Earlier this year, Window Genie received the news that we’d earned our highest ranking yet on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500… coming in at #170!
To give you an idea to what that means to us…
We broke into the Franchise 500 in 2011 ago at #499… we were SO excited to even be included – WE HAVE ARRIVED! I mean take a look at that list! McDonalds? Hampton Hotels? Subway? Sure, WE know we’re great… but being recognized by Entrepreneur and listed among all these massively successful household name brands… Window Genie was in good company. Then we jumped 92 spots for the 2012 list to #407… we were shocked and excited once again.
While we shouldn’t have been surprised (considering the booming growth we began experiencing as a system around 2012) we were overwhelmed when in 2013 we jumped to… drum roll please… NUMBER ONE NINETY. 190. One. Nine. Zero. To leap-frog over 200 brands on the list was, as you can imagine, surreal. Since breaking into the top 200, we’ve been able to maintain that position at #195 for 2014 and #196 for 2015. Those three years at Window Genie can be categorized as consistent… and while the word consistent seems kind of boring, it’s anything but that to us. We’ve awarded franchises to about 20-25 new owners each year for the last three years… so although we haven’t made any major leaps on the Franchise 500 in the last three years, we don’t care! Not falling back means we’re doing something right, and experiencing the steady successful growth we’ve experienced is reflected in our Franchise 500 rankings.
So to have jumped another 26 spots on the list for 2016, Window Genie considers ourselves in a great position. We’re experiencing healthy growth and don’t seem to be slowing down! In the first quarter of 2016 alone, we’ve got 9 new franchises opening! That puts us on pace for another great year!
Another great ranking Window Genie is proud to announce – is that while we’ve been consistently included on Entrepreneur’s Top Home Based Franchise list for years, this year we’ve received our highest ranking yet! At #36, we’re in great company among the brands we admire in franchising.
While some of our owners choose to start the business from home and grow into an office space as needed, some owners such as Charlie Caravello of Louisville, KY will do whatever it takes to keep his business at home despite growth.
What makes Window Genie a top home-based franchise is that it is also a “lifestyle business.” This means our owners aren’t locked into being present at an office or storefront on a M-F, 8-5 schedule. Working from home makes after-hours and weekend work less daunting and Charlie, like many of our owners, enjoys the freedom of a flexible schedule that doesn’t keep him from family and personal engagements. The ability to run the business successfully from home without paying for a separate office space also equates to low overhead and much more. Charlie Caravello said, “A home-based business isn’t for everyone. I know some guys who’ve opted to rent commercial space because they weren’t able to separate work life and personal life while running the business from their home. They never felt unplugged from the business, but I don’t have that problem. I see having the business at home as a convenience, I can work after hours or on the weekend if I choose without having to leave the house.”
Charlie Caravello opened Window Genie of Louisville for business in the first week of June 2014. In the first six months he was able to triple the size of his team and add two additional service vehicles to accommodate the increased demand and tight customer schedule that comes along with it. For the last year he’s been running a crew of six technicians and three service vehicles out of a home that has a two car garage and just a half acre of land. Charlie said, “Running out of space to operate the business is overwhelming, but a great problem to have; I won’t complain. We’ve made it work, but we’re just simply out of space at this point. My six technicians have nowhere but my yard to park their cars when they show up for work every morning, and I don’t even have enough room to keep all my service vehicles in a garage at night. I have a lot of equipment, 55 gallon drums of chemicals and supplies I’m attempting to keep organized and just don’t have the space to do it anymore.”
Charlie admits he considered buying or renting a commercial space, but was apprehensive about it. He said, “I enjoy running the business from home, so never really wanted an office space, but felt it was the rational next step to support my growth. While weighing the pros and cons of buying versus renting a space, I began to realize that either way, anything in my price range wasn’t going to get me an exceptional space in the part of town I wanted to be in.”
The solution to his “problem” presented itself unexpectedly last month while Charlie was doing a window cleaning estimate in his territory. A large home with a four car garage plus a detached two car garage and 3 acres of land was going on the market and needed some cleaning services in preparation for its first open house. Charlie was immediately drawn to this home, and has since moved forward in his efforts to sell his current home and make an offer on the new one. He hopes he and his crew can be set up in the new, bigger space before the spring cleaning rush. What stood out about this home aside from having triple the garage space, was that it’s much more centrally located in Charlie’s territory and closer to the two zip codes he cleans the most homes in. He said, “having my guys start their day closer to where we’re booking the majority of our jobs means we’re cutting down windshield time, saving money on gas, and completing more work on a daily basis. If we want to continue to grow, this will be really helpful.” Also, the master bedroom has a large office attached to it, something Charlie felt was the icing on the cake for someone looking to work from home.
Charlie is excited to move onto the next phase of the business, still running it from home. “This made the most sense for us. My current mortgage plus the cost of an office space would cost more than investing in this newer, bigger house. I really don’t see us outgrowing this space for at least five or more years. We’re excited to be in the new space, set up for success to tackle the 2016 spring cleaning season.”