostly because of financials at that time. I haven’t touched a piece of glass in 2 years I believe.
I’m not completely out of the office yet but I can leave for a few weeks and not worry.
I personally would not change starting with a franchise. There are many things I didn’t have to figure out in the beginning and many things I don’t have to do now because the franchisor handles it.
I believe it is one of the biggest reasons I’m at the point in business I am currently. The other big reason is I have no hobbies other than business, I’m completely obsessed. Changing that a bit now due to having a 1-year old daughter.
@TheWindowCleanse Happy for him, thats pretty cool. Kinda makes me feel stupid tho.
I’ve been at it since like 2005 and at one point had 7 guys working with me in a righteous office and warehouse. Unfortunately, the stress ate me up and whatever happened happened.
Looking back on it tho, I would have done SO many things differently regarding the people working for me and the way I managed the money.
If things don’t change in my market in the next year of so, I’m going to stay solo with a helper I suppose until I’ve rebuilt and then give the machine a shot in the arm and get it firing on all cylinders again before I sell it.
San Diego for me SUCKS right now. Wayyyyyy too much competition, and the market is so low for us here its embarrassing.
Nah man. That’s the farthest thing from the truth. But it does illustrate a point.
There’s so much talk about scaling… and it’s not a business until… and getting to the point where the business runs itself… multiple trucks… headaches for back aches…20’s are the learning years, 30’s the earning years…etc etc
How realistic is it really?
It is realistic but I think most people THINK they want it… but they don’t actually want it. It’s a lot easier to just be responsible for yourself rather than 4 or 10 or 100 people.
I think another huge factor that most window cleaner’s don’t scale is because of the market and the nature of our service. Look at your own area and count how many HVAC companies there are with 15+ trucks. Probably quite a few.
My own market has 5 I can think of immediately but there are probably another 5 I don’t know off the top of my head. And my market is not a major metro area. The reason for this is EVERYONE needs HVAC service. Live in a house, apartment, condo, building a skyscraper, tearing down a skyscraper, warehouse, manufacturing facility, and so on. This allows the market to sustain multiple companies of that size and creates the opportunity for companies to grow that size.
For window cleaning… not so much. On the residential side maybe 10% of the population will even consider hiring a window cleaner. I’d imagine half of those people wouldn’t pay what most of us on this forum charge. So the market is extremely small to start with. On the storefront/retail side maybe 30% will even consider hiring a window cleaner but there is only so much storefront/retail in a market; WAY less than there is residential. On the low-rise & mid-rise commercial probably 75% would consider hiring a window cleaner so good potential there, but it seems that incumbent providers are quite hard to dethrone; and as it should be if they are doing a good job. This leads to very long sales cycles that most solo operators don’t want to deal with, or can’t due to financial constraints or short-sightedness.
But then again all of what I just said here is very self limiting!
That is a great post David!
So true and I’ll add that one can only increase prices so much. Are we going to charge $30 per double hung?
There are some tricks. Getting into a corporate account is business changing.
Also, landing large storefront accounts, $75 and up, lends itself to sustainability and growth.
But based on the response to the OP, does that mean most are being self limiting, or is it simply reality?
David can you elaborate on this further, I’m curious.