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Fish Window Cleaning

NEBRASKA

Bob Johnson, owner of Fish Window Cleaning in Lincoln, Nebraska, says 80 percent of his business comes from commercial contracts.
Source: Fish Window Cleaning Services
Bob Johnson, owner of Fish Window Cleaning in Lincoln, Nebraska, says 80 percent of his business comes from commercial contracts.
Description: Window cleaning company
Owner: Bob Johnson
Years in business: 12
No. of franchises owned: 1
Start-up costs: $78,225 to $139,700, depending on size of territory; $100,000 cash
Franchisor fees: $30,900 to $54,900
2015 revenue, 2016 projection: $479,000; $531,000
2016 projected annual growth rate: 10.9%

When Bob Johnson was first looking to buy a franchise, he was struck by how quickly he understood Fish Window Cleaning's business model. The company enables people to own a residential and commercial window-cleaning business using a franchise model with more than 35 years of experience. "The numbers made sense to me, and I could see how you could get to, and run, a profitable business," Johnson said.

The company was started in 1978 by Mike Merrick, who had 20 years' experience running his own window-cleaning business and believed the service could be expanded into other markets across the country. "When I first met Mike, he told me that if I wanted to become a window cleaner, to go out and buy a mop and squeegee, but if I wanted to own my own business, then his franchise could be the right fit," Johnson recalled.

Additional franchisee resources

"And it was," Johnson said. Fish Window Cleaning, which now has 250 franchisees across the country, focuses on residential and low-rise commercial customers and requires little overhead. The franchise fee includes initial training and equipment, such as the water-fed extension poles that allow technicians to reach second- and third-story windows from the ground. The brand has continued to support Johnson's business by keeping him up to date on safety issues for technicians and changes in cleaning supplies and vendors.

Johnson has been operating for 12 years and has 15 employees. About 80 percent of his business comes from commercial customers, and the remainder is residential. He likes that mix because, he said, "most homeowners in Nebraska are only getting their windows washed in the spring and fall because of the winters here." He remains convinced he made the right decision by selecting Fish Window Cleaning and wishes he had done it years earlier. "You have to take your time and make certain that you are the right fit for the franchise and that the franchisor is the right fit for you," he added. "No one is going to make you successful. Success comes from hard work and determination."

"You have to take your time and make certain that you are the right fit for the franchise and that the franchisor is the right fit for you." -Bob Johnson

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