Happy Window Cleaning® is headquartered in Grand Rapids Michigan, a metropolitan statistical area of over one million people and the only truly big town in West Michigan. Although Happy Window Cleaning® competes favorably against the national franchisors, it didn’t start as a big city company. Some might be surprised to learn that, I, Scott Britton the founder of the company have spent more than half my life living in small-town West Michigan, having built a very healthy window cleaning company in tiny Mason County. So I was excited to take the opportunity to explore Oakland County. In the following weeks and months, I will be taking more time off from my routine to explore viable territories for franchising Happy Window Cleaning®.”
Oakland County is covered by the area codes 248 and 947. With a median household income of $85.991, it ranks number one in the State of Michigan and is part of the metropolitan Detroit area, located northwest of the city. As of the 2010 census, its population was 1,202,362, making it the second-most densely populated county in Michigan, just behind neighboring Wayne County. The county seat is Pontiac and within the top ten wealthiest counties in the entire nation (Source: Wikipedia). According to the US Census Bureau, Oakland county has a total area of 907 square miles including 62 cities, townships, and villages. To a potential Happy Window Cleaning® franchisee, the 248 and 947 designation including Oakland County offers the most challenge and the greatest potential reward of any territory within Michigan borders. [NOTE; Happy Window Cleaning uses the North American Numbering Plan (NPA) better known as an “area code” to differentiate its territories by economically and culturally connected regions. Since these are truly expansive areas this creates enormous added value for our potential franchise partners].
From the prestigious Bloomfield Hills, Rochester Hills, and Auburn Hills Mansions to the rural living of white Lake Township, the County truly has something attuned to every taste. Aside from the numerous residential window cleaning prospects, Pontiac, the county seat with its rich history of both auto and movie making offers rows of midrise buildings to feed an ambitious commercial window cleaning book of business. Projects like the renovation of the former Sears building in 2012 which is developed to be a Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) mixed-use complex show us that there has been much investment and revitalization in recent years around the city. It is possible to find yourself working at the Curtis Armstrong estate (actor in the Revenge of the Nerds) in the town of Berkley. Jack Kevorkian, the infamous assisted suicide physician was born and raised in Oak Park, which is a northern suburb of Metro Detroit with about 30,000 window cleaning prospects. Even weirder than Dr. Kevorkian is the Eagle Scout from Commerce Township who constructed a DIY nuclear reactor in his family’s yard exposing tens of thousands of people in the area to radioactive materials. On second thought, you may want to skip prospects in that part of town for the next 500 years or so. (Source: The Radioactive Boy Scout, by Ken Silverstein).
It is no secret that window cleaners have an extraordinary trust of their client’s given that unlike most services we are invited to conduct our work in almost every room of a private residence. Although we cannot comment on what we see in private homes, one does wonder what keepsakes someone like Dan Scanlon who works at PIXAR animation studios might be hoarding on his trophy walls. Since Dan has never been a customer of mine, and I can’t tell what I don’t know, (and couldn’t tell even if I did know, since we keep the confidentiality of our clients), it just seems noteworthy to mention that window cleaning is an interesting experience from one day to the next.
If you enjoy architecture, Hazel Park boasts a good number of Michigan bungalows built after World War II and you will find just about every style and period represented within Oakland County. It is a very special place and it will require a person of a certain stature to fill this territory. Happy Window Cleaning® has the potential to provide six-figure incomes in any number of area codes across Michigan but the iron rule of markets being what it is, there are only two area codes where a 7-figure income is possible and our Headquarters is located in one of those. The other is 3.5 hours due east in Oakland County. No worries, we could help a good franchise develop a very nice lifestyle business in other places across the state.
Clarkston, the hometown of Henry Ford has over 400 households that while larger than most found elsewhere around the State are humble compared to the approximately 81,000 people having a median income of $79,000 in the City of Troy, Michigan. In 2011, Troy was ranked the safest city in Michigan. This could be because the people there are loaded and spend their free time enjoying the fruits of their labors, on such things as goods and services. The sense of family values and general stability in the area is also reflected in events like the annual Pumpkinfest in South Lyon. There are around 5,000 households in Beverly Hills Michigan with a median household income of over 90k. With another 80,000 people in Farmington Hills (and a median family income of nearly 200K), overall Oakland County is a window cleaning territory that promises continuous growth under the right management.
These are just some of the viable places to start a window cleaning business in Michigan. The good news is that Happy Window Cleaning® has this territory available for franchising (other territories will be featured in our future blogs).