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  1. 6 Common Gutter Problems Homeowners Should be Aware Of

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    You probably don’t spend your days thinking about the health of your gutters. If you’re like most people, you don’t think about them at all! Unless, of course, something goes wrong. So why are gutters so important, and why should you pay attention to them?

    Gutters serve one main purpose; to channel water away from the foundation of your home. Obviously, it’s important to keep your foundation in good shape, since that’s literally what is holding up your entire home. In order to keep water away from the foundation, your gutters need to be kept in good condition. That’s a pretty good reason to make sure they’re in good condition.

    Clogged Gutter

    Prevent Damage with Proper Gutter Maintenance

    Don’t worry. Keeping your gutters clean and free of debris isn’t all that hard. You don’t have to watch them every day to spot problems. All it takes is sticking to a schedule of regular maintenance. That means not just letting them sit month after month. If you commit to regular yearly maintenance, you’ll ensure that your gutters will last for many years to come.

    1. Gutters not Draining or Clogged Gutters

    The most common problem we see with gutters is clogging. When gutters become clogged, they can’t drain properly and can start to overflow during rainstorms. When the water can’t pass through properly, it can start to cause problems with your foundation. That’s why it’s so important to keep your gutters clean—you want the water to be able to flow through easily.

    To keep them free of debris, stick to a twice a year maintenance program. This might vary depending on the climate you live in, but usually, it’s a good idea to clear them out in late fall after most of the leaves have fallen, and in spring (in March or April) to make sure they’re clear for those April showers.

    If you feel like you’re dealing with an extra amount of debris, you can also look at installing gutter covers. However, these can be pretty expensive, and still require some maintenance.

    Clogged and Dirty Gutter

    2. Sagging Gutters

    If you let your gutters clog up with debris like leaves, twigs, and standing water, overflowing water isn’t the only problem you’ll face. The weight from this debris can also cause gutters to sag. This is usually caused by loose hangers (the hardware that secures the gutters to the house), which pull out when they can’t hold the extra weight. You can often fix this by simply tightening the screws again, but it could also be caused by the hangers being spaced too far apart. In this case, you’ll need to install new ones, ensuring that they’re close enough together.

    3. Leaks and Holes

    If you notice a stream of water pouring down from the middle of your gutters, it’s likely that your gutters have sprung a leak. Leaks and holes can happen pretty easily and are usually pretty simple to fix. You can use gutter sealant to caulk the seams to repair leaky seams, while larger holes will need to be patched. Patching kits are easily found at most hardware stores, and are easy to use. Just make sure that when you’re patching a hole, you’re using the same material as the gutter to patch it—using a different material can cause erosion.

    4. Damaged Gutters

    Gutter damage can also happen in other ways. The main culprit being the weather. During a heavy rainstorm or windstorm, gutters can be knocked down or damaged. In this case, fixing them might be as simple as rehanging them, or you might need to replace certain sections. In this case, there’s not much you can do to prevent it, other than making sure your gutters are properly installed and aren’t already loose.

    Leaking Gutter

    5. Improperly Pitched Gutters

    In order for water to flow properly, gutters need to be angled (pitched) correctly. The slope should sit at the correct angle, which is at least a quarter inch for every 10 feet of gutter. If you think your gutters might not be pitched properly, it’s easy to tell. Just get up on a ladder after a rainstorm; if you see standing water, you’ll likely need to adjust the pitch. Sometimes this is as easy as bending it into place, but you might need to totally reinstall the hangers, which is a much bigger job.

    6. An Inadequate Gutter System

    Some homes just don’t have any gutters at all, which can cause all sorts of problems. It’s important to have a proper system in place to help prevent damage to your siding and foundation during rainstorms. If you need new gutters, it’s best to get them professionally installed. Doing so will help you avoid most of the common problems we discussed above. As for the type of gutters to choose, aluminum is a great choice. If you maintain them properly, they can last forever.

  2. Why This Millennial Believes Franchising is the ‘Fastest Route to Financial Freedom’

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    For baby boomers, the most coveted job was anything with stability — and if you were lucky enough to land one, you generally stayed put. This was on the heels of hard economic times when people couldn’t afford the risk of stepping out on their own.

    But 25-year-old Myles Reville is tired of our risk-averse society. To millennials, life isn’t about benefits and pensions and slaving away until retirement; it’s about doing what you love to build a future for yourself and your family.

    Myles decided he never wanted to work for someone else again — but starting a business alone as a millennial with debt seemed impossible. Aspiring entrepreneurs are often wary of franchise opportunities, but Myles broke the mold and found freedom in an unexpected place: as a franchise owner with Shack Shine. This is his story.

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    O2E: Why should millennials consider franchising?

    MR: Society today is obsessed with mitigating risk. People are so afraid of failure that they get stuck in a corporate bubble working their lives away for someone else’s benefit.

    For young people with debt and little experience, the easy route is to follow along with the status quo. The alternative isn’t appealing; to start a business, you have to incur more debt first and you might not end up making any money. Capital can be hard to come by and it’s a hard thing to overcome for aspiring entrepreneurs.

    But with franchising, the cost of entry is far less than starting up on your own. At 25 years old, I’m already building real equity. Franchising makes business ownership possible for millennials, and it’s the fastest route to financial freedom.

    O2E: When did you decide to look into franchising?

    MR: I previously owned a College Pro painting business and that experience gave me the entrepreneurial bug. I left to try the corporate world because I thought that’s what I wanted — but within three months, I was absolutely miserable and hated working for someone else. So I started looking for opportunities that I could afford to get into, and that would work here in Toronto. I wanted a career I could have fun at while also making money.

    O2E: How did you find Shack Shine?

    MR: I was actively looking at different franchise opportunities but nothing held my interest. I live near the Toronto offices for O2E Brands and I used to walk by every day on my way to work. After I looked the company up on LinkedIn, I got a message from founder and CEO Brian Scudamore. He asked if I was interested in opening a Shack Shine franchise.

    I was on the fence at first because I was still exploring my options. But this opportunity literally fell into my lap and I knew I couldn’t let it pass me by. I talked with my partner and we both agreed that Shack Shine would work perfectly for us.

    I flew out to head office in Vancouver and drove my brand new Shack Shine van back to Toronto. I hired my first employees on the way and we hit the ground running when I got home.

    O2E: What made Shack Shine the perfect opportunity for you?

    MR: I like making decisions and I feel uncomfortable when my future is in someone else’s hands — so working in a corporate job was never conducive to how I operate. I’m a problem solver and I enjoy taking on responsibility. As a franchise partner, I get to take ownership of my own business and I have control over the day-to-day.

    At the same time, I have the support of the entire network. By choosing to do business in a proven system like Shack Shine, I’ve surrounded myself with successful, hardworking individuals that motivate me to build the strongest business I can.

    O2E: What’s on the horizon for you and your franchise?

    MR: I’m looking ahead to big-scale growth. I want to take my business to the next level by establishing massive roots in our community.

    I’m not as concerned about the money or how much I’m making personally (though it’s definitely a perk). My biggest focus is to the get the brand and the business going full-tilt on an operational level. It’s about creating a name for ourselves through our efficiency and quality of service.

    O2E: What advice do you have for people looking into franchising?

    MR: Just do it. It takes real guts to kick yourself over the edge but once you’re in it, it’s not as scary as it seems. Yes, it’s tough and you need to grind it out to be successful. But the franchise network is there for support and they have the right systems in place. If you use them properly, everything will roll out nicely.

  3. What is the Difference Between Power Washing vs Pressure Washing?

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    We often hear the terms power washing and pressure washing being used interchangeably. But are they really the same thing? Or are they completely different? It might seem a bit confusing, but we’re here to help clear things up, once and for all.

    The short answer is this: they are the same, but different! (Don’t worry, the longer answer is a whole lot more helpful.)

    power washer vs pressure washer

    The basic function is the same: they both use highly pressurized water to help remove dirt and other materials from hard surfaces. While they are very similar processes, there are some key differences that determine how you use each service. Knowing these differences will help you determine which service you actually need to help get your home looking fresh and clean again.

    The Difference Between Power Washing vs a Pressure Washing

    As far as the water pressure is concerned, they both use similar amounts of pressure. How much pressure really just depends on the type of machine; a household unit won’t offer up as much power as an industrial machine.

    If we’re talking strictly about the types of the machines, there is one key element that differentiates a power washer from a pressure washer: a heating element. Both machines create a powerful stream of high-pressure water, but a power washer also heats up the water. This might seem like a small difference, but it actually makes a huge difference in how each is used.

    What is Power Washing?

    A power washer uses a high-pressure stream of very hot water to blast away dirt and materials from outdoor surfaces. The combination of high pressure and the temperature of the water make it better at removing all those truly stuck on materials from surfaces. It’s great for removing residue like salt, mildew, and mold from outdoor patios, decks, driveways, and more. The added heat also makes it particularly good at removing things like chewing gum from sidewalks. Power washing is also exceptionally great for handling grease stains on driveways or garage floors.

    what is power washing?

    It’s also useful for helping to control weeds and moss—the powerful blast of hot water can kill them and stop them from growing back right away. Power washing is ideal for any situation where the surface is heavily saturated or has a lot of dirt or other matter to clean off. Essentially, power washing is the more heavy duty option.

    What is Pressure Washing?

    Pressure washing is what you’ve most likely used at your home before. It uses the same high-pressure water blast as power washing but doesn’t use heated water. This regular temperature water still does an amazing job at blasting away dirt but doesn’t perform as well against moss, mold, or other tough stuck on substances. It still does an amazing job, but might not be able to get rid of tough stains on concrete.

    what is pressure washing?

    Certain Application Best Suited Based on the Job

    So, now that you know the main differences between power washing and pressure washing, it’s time to figure which one you need for your home. Which method you use depends entirely on the job.

    For regular household use, pressure washing is the way to go. It’s less harsh on surfaces, which makes it ideal for use on things like masonry, brick, and concrete. This is what you want to turn to when you’re looking to give your deck or patio a quick clean.

    For any larger jobs, like a large commercial space or an extra big driveway and patio space, go with power washing. The heated water usually helps to make the job go faster since the heat helps to loosen up the dirt. For that same reason, though, you have to be careful which surfaces you use it on. It’s best to stick to concrete and other hard surfaces when power washing, since the force of the hot water can do damage to softer surfaces.

    Whichever type of cleaning method you decide to do, keep in mind that it’s always best to hire a professional to take care of it for you. If you’re not properly trained on how to use a pressure washer or power washer, you could end up damaging the surface you’re working on. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

  4. Spring Cleaning For the Outside of Your Home

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    Winter is tough on us all. After months of harsh weather, we can’t wait for warmer temperatures and sunny days. A long winter can leave you feeling a little blue, but just imagine how it makes your house feel! After months of being blasted by winter weather, the outside of your house could definitely use a little TLC. So when it’s time to tackle spring cleaning on the inside of your home, it’s a good idea to think about cleaning the outside of your home as well.

    Wash those windows

    If you live somewhere that sees a little (or a lot) of snow, your windows are probably a whole lot dirtier than you realize. When salt and sand are put down on roads and sidewalks, it can quickly create a mess. As things melt, the salt, dirt, and sand ends up creating a film on the outside of your windows.

    Aside from not looking very nice, leaving all that dirt on your windows can potentially cause bigger problems. Glass is porous, so over time, all the dirt and salt residue that accumulates will start to break down the surface. That means you might need to replace your windows more often, which definitely isn’t cheap.

    Get ready for patio season

    As the weather gets nicer, you’ll find yourself wanting to spend more time outside, enjoying the weather. If you’ve got a patio or deck, it’s a good idea to get it cleaned before you set it up. After all the snow, ice, and rain, you’ll likely be dealing with some degree of moss or mildew buildup on your deck or patio.

    An easy way to clean your deck or patio is to get it pressure washed, though, for some tough stains, it might require some scrubbing. It’s also a good time to scrub down any patio furniture that has been stored outside, so it’s fresh and clean for you and your guests.

    De-gunk those gutters

    While you probably think about gutter cleaning as something you typically take care of in late fall, it’s a good idea to have them cleared out again in spring. You don’t want to have to deal with any blockages when those spring showers come. While you’re having the inside of your gutters cleaned out, it’s a good idea to give the outside a scrub down too. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes once you scrub off the dirt from the outer surface of your gutters.

    Increase your curb appeal

    Think curb appeal is only important if you’re selling your home? Think again! When the weather gets nicer, everyone is out and about. It’s nice to have your home looking fresh with so many more eyes on it. By taking the time to pressure wash your driveway, clean your windows, and have the dirt and grime removed from your siding and the outside of your home, you’re actually also making sure that these surfaces last longer. If you don’t clean them regularly, it’s possible that they could deteriorate a lot quicker than they normally would.

    By following these spring cleaning tips, you’ll get your house looking great, while also ensuring a longer life for those outdoor surfaces.

  5. Unfulfilled and Burnt Out: How to Know It’s Time to Become Your Own Boss

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    A few years ago, Dan Vrskovy’s life was a blur of traffic jams, overtime, and crunching numbers. He was busting his chops to make a living for his family — but his work left little spare time for home life.

    He was unfulfilled, burnt out and ready for a change. So Dan and his wife quit their jobs and moved out West for a fresh start and to be closer to family. He was done with working hard to build a business for someone else — so he decided to make a future of his own. Here’s how he did it.

    Start a Window Cleaning Franchise

    O2E: How has your life changed since buying a Shack Shine franchise?

    DV: My wife and I both used to drive long commutes and put in long, hard hours at our jobs. We worked at big companies that didn’t give us much fulfillment, or allow time for each other or our dog.

    I always felt a disconnect between myself and my work. Now, I wake up everyday with a purpose to grow the business and be the best we can be. Our customer feedback has always been extremely positive. It’s very rewarding to hear that.

    O2E: How did you know it was time to make a change?

    DV: I was a chartered accountant for an oil and gas company in Calgary, Alberta. I really didn’t love being at a desk all day, every day.

    My wife and I decided that if we were going to work as hard as we were, it shouldn’t be for someone else — it should be for ourselves. We also wanted to be closer to family and to have a change of pace. So we moved to Kelowna, BC, where my wife joined her family business and I started Shack Shine Okanagan.

    O2E: Why did you decide to buy a franchise?

    DV: I initially was looking for accounting jobs but quickly realized the pay cut would be significant from what I had in Alberta. That’s when I started looking into self-employment opportunities.

    I figured I had three options: I could start a business on my own, purchase an existing business, or buy a franchise.

    I had very little small business experience and also little experience in any specific industry — so buying an existing business or starting my own would be a big risk. Franchising made the most sense.

    O2E: Why did you choose Shack Shine?

    DV: I have a friend who has been involved with Shack Shine from early on. He pitched it to me when they were first starting to franchise — but I wasn’t fully sold on franchising yet.

    Once I explored the other two options, it became clear that franchising was perfect for me. There’s a balance of owning your own business, but you also have the support of an established, proven system.

    I’ve also always enjoyed being outside and being active so that was a big reason why Shack Shine drew me in. It also seemed like a very recession-proof industry; there will always be demand for the services we provide.

    O2E: What advice would you give to people who are looking into franchising?

    DV: If you’re looking to be self-employed and you’re new to small business, you should definitely consider joining a franchise. The system provides so much support and gives you access to resources you’d never have without it.

    O2E Brands has been a great school for small business. I’ve learned more in the last year and a half with Shack Shine than I did in seven years of business school.

    O2E: Final thoughts?

    DV: It surprised me how much I’ve enjoyed creating and leading a team. With O2E Brands, I’m building something bigger than I ever could have done alone. I finally feel fulfilled by my career.

    I still put in long hours but it doesn’t feel like work. The administrative work I do (like scheduling, quoting and invoicing) can be done from home, so I can spend more time with my wife. It’s also gratifying to know that all the hard work is going towards building something of value — not for someone else, but for my family.

  6. How Student Works Painting Prepared This Man for Business Ownership with Shack Shine

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    Martin Blauch Shack Shine

    Of the 17 franchise partners in the Shack Shine network, more than a third have something in common: they got their start in business as students with College Pro Painting and Student Works Painting.

    Twenty-five year old Martin Baluch ran a Student Works Painting franchise throughout university and gained valuable hands-on experience running his own businesses and leading teams. But after graduation, he was ready for the next step in his career. Here’s how Shack Shine gave him the challenge and opportunity he was looking for.

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    O2E: How did you get involved with Student Works?

    Martin: I originally wanted to go into physiotherapy but after a year of trying it out, it really wasn’t for me. I started looking for a new business path and joined Student Works to gain experience. My brother had been with that company for a couple of years and had a lot of success. I was inspired by how well he was doing and the confidence he got from running a business. I learned a lot more during four years at that job than I did in four years of business school.

    O2E: Why did you make the switch from painting to house detailing?

    Martin: I found Shack Shine four months ago, again through my brother. After leaving Student Works, he joined Shack Shine as an Operations Manager at head office. He said my previous experience would make it easy to transition into being a franchise owner.

    I shrugged it off at first but the more I learned about the company, the more of an opportunity I saw. When I went to the Junktion (the head office) for my first interview, I fell in love with the culture. Since I first started until now, the amount of growth and potential I see with Shack Shine is unbelievable. It’s a brand of hyper-loyalty that people go out of their way to be a part of. It’s exciting to join a company that’s growing so quickly so early on.

    O2E: How did the student painting industry prepare you to own a Shack Shine franchise?

    Martin: The first company focused on people, systems, and culture. Shack Shine does too — but at a much larger scale. It’s much more systematized and you can feel how invested people are in your success and well-being, especially when you’re new. When O2E Brands (Shack Shine’s parent company) says people are the heart of the business, they mean it.

    O2E: From first interview to launch, you had one of the quickest start-ups in the entire O2E Brands system! Walk me through the process of being awarded the franchise.

    Martin: There was a lot to learn very quickly — but with my brother’s reassurance, I knew what I was getting into early on. The O2E Brands and Shack Shine leadership team also invest so much of their time to make sure you’re the right fit. And vice versa: the further I got down the line, the more I knew it was perfect for me.

    Now in start-up, the biggest challenge is the same as it was with Student Works: recruiting the right people. In this type of industry, turnover is inevitable — but with Shack Shine, people are the brand and our technicians are the face of the company. It’s important to find and retain the best people for the job.

    O2E: How did you come up with the start-up capital?

    Martin: The investment is a lot to consider, but Shack Shine made it easy to go through my options. The breakdown was as follows:

    $30,000: My initial investment.

    $10,000: Family contribution.

    $25,000: In-house financing with Shack Shine for a one-year term.

    $15,000: Futurpreneur loan. They provide young entrepreneurs with low, interest-free loans.

    O2E: What has been the biggest difference between Student Works and Shack Shine?

    Martin: The business model. With Student Works, you don’t own any equity in the business — you are awarded the rights to a territory on a yearly basis. It was a great experience for me while attending university, but after graduating I wanted to make a name for myself. There’s also a high turnover rate because the company targets students.

    With Shack Shine, it’s your business and you own real equity. You’re building something for yourself, and there’s a lot of pride and accomplishment that comes along with that. It’s been a very rewarding experience.

    O2E: What advice would you give someone looking into franchising?

    Martin: There will be a lot going through your head if you’re looking to own a franchise. There are so many variables and uncertainties. But the support, systems, and culture that come from being a part of O2E Brands is incomparable. You get to be a part of something a lot bigger than you.

    So my advice? Do your research. Talk to family, friends and current franchise partners. This will be one of the most important life decisions you will ever make as you are investing your own time and money into your own business. You can get lots of advice from people, but the final word is yours — so make sure you take the time to reflect. For me, it has been very rewarding. I already see the value and potential in owning a Shack Shine franchise, and it’s only up from here.


  7. Maintaining Your Home’s Curb Appeal

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    Curb appeal is a term you often hear in the real estate world. However, it’s not just important when you’re buying or selling. It’s something you need to maintain all year round, so if you ever do decide to sell your home, you won’t have tons of work to do.

    While most people think curb appeal has mainly to do with landscaping and new paint jobs, it involves a whole lot more than that. Once you’ve got the exterior of your house looking great, there are a few things you need to do to keep it that way!

    Clean concrete


    Pressure washing outdoor surfaces regularly is always a great idea. Over time, mold, mildew, dirt, moss, and more can build up on driveways, patios, and decks. By blasting away the dirt and grime, you’ll be giving your home an instant facelift. It’s important to note that pressure washing isn’t just about keeping things looking nice—by removing the dirt and grime, you’re helping these surfaces last longer. If you never clean your deck or patio, these surfaces can deteriorate much quicker than they would with regular cleaning.

    Shiny siding


    You might think you can just pressure wash the dirt off your home, but that’s a big no-no. The pressure is much too high for most surfaces and can end up blowing off paint or putting holes in siding. What you want to do instead, is make sure you have your home washed by professionals who use the right equipment to scrub away the dirt and grime without damaging the surface. It will leave your home looking as good as it did when you first painted it, (and it will make that paint job last longer too!)

    Clean and clear windows


    Windows are easy to forget about. We often go all winter long without noticing just how dirty they’ve gotten. But when the sun peeks out, you’ll definitely see just how noticeable those dirty windows really are. Clean windows show that you really care about your home, and also play a big role in energy efficiency. Did you know that dirt and smudges on the windows can also make them less efficient at conducting heat? It’s true—sunlight reflects off of the smudges and is unable to heat the inside of your house in winter. That’s a pretty great reason to keep them clean!
    If you take these steps to maintain your home now, it means you don’t have to take on the bigger tasks of painting and landscaping as often. Not only will it save you some serious coin in the long run, but you’ll feel pretty awesome about having the best-kept home in the neighborhood.

  8. How Introducing a Subscription Service Made Shack Shine Franchise Partners More Successful

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    This story was originally published on Forbes.com.


    When it comes to entrepreneurship, there are no clearcuts. It’s a densely forested landscape with a million possible paths leading to one of two places: success or failure. The key is being ready and able to adapt – to adjust your course and to learn from your mistakes as you make them, quickly.


    That’s what happened when we launched our home-detailing company, Shack Shine. We defaulted to familiar systems that brought great success to our other brands — 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, and You Move Me — but we quickly came up against some unexpected obstacles and had to pivot.

    Two years in, we’ve retraced our steps, made a few switchbacks, and blazed some totally new trails to get our youngest brand where it needs to be.

    A Turn Here…

    Shack Shine is (literally) a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-dirty opportunity, so success as a business owner depends upon your attitude towards hard work. That’s why we awarded most of our franchises to hungry, young Millennials who were happy to invest sweat equity and energy.

    As we interviewed our candidates, though, we kept running into the same problem: most Millennials are cash-poor with little to no access to starting capital. They’re often fresh out of post-secondary and neck-deep in debt, which presents a barrier to entry to our system and makes it harder for them to grow once they’re up and running.

    We realized we needed to restructure aspects of our business model to make our system more accessible for our target demographic. We veered massively off course to pilot something new: subscription services.

    With a subscription model, customers pay upfront for a whole year of services, giving our franchise partners money to invest back into their businesses. It’s a way of getting a healthy cash flow right off the bat and it works well in any industry — subscription commerce generated $5 billion in 2014 and subscribers spend 2.7 times more annually than average shoppers. The beauty of recurring billing is that both the customer and the company get value: the business can more accurately predict annual revenue and the customer has more control over budgeting their expenses. 

    For our other brands, this wouldn’t have worked — junk hauling, painting, and moving are usually one-off jobs, spaced out over months or years. But we’re piloting subscription for Shack Shine because in the spring and fall, we clean gutters. In the summer, we wash windows. Other services (like power washing and interior window washing) can be done anytime. This gives customers year-long house detailing at one single cost and the freedom to schedule services as needed.

    Turning away from our tried-and-tested business model has been both stressful and thrilling. But luckily, our Millennial franchise partners are quick to cope with new ideas and fast changes. With agility and teamwork, we’re maneuvering through rough terrain and getting everyone back on track for success.

    A Switchback There…

    And then we hit another roadblock. When we targeted Millennials to be the backbone of our brand, we assumed they wanted total freedom and flexibility to run their businesses — because that’s what our franchise partners within our other brands want (and it’s what makes them so successful). So we mimicked our other brands, providing partners with weeks of in-depth operational training before sending them to launch.

    But most of our franchise partners have only a little business experience to fall back on, especially in a leadership role; they aren’t used to juggling operations and bookkeeping with appointments and managing a team. It wasn’t that they couldn’t do it all — it was that they wanted on-the-ground guidance until they were truly confident.

    To ease the transition from theory to practice, we deployed field team members to assist with every franchise launch from day one. Getting involved in our partners’ day-to-day business goes against the EntryPreneurship model. But in the case of Shack Shine, we had to adapt. Our young franchise partners wanted more support in their early days — so that’s what we gave them.

    Clear Roads Ahead

    Entrepreneurship can be a rocky road and finding your footing can take time. But with teamwork and perseverance, you can break through the barriers to clear the path to success.

    Shack Shine has been a lesson in agility and quick thinking. We learned to pivot away from initial plans, be quick on our feet, and headed down the road less traveled. Sometimes, taking a few steps back is the only way to move forward.

  9. Why This Millennial Refused to Settle and Chose Franchising

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    Taylor Dunn doesn’t believe in settling. That’s why, after four years at a job he didn’t love, he turned away from the family business in pursuit of something more.

    He’d been following in his father’s footsteps — working to open an insurance office — because he saw the freedom his dad had from owning his own business. After university, he worked at his brother-in-law’s office but Taylor always had the same endgame in mind: to start up an office of his own.

    In early 2016, an opportunity came, but Taylor’s heart was no longer in the insurance industry. It was time to become an entrepreneur on his own terms.

    Start a Window Cleaning Franchise

    Below, Taylor tells O2E Brands how he listened to his gut, changed his course, and found the opportunity of a lifetime.

    O2E: Stepping away from the family business must have been a tough decision. What drove you to make the leap?

    TD: For my parents’ generation, the thinking was “get a job and stick to it.” There wasn’t a lot of mobility. Now, people are realizing it’s more about enjoying what you do. Sure, making a living is a nice benefit but you have to be passionate about what you’re doing.

    And that’s one of the hardest parts for people at my age: trying to figure out what they want to do. I’m a strong believer in never settling for something that makes you miserable.

    O2E: Going from the insurance business to a home-service brand like Shack Shine is quite a change — tell us how you ended up in house detailing.

    TD: After four and a half years working with my brother-in-law, the opportunity I’d been waiting for opened up. But I realized insurance just wasn’t something I was enjoying and it wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term.

    So I broke it down and asked myself: what do I really want to do? I still wanted to do my own thing but I needed the right opportunity. I love being outside (and had previously worked in outdoor jobs) so I started exploring my options in that space.

    I found Shack Shine on LinkedIn. I’d never really considered franchising as a possibility but the branding caught my eye and stuck with me. When I found out the territory I wanted was available, I really started thinking. I could join a globally recognized company, own my own business, and stay in my hometown. It was a no-brainer and the timing was right.

    O2E: How did you come up with the start-up capital?

    TD: I grew up as a saver. My dad, being in financial services, instilled that in me from a young age. I started working as a dishwasher in grade 8 and my dad made sure I saved a portion of every paycheque. I did the same through university and afterwards, as well.

    So the majority of the investment for the franchise came from my wife and I — it was all the cash we had saved. I’m also fortunate enough to be in a position that my parents could help out, as well. The rest came from a line of credit.

    O2E: So you’re a young Millennial and suddenly you own a business. What kind of challenges did you face in the beginning?

    TD: I really had to put my nose to the grindstone. I had very little management experience in my jobs before and there are a ton of unknowns in business ownership (like marketing, accounting, and human resources). It’s pretty overwhelming at first.

    I’m also now in a hiring position and I’ve learned how important it is to have committed people who see your vision. My dad has staff members who have been with him for 30 years and I think, How do you keep people excited to come in and do a good job for you? That’s the biggest challenge: finding and keeping good people. I’m trying to build my business with great people so we can provide the best customer service experience possible.

    O2E: Sounds like there was quite a steep learning curve. Did you have the support you needed?

    TD: Absolutely. Everyone has been so helpful. The company wants us to succeed and gives us the tools to do it.

    I’ve never felt like I’m on my own in this — everyone is there to help us grow. My success is their success too.

    O2E: What do you see for 2017?

    TD: We’re full steam ahead. It’s only been six months and we love seeing the growth. We have a lot of goals in the works, like getting a second van on the road.
    I’ve put everything I have into this business. It’s definitely a risk, but taking the leap is the biggest part — once you’re on the line, you’re not going to stop until you’ve built something successful. It lights the fire under you to keep going.

  10. What do poker and running a business have in common? Everything.

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    Matt Jarvis Franchise Partner

    Under the blinding glare of spotlights, the world watched on ESPN as Matt Jarvis concentrated on one thing: winning the World Series of Poker. For six years, he’d navigated the world’s elite poker circuits, winning sometimes and breaking even others. But he always loved the challenge.

    It was 2010. He’d beaten 7,000 hopefuls to become one of only nine around the Final Table in Las Vegas, vying for a $9 million prize.

    Despite his efforts, he was eliminated in 8th place with a bustout hand in a moment that’s been dubbed one of the craziest upsets in poker history. So he left Sin City, a new superstar on the circuit — with a hefty chunk of change in his pocket.

    He followed up with more big wins in the years to come, but Matt was constantly jetting around the world to games, leaving his wife at home in Vancouver, BC. In 2015, he decided poker wasn’t the future he wanted.

    Start a Window Cleaning Franchise

    “I got married three years ago, and I wanted to find a job that would keep me closer to home so I could be with my wife,” he says. “At some point we’ll start a family, so it’s important to be around for that.”

    Back in Vancouver, he kept playing poker to bide his time, and wondered how to turn his need for autonomy, adrenaline, and high-stakes strategy into a viable career. Entrepreneurship seemed to combine all three; he just needed the right opportunity.

    “Some of my friends and family told me about Shack Shine. They said it was the next 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. Once I looked into it, I thought the system was amazing. I liked the people who were involved, and it seemed like a good way to learn how to run a business from the ground up.”

    So Matt cashed in his chips and invested in a Shack Shine franchise with O2E Brands. Since starting up in October 2016, he’s tackled business ownership the same way he tackled poker: preparation. He recalls that he won at poker because he was more prepared than anyone else; he didn’t party, he took notes at the table, he worked out frequently and he kept a disciplined routine.

    As a new business owner, Matt is willing to put in the work. He says, “If you want to be good at things, you have to be both mentally and physically strong. Some poker tournaments are 12 or 13 hours long, so you have to be able to focus.”

    Poker also gave him a habit of always looking for a tactical edge over his opponents, which will serve him well as an entrepreneur. “Yes, Shack Shine is a franchise model with systems, but there’s so much room for innovation. We’re encouraged to be creative and try things … I’m going to work hard to see what I can do to beat the competition.”

    So for now, Matt’s given up cards for a new high-stakes game as a business owner. As his own boss with a Shack Shine franchise, he’ll be conquering the business world the only way he knows how: by going all in.

    This story originally appeared appeared on O2Ebrands.com. Learn more about franchise opportunities with Shack Shine.