Who Makes a Good Window Genie Franchise Owner?
Franchisees should have entrepreneurial spirit and a love for working with people
When you’ve gotten far enough along in your research to join Window Genie for a Discovery Day, here’s fair warning: founder & President Rik Nonelle is going to be paying attention to how you interact with others.
“This is a people business,” Rik says, “and customers buy from people they like and trust.”
What Rik is getting at is this: If you’re most comfortable in your own space with long, uninterrupted stretches doing what you do best at a computer keyboard, Window Genie is not the franchise for you.
You may think, “To be successful, all I have to do is keep to myself, climb a ladder, clean the windows, swipe the customer’s credit card, get back into my truck, and go to the next house.” If you are one who likes to keep to himself, do the work, and go home, this model isn’t for you. We are looking for owners who build teams and like the Genie, become the face of the brand in their community.
If you’re someone who thrives on interaction with other people, if you’re outgoing and a natural conversationalist, if you’re someone who has always dreamed of owning your own business, then you’re exactly who we’re looking for.
“An ideal Window Genie franchisee is someone who likes being involved in different things, and you’ve got to be a people person,” says Bergen, N.J., franchisee Gil Moskovitz. “You’ve got to have face-to-face interaction with someone. People take a liking to someone immediately, and you’ve got to be comfortable talking to people.”
Window Genie will never ask you to do the hard sell. There’s no cold-calling or knocking on doors to drum up business. In fact, we employ sophisticated marketing strategies that are tailored to every franchisee’s individual market. Ours is a simple, scalable business that relies on multiple streams of revenue and good word-of-mouth from customers for success. Indeed, 90% of all new customers are first-time customers, having never used a window cleaning service before. That’s why it’s important to provide great service and build a strong rapport with each customer right out of the gate.
“If I put someone in front of a customer to sell a $5,000 window tinting job, can they pull it off? You can sell window cleaning if you present it correctly with a competitive price, ” Rik says. “But you’re not going to sell film if you’re not good with people and haven’t taken the time to understand the product. You’ve got to have people skills along with a good personality.”
When Omaha, Neb., franchisee Dick Stieren was training to open his own Window Genie, he did a ride-along with veteran owner Jason Hatch of Des Moines. Here’s how that went: “We made seven or eight stops, did a window tinting estimate and a couple of window cleaning estimates. We stopped in the city on a contract for power washing a parking garage downtown. In between, he stopped and did a quick window cleaning on a condo because his techs were in trucks across town and it fit into his route. We moved on to a couple more bids. It was all talking to people. You’re talking about window cleaning, but you’re building relationships.”
Common Characteristics of a Successful Window Genie Franchisee
Other key criteria for Window Genie owners include being a self-starter and being able to balance the leadership skills you’ll need to be an entrepreneur with the teamwork you’ll need to follow the Window Genie systems. Cleaning experience or window cleaning experience is not necessary; over the years, we have found that experience in almost any industry is helpful.
We encourage franchise candidates to talk to other Window Genie owners before they sign the franchise agreement. We want you to know the ins and outs, the good points and the not-so-good. Even though ours is a low investment for a new business, it’s a big investment of your time — and a major change in your life. Window Genie franchise owners can offer more valuable feedback than anyone about what you can expect out of your window cleaning franchise, as well as what we expect out of you.
Window Genie has a culture that values motivation, competition and an entrepreneurial mindset along with a work-life balance. We know you want to be certain Window Genie is the right investment for you, and by the same token we want to be sure you’re the right investment for us.
“You have to be self-driven and follow the playbook,” says franchisee Steve Sarafin of Sparta, N.J. “But when everything falls into place, the sky’s the limit.”