The Glass Guru’s Duluth, MN based franchise owners Dan and Rachell Cook were recently featured by 1851 Franchise. The publication specialized in providing regularly updated content to the franchising world, providing relevant information to franchise professionals and businesspeople seeking franchise opportunities alike.
Dan Cook was on the hunt for glass industry-related job opportunities on his smartphone when he came across The Glass Guru. A veteran of the glass industry with prior business ownership experience, Dan was eager to find a glass company that would provide marketing support and take customer service seriously. “I already worked in the glass business and it doesn’t work the same as other businesses as far as customer service,” he said. “It’s kind of like a secret little niche industry, so I was curious to see if people had started anything on the marketing side of it.” He was interested in franchising in particular. He already knew people who had encountered both good and bad franchising experiences with other brands. “The plus side that I liked was that The Glass Guru had a proven system ready to go, so then you don’t have to struggle with getting your business’ name out there as much,” Dan said of franchising. “There’s already brand recognition out there.” Prior to franchising with The Glass Guru, Dan’s work experience was a project manager for a glass business that was “just all about reacting to what sales are coming in” with no marketing involved with that business, he said. He did extensive research on The Glass Guru brand, including reaching out to existing franchisees whose names and contact information were provided by the company. He also reached out to other franchisees on his own. “The opinion from owners I contacted was all positive,” he said. “The biggest thing they talked about was the support that you get from the franchisor. That was the biggest one for me because that’s the whole point of being a franchisee. If you’re just left to figure it out yourself, you might as well not be part of a franchise system. Just the fact that they were very involved with everything intrigued me. There was also the fact that the franchisor provided a lot of the marketing and branding for the business. That was important to us.” The Cooks’ franchise with The Glass Guru is located in Duluth, Minnesota. Dan owns and runs the business with his wife, Rachell, who also works as a full-time nurse. They purchased the franchise in February 2016 and opened in April that same year. “She’s involved quite a bit with decisions,” Dan said of Rachell. “She isn’t a part of day-to-day operations, but she is involved with all decisions, including marketing, financials and more.” For the Cooks, the most important things they aim to do every day is to provide top-notch, speedy customer service. “It’s really important to us to have happy customers,” he said. “That’s the thing that’s enjoyable for us, and I think it’s because the customer service in the glass field can be a lot less than what it could be in other industries. We try to do things quickly and economically, whereas in other places, customers often have to wait a long time for things.” Dan and Rachell want to eventually expand The Glass Guru in their region, opening a second franchise location when the time is right. “We’re still in the growth stage,” Cook said. “There are three levels. We’re in the middle, and I think we made it here fairly quickly. I think within another two years, we’ll be at a point where this location will be staff-run. When that happens, that will allow us to have some more resources to start on a new location.” So far, the Cooks enjoy being business owners, with Dan citing being able to make their own decisions as a huge perk of being franchisees. “As far as franchising with The Glass Guru, it’s nice because we offer a unique service and process that customers haven’t heard of before, so the positive reaction is really gratifying,” he said. “That’s one of the best things of the day-to-day.” BY CRISTINA MERRILL 08:30 AM • 05/01/19 Franchisee Spotlight