Work for Someone Else? Work for Yourself?

Finding Your Own Path

Understanding yourself and the life choices you’ve made enables you to clearly see and choose the path that lies ahead.

Owning a business is not for everyone.

We each need to find our own path in our business and personal lives.  I’m going to stay away from the “personal life” side, except where it intersects with how you function in your “business life”.

Work for Company? Work For Yourself?

Work for Company? Work For Yourself?

The way I see it, in business there are two distinct paths, and the one you choose is personal.

Let’s start with the fact that we are all our own, personal company – a “Company of One.”  As individuals, we all have skills and time, and we choose where to use them.

Being a homemaker, getting a job, starting a business – these are all personal choices we make based upon our free will and circumstances.

You may combine your resources with a spouse, friends and family, but ultimately you choose your own path.  You make the decisions.

The “Company of One” is you.

When you choose to accept money for your time, the paths are:

Path #1:  Work for Someone Else: Perform tasks, get paid. Lower Risk, Measured Rewards

Path #2:  Work for Yourself: Perform tasks, earn money.  Higher Risk, Variable Rewards

The choice your “Company of One” makes is how much risk you are willing to assume. It’s a very personal decision and there’s only one right choice.

Yours.

I’m continually asked, “Why did you purchase a Window Cleaning Franchise when you could have built one on your own?”

The answer:  Because it is the right choice for me.

Becoming An Entrepreneur 

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life.

In fact, I come from a family of entrepreneurs though they’ve never really called themselves such.

My mom opened a cake decorating store, my sister started her own architectural firm and my Dad joined his fellow PHD graduates and started a prominent scientific research firm.

I even married an entrepreneur.  My wife Cynthia is a musician and actress and it’s called show “business” for a reason.  You are your own company and definitely your own boss.

Though as a child I sold lemonade and mowed lawns, I became a entrepreneur during my first “real” job in my senior year at college.

The Secret Key to Success

Working for a small computer consulting firm, the owner told me the following story that changed my life forever.

What is Success?

What is Success?

An enterprising young man is working for a large corporation and he really wants to know what success is and how to achieve it.

He works late every day and one day around 7pm he sees the company’s Founder/CEO walking down the hall.  With some nerve and a good amount of naivete, he approaches this successful man and says, “good evening, sir.  My name Mark and I’ve been working for this company for two years.  I admire you and I would really like to know what success looks like, and how I can achieve it.”

The CEO looks at his watch, sees they are the only two still in the office, and realizes this kid is giving his all to this company.

“OK”, the CEO says.  “Meet me tomorrow evening at 7pm, on this building’s helicopter pad.”

The next day, Mark wears his best suit, puts in a full day and at 6:50pm walks onto the roof.  At 7pm sharp, the CEO arrives, they board the helicopter and take off.

The CEO pulls out the Wall Street Journal while Mark looks out and reads the CEO’s name on the building.  He looks at the city below and just smiles.  Yes, this is success.

They land 20 minutes later in a grassy area and get out of the helicopter.

Mark is very excited and the CEO begins to speak.  “Mark, imagine up on that hill a large ranch-style home with swimming pools, tennis courts and horse stables.  In this area, there’s a gated community and we are standing on the private golf course.”

Marks is awed and very impressed.  “Yes, yes.  These are all examples that demonstrate a successful life.  How does one achieve these?”

The CEO answers.

How do you define Success?

How do you define Success?

“Work hard every day, listen to your manager and exceed at your assignments.  Focus on moving up in the company and take on more responsibility.”

“Yes, Yes.”  Mark is soaking in every morsel of this wisdom.

“Motivate and inspire your fellow workers to also work hard and contribute to the company.”

“OK, I can do this!” Mark says with a smile.

“Find ways to innovate and grow this company and make it great.”

Mark nods and waits with baited breath, listening for the secret key to success…

The CEO points to the imaginary house, pools and golf course and concludes:

“Give everything you have to this company, and one day… all of this will be mine.

I was changed. 

The CEO (and my boss who told me this story) had clearly demonstrated his own Risk vs. Reward relationship.  He started and owned a business and pointed to his Path – Path #2: Work For Yourself.  

There are many secret keys to success, just as there are many paths to success.  This one resonated with me.

Path #2 had worked for them and it could work for me too.

I worked with this computer consulting firm until graduation then joined the working world with a new focus – Being an Entrepreneur.

Do you have a similar story that changed your life?  Please share in the comments below.

Next week I’ll answer why my wife and I chose a franchise and share with you our thought process.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend! 

_______________________

About the Author

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran (@FishSouthBay) is an entrepreneur and former marketing and product development executive who has grown his successful Fish Window Cleaning franchise in the Los Angeles – South Bay area to become a leading professional in window cleaning services for business owners and home owners.

With his popular blog A Clear View Through Clean Windows, John shares his window cleaning expertise by addressing topics and answering questions that customers continually ask him during his day.  He also uses window cleaning pictures, inspirations and stories about his business to demonstrate the fundamentals for building a strong, healthy, thriving business.

John lives & works with his wife Cynthia in Redondo Beach, CA (she runs the business too!)

If you have a question or would like window cleaning services click Here or Call 310-973-3474 for a Free, on-site written estimate.

Tasha - Rancho Palos Verdes

Cats Love Clean Windows!

Our controversial findings that our furry feline friends love clean windows!

Jake and Friends - Los Angeles

Jake and Friends – Los Angeles

Wow, a number of you have requested a re-post of our in-depth research.  

What?  There aren’t enough controversial topics to discuss?   

Well, I’m all about giving the public what they want.

So here goes…

Through exhaustive research, we have found that Cats Love Clean Windows!

The “Name That Pet” Game 

John & Billy The Cat - Manhattan Beach

John meets Billy The Cat – Manhattan Beach

One of the funnest parts of owning a window cleaning business is meeting many wonderful people each day, and also their pets.

As my wife Cynthia says, “the windows don’t come to us” so we spend every afternoon driving into neighborhoods, meeting customers and writing residential window cleaning estimates.

While doing estimates, we are usually greeted by a dog or cat and we always ask to be introduced.

That’s when the fun starts.

I get to play a quick, personal game of “Name That Pet

My wife and I have been together for 10 years, and very early on we developed a little game called “Name That Pet“.

Mr. Peabody - Torrance

Mr. Peabody – Torrance

It’s very simple, here’s how to play:

  1. Observe - The next time you see a pet and their person, take a moment to watch the pet and get a sense of their personality.   Male of  Female? How do they carry themselves and interact with their person and the environment?  What is their personality?
  2. Associate – Now that you’ve got an idea about the pet, associate a name.  If the dog is very confident, you might choose “Duke”, “Chief” or “Champ”.  If the cat is spunky, you might think “Charlie”, “Tommy” or “Miss Binky”.  (It’s much tougher than you think.)
  3. Inquire – Take a moment to talk with the owner, inquire about the pet’s name, and get introduced.   People love talking about their pets and we’ve heard some great stories.  Also, quite often when playing in public, I’ll remember the pet’s name but I’ve forgotten the owner’s.  Funny how it works.

Buddy - Hermosa Beach

Buddy – Hermosa Beach

Were you correct?  Were you even close?

I’ve been playing the “Name That Pet” game for 10 years, and I have yet to get one correct though I’ve been close on two occasions.

Sometimes I let the owner know the name I picked, but most of the time I just smile and the owner (and the pet) have no idea I was playing my game.

The best part is coming home and sharing my “game” and pictures with Cynthia during happy hour. (She hasn’t guessed one yet, either!)

So, the next time you are out, try playing the “Name That Pet” game.

If you guess the name… well, that’s just beginner’s luck!  If you don’t, at least you met someone new and made a new furry friend.

Not a bad way to “stop and smell the roses.”  

We Meet A Lot of Cats

Bosley - Redondo Beach

Bosley is very demanding – Redondo Beach

There’s truth to the saying, “Dogs have owners, Cats have staff“.

Through our window cleaning business, I probably meet about 15 – 20 dogs & cats per week, or well over 750 fur pals per year.

I meet more dogs than cats, but I attribute this to greeting styles and general personalities.  Let’s just say I “see” a lot more cats than I get to meet.

With dogs, the tail wags and they are glad to meet me.  They say, “he smells good, my owners are happy and he just might have something to throw…yippee!”

On the other hand, with most cats I get a “colder” reception and I can almost hear them say, “great, the window guy is here to clean MY window.  Let’s get to it man!”

Pet Pictures On FB = New Business!

Mr. Kitty - Manhattan Beach

Facebook Star: Mr. Kitty – Manhattan Beach

Check us out on FacebookHowever we are greeted by the dog or cat, once we are introduced we love to take pet pictures and post them on our company’s Facebook Page.

Many of our customers check them out online and we’ve even had family members from Minnesota check out “Mr. Kitty” on our Facebook page, then call their local Fish Office to schedule a window cleaning.

I guess Social Media works!

Please take a moment to “Like” our Facebook page and post your pet’s photo too – we’d love to meet them.  

Our Findings: Cats Love Clean Windows

This Cat Wants Clean Windows

This Cat Wants Clean Windows

Here’s what our extensive research shows and the conclusion we’ve drawn:

Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen many cats in windows, but only one dog in one.

Cats are generally pretty clean and like to stay that way.

Therefore, I believe that cats like to sit in clean windows more than dirty windows.

Hence, Cats love clean windows.

Tough Guy Raja Loves Clean Windows

Tough Guy Raja Loves Clean Windows

What are your thoughts on this controversial finding? Please leave a comment.

Anyway, I thought I would share some of the cat pictures we’ve taken over the last couple of months.

Meeting these pets makes us smile and brightens our day.  Hopefully these pictures brighten yours too.

Thanks for reading and have a great week! 

_______________________

About the Author

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran (@FishSouthBay) is an entrepreneur and former marketing and product development executive who has grown his successful Fish Window Cleaning franchise in the Los Angeles – South Bay area to become a leading professional in window cleaning services for business owners and home owners.

With his popular blog A Clear View Through Clean Windows, John shares his window cleaning expertise by addressing topics and answering questions that customers continually ask him during his day.  He also uses window cleaning pictures, inspirations and stories about his business to demonstrate the fundamentals for building a strong, healthy, thriving business.

John lives & works with his wife Cynthia in Redondo Beach, CA (she runs the business too!)

If you have a question or would like window cleaning services click Here or Call 310-973-3474 for a Free, on-site written estimate.

The Power of Love

The Reason I Bought A Franchise…Love

A behind the scenes look at why purchasing and running a local franchise is the right decision for me.

John, you say the reason you purchased and run a local franchise is “Love?”

That sounds pretty sappy… What’s up with that?

Owning a Business is Not For Everyone.

Work for Someone Else? Work for Yourself?

Which Path is right for you?

Before getting to the answer, you might want to read last week’s post entitled, “Finding Your Own Path (April 2012)”.  It relates a story that changed my world view and set me on my career path as an Entrepreneur.

Here’s the Cliffs Notes version:

  1. We make our own choices.
  2. There are two fundamental career choices:
    Path #1 – Work For Someone Else.
    Path #2 – Work for Yourself.
  3. My career choice: Path #2.
  4. I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life.
  5. Underlying Message:  A career choice is a personal choice too.

Are we all caught up now?  Great.

I do believe business and personal decisions are closely related.

When making a career choice, it’s important to evaluate options from both perspectives (business and personal), and weigh the common factors.

Here are 5 common factors that I use to evaluate options: Time, Money, Viability, Skills, Lifestyle.  There are plenty others, these will do for now.

For my latest career decision in 2007, another significant factor presented itself:  My New Wife Cynthia.

So why did I purchase a franchise instead of just starting and running a business like I’ve done before?

The answer:  Love.

I Love Owning My Own Business  

Bah Humbug, 2007 was a tough Christmas

Bah Humbug, 2007 was a tough Christmas

I married Cynthia in 2005 and in early 2006 I was hired as a VP of Product Development for UnitedHealthCare (UHC).

I was responsible for building a new national department to serve UHC’s millions of customers.  It was a large, challenging position.  I traveled frequently and it was an exhausting but extremely gratifying time for an entrepreneur like me.

A dream job.

On Christmas Eve, 2007 UHC laid me off after I’d spent the previous 2 months laying off my entire new department.  I knew it was coming, the economy was crumbling and UHC was entering “Survival Mode”.  Survival Mode = Sole focus on core services, don’t invest in anything new.

Bad economy, I’m out of a job.

My career choices:  Path #1: Find another Product Development Executive Position or Path #2: Start my own business.

What is my next career choice?

What is my next career choice?

Here’s the thought process evaluating my 2007 career choice.

Path #1: Work for Someone Else

  • Time: It takes a while to find another executive position, will savings last?
  • Money:  Executive pay is great, in this economy are companies hiring executives?
  • Viability: If UHC entered survival mode, other companies are too (nothing new built for a while).
  • Skills: I can run operations but my resume says I build new things. Tough to get hired.
  • Lifestyle: Executive positions require travel and maybe relocation.

Path #2: Work for Myself

  • Time: Starting and growing a new business takes time. Can I grow fast enough?
  • Money: I have some money and I’m blessed to be able to borrow more if needed.
  • Viability: Most new businesses struggle to make it, what could increase my chances?
  • Skills: I’m confident I can build a solid company, it’s what I’ve done and can do again.
  • Lifestyle: Building a local company means more time at home with Cynthia and family.

In light of the failing economy, the conservative, albeit still risky choice for me was to take Path #2: Work for Myself.

How to I reduce the risks involved with starting a business? Consider purchasing a franchise.

IFA - International Franchise AssociationUsing the same common factors, here’s how a franchise could reduce my risks:

So, a bit more up-front costs and ongoing royalties but I’m using a proven system with national support and I have a much better chance of surviving.

From a pure business perspective, my choice is clear:  Path #2: Work for Myself and Purchase a Franchise.

(Check out: “Living Our Company’s Core Values (Feb 2012)” to see some reasons why I chose Fish Window Cleaning)

I Love My Wife And Family  

In 2005, just before I married Cynthia, my Dad passed away from bladder cancer.

Quite a lot happened between then and Christmas 2007 – A wedding, helping my mom through the grieving process, starting and ending an executive dream job, the economy starting to tank and now I’m facing my first career decision as a married guy.

The question of finding another executive position and/or starting a business loomed.  And now I have a wife to consider too.

What would Elvis Do?

What would Elvis Do?

To be honest, before marriage, I probably would have trusted my skills (again) and created a business from scratch.

As I considered my 2007 career choice, I looked to my Mom’s & Dad’s great life together (married 45+ years) and how Dad’s company (one he helped build from scratch in the early 70’s) provided financial stability for them, even after his passing.

Cynthia and I met later in life and I haven’t spent 30+ years building a company.

I love my wife and I want to take care of her.

What would happen if I passed away?

  • If I take another executive position – there’s my life insurance, but that will only help Cynthia for a couple of years.  Then what?
  • If I build a company from scratch, even if she helped build it, could she take over if I’m not there?  Possibly, but it depends on the business.

These options are not what I wanted for her and us.

If we purchase a franchise and run it together, and then I’m not there, she will still have the franchise systems, support, corporate offices and fellow franchisees to help her.

The choice is clear.   We bought a franchise because we love each other and want to take care of each other.

Here’s what a franchise provides Cynthia if I’m not in the picture:

  • Time: She just steps in and runs the business, all systems are already in place.
  • Money:  The money continues and grows as the business grows.
  • Viability: Cynthia has our employees, the franchise system, HQ and fellow franchisees to help her.
  • Skills: She’s already running the business with me and understands how to be successful.
  • Lifestyle: Though different without me, she’ll have financial security to keep going.

Path #2: Walking and Working Together

I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon, but I can tell you I do sleep better knowing that our choice, Path #2 – Work for Ourselves and Purchase a Franchise, will take care of both of us just fine.

So when a competitor or colleague asks, “why the heck did you buy a franchise when you could have just started a company?”

I smile, look down at my wedding ring and answer…

I bought a franchise because of Love.

So, am I a sap?  Just a guy who loves and cares for his wife?  What do you think about my thought process and decision?

Please leave a comment, I’d really like to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading and Have a great weekend! 

_______________________

About the Author

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran (@FishSouthBay) is an entrepreneur and former marketing and product development executive who has grown his successful Fish Window Cleaning franchise in the Los Angeles – South Bay area to become a leading professional in window cleaning services for business owners and home owners.

With his popular blog A Clear View Through Clean Windows, John shares his window cleaning expertise by addressing topics and answering questions that customers continually ask him during his day.  He also uses window cleaning pictures, inspirations and stories about his business to demonstrate the fundamentals for building a strong, healthy, thriving business.

John lives & works with his wife Cynthia in Redondo Beach, CA (she runs the business too!)

If you have a question or would like window cleaning services click Here or Call 310-973-3474 for a Free, on-site written estimate.

Silvester (left) and the Cleaners Celebrate with the Money Bell

Thank You * Sincerity = Great Day!

A simple, sincere thanks can make someone’s day…and yours too!

Doing the Fish Dance

It’s 6:45am in the Fish Office and the cleaners are straggling in.  At 7am sharp, they fill up their buckets, file yesterday’s work orders, grab a cup of coffee and pick up today’s jobs.  They check their equipment and begin to ready themselves for the workday ahead.

It’s peaceful and quiet; the caffeine starts its magic.

Just then, a lone cleaner approaches my desk, leans over and DING! DONG! a loud nautical bell rings out and shakes everyone in the room.  The groans are barely audible. The cleaners turn and there’s Silvester with a cheesy smile on his face…

He rang the money bell.

Interpretive Fish Dance.  It's fun, give it a try!

Interpretive Fish Dance. It's fun, give it a try!

Slowly, everyone rises, gives each other another “is this happening again?” look and then…

The Fish Dance begins.

For 30 seconds we laugh, share an interpretive Fish Dance and check out each other’s moves.  Yes, it’s goofy and everyone does their best to participate but still look cool.  It’s fun, and wakes everyone up.

As a team, we are celebrating a small victory – a customer said “thank you” in the form of a tip – and the Fish Dance focuses everyone’s attention on the ringer, so they can tell us about their excellent service.

Simply put, that customer’s “thank you” (tip), and the Fish Dance, starts our day off great.

Dear Customer: Thank you for acknowledging a job well done!

Good For Them, Good For You

Two-way streets are everywhere!This post is not a “Miss Manners” column on the proper way of saying “thank you”.

I just believe we all need a gentle reminder that conveying a sincere “thank you” brings a positive impact on your immediate world, and spreads outwards.  Starting with you.

Doing the Fish Dance and seeing our cleaners celebrate got me thinking about the importance of saying “thank you” to others, including our customers.

Do our sincere words of thanks make someone else’s day?

Yes. Our customers have told us that our small “Thank you’s” make their day, albeit in a small way.

Any time you say “thank you” it has a positive effect.  You made that person feel appreciated and they feel good.

When you say “thank you”, how does it make you feel?  I know it makes me feel good and I’ll bet it makes you feel good too.

Giving thanks is a two-way street.

The “Great Day” Equation 

Ask people about the different types of “thank yous” and you quickly find a significant variable and common thread – sincerity.

The more sincere your “thank you”, the more positive impact you have, the better chance you have for making someone’s day.

Pretty straight forward, right?

Well, maybe for those Right-Brain (creative, empathetic, emotion-based) types, but what about those Left-Brain (structured, logical, fact-based) folks like my Dad?

Was Albert Einstein Left-Brain or Right Brain? Both?

Was Einstein Left-Brain or Right Brain? Both?

Let’s use transitive property logic to explain:

IF: 

(MSD = PI)   Make Someone’s Day = Positive Impact

AND:

(PI = TY * S)  Positive Impact = “Thank You” * Sincerity

THEN:

(MSD = TY * S)  Make Someone’s Day = “Thank You” * Sincerity

I call this the “Great Day” equation.

And the cool part is that as you increase your (S) Sincerity you can really make someone’s day great!!!

OK, you all with me?

To see the “Great Day” equation in action, let’s go back to our cleaners, the tip and the Fish Dance.

For the guys, the amount of money reflects the customer’s sincerity (Sorry, ($M = S) $Money = Sincerity), so the greater the money, the more they feel appreciated, the more the guys celebrate with the Fish Dance.

We Fish Dance every week, and live our version of the “Great Day” equation:  (MSD = TY * $M).

Whew, so much logic this early in the morning makes my head spin… but hopefully you understand the point.

The more sincere thanks you give, the more impact you make.

Giving Thanks To Customers

As a small business owner, we value our customer relationships and do our best to say “Thank You” and show our appreciation.  Without loyal, regular customers we don’t have a business.

Fish Thank You Card

Want one? Become Our Customer!

Does sending a “Thank You” card make my customer’s day?

I won’t go that far, but it does brighten their day a bit.  We also stand out compared to our competition and it does let them know we appreciate their business. Both good things.

Just remember: A little thanks can go a long way.

Here’s some ways we thank our customers:

  • Hand Written Thank You Cards - We send thank you cards to new customers, signed “the Fish Team”.  Greater impact if we all sign it?  Yes, but day-to-day it’s tough to do.
  • Seasonal Cards & Specials – Once or twice a year, we send hand-written and signed cards, and offer $$$ off on their next regular cleaning.  Who doesn’t appreciate a deal?
  • Gifts for Special Customers and Vendors – Around the holidays we order dozens of bundt cakes from one of our customers and deliver them – they are a big hit!
  • We Use our Customer’s Services – We always try using our customers’ restaurants and stores – They use us, we use them!  (Two-way street again)
  • We Drop By and Say “Thank You” – We visit customers and ask how we are doing.  Any issues, I clear them up immediately.  When leaving I offer a simple, “Thank you for being our customer”.

Giving sincere thanks to our customers and vendors is good business, but it also makes us feel good too.

Do you have other ways to say “thank you” to customers?  

Please share by leaving a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

10 More Ways to Say Thank You

I run my window cleaning business, but I’m also a customer too.  Realizing how good receiving a “Thank You” feels, I believe it’s very important to share my thanks with those companies that serve me too.

Also, following my “Great Day” Equation (MSD = TY * S), the more effort and sincerity I use, the better chance I have to make that business’ day too!  Sweet!

“Thank Yous” take many forms.

"Job Well Done" Note from our Customer

"Job Well Done" note from a satisfied customer

With the rise of Social Media Marketing it’s also now possible to greatly impact a company’s image just by sharing your “Thank You” with the world.

Here are 10 more ways to say “Thank You”.

Do you have others? please leave a comment and share!

  1. Recommend their services to a neighbor or friend
  2. Send a “Job Well Done” note or email
  3. “Like” the company on Facebook
  4. Call the company and share your experience with them
  5. Write a testimonial for the company’s website
  6. Write a company review on sites like Yelp! and Angie’s List
  7. Use Twitter to Tweet something positive about their services
  8. Let the company film a quick video about your experience
  9. Offer yourself as a reference and help them get new customers
  10. Leave a comment on their Blog Site!

Have a great weekend and thank you for reading!

Now go out there and MSD! (Make Someone’s Day!)

_______________________

About the Author

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran & Cynthia Julian

John Gran (@FishSouthBay) is an entrepreneur and former marketing and product development executive who has grown his successful Fish Window Cleaning franchise in the Los Angeles – South Bay area to become a leading professional in window cleaning services for business owners and home owners.

With his popular blog A Clear View Through Clean Windows, John shares his window cleaning expertise by addressing topics and answering questions that customers continually ask him during his day.  He also uses window cleaning pictures, inspirations and stories about his business to demonstrate the fundamentals for building a strong, healthy, thriving business.

John lives & works with his wife Cynthia in Redondo Beach, CA (she runs the business too!)

If you have a question or would like window cleaning services click Here or Call 310-973-3474 for a Free, on-site written estimate.

Mike and Linda receive the Franchise Business Review Top 50 award

Attitude & Aptitude Earn Fish #14 Spot in Top 50 Franchise Award

Fish Window Cleaning is ranked #14 in the Franchise Business Review’s Top 50

Franchise Business Review Top 50 Award

Franchise Business ReviewInternational Franchise Association

Each year, Franchise Business Review (FBR) surveys thousands of franchise owners.  Their goal is to determine how satisfied the franchisees are with their Franchise and then rank and present their findings in their annual Franchisee Satisfaction Awards – known as the  Franchise Business Review Top 50 Awards.

Fish Window Cleaning at IFA Convention

Also in Feb, the Fish Team attended the IWCA Convention in New Orleans, LA

The Top 50 awards are then presented at the annual International Franchise Association (IFA) convention.

This year’s 52nd annual IFA Convention was held February 11 – 14  at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

The convention is attended by hundreds of Franchisers from all over the county.  There is a full agenda of seminars, round tables, exhibitions and networking events and the week culminates at the prestigious awards presentation held towards the end of the convention.

During this year’s Awards Presentation, Fish Window Cleaning was awarded the #14 Ranking in the Franchise Business Reviews Top 50 – Large Class Division. This represents a 16 spot jump from last year.

Congratulations Fish Window Cleaning!

What makes a good Franchisee?

In an interview, Mike Merrick was asked: “What are you looking for in a franchisee?”

Mike Merrick, CEO

Mike Merrick, CEO

I can probably boil it down to two words: Attitude and Aptitude.

You need the right “attitude”, every single day.  It’s the “I will succeed” attitude that drives every successful business owner of every business – not just the window cleaning business.  By “aptitude” I mean you need to have some inherent skills or the ability to learn them.

  1. Goal oriented person. Practically, we want to find franchisees who have a higher comfort level. Someone who easily reaches their comfort level will grow the business until they’ve got a decent income – it’s not hard – and then they’ll level off. We want to find franchisees willing to take the business to the next level. The opportunity is waiting.
  2. Truly service centered. This has been a part of my philosophy from the beginning. It is not lip service to me. It is based in my values from the start of the day to the end. I insist the customer is king. If a customer isn’t pleased, we ask “what will it take to make you happy?”
  3. Sales drive. Once the goal is set and the commitment to service is there, this is a business driven by a determination to hit the street and sell. If you do, you will shine big. The work is there. The money is there. If you don’t regularly sell, you will flop. There is no substitute.
  4. Management Skills.  The ability to manage employees. If you can’t handle employees, you shouldn’t do this business.
  5. Personality. The customer buys your personality while paying for your service. The clean windows consistently come second to the window cleaner. If you aren’t seen as a likeable person, this opportunity may not be for you.
  6. Organized. Our system teaches every aspect of doing this business well. It just needs to be followed. This business can be a disaster to the person lacking organization, intent on doing their own thing.

Mike concluded with a final thought:  “When someone buys a Fish Window Cleaning franchise, one of the most valuable tools they get is over 20 years of my mistakes. If you’re buying our experience, make sure you use it.”

Building a World Class Franchise

Mike Merrick had lost his job as a bank manager when the window washer for the branch said he was interested in selling his business. Merrick looked at the company’s books and was impressed with what he saw–low overhead and virtually no inventory. In 1978, Merrick and his wife, Linda, purchased the company, renamed it, and Fish Window Cleaning was born.

Fish Window Cleaning

The Largest and Most Respected Window Cleaning Company in America

Based on growing demand and his success, he realized there was a need for this service in other markets. Mike used his 20 years of experience to create the Fish Window Cleaning franchise system.

In 1998, the first FISH franchise location was opened in Tampa, FL. Since then, Fish Window Cleaning has grown to more than 220 franchise territories in 40 states. Thirty years later, the company still maintains the traditional Mission Statement and a Core set of Values it was founded on.

Although Fish is now the world’s largest window cleaning company, we will always treat every customer as though they are our only customer.

Why Purchase a Fish Window Cleaning Franchise?

  • In Business Since 1978
  • High Frequency Repeat Business
  • Plan-able Grow
  • Low Start-up Cost
  • High Profit Margin
  • Growing Demand in the Residential & Commercial needs
  • Partnerships with Maid Services, Janitorial Companies, and Contractors & Builders
  • No High Rise!
  • Monday – Friday, daytime hours
  • Proprietary Software – Profitable Routing & Scheduling
  • Unparalleled Franchise Support
  • We teach you to develop a growing business.

Visit our Corporate website at  www.FishWindowCleaning.com for details on purchasing a Fish Window Cleaning Franchise 

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 Fish Window Cleaning is a National Franchise with 220+ franchisees located throughout the United States.  FWC corporate headquarters are located in St. Louis, MO.

John Gran and Cynthia Julian own and operate the franchise located in the Los Angeles – South Bay, providing residential and commercial window cleaning, gutter cleaning, chandelier cleaning, pressure washing, and more.

Click Here or Call 310-973-3474 for a Free, on-site written estimate.

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