I began my journey with abc Window Cleaning Supply in August of 2014, starting in the North Carolina warehouse pulling and packing orders, and working my way up to become our business development manager. During my time with abc, I’ve truly traveled extensively across the US and Canada, meeting hundreds of window cleaners. I’ve been blessed to befriend so many amazing people in this industry. Some businesses are hard working “one-man shows” with a bucket and a squeegee, while others are expansive companies with divisions spread across North America. Everyone has their niche and way of conducting business. From my personal experience, there are five hallmarks which constitute the near-perfect company.
1. Commitment to Safety and Training
In my opinion, the most important hallmark of a truly great window cleaning company is their commitment to safety, training, and education (Learn More: Blog and Youtube Channel. Some people see it as a necessity required by law, to which they are obligated to play by the rules. There is nothing “wrong” with this view, but doing the bare minimum is certainly not something to be proud of. The companies I’d give top marks to are the ones who go above and beyond, sparing no expense when it comes to training, education, and top of the line safety equipment to ensure their employees make it home to their families every night. When I find out a company has a safety director, I mentally check off my first hallmark box because I know they are likely taking safety seriously. When your employees feel safe and cared for, they will work harder for you, period. Trust is a pillar on which you build a reputable and profitable business. Safe window cleaners are the best window cleaners.
2. Employee Pay, Benefits, and Appreciation
Not only is the safety of your workers paramount, but their overall treatment as well. Fair pay and applicable benefits are a basic hallmark that should be available to every employee. Good help is hard to find, but not hard to keep if you treat people well. When was the last time your company got together for a reason besides work? Have you hosted your employees for a cook-out, or had a company party where you recognized individual achievement and gave awards, bonuses, or prizes? These things may sound menial and unimportant, but they go a long way towards maintaining a happy and healthy culture where people feel appreciated and enjoy coming to work every day. A “good job kid” and pat on the back isn’t going to cut it if you want them to stick around for 10 or more years. People who are genuinely appreciated will always work harder than expected. Don’t just tell your employees they are valued and appreciated, show them.
3. A Great Website
One of my favorite quotes is “work smarter, not harder”. Over the past few decades, there have been many successful companies who never really needed a website to get by. They stayed busy because they worked hard, and their reputation preceded them. I can’t help but respect this old school, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, mindset, which has historically produced results. However, there is always room for growth and improvement, no matter how long you’ve been in business. The internet has grown to become an extremely effective channel for lead generation and customer acquisition. When you have an engaging, informative website, and you are focused on creating a recognizable brand, you will take your business to higher levels of success. Successful window cleaning companies not only follow this hallmark, they constantly look for ways to adapt to changing situations. Don’t be just another window cleaning company. Aim to be the company in your area, and achieve that by utilizing the marketing and technology options available to you today.
4. Involvement in Industry Organizations
One sure-fire way to remain stagnant in your business is by choosing not to get involved in industry-related organizations. The IWCA, BOMA, BBB, and Chamber of Commerce are great places to start. Staying informed about your industry and market, and teaming up with like-minded people will serve you better than being a hermit who spends more time trying to get competitors shut down than actually running their own business. I’ve seen this a few times; it’s not pretty. Working with, and not against, your competitors will serve you better than you might imagine. Remember, there’s enough glass out there for everyone, and “a rising tide lifts all boats”.
5. Involvement with Community
My final hallmark of a truly great window cleaning company is a commitment to their local community. This is the thing I admire most, and when I see it, it is almost always accompanied by happy people. Partnering with charities, donating services, and giving time and talents to those in need is beyond rewarding. The businesses I come across that are the happiest have a wall full of newspaper articles and pictures of their employees cleaning children’s hospitals dressed as superheroes, building homes for Habitat for Humanity, and sponsoring their local little league teams. There is more to life than just window cleaning. If you make an effort to give back to your community, it won’t quickly be forgotten, and you will always find business.
While there are many other hallmarks which contribute to success in our industry, these are the ones that I recommend putting a priority on this year if you haven’t already. Have any hallmarks of your own? Please let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear what else you think makes a great window cleaning company.