Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Window Cleaning Franchise Owners

FOLLOWING HIS DREAM: Former Ford worker Mark McDonald.
Perfect franchise is window of opportunity for former Ford worker: He worked at Southampton’s famous Ford plant for nearly a quarter of a century before the factory doors slammed shut last year. Now Mark McDonald is striking out on his own after buying a franchise in a city-based window cleaning company. Having been made redundant when the Swaythling Ford factory closed down, he is venturing out into the business world with Perfect Windows. 

The 50-year-old, from Regents Park in Southampton, had spent 23 years with Ford before deciding to set up on his own following redundancy. He said: “Following a long career at Ford, I viewed redundancy as an opportunity to chase my dream of working for myself. “I was introduced to Perfect Windows at a job fair organised by Ford and was really impressed with how professional and busy they are.
Launched at the end of 2013, Mark’s business covers most of Southampton. He added: “Most people struggle to find a reputable and reliable window cleaning company; I certainly have over the years. "What attracted me to running my own business with them is that providing first-rate customer service is just as important to the company as delivering a quality cleaning service. “It’s an ethos that’s built a loyal and growing customer base for them and I’m looking forward now to getting started and building my own business off the back of their success. 

Vin Kennedy, who owns Perfect Windows, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the team. “Having Mark on board means that we can continue to deliver a great service for our growing number of customers and surge ahead with our expansion plans around the region.”
New business owner says layoff was a blessing, I have my life back: Robin McKenna, owner of Window Genie of Belle Mead, says business ownership has given her the freedom to create her own schedule, be in control of her success and have the work-life balance she missed in her previous career. Window Genie announces the grand opening of their newest location in Princeton, NJ on Monday March 10th. Robin McKenna is the owner/operator. Window Genie is a nationally ranked home services franchise offering window cleaning, window tinting, pressure washing, gutter cleaning and much more. Window Genie of Princeton will service the surrounding Princeton, NJ areas as well as Bucks County, PA.

Before joining the Window Genie team, McKenna spent 20 years at a medical device company in sales and marketing, more recently in global marketing to develop and commercialize products worldwide. In July 2011 her position was eliminated. McKenna said, “I did what most people do after a layoff. I looked for a similar job because it’s what I was used to. I knew in my heart that I could not go back and feel secure or happy, though.” After some time off, McKenna realized the “blessing in disguise” she was granted by being unemployed. “I had always wanted to be home more while my children were in high school and my daughter is a sophomore this year. Also, unfortunately my parents weren’t doing very well at the time. I was granted this wish I had always had in the back of my mind to be home spending time with family. I was able to take my dad to my children’s swim meets and other functions; it was truly a blessing to spend the precious time together as I decided what to do next.”

McKenna was able to take away a piece of advice from her father before he passed away. He told her, “Take your passions and put them to work for yourself.” McKenna said, “His words and support really meant something to me. It helped me realize that it’s all about family, quality of life and working for you because the return is based on your efforts and decisions. ”

McKenna stopped looking for another corporate job in June 2012 and began focusing solely on business ownership when she met her franchise coach, Bill McGuire of The Entrepreneur’s Source. “I began looking around online at business opportunities and must have left a cookie crumb somewhere because I was approached by Bill. If he hadn’t contacted me, I don’t know where I would be now. His guidance was so essential to getting me where I am today at Window Genie.” They discussed McKenna’s strengths, weaknesses, goals and interests to determine which business models would fit her best. Window Genie was one of them and, “shined amongst all others from the get-go,” says McKenna.
What stood out to McKenna about the Window Genie business was the ability to offer multiple services to repeat customers. She said, “This would give me an opportunity to build relationships in the community and continue to serve that customer for years. Also, with the many different services Window Genie offers, there’s something for every home and every budget; I like that.”

Also, Window Genie’s strong culture and give-back program, Windows 4 Wishes stood out to McKenna. She said, “The corporate team has such a strong, well defined culture. It’s something I’ll be sure I reflect in my business. When I hire a technician I’ll let them know that we work hard and we play hard, we contribute to our community and take pride in our work. These were values so clearly embedded in the Window Genie culture and I felt it just even talking to existing franchise partners during my discovery process that had such fantastic things to say about the business and the corporate team. It feels good to invest in team Genie; it’s an extended family that not only cares about the success of my business but the happiness and fulfillment it brings me.”

Window Genie of Princeton officially opens for business on Monday March 10th. McKenna is excited, saying, “I can’t wait to get back to work and be able to provide people with things they really need and help improve the homes in my area. I’m providing jobs to people in my community and helping them build skills they can use in the future. I’m a planner and organizer so I feel prepared to take on the spring cleaning season and also being very customer oriented I’m excited to just get out there and start building relationships based on professionalism and quality. Two years ago I was unhappy and felt stuck in the corporate world. Being laid off was a blessing that led me to Window Genie. I have my life back.”

"This is a great territory," Bradley said. "It made sense from a business standpoint to bring this service to this area."
Glass Guru opens Macedonia franchise to restore, replace windows (Macedonia) - The Glass Guru, a California-based window restoration and replacement business, opened a new local franchise in Macedonia on Feb. 11. Franchise owner Chad Bradley said the company, founded in 2003, is a unique twist to window replacement companies because it also offers restoration services. "People have been dealing with foggy windows or condensation in windows for years," he said. "For years, the only thing to do is replace that glass. What makes us a little different is that we can restore that window at about half the cost without ever removing the glass."

Bradley said seals on windows typically fail within 15 years, and once the seal breaks, condensation or moisture forms between the window panes. To restore the glass, workers drill holes in the glass and put rinsing, cleaning and drying agents into the window to get the moisture out. They put patented micro-vents in the window to finish the process.

"The one thing I truly like about the business is that its green. We're not taking glass and just throwing it away into dumpsters and landfills, we're restoring it," he said. "The other thing is its really a cost saving thing for the customer. Sometimes they could have a beautiful window frame and they just have a bad piece of glass."

Bradley said it costs about half as much to restore a window versus replacing it, adding his firm can replace windows that cannot be restored. The business also provides free home window inspections and scratch and stain removal. The company has 80 locations in the country, with the Macedonia location serving much of northeast Ohio including Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, Mayfield, Aurora, Streetsboro, Hudson, Seven Hills and Independence. "This is a great territory," Bradley said. "It made sense from a business standpoint to bring this service to this area."
Men in kilts want to clean your windows - Some guys in kilts want to help with the household chores—and they do windows. Yes, such a business is being built, and it hopes its kilt-clad lads will “stick out”—though of course not literally. "That's what the premise of the kilt is,” Men In Kilts founder Nicholas Brand told CNBC. “It's to have fun with it, but also to stick out. If somebody stops and takes a picture with us, they won't forget about us."

Brand and CEO Tressa Woods (she actually wears the pants in the company) believe the kilt is their secret weapon and hope to build an empire on it. CNBC gave them just 60 seconds to prove their case. Is the kilt a cheesy gimmick or the ticket to a booming enterprise? Watch the video and see how the Power Pitch panel votes and decide for yourself.

The Men In Kilts business plan is pretty simple: The company offers to do household chores such as window and pressure washing, and gives clients something to gawk at, namely guys in skirts. “We've had screaming—you know, we get a lot of pictures taken whether we're on a job site,” Brand said. “Sometimes you just get out of your truck and you open that door and people can't believe you’re in that kilt.”

The franchise operation serves residential and commercial clients, and the kilt cleaners will do buildings of up to four stories. And Men in Kilts is tackling an industry that’s far from washed out. According to the International Window Cleaning Association window washing is a $7 billion industry. "Our commercial business is 50 percent of our total revenue," Woods said. "I don't think the kilt appeals to the commercial market in the same way it does residentially, but the service is really how we compete."

Woods has experience with franchise businesses. Before joining Men In Kilts in 2010, she was vice president of operations at 1-800-Got-Junk. She told CNBC she was instrumental in growing the rubbish removal company from 40 franchises to 350 in three countries. Since her arrival, Woods said, the company has focused on operations and preparing for growth. "Right now we have nine franchises," Woods said. "We should be at about 15 by the end of this year, and we're hoping to sell about 20 to 30 next year. … From there, the sky's the limit." The company is on target to achieve sales of $5.2 million this year, she added.

The Power Pitch panel included CNBC media and entertainment reporter Julia Boorstin, who’s also a homeowner who hates washing windows. She raised concerns about the kilts. "When you Google window washing, you don't necessarily think that you're going to be searching for someone wearing a kilt," Boorstin said. Brand countered that with the importance of differentiating your business from the competition. “If I started this company 11 years ago and named it Nick's Window Cleaning or AAA Window Cleaning or Bubbly Clean Window Cleaning, we wouldn't be talking today," he said. Power Pitch panelist and real estate entrepreneur Don Peebles had reservations about how Men In Kilts would attract male workers willing to adhere to the unusual dress code.

"It's sort of a self-screening process,” Woods said. “Nobody applies for the job unless they have personality and confidence to wear the kilt." While Power Pitch host Mandy Drury wondered if Men in Kilts hires women (Wo-Men in Kilts?). "We've had some of our best employees actually be women, yeah, so absolutely no rejection of women at all," Brand said. Woods and Brand envision their company in every major North American metropolitan area by 2017. But their goal doesn't end with window washers in traditional Scottish garb. "The nature of the brand lends itself to different franchise services ... like carpet-cleaning, painting and lawn service—whatever is really in demand," said Woods.

XENIA — Remember the old joke about the housekeeper who always says “I don’t do windows…” You don’t have to worry about that when you contact one of the newest businesses in Xenia. “We’re dependable and reliable,” Shane Hartley, owner of the local Fish Window Cleaning location, said. “And, we’re year round.” Hartley, a former police officer in Athens, Ohio, and an US Army vet with 27 years under his belt, said that when he returned from Afghanistan in 2012, he began looking for a business he could own and operate. “I was looking for a different franchise,” he added. “I worked through FranChoice and they matched me up with three potential franchises. “Fish looked to be the best of the three because of three things: the simplicity of its system, the low overhead, and a very needed service.” “The franchises are independently owned and operated,” Hartley said. “We’re licensed, bonded and fully insured. We’re glad to give free estimates for both commercial and residential customers.”

Along with the window cleaning, the Roseville, Ohio native said Fish also cleans gutters and performs light power-washing on soffits and siding. “And, really, we can clean anything glass,” Hartley continued. “We’ve done chandeliers, not to mention other light fixtures.” To prepare for the new business, Hartley completed multiple weeks of training in the Xenia area and at Fish Window Cleaning headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. He is currently hiring and accepting applications. “I am committed to providing quality service and 100 percent satisfaction that FISH customers have come to expect,” said Hartley. “I look forward to meeting my residential and commercial neighbors and becoming the top, reliable provider for window cleaning needs. “So far, I’ve found everyone extremely friendly and I’ve met some great people,” he continued. “I have not had a single business turn me away and not let me write a free estimate.” Hartley is providing his services for commercial and residential customers in East Dayton, Beavercreek, Fairborn, Kettering and Xenia. “My region is pretty much from I-75 east, to Fairborn in the north and south almost to where I-75 and I-675 come together,” he said. Hartley said he currently has a staff of two and is looking to expand. “I am hiring,” he said. “I’ve posted all over. I need two additional employees for going on runs, and I also need a salesperson.”

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