My Boys & Me Make A Difference
May 20th, 2010
THE ALPINE SUN
By Rose Bledsoe
FOR THE ALPINE SUN
Money is a big deal when that new gaming console, music player, digital camera, or laptop is finally out for the public to buy. That said, money is also hard to come by, especially if you are still in school. So, while some kids start lemonade stands and dog-walking businesses, Mark Hoffman’s sons signed up to help their father wash windows for money. My Boys and Me Window Washing has become a countywide business, servicing clients from Alpine to Coronado.
This business is very much a local one: Hoffman and his family have lived in Alpine since 1989. It started when Mark was washing windows at home and his sons asked to help. The idea of a window-washing business spread around by word of mouth and soon it was on its way. Opened professionally in 2006, the business has recently expanded from window cleaning and care into a wide array of services. In addition to window washing, available services include gutter cleaning, shutter and blind cleaning, skylight cleaning, chandelier, mirror and outside light fixture cleaning, and hard water spot removal for windows and shower enclosures. They are expanding into janitorial services in their entirety, as well as the aforementioned maintenance jobs.
There is no need to worry about licenses or insurance, either: They have both, to preserve the legitimacy of the business. They hire local help in addition to Hoffman’s sons, especially people who need the work. The company trains their own workers and makes sure they know all the skills required, including business management and customer satisfaction. The business has evolved with the times: My Boys and Me Window Washing can be reached on the internet at their new website, MyBoysWindowWashing.com or CleanWindows4U.biz. They have an email address and a phone number on that site, as well as special offers for referrals and longtime customers.
Boys Building Character While Making Money In Family Business
February 28, 2007
By Cynthia Mendolia
For The CORONADO EAGLE & JOURNAL, The PRESIDIO SENTINAL and The ALPINE SUN
Whether your home is a southern California quaint beach cottage or a brand new 3,000 square foot home with skylights and 30 plus windows, you still want to have clean windows.
Local longtime Alpine resident, 20-year veteran finncial and insurance businessman, Mark Hoffman, married with two young boys, was looking for a way to teach his sons the benefits of the American dream – to own your own business. After many years of having his windows washed in his own home, he thought he could do a better job and began a second business.
Washing his own windows, his children looked on and asked Dad if they could help, too. His boys, now 9 and 13 years old, wanted to make more money than what they were receiving for their weekly allowance.
“As the boys get older, their toys are getting more expensive and they need to take part in the purchase of what they want, so, ‘My Boys & Me Window Washing’ was formed. It was my boys’ inspiration and entrepreneurial spirit of wanting to make money that started our window washing business,” Mark said.
The children work together with the crew on the weekends and school vacations, as their studies come first. Learning all the aspects of running a busienss can be challenging for adults, let alone children. Since teenagers typically don’t have much money beyond the cash in their wallets and a few bucks in a savings account, the notion of money management may seem surreal to them.
As the business grew, Mark got his boys involved in understanding how ‘My Boys & Me Window Washing’ really worked. This included reviewing bank statements, keeping track of expenses, net profits and even some marketing ideas.
“Since word of mouth spread so quickly, we added three additional workers to our crew to better serve our clients; we even go into Coronado Island now,” Mark said.
As a financial planner, Mark feels that by having his boys make and save money, they can better understand the operations side of the business. He also teaches the importance of the “dos and don’ts” on how to treat clients; keeping them satisfied and returning calls promptly.
“Most people have four reasons not to wash their own windows: Time, Tools, Taste and Talent, the four T’s,” Mark said. Explaining, “most people do not have the Time; particularly if they have kid’s schedules as well as their own. Most people do not own the Tools and equipment to do a professional job, so windows can end up looking worse, taking more time out of an already strained schedule. With Taste, cleaning windows is just not what the average person likes to do – even many cleaning services don’t wash windows. Lastly, some people don’t have the ability, or Talent, to do the labor intensive work, based on age or health.”
The business includes residential clients, one and two story homes, commercial clients, one and two story buildings, and offers extra services that many other window washing companies do not. Windows are not only washed inside and out, but screens are brushed or washed, door tracts are brushed and vacuumed, skylights washed and polished to preserve a longer shine.
They even do hard water spot removal, paint removal, and stucco or adhesive removal that can ruin a perfect shine.
Pride in a job well done and integrity are the backbone of the family business being taught to his young sons. Mark wanted to not only help his boys build character, but provide them with a business model they could take into their future.
My Boys & Me Window Washing can be reached at 619-508-2305 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.