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How Big is the Window Cleaning Industry?

With sector expected to grow, Window Genie is a good hedge against recession

Cleaning-related businesses make up a large portion of service franchises. Start researching or reading about franchise ownership, and you are sure to come across an article explaining the reasons why cleaning businesses are so popular.

Everything needs to be cleaned, and nobody really likes cleaning. Nobody. Estimates for the total spent on cleaning are in excess of $40 billion a year in the US. It’s big business.


Cleaning also is something that needs to be done on a regular basis, so cleaning companies have lots of repeat, long-term customers. In general, businesses with such long-term customers and residual income are valued higher, making a cleaning franchise potentially worth more and easier to sell.

Within the cleaning industry, there is fierce competition. More than 50 franchise brands offer office cleaning, home cleaning or carpet cleaning. About the only segment of the popular cleaning industry that isn’t crowded with franchise systems is residential window cleaning. That’s where we shine!

Windows, decks, gutters and sidewalks get dirty no matter what the economy does. People who value a clean home continue to spend on maintaining and caring for their largest investment. Because of this, window cleaning can be a highly recession-resistant business.


The real estate bubble subdued a lot of related industries, but not ours. People are living in their homes longer, and that means they’ve become much more aware of the ongoing need for regular window cleaning, pressure washing and other services that help preserve and maintain the value of a home.

“Window cleaning is the huge business you don’t realize is out there,” says company founder and President Rik Nonelle. “People understand pressure washing, they understand carpet cleaning and they understand maid service. They can’t get their heads around the idea that people really do pay to have their windows cleaned.”

People are spending more to maintain their homes
We benefit when busy homeowners increasingly stay put. The remodeling industry, for instance, is booming right now, a strong indicator that people are staying in their homes longer and taking more pride in where they live. A Metrostudy’s Residential Remodeling Index and Forecast predicts the total number of remodeling projects in the United States will reach pre-recession levels in 2015 with an estimated 12 million projects a year.

Such long-term housing trends are good news for the window cleaning, window tinting and pressure washing offer industry.

More time for everyone

The window cleaning, window tinting and pressure washing industry offers other advantages. Unlike commercial janitorial and carpet cleaning franchises that require evening and weekend work, residential cleaning is typically performed Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. A set weekday schedule gives franchisees more time to spend with their families and pursue their hobbies.

Customers also value their free time, which benefits Window Genie franchise owners. Here’s what had to say about the trend:

“American society today: More single parents, more families with two working parents, longer work days, more toys to play with in our free time. What does this all mean? It means we no longer have time to cook, clean, take care of our lawns or care for our older family members. It also means the home services industry is needed more than ever before.”

Jason Hatch bought his Window Genie franchise in Des Moines, Iowa, six years ago. He definitely appreciates the time he gets with his wife and two sons as his business continues to grow.

“Tonight I’ll do paperwork, but tomorrow night is movie night,” he says. “I’ll watch movies with the family or, on weekends, it’s Xbox with my 5-year-old. We’ll go out and throw the football around. I’m building value in my business versus building up someone else’s asset. It’s job security. You’ve can’t easily fire yourself. You can set your own schedule, and you can create your own destiny.”

Pick up a copy of “Entrepreneur” or “INC” magazine and you’ll likely see a reference to why the cleaning industry is such a robust industry. That’s why there are more than 50 franchise systems offering a variety of cleaning-related services. The best-kept secret might just be that the window cleaning segment has the fewest competitors, and for residential window cleaning, Window Genie is just about the only game in town. Less competition means you have the opportunity to create a popular and thriving local business. What are you waiting for?

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