By Jason KUROSU
Paul Dutton, whose window washing business will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this December, remembers his humble beginnings, going door-to-door washing windows to help his friend Stephano buy a plane ticket back home to Italy.
“We started with a bucket, a gas station squeegee and a bottle of ammonia,” recalled Dutton.
Eventually, Stephano got his ticket and Dutton got a business, Paul’s Professional Window Washing, from which he’s been successful, primarily serving La Cañada, Glendale and Pasadena. In fact, the business has been rated the #1 window cleaning company in Los Angeles for the last five years running in the Franklin Report and has garnered business from high end clients and celebrities such as Robert Redford, Pierce Brosnan, Keanu Reeves, Miley Cyrus, Nicolas Cage and many more.
Dutton’s dedication to local customers has garnered him not only the nickname “Mr. Residential,” but also over 2,500 loyal customers. In an interview with American Window Cleaner Magazine, Dutton said, “We are 99% residential.”
Speaking on the benefits of residential clients vs. commercial clients, Dutton said, “I can go to the customer’s house. I can talk to them about doing business and get the job done that day and I can get a check and deposit it by the end of the day.”
Conversely, Dutton found that commercial window cleaning work either took too long as in the case of high rises or paid too little in the case of storefronts with only a few windows per business. This was especially evident in a day-long contest he had with the head of a Houston-based window washing company which specialized in high rises who bet Dutton that he couldn’t make more money in one day than the Texan window washers could washing skyscrapers. Dutton accepted, went to the gated communities of Houston where the more affluent residents lived, washed the windows on only one house, and won the bet.
In 1991, Dutton began attending meetings with the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA), thus beginning his forays into consulting in which he would impart advice on business planning, among other things. He also began writing articles for American Window Cleaner and continued attending conventions and eventually served on the IWCA board. He eventually turned the business into the first residential window cleaning franchise in the state of California.
Now Paul’s small company is entering its 30th year, a long way from the $15 Dutton borrowed from his mother in order to send Stephano home.
For more information on Paul’s Professional Window Washing, visit http://www.paulsprowindow.com/.