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A clear view: moving the window cleaning industry into the 21st century
British people are officially too busy to clean their homes in the 21st century, with one in three households now employing a service provider to support with home maintenance needs.
And with householders increasingly having less time to prioritise window cleaning specifically, the growth of the industry has been substantial and there are now over 31,000 window cleaning businesses operating in the UK alone.
But with just 39% of the entire cleaning industry earning a real living wage, it is vital that the increasing demand for high-quality services is reflected in operatives' and workers' quality of employment. Here, Karen Prewer, founder of the innovative, van-based window cleaning franchise, My Window Cleaner, provides her insight into why the franchise model is helping provide a clear view and move the industry into the 21st century.
Technology and innovation
The window cleaning industry has come a long way since the days of paperless trails, difficulties in contacting service providers and jobs not being up to scratch. And while many believe that the cleaning industry is not primed to benefit from a technology boom due to its physical, hands-on nature, we are witnessing many cleaning providers firmly establishing themselves in the digital space - whether they specialise in window cleaning or in-home maintenance. Thanks to franchising and a devotion to capitalising on the wealth opportunities that technology now affords businesses, leading brands are seeing more ways to implement and utilise online management software. Having an equal focus on fine-tuning business management software, as well as the service itself, drastically increases efficiency, keeps customers happy, and ensures an open line of communication is always accessible between the customer and business.
The most innovative window cleaning brands today are constantly thinking about the next big thing, seeking opportunities to invest in new technology and to streamline processes to provide vital services. For example, My Window Cleaner's bespoke online management software, Gloria, sees consistent improvements and upgrades, which to date amount to a total investment of roughly £650,000. And with technology and innovation driving the My Window Cleaner franchise, operatives have increased the efficiency of their service by 30% and have grown 23% faster than franchisees who launched in previous years. Today, this approach is projected across the whole business scape, with digital transformation increasing operational efficiency by 40% and improving the ability to meet customer expectations by 35%4.
Managing and nurturing growth
In a competitive market, managing and nurturing business growth with well-versed leaders has provided a significant advantage. By staying up to date on industry trends and investing in new technology and marketing strategies, My Window Cleaner has positioned itself as a leader in the industry - coming at the perfect time as the window cleaning industry grows exponentially. Already worth £283.8 million, the industry is expected to increase by a further 2.3% this year alone having grown by 4.6% per year since 20185. Not only does this highlight the increasing demand for professional window cleaning services, but it also demonstrates that window cleaning services can be highly lucrative when managed and nurtured effectively.
Through leveraging the expertise and resources of fellow franchise owners, franchising has allowed the window cleaning industry to become a well-managed and consistently high-quality service to those in need. Within just two years, My Window Cleaner has doubled its network size welcoming a diversity of driven and ambitious professionals to contribute to the growth and development of a service that shows no signs of slowing down.
Providing the tools for success
For years, the window cleaning industry has given a platform to unprofessional and disorganised leaders, ultimately creating a divide and a distrust between service providers and their customers. Not having a business plan, no marketing material, no budget, not understanding the industry and poor recruitment are just a few of the reasons why window cleaning businesses have historically failed. However, through franchising and building a business with longevity in mind, My Window Cleaner is addressing the issues that have often prompted entrepreneurs and prospective business owners to turn their noses up at the opportunity of investing in an industry that has a tarnished reputation.
In the UK, 70% of employees would be 'somewhat likely' to leave their current job to work for an organisation known for investing in employee development and learning. This indicates that it has become more important than ever for service providers in growing industries to demonstrate what they can do for ambitious entrepreneurs.
Franchising in the window cleaning industry has given a platform to those who are passionate and capable of building a credible, highly reputable business. And by providing expert industry training, business owners are reaping the benefits of running a lucrative, personally rewarding franchise in an industry that is continuing to boom. The franchise model, while not a new phenomenon, is continuing to prove its value in a diversity of industries, including the window cleaning industry. Our picture shows Franchisee John Redpath, MWC Cardiff East
9th March 2023