Window Genie's oftentimes a family business... we have a number of husband/wife duos, kids working for their parents in the office or out cleaning windows... but for the first time ever we have a father/son duo where the son's the boss! Charlie Caravello, 37 purchased a Window Genie franchise earlier this summer and hired his dad Chuck, 65 as his first employee. Starting a business can be scary. Having his father on his side, supporting his decision and being there while he ramps up has given Charlie the extra support most small business owners wish they had.
Before joining the Window Genie team, Caravello spent approximately 15 years in medical sales calling directly on hospitals. "In any sales career you go through peaks and valleys. For the last few years, every time I dipped into a valley I felt I wasn't in control of my success so I would consider looking into business ownership. I never got completely serious about it until this past winter because I think ultimately, I wasn't ready mentally or financially until now," Caravello said. "I did my homework and landed on a few service oriented, low investment companies to evaluate. Window Genie caught my eye when I noticed it was ranked on Franchise Business Review's list of top franchises for franchise owner satisfaction."
Caravello reached out to Window Genie and began a validation process, speaking with the corporate support staff as well as current Window Genie franchisees. "I just felt like 'wow these guys have their act together' when speaking to everyone at Window Genie throughout my process; you could feel the professionalism was consistent and trickled down to the whole system. Because I had been doing research on business ownership for the last few years I felt I had a grasp on what I wanted and did not want out of a franchising opportunity, and I never saw a red flag with Window Genie. It got to a point where I'd wake up every day more excited with my to-do list for Window Genie than my current job. I knew I'd found something that would keep me motivated, excited and therefore successful every day."
Caravello's first employee is his own father, Chuck Caravello. "My parents were both incredibly supportive when I went to them for advice on purchasing a franchise. There's always a fear or anxiety when taking a chance like opening a business, but having my father on board definitely helps. I know that off the bat I have an employee I completely trust, he'll be great with customers and down the road when he's sick of cleaning windows he'll know the business as well as I and can help me in the office and with training future employees." The Caravellos are excited. Charlie said, "I'm most excited to just get out there, be able to monitor my own results, take responsibility for my success and continue to build the business. I know I'll be wearing many hats but for someone who gets bored with a one dimensional job, that's exactly what I want. I know I've found what I was looking for in Window Genie."
Team Louisville was recently featured in Franchise Times: click here for the full article
Charlie Caravello’s biggest challenge of being his dad’s boss is adjusting to the “role
reversal.” After all, Charlie spent his entire life looking up to his father and learning and taking advice from him.
The son hired dad, Chuck, as his first technician at a Window Genie franchise he bought with his own money in Louisville for about $125,000. Caravello is 37 and his father is 65. Chuck came out of retirement because of the unique opportunity to help his son in his new business venture.
Many reasons make Caravello feel fortunate to work with his father at the franchise he opened in May 2014: He’s reliable, trustworthy, supportive and capable of helping run the office if needed to do so. Still, Caravello admits, “it will take some getting used to” telling his father what to do.
Do you trust your home service provider? The cleaning crew, landscapers, painters, re-modelers, nannys... why, or why not?
When hiring an individual or team to come perform a service or task at your home... you may find yourself concerned with a number of scenarios. What if they steal something? What if they break something? How do I know they won't harm my family, pets or valuables? If they get hurt while working on my house... am I liable?
We at Window Genie completely understand the discomfort many people feel when letting strangers into their home to perform a service. There are quite a few things we do to stand out professionally to let our customers know that we're sending trained, bonded, insured, trustworthy technicians to their homes... still, we're faced with the hard truth that until a customer has you back a few more times, they're going to worry.
We urge all customers to do their homework before hiring any service provider. Customer review sites such as Angie's List allow you to read real reviews from people in your community. It's important to know what to expect when hiring someone to do work in or around your home. Are they bonded & insured? Do they run background checks on their employees? Do they have a reputation for good or bad customer service? When it comes to hiring home service providers... you'll want to weigh the pros and cons aside from who offers the best price in your area.
Window Genie's field technicians undergo background checks, wear photo ID badges and show up in uniform while driving a distinctly wrapped Geniemobile truck to assure customers that when they answer the door... they're letting in a trained, insured Window Genie employee. Many times, your local Genie will email you photos of their team along with your appointment reminder! Our goal is to leave your home a happier, cleaner place than it was when we arrived.
This post was inspired by a recent comment left by one of our customers on a satisfaction survey. While we're extremely happy this customer enjoyed having Window Genie at his house, and we're not surprised that our service technicians are professional and honest... it did remind us that most homeowners remain wary of service providers. It's unfortunate that customers are generally surprised that a service provider such as window cleaners could come by a large amount of money in a home and leave it untouched. We do genuinely appreciate that this customer noticed and acknowledged our professionalism and reached out to his local franchise about it. We take all feedback very seriously and try to use it as best we can to improve our daily customer service. This local franchisee was able to reward his technicians and re-enforce the importance of honesty while in a customer's home... so thank you James from Indianapolis!
So we have to ask... what does it take for you to trust a "stranger" that you invite into your home? What specifically do you look for when hiring help around the house? In an industry highly dependent on reputation, customer referrals and good word of mouth, we're always doing our best to improve every aspect of the customer experience to ensure we're invited back time and time again.
Recently Window Genie sponsored Pink Ribbon Girls' annual event, IGNITE THE FIGHT.IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! With a number of other community sponsors, local supporters and PRG members, we gathered at the American Sign Museum on the west side of Cincinnati for a night of celebration with the Pink Ribbon Girls. Pink Ribbon Girls is Window Genie Corporate's favorite local organization to support. Their mission is "to provide personalized support to young women throughout all phases of the breast cancer journey. We accomplish this through education, outreach, awareness, and one-on-one support to women and their families." Pink Ribbon Girls offers transportation to treatment, house cleaning services, meal delivery services, child care as well as organizing various educational and support group efforts in the community. Window Genie admires their dedication to every single day in the life of a woman and her family as they battle breast cancer. We all know how important research and treatment is, but Pink Ribbon Girls focuses on quality of life, reducing stress and allows women and their families to focus on just getting better. Through their various programs such as "No Age No Stage" and "Simply Fight," PRG was able to provide 10,250 meals, 2,200 house cleanings and 210 rides to treatment in 2013 in Cincinnati and Datyon. Not only is The American Sign Museum a ridiculously fun venue to hold an event, the food was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Food was provided by PRG's very own chef Matt Hayden who provides nutrient dense meals for women to help their bodies maintain maximum strength and health while undergoing treatment.The bar at the event offered pink beer and pink "tata-tinis" that weren't bad either! Oh and the entrance to The American Sign Museum has a GIANT GENIE! We had a blast, we ate, we danced and most importantly got to hear stories from survivors and families who've lost a mother, daughter, wife, sister or friend. More than ever we're motivated to support Pink Ribbon Girls and all they do to enhance quality of life during an immensely difficult time for women and their families in Cincinnati and Dayton.
Using Windows and Doors to Make Your Home More Secure
Guest Blogger Theo Schmidt is back to offer some simple tips and tricks to making your home more safe and secure. Window Genie offers an extensive selection of privacy and security films to increase safety in any home or office. When selecting a lock, film, alarm or any other variety of security measure... always do your research and find what works best for your home or office's needs. The more you know, the safer you are!
What many homeowners do not realize is that many home intruders are able to just walk right into your home through your front door. There is almost no struggle at all to break into a home through an insecure window or unlocked door. Luckily there are a few things that homeowners can do to secure their homes through improving their windows and doors.
Selecting a Lock
If you’ve ever tried shopping for a lock, you know how many options there are out there. There are different brands and grades that all offer different levels of security. It can be difficult to know exactly what you’ll need. An expensive lock may offer more security but the cost could be double or triple that of a less expensive brand.
One thing is for certain; a cheap lock will definitely compromise your security. Cheaper locks are easier for burglars to manipulate because these locks often have a less unique key locking system. This makes your home more vulnerable to break-ins.
There are a few specifications that your front door lock should meet:
· For deadbolts, the bolt should go one inch into the door frame.
· The lock should be a grade one.
· Make sure your door jamb is reinforced to match the security of your lock.
Don’t be afraid that a bulky lock will take away from the look of your custom doors. There are a number of companies that offer great selections of stylish locks that will actually add a great accent to your front door.
One simple solution for making your windows more secure is purchasing security film to cover them. This film is often used in vehicles and business’s windows to keep them from shattering in the event of a crash or natural disaster. However, these films also work great in your home to protect you against break-ins.
When a security film is properly applied it can prevent burglars from breaking into your home by shattering a window or other glass pane. The film keeps the glass shards together instead of letting the window break and scatter. When these films are correctly or professionally installed, they do not show at all. Additionally, these films can come in different colors and tints so they will give your windows an extra accent look if you’re interested.
Extra Tips and Tricks
If your front door has glass panes in it, the panes should be at least forty inches away from the door knob. This will prevent burglars from breaking the glass and then reaching in to open the door.
Another trick to keeping your windows safer is putting a six inch dowel in your window so that it cannot be opened up more than six inches. Window locks are more difficult to secure than door locks, so they are easier to break into. However, by keeping the window from opening up enough you can prevent burglars from getting in that way.
There are additional tricks to securing your windows and more secure:
· Install window break alarms that will notify you if a window is broken.
· Move valuables so they cannot be seen through windows.
· Purchase newer windows since older ones tend to pop out of their tracks easier.
· Secure air conditioning units in windows.
Your home may not be as secure as you’d like, but there are small and simple things you can do to improve the security. Start with your windows and doors to prevent those easy break-ins. With some easy steps you’ll be sleeping sounder knowing that you’ve decreased the risk of a burglary.
Theo Schmidt is a freelance blogger who enjoys spending time in the outdoors, and is passionate about protecting the environment.
David Flax’s fall from exec recruiting to window washing was a crash course on resilience, happiness and what really matters
The full story can be found online at Life Re-imagined
READ THAT STORY. We’re so incredibly lucky to have this dynamic husband/wife duo on TEAM GENIE: David and Jen Flax. They’ve been through “heaven, hell and beyond” together. Losing their business and then ultimately their home after the market crashed, these two were forced to create a new path to success for their family.
Their story is not unlike what many Americans were experiencing just a few years ago. What set these two apart was their strength and willingness to do what it took to be successful and happy. They spent the last of their savings to open a Window Genie franchise and haven’t looked back. They believed in the system, believed in themselves and are now Window Genie’s fastest growing franchise.
Through this story we’re reminded why we love franchising. At Window Genie we believe we offer a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs. Our proven system, executive model and marketing driven business approach makes success as a Window Genie franchise owner possible to nearly anyone. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’ve done, success as a business owner is attainable by anyone with a passion to persevere.
We’re proud of you guys!
Robin McKenna of Central, NJ
Robin McKenna, new Window Genie franchise owner in Central New Jersey has a special, emotional story about her journey to business ownership. Robin was laid off from her job of 20 years but was able to see past the negative and truly embrace the unfortunate situation as a “blessing in disguise.”
Her story is very representative of the way many individuals become business owners. The Window Genie story is one that’s full of entrepreneurs who didn’t actualize their dream of business ownership until forced to make a choice. Their choices were between taking a chance and opening a business… or sticking to what they were comfortable doing, even if that meant being under-appreciated, over-worked and under-paid. We’re proud of the individuals that make up TEAM GENIE because they all had the guts to follow their dreams, take control of their own success and find happiness.
Below is a media announcement that was released about Robin’s grand opening. It details the circumstances leading up to her choice to purchase a Window Genie franchise. She, like so many before her, just needed a little push in the right direction. She’s now able to spend more time with family while still working hard and making a living that she’s proud of. She is the boss!
New business owner says layoff was a blessing, I have my life back
Robin McKenna, owner of Window Genie of Central NJ, 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.
Cincinnati, OH – Window Genie announces the grand opening of their newest location in Princeton, NJ on Monday March 17th. 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 Central NJ and Bucks County, PA will service the Princeton area and surrounding communities, as well as Bucks County, PA. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Tuesday March 18th at 5:00pm at the Princeton Chamber of Commerce at 182 Nassau St. Suite #301 in Princeton. All are welcome to attend.
Before joining the Window Genie team, McKenna spent 20 years at a medical device company in sales and marketing, more recently in global marketing developing and commercializing products worldwide. In July 2012 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 was a sophomore and my son was in 6th grade at the time. Also, unfortunately my parents were having some health issues. I was granted this wish I had always had in the back of my mind to be home spending time with family. My mom would bring my dad to my house on her way to work to spend time with me and attend 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 2013 and began focusing solely on business ownership with her franchise coach, Bill McGuire of The Entrepreneur’s Source. “I began looking around online at business opportunities in late 2012 and must have left a cookie 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. 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, values that were instilled in me by my mom and dad. 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. Everyone I talked to 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 located in Princeton, NJ officially opens for business on Monday March 17th. 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 after all the snow we’ve had 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 and control of my own destiny.” For more information about Window Genie of Central NJ and Bucks County PA, please contact Robin McKenna at 609-917-4338 or firstname.lastname@example.org To speak to Bill McGuire of The Entrepreneur’s Source about franchise opportunities, call 812-284-4665About Robin McKenna: Robin McKenna is a local born and bred Central New Jerseyan; she was born in Bucks County, PA and lived in Hamilton Township, NJ during the earlier part of her life until moving to Lawrenceville, NJ and calling that home until she married. She attended Rider University where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree. Most of Robin’s family where born, raised and still reside in Central New Jersey and Bucks County, PA. Her mother, Harriet Hendricks Cook was born in Bucks County, PA and now a resident in her birth state. Her father, Robert Edward Cook was born in Mercer County NJ and was an inspiration to her starting her own business before his passing last year. Currently residing in Belle Meade, NJ, McKenna is now a proud small business owner servicing the communities she loves to call home. McKenna has been very involved in the community, serving as a Girl Scout Leader, United Way Day of Caring organizer, and a member of the Somerset Valley YMCA parent board and parent volunteer. She plans to get her business involved in giving back to the community.
This fantastic article from The Walton Tribune in the greater Atlanta area describes Dow Lively's journey to business ownership. Dow officially opened Window Genie of Loganville on Monday February 24th. We're excited to have him on TEAM GENIE - Congrats, Dow!
Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 12:00 am
By: Raquel Willis
Loganville local Dow Lively is looking to make a clean sweep after the opening of his incarnation of Window Genie on Feb. 24.
The franchise offers specialized home services such as window and gutter cleaning, window tinting, pressure washing and cleaning.
With an atypical road to business ownership, Lively’s interest in the franchise developed after being laid off from his previous job in August 2013.
“Over a period of a couple months, nothing was happening so I got rather frustrated with that. I started to examine the franchise world and I got in touch with a coach for franchises,” Lively said. “I happened to get one that was very good. He asked some questions. I had to do a personality profile. He started suggesting different franchises I could probably fit into with my background and personality.”
It took a month, but after examining the benefits that Window Genie could provide to Loganville, he finalized plans and decided to go into the home service industry.
“Window Genie always stood out for its simplicity. I wanted something that wasn’t high tech, had low overhead and would connect me to the community,” Lively said. “Also, being able to offer a variety of services to fit every home’s needs and budget is great.”
Window Genie’s appeal also came with a high rating by his coach and an increased rating through Forbes Magazine over the past decade.
“I felt good that this was something I had a chance at succeeding at,” Lively said.
His confidence stemmed from his 18 years of experience working in construction, sales and management. Many of the same principles that he learned in that line of work spills over into business ownership and his plans for the franchise.
“For me to be a successful salesperson, I have to believe in the product, I have to deliver the product and you have to be able to talk to people with a straight face to sell the product,” Lively said. “Sales techniques are pretty much standard in any industry, but you’ve got to have a style for whatever it is that you’re selling. Over a period of years, I guess I’ve learned enough and developed a style of sales.”
The past month has been focused around training from corporate officials and making sure that Lively is set with a proper foundation for the business.
“I got to hear from the guys in the system what worked, how they felt about the potential of their business and it helped me make my decision‚“ said Lively. “After I left my week of training at the corporate office in Cincinnati I felt very comfortable with the decision I made. This will be a challenge but that’s what makes it exciting. I just want to get out there and see what I’m made of.”
Their first week revolved around getting their name out in the community and figuring out the preliminary concerns that all businesses have in the beginning.
“We are getting more calls already this week, but it’s going to take a while to get the name recognition and proper advertising,” Lively said.
The existence of this service in Loganville represents a situation in which customers won’t have to travel miles for more specialized services. There’s a convenience that Window Genie is trying to foster.
“(Locals) have a window service company right here in town and they don’t have to go all the way to Atlanta or Athens. We just want to do a lot of work locally,” Lively said. “I’ve always worked with national contractors and all over the southeast, but now I’m finally figuring out what the community is and where it is.”
For more information contact Dow Lively at email@example.com or 770-680-7844.