How are copiers and sparkling windows connected? In the case of John Townsley, one led to the other. John spent 25 years in the copy industry, moving from service to sales. Despite being very successful, John felt the siren call of small business ownership and finally answered. Since he had extensive experience working with clients, it was natural to gravitate toward a service-oriented business. The question was, which one? Window cleaning, that’s which one.
And not just with a squeegee and a bucket. But a seriously professional enterprise. One that exudes confidence and reliability, one that would engender loyalty. Not to mention repeat business.
John began an exhaustive search for the right fit—would it be best to start from scratch or buy a franchise? After settling on the franchise model, John chose to work with Window Genie, a 20 year old company based in Ohio. The company has a comprehensive training program, strict brand standards, and a highly recognizable name. In addition, the company’s services extend beyond simply providing a streak-free wash, to include window film tinting, power washing, and more, allowing for extensive commercial and residential growth potential in each franchise owner’s area.
After 25 years of working for someone else, John was officially a business owner in July 2013. John and his family bootstrapped the business, pulling together their life savings of $100,000 and an additional $100,000 pulled from his 401K.
It didn’t take long for the company to thrive. Within a day of returning from his initial Window Genie corporate training, John’s WG of East Bay, Inc. had its first customer. John immediately began running Google Adwords campaigns in his area to drive leads and the company soon took off. The catchy name, coupled with the requirements that all Window Genie personnel be licensed, bonded, and insured, quickly gave customers the confidence to hire John’s Window Genie crews. “People want to feel secure when giving people access to their homes and offices,” says John. “And we provide that. All my employees go through background checks, wear uniforms, drive purple Window Genie vans, and use carpet pads and booties to protect customers’ floors. We offer a level of professionalism that can be lacking in the service industry and that gives our customers trust in Window Genie.”
As the company grew, the need for additional technicians, vans, and supplies did too. John had been successfully expanding the window tinting side of the enterprise and needed to buy the film in bulk rolls to realize the best pricing. By late 2015, he saw that if he was able to buy the supplies, make good hires, and add vans to his fleet, he could grow his Window Genie business even bigger. To do those things takes quite a bit of cash and it became clear that the time was right to take on responsible business financing. John comments, “I was at a point where I couldn’t grow fast enough to serve my area without expanding; I was in ‘need-to-grow’ mode.”
Many small business owners have found that they have difficulty securing financing through traditional banks or being approved for loans backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) if they have been in business less than five (5) years, have revenue streams that are deemed too low, or if the owners have FICO scores that are not in the outstanding range. John’s Window Genie business was no exception since he had been in business only two years. He turned to a loan broker who submitted his information to a number of small business lenders. John was soon inundated with calls from various companies offering to lend him money. However, John could see right away that most of these were short-term daily debit lenders with predatory pricing structures that would put a serious crimp in his cash flow. “Some of these companies quoted loans in ‘buy rates’ instead of interest rates. They were very deceptive and no one could tell me what the APR was; it was crazy,” laments John.
He was thrilled when one of the calls he fielded was from online lender Dealstruck.
Dealstruck specializes in providing appropriate and affordable financing products for small businesses that cannot secure loans from traditional banks. The company mission is to be transparent and treat customers with respect and integrity. “Dealstruck quickly set itself apart,” says John. “They were able to answer my questions, tell me exactly what the loan would cost, and were very responsive. I was quickly able to get a $50,000 loan that allowed me to start on the path to greater growth and I will definitely be working with Dealstruck again as my financing needs grow.”
WG of East Bay has been seeing revenue double year over year and with the new financing, that should continue. John estimates the company to be a $1M business by 2017 and will have grown far beyond the current payroll of seven technicians. Dealstruck is proud to be part of John Townsley’s Window Genie success story and looks forward to many years of partnership.