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Category Archive: Latest News

  1. Why Cleaning Your Outside Windows is Important

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    Cleaning the outside of your windows is something most of us probably tend to put off. After all, nothing bad can happen if we decide to ignore it, right? Wrong. Letting dirt and grime build up on your windows can do a whole lot more damage than you think. Read on to find out exactly what you could be facing if you don’t get those windows cleaned regularly.

    Benefits of Regular Window Cleaning

    The most obvious benefit of having clean windows is being able to enjoy the view! Whether your windows look out onto a cityscape or views of the wilderness, there’s something so calming about being able to sit and look out the window. It’s good for the soul and keeping your windows clean is essential if you want to make the most of your views.

    Regular cleaning also makes it easier to keep them clean in the future. If you leave them for too long, it might not be so easy to get them sparkling clean, since it’s harder to remove caked on dirt and grime. Basically, you’ll be saving yourself a big cleaning job in the future if you keep up with a regular cleaning schedule.

    Clean living room windows

    Improves Curb Appeal

    Curb appeal isn’t only important when you’re looking to sell your house. It’s something you should try to keep up all year long. After all, it feels good to have the best looking house on the block, doesn’t it? Having dirty windows might not seem like the sort of thing that would make a huge difference to your home’s curb appeal, the truth is, it does.

    If you let dirt and grime build up on the outside of your windows, your house will start to look older and more run down. When you keep those windows clean and clear, you’ll keep your house looking great for years to come.

    Extends the Life of Your Exterior Windows

    As you likely know, replacing the windows in your home is not a job that comes cheap. It can be extremely expensive and is something you want to avoid having to do very often. However, if you let your windows go for too long between washes, you might have to replace them a lot sooner than you think.

    Glass is porous, which means that over time, dirt, grime, and even salt from harsh winters can start to break down the glass. Once the glass is weakened, it becomes more susceptible to breaking. Caked on dirt can also cause discoloration and permanently damage the opacity of the glass, leaving you with windows that always look a bit dirty, even when they are clean.

    You can also cause damage to the seals around the frame of the window, which can cause air leaks, fogging, and condensation that has a negative implication for energy bills and can cause mold issues.

    Mold near window

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    It Brings in Natural Light

    We, humans, are sensitive creatures—we need exposure to natural light in order to feel good. Dirty windows can affect how much light actually gets inside your home since the dirt can actually block out portions of sunlight. This can make it seem darker and more gloomy inside your home, which isn’t helpful for our moods.

    But did you know that this same issue can make it more expensive to heat your home too? In the winter months, the sunlight streaming through the windows actually helps to keep your house warm. But if those windows are covered in dirt, not as much sunshine gets in, leaving you with a higher heating bill at the end of the season.

    Saves You Money in the Long Run

    Spending the money to have your windows professionally cleaned now will save you money big time down the road. As we mentioned earlier, replacing your windows is not a quick, easy, or cheap process. It can be extremely expensive but can be avoided by simply taking the time to keep up with regular maintenance. After all, you want to do everything you can to protect your investment, right?

    Houseworker cleans window

    With regular cleanings, you can keep the glass in good shape and ensure your windows will last a long time. Your home will love you!

     

  2. Shining the Neighborhood

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    At Shack Shine, we understand your home is important to you and that’s why we’re in the business of helping our customers have the shiniest homes on the block. Our jobs allow us to cross paths with many people in our communities and maintain valuable relationships. You could say we’re passionate about our work and our communities alike. This passion is what led the Shack Shine team from Vancouver Metro South to help a local family with the maintenance of their outdoor space on Friday, July 21, 2017.

    Shack Shine Vancouver

    Surrey BC resident Nadia is a single mom who moved into her current home about 4 years ago. A demanding schedule and juggling life between work and her family makes it challenging for Nadia to upkeep the curb appeal of her home. And it certainly isn’t something she has the resources to do. Shaun Bicego, Gavin Simpson, and Kit Hulbert run Shack Shine operations in Surrey. During a routine job, they were introduced to Nadia through a customer. After hearing Nadia’s story the trio wanted to pay it forward and help. They offered to detail her home free of charge.

    “What a wonderful feeling it was when they told me they would like to help me,” says Nadia. “Their generosity will go a long way for me, something I will never forget.” Donated services included power washing, gutter cleaning, and window washing. A crew of five technicians worked to detail Nadia’s home and completed the project within a few hours. “It’s nice to be able to give a neighbor a helping hand,” says Shack Shine technician Keith Winsor, “we’re glad we could help.”

    At Shack Shine, we believe in giving back and helping out in the communities we call home. We’re shining neighborhoods one home at a time.

    Learn more about the Shack Shine Vancouver Metro South team here

    The Shack Shine team

  3. How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

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    Most homeowners know that their gutters need to be cleaned every so often. But it’s likely that everyone has a different idea of just how often they need to be cleaned. Is it once a year? Twice a year? Or should you just wait until you notice a problem? (Just kidding, don’t do that!)

    How Often Should Homeowners Clean Their Gutters?

    How often you clean your gutters largely depends on where you live. More specifically, it depends on what type of climate you live in, and what kind of plants are around your home.

    If you live in a desert climate where it’s very hot and dry, chances are there aren’t a ton of plants and trees around. That means you can likely get away with cleaning your gutters just once a year since they aren’t filling up with leaves and other debris as quickly. Of course, if there’s a tree right beside your house that does lose its leaves, you might have to clean them more often. Red tiled roof with gutter and chimney

    If you live in the woods, or a place surrounded by plenty of lush, green trees, you’re going to need to clean your gutters a whole lot more often than those who live in desert climates. Most leafy trees lose leaves, which will require you to clean your at least 2 times a year. The type of trees you have nearby also makes a difference—if you have trees like pine or any tree with needles, you might need to clean them 3 or 4 times a year. If you have a tree with falling blossoms, you might need an extra cleaning in spring.

    Of course, if you live in a place with super cold winters, you might end up having to worry about ice dams building up in your gutters. This happens when water freezes and clogs up your gutters, which can block the flow of water. Once the water freezes, it can start to weigh down on your gutters, causing them to sag. If you think you might have ice dams in your gutters, it’s best to call in a professional to take care of it, since it can be dangerous to try and deal with the slippery surfaces on your own.

    Icicles Melting Over Roof Edge Gutter

    What Happens if You Don’t Do Regular Maintenance?

    So, what happens if you forget to clean your gutters, or willfully decide to ignore them? Well, a whole lot can go wrong. If you neglect to take proper care of your gutters, you will likely end up with damaged gutters that need to be repaired or replaced. However, it can get much worse than having to pay for new gutters—you could end up causing damage to other parts of your house as well. If your gutters start to overflow, you could end up with some serious water damage. (All of these potential issues are pretty expensive to repair, we might add.)

    Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

    The main job of gutters is to keep water away from the foundation of your home. When your gutters become clogged, that water has to go somewhere. It usually drips down, where it can cause all sorts of problems. It could cause problems with your foundation, or end up seeping into your basement and causing varying amounts of water damage. It can also get in behind wooden siding and cause the wood to rot. If you’ve ever had to deal with any amount of water damage in your home, you know how difficult it can be to repair. You might also end up having to replace damaged items, which could be costly.

    Mold and Mildew

    Gutter Downspout with waterIf you continue to ignore those gutters because they seem fine structurally, there could be another problem brewing inside the gutters. When you leave debris to sit in your gutters, it can start to grow mold and mildew. While this might not seem like a huge problem at first, what you need to know is that mold spreads very quickly. It can easily spread to the inside of your home, causing a host of issues, the most concerning being health problems. Many people are allergic to mold, and it can make you quite sick. It’s also tricky and expensive to get rid of, so it’s best to stop it before it starts.

    Roof Damage

    If there’s one thing most homeowners want to avoid replacing, it’s probably their roof. It can be quite a disruptive process. So if you want to keep your roof in good condition, you’ll want to make sure your gutters are in good shape. If you let those gutters get clogged up, overflowing water can end up seeping onto the roof. When this happens, you could end up with leaks, which will cause damage to your roof and the inside of your home. Water damage is difficult to deal with, and as you likely already know, it’s usually pretty expensive.

    Mouldy Gutter that is leaking when rains

    So, if you want to ensure your home stays happy and healthy for as long as possible, it’s important to keep those gutters clean!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    Start a Window Cleaning Franchise

    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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    Start a Window Cleaning Franchise

    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.

     

  10. 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

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    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

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    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

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    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.