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Start A Window Cleaning Business

[ 1 ] Mar. 10, 2014 | SBO Editor

window-genie-of-opportunity You can cash in on the high-profit $175 billion cleaning industry. Start your own window cleaning business!

Though seasons change and years pass one thing remains the same: Property owners must clean the exterior of their home or business to keep it well maintained for years to come. Most home and business owners are intimately aware of the annoyance of clogged gutters and dirty windows. As a result, an increasing number of property owners are turning to the experts to get the job done right, which is exactly what Richard Nonelle expected to happen when he launched his window cleaning business 20 years ago. Today, the cleaning industry is one of the fastest growing service industries in the United States, expected to grow five percent between 2008 and 2018. Starting a window cleaning business is one you should consider now.


You can start your own business with no experience. Window Genie requires all new franchise owners to attend five days of management training at the corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. On-site support is provided to franchise owners for an additional five days surrounding their grand opening. Freshman franchise owners (those within their first year) participate in weekly calls in which issues and business strategy are discussed. There is also an annual conference, held every January, focused on ongoing training for all franchise owners regardless of how long they’ve been with the company. For info, contact the headquarters: 40 W. Crescentville Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45246 Visit www.windowgenie.com or call 800-700-0022

A graduate of Ohio State University, Nonelle realized by the age of 29 that he didn’t want to work for someone else; he wanted to be able to set his own hours, enjoy his weekends and not have to send out another resume again in his life. In looking for an opportunity to launch his own business, Nonelle recognized a need for a national company able to provide consistent, high-quality home cleaning services to businesses and residences alike. So he founded the window cleaning business, Window Genie, now the nation’s fastest growing home-service franchise, which specializes in window cleaning, window tinting and pressure washing.

Window Cleaning Business

“I ruled out food businesses and retail concepts almost immediately,” he recalled. “I wanted something with high earning potential, but also something that would allow me to have evenings and weekends free, and to not feel strapped to my job. Service businesses were the first thing that made sense.” As he searched through service options he noticed something striking: There were no national window cleaning companies that could provide consistent services state to state, only local or regional companies struggling to fulfill this need. “I saw right away that we had an opportunity to do something national where others did not,” said Nonelle, “so I seized it.”

Nonelle opened the first Window Genie window cleaning business in 1994 in Cincinnati, and quickly built a strong support team around him, including Debbie Owens, his systems and administrative manager, who Nonelle calls his “director of all things paper.” Ken Fisk, his vice president of franchise development who coaches, trains and supports all franchise owners and heads up vendor relations; Michael Grigery, director of franchise marketing and Internet strategy; Erin McDermott, Window Genie’s communications assistant; and Brook Whitton, his administrative assistant.

“We’ve developed a tight-knit system that is focused on constant communication, collaboration and growth for all of our franchisees,” said Nonelle. “We encourage our owners to seek and accept support and guidance not just from our corporate team but from one another.” The company has developed a solid program to help you launch your window cleaning business.

With residential clients making up 80 percent of Window Genie’s customer base, the comeback in the housing market means more property owners are investing in their homes again. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall demand for household cleaning services is expected to grow at an annual rate of seven percent. Commercial cleaning services have long been considered a recession-resistant business, with demand now in excess of $160 billion annually and expected to grow to $175 billion over the next three years. According to the Freedonia Group, exterior building cleaning is expected to be one of the fastest-growing services this year, while interior cleaning remains dominant.

Window Genie’s most in-demand services are what Nonelle refers to as the “big three”—window cleaning, window tinting and pressure washing. Over the years, growing customer demand for additional services has prompted the company to expand its offerings, which now include gutter cleaning and re-securing, as well as dryer vent, tile and grout and chandelier cleaning.

In 1998 Window Genie launched a franchise program and opened its first franchise location in Columbus, Ohio, which is still operating 15 years later. The company currently has 65 franchise owners operating 140 units in 28 states. Window Genie expects to grow to 100 franchisees by the end of 2014 and over 300 within five years. Target markets include California, New York and Florida.

Window Genie franchisees are not required to open a commercial space from which to run their business and most launch their business from home, though it is common for them to move into an office space after a few years.

The investment for a Window Genie franchise is between $80,000 and $130,000. Owners are required to have their vehicles wrapped in order to maintain brand consistency and uphold the highest level of professionalism.

Nonelle says there is no one ideal Window Genie franchise owner, emphasizing that Window Genie’s owners come from a wide range of industry backgrounds and age groups. Visit www.windowgenie.com to learn more about how you can start your own window cleaning business.


Richard Nonelle is the human dynamo who launched a home-service window cleaning business franchise that offers window cleaning, window tinting and pressure washing of homes. The company expects to grow to
100 franchises this year.  Contact the company to learn how to start your own window cleaning business.

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Category: Magazine, Start Your Own Business, Start Your Own Business Summer 2014

  • http://sci-ficeilings.com/ Sci-Fi Ceilings

    Everywhere you look there are windows. A window cleaning business is there for the taking. All someone has to do is just get committed and dig in to this billions of dollars market!