Vince and LuAnn Nigara

If you’re planning to set up a family business, this podcast will give you valuable insights that will help make your business a phenomenal success.  LuAnn presents the one big factor that has contributed to the success of the family business, Window Works. It’s the vital role that is played by her husband Vince. She fondly calls him “VIN“.  He’s the so-called “Systems Nazi” in the company.  His role — accounting, finance, and systems administration—keeps the business organized, efficient, and effective.

This episode is a response to a popular request for more information about the people behind Window Works, particularly Vince who is often referenced in the podcasts because of his business acumen. Vince has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Seton Hall University and an MBA from Montclair State University. He has worked as a Sr. Probation Officer in Newark, NJ for 14 years and has also owned and operated 2 health clubs prior to opening Window Works in 1982. Vin and LuAnn talk about how systems are the foundation of a well-run business—about lessons learned from each other, recognizing talent when you see it, and building a strong team.

This show is one part interview and one part conversation about the realities of building a business from the ground up and about how it is kept  going strong 30+ years later.  You know how tough it can be to not only get your business off the ground but also how hard it is to stand out as the expert in your market while all the time trying to embrace innovative ideas  such as the podcasts, social media marketing, adding new product lines and all the time trying to continually grow your business.

Vince is fully committed to the quality of customer service that Window Works delivers. He sets up the rules, everyone else’s role, as well as the interconnected systems for 1) monitoring the processes and results, and 2) motivating the team to aim for a higher level of progress and success. The role of the family members is to provide strong, effective teamwork. Everyone’s commitment (including their extended family of employees) is strong. The plans and goals keep the family together in pursuing their common goals.

Window Works, as a family business, is less bureaucratic, has a built-in trust factor with established relationships (customers, partners, dealers, suppliers, employees) and provides for the hands-on training and early exposure to the business of their next generation—Vince & LuAnn’s offspring.  That, itself, is part of the big business mission. You can surely glean tremendous, game-changing value out of the conversation here.

Show notes

  • Business planning often guides the entire planning process and sets the agenda for the future operations of the business. Vince and LuAnn develop both the big mission and small mission plans.
  • They aim for an exceptional level of customer service – the most critical factor that differentiates their business from the rest of the heavy competition
  • Price point is not the only factor – identify the product and service you want to offer, its value
  • Determine your “awesomeness” that makes you stand out in the marketplace
  • Find out what the customer needs, wants, and is capable of paying for
  • Aspire to bring the very best among the many products and services you offer
  • Determine what level of the market you want to target
  • Research the market. Find out who is doing what and who is succeeding in your market
  • Find out why Vince is called the Systems “Nazi” of the company
  • Vince keeps a system that records every detail of a sale and every detail of the expense
  • A strategy you can do during lean months of the business
  • How their system educates them about the highs and the lows of their business
  • Setting goals, making plans
  • Why the “entrepreneurial drive” is a necessary component of a business
  • Why owners shouldn’t take any salary yet until the business can afford it
  • The result of a case study Vince conducted and how it had helped them.
  • Why you need to know how much it costs to keep your business open per day, per week, per month
  • For almost 17 years, Vince and LuAnn worked even during weekends. Not anymore this time.
  • How every employee contributes to the improvement of the business systems
  • Keeping advertising expense not more than 5 or 6% of the profit.
  • Why keeping your company on the first page of the search results is very important
  • Advice for the new entrepreneur:

1. Don’t lose focus on why you set up your business.
2. No business is static it’s either growing or failing.
3. Exceed your own expectations for service.
4. Work with the people you love and care for as they will also care for your business.

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