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Sparkling Vision to Soaring Success: Steps to a Thriving Elite Window Cleaning Franchise

The window cleaning franchise has perfected its systems over the past decade, providing a clear pathway to success for franchisees.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 1:13PM 11/03/23

Founded by a man with a dream and a borrowed truck, Elite Window Cleaning, the Canadian window cleaning franchise, has been carefully built and adapted over the past 10 years, morphing into a well-adjusted franchise opportunity that provides a clear pathway to success. For franchisees with the same drive and sparkle in their eye that founder Chris Stoness had in 2012, Elite Window Cleaning offers a strong business model, franchisee support system and unique approach in a high-demand industry.

“Elite Window Cleaning started with an advantage in the market given our unique, water-fed pole approach, but over the years, we’ve also honed the other processes to make the entire process run more smoothly,” said Stoness. “We’ve analyzed the very hurdles I experienced while working to grow the business and have created solutions to help franchisees avoid hurdles that we know from firsthand experience can potentially come up.”

If you’ve decided that entrepreneurship through franchising is the pathway for you, here’s what you can expect from the process with Elite Window Cleaning.

Discovery and Decision

The first step in building a successful franchise business is ensuring that you are choosing a model that meshes well with your own personality, lifestyle and future entrepreneurial goals. This is a crucial part of the discovery process, and Elite Window Cleaning takes steps to provide all of the support and resources a franchisee may need to make an informed decision. This includes:

  • An initial screening call to discuss personal goals and business interests
  • A “day-in-the-life” overview
  • A Franchise Disclosure Document and time to formulate and talk through questions with the team
  • An opportunity to speak with existing franchisees about their experience
  • A call with founder and CEO Chris Stoness to discuss the business even further
  • A discussion about preferred territories to secure your market ahead of the final steps
  • Discovery Day, where the prospective franchisee meets with key members of the leadership and support teams

“The important thing to remember about the discovery and decision process is that it truly is a mutual evaluation,” explained Stoness. “We’re working together to understand whether a prospective franchisee is a great fit for our system and the expectations we have of local owners, but we also want to support the prospective owners in finding all of the information they need to understand if we are a great fit for them.”

Mutual interest is incredibly important in making this decision, and each franchisee may have a different perspective on why the business is a great fit for them. For example, Jaquelyn Giles, a lifetime entrepreneur and Elite Window Cleaning franchisee, wasn’t necessarily interested in window cleaning, but after meeting with the team and learning more about the strategy, she was won over.

“Chris is an amazing person to work with. He’s so inspiring, and he really cares so much about this business,” said Giles. “He’s definitely a branding mastermind — that’s what attracted me to the business. I didn’t have a huge interest in window cleaning at the start, but the branding and business model were so inspiring and appealing. It has been an incredible journey.”

Agreement Signing and Onboarding

If both parties are in agreement, a franchise agreement will be signed, and the onboarding process begins. Franchisees are onboarded following Elite Window Cleaning’s RAMP process. This includes working alongside a start-up coach, becoming acclimated to internal systems, connecting with key vendors, gaining access to the Elite University learning management system and beginning to work through a checklist of necessary start-up tasks. The RAMP program covers all of the basic necessities a franchisee must complete before they begin collaboration with their designated Franchise Business Advisor.

Once fully onboarded, franchisees begin the learning and training process to prepare them for opening day. This includes five major stages.

In the first stage, franchisees are supported through setting up their business bank account and legal business entity. They also start the early branding steps, including wrapping the business vehicle, ordering the equipment and supplies necessary to provide the Elite Window Cleaning experience, and establishing marketing materials for the launch process.

The second stage includes training at the Kingston, Ontario headquarters, an introduction to the support teams and the start of recruiting.

Stage three introduces marketing to your local market. This is also when you will begin hiring a team and completing initial friends and family cleanings for a soft launch of sorts.

In the fourth stage, a trainer visits your local business to work alongside you for two days. You’ll receive assistance on jobs, sales, marketing and employee training. This helps you to begin executing on your success plan.

The fifth and final stage encompasses the first week of operations. This is a time to finalize any systems and customizations necessary to set yourself up for a successful future with your business.

A local owner is fully prepared to launch and run a successful business at the conclusion of the five-stage training process, but the (not so) secret to even stronger success with Elite Window Cleaning is a willingness to take advantage of the franchise’s ongoing support resources.

Elite Window Cleaning’s ‘Secret Sauce'

Even after a franchisee is fully trained, the franchise support team shows an ongoing commitment to their success. Franchisees have access to business coaches who can support them in growing the client base or identifying additional tools and resources that might propel them toward their goals. There is also an online training platform available, housing both written and video training resources, that focus on the development of long-term skills.

Franchisees can also leverage a corporate-run support facility — the BOSS. The back office support system handles incoming calls, quotes, sales, scheduling and payment processing. There are also designated centers for answering questions for both residential and commercial clients. Better yet, Elite Window Cleaning has a scheduling and customer management software that can be accessed from anywhere should a franchisee want to book a job, create a custom report or export a client list.

When all of these tasks are handled for the franchisee, they can focus even more attention on scaling the business and making the most of their time. As franchisees work on their business, they can rely on the advice of an expert team to develop marketing strategies, including Google AdWords, social media marketing, and radio, newspaper, newsletter and home show appearances.

With all of this support in mind, franchisees can feel confident in their ability to build a successful business. Elite Window Cleaning focuses on working with communicative, coachable, collaborative owners who are willing to adapt when necessary and take steps to “get it done,” providing a great client experience every time. Providing all of the resources necessary, the franchisor works as a true partner to its local owners, supporting them in turning their dreams into tangible successes.

The total initial investment necessary to start an Elite Window Cleaning franchise ranges from  $102,057.00 - $120,332.00 including a $40,000 franchise fee. For more information on franchising with Elite Window Cleaning, visit