Bay Area business owner boosts his benefits and his bottom line
The simple need to put food on the table is what drove Dylan Kelly to start his window-washing business. Now nearly 20 years later, it’s his team’s ability to adapt and provide high levels of service that has kept his business thriving.
When Dylan came to window washing after spending some time searching for his calling, he found the physicality and interaction with clients and staff fulfilling enough to focus on building something he could be proud of. Mr. Sparkle Window Washers is an Oakland-based business that specializes in delivering high quality service to residential and small commercial including window cleaning and a variety of other services that complement window washing, such as solar panel cleaning, power washing and gutter cleaning.
“It’s an interesting time to be in the service business as things move away from mom and pops and start to become more automated,” Dylan explains, “We are constantly testing out new technology and processes to make the business more efficient while maintaining the personal touch our customers have grown accustomed to.”
Over the years, Dylan has not only seen a shift in the industry, but he’s also seen a shift in his clientele’s behavior and expectations. As consumer culture demands services and products be available at a faster rate for a lower price tag, he has found that some sectors are less willing to pay for services at the rates that small local businesses need to charge in order to survive.
The Bay Area has become one of the most expensive places to live in America, which means that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for service workers to live and work in the same area.
Dylan says, “The goal of all small business owners I know is to pay their staff a wage that ensures they can afford to grow and live in a place like the Bay Area.”
One way Mr. Sparkle tries to help its people stay in the community is by offering them a benefits package that includes vacation days, healthcare and paid family leave (on a case by case basis). And now, their employees have access to the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program.
CalSavers allows employees to start saving for retirement through a state-sponsored IRA. While Mr. Sparkle does not contribute to the account, CalSavers helps employees to have easy access to a platform that can help them start to save for a dignified retirement.
“Any mechanism to help a person begin to save is a good thing,” says Dylan.
At the end of the day, Dylan believes it’s important to build businesses that support employees and work to build a healthy local ecosystem as well. Mr. Sparkle works to buy supplies locally so profits are reinvested in the community, while providing high-quality services to its neighbors and supporting employees in their quest to live, work and retire in the Bay Area.
Dylan explains, “As a business owner, I want to do my best to retain the people who are doing really good work. As a human being, I want to make sure that we develop a culture of support to help enable everyone to have the resources they need to succeed in their goals.”