Make Mom Smile…Clean Her Windows!

Want something special for Mom this year?  Try cleaning her windows, she will love it!

Mothers Love Clean Windows 

A little while back I shared some fundamental elements about Fish Window Cleaning in my article, “Living Our Company’s Core Values

Mike, Linda and Jill Myers, Regional Development Director, American Red Cross

Mike & Linda Merrick w/ Jill Myers, Reg. Development Director, American Red Cross

The Company’s first core value is “Honor God and Family”.  This value is easy to say, but how do you actually do it?

Well, it hit me the other day when I thought about the unwritten rule we have at Fish Window Cleaning:

Your parent’s windows will always be clean.  For Free!

My wife Cynthia and I learned about this national, unwritten rule when we visited Fish Headquarters in St. Louis, prior to purchasing our franchise.

During our “discovery day“, we learned that Mike Merrick, our company’s Founder and CEO, still cleans his 89 year-old mother’s windows.  Mike and his brother Dave Merrick (also a Fish Franchisee) grab their ladders, buckets and squeegees and make mom’s windows sparkle regularly.

Mike is a humble man but he sure was proud when he shared this aspect of his life with us.

Everyone loves clean windows, but a child giving their time to serve their parent is a prime example of “Honoring Your Family.”

Especially when the child has grey hair too.

We Clean Our Moms’ Windows

Mothers love their home and they love spending time with their children.

And the thought of our CEO cleaning his Mom’s windows is quite inspiring.

So, each year just before Mother’s Day, I clean my mom’s windows and spend the rest of the afternoon chatting with her.

When I finish, she says the same thing each time, “John, it’s such a treat to have you clean my windows.  I love that you take the time to clean them, and they sparkle for many weeks after you are done.  I’m not sure which I like the most: The time doing them or the lasting sparkle!”

She says it with such sincerity, I almost believe that she’s truly perplexed.  Wink. Wink.

The Ladies of Fish Window Cleaning

Cynthia, Sonya and Tina in the Fish Window Cleaning Office

Our Employees Now Clean Their Mom’s Windows Too

Our employees are encouraged to clean their mom’s windows just like Mike Merrick.

The new cleaners usually balk until they realize they can save money while showing off in front of the easiest customer they have:  Mom!

Recently, even our office manager cleaned her mother’s windows.  She did a great job, her mom was very pleased and I think she now has a better appreciation for the cleaners.

Our employees now get the message… Moms love clean windows.

As Mother’s Day approaches, do you want to get her something different than chocolate and flowers?

This year, try cleaning your mom’s windows, she’ll love it!

It may take a couple of hours and require some hard work, but I guarantee your mom will cherish every moment of it, just like our moms do.

Cleaning Your Mom’s Windows

There are two things to remember about giving the gift of clean windows:

  1. The time you spend is almost as important as the windows being clean.
  2. You must be safe or please stop reading this article and buy your mom some flowers like everyone else.

Because I own and operate a window cleaning company, I have the equipment and training to efficiently, and properly clean my mother’s windows.

What Equipment will I need!

Bucket, Mop, Towels, Squeegee and Dish Washing Soap (maybe a stepladder)

I realize this is not the case for everyone.

So, here are 4 ways you can clean your mom’s windows too:

  1. Use Mom’s Equipment: Your mom’s windows have been cleaned at some point, ask her if she has equipment.  If so, set a time, go over there and get to it!
  2. Buy Mom a Mop & Squeegee: If your mom doesn’t have window cleaning equipment, stop by a hardware store, buy supplies and give them to her.
    Here’s the important part: With this option, it’s very important to include a card that says, “I’m giving you this equipment so I can clean your windows for you.”  If you just give the equipment, you are better off just getting her nothing!
  3. Bring Your Own Equipment: If you have your own equipment, schedule a time, go over there and get to it (see option #1)
  4. Hire a Professional Window Cleaner:  Sometimes hiring a professional is the best option.  Spend the time talking with mom and pay the bill – her sincere smile and thanks will be the same as the other options.

Whichever way you choose, have fun and do your best – your mom will love it!

Have you ever cleaned your mother’s windows?  Please share your experience, we’d love to hear it.

Just remember: If you clean your mother’s windows, please be safe!

She wants them done again next year too! 

Happy Mother’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.

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

Thank You * Sincerity = Great Day!

With the Holidays upon us, remember that 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.

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.