It’s hard to overstate the importance of finding a trustworthy window replacement company. After all, window replacement is a significant investment. The same goes for doors and siding. You want these major projects done right because if they’re done wrong, your energy bills will rise, your comfort will decline and the overall appearance of your home will worsen.
The stakes have never been higher in the home improvement industry. Because of this, experienced and trustworthy local window replacement companies like Your Window Solutions are more essential than ever.
Your Window Solutions provides quality window, door and siding services to Lake in the Hills and the greater McHenry County region. Its owner, Travis Williams, has multiple decades of experience in the industry and is passionate about providing excellent customer service.
So, what does it take to run the best window company? We recently sat down with Travis Williams to hear his story and thoughts on the current state of the industry. You can listen to the full interview or read a recap of it below.
How did you get started in the home improvement industry?
I came from a blue-collar family. My dad worked in the trades, and my uncles did, too. It was second nature to me. When I finished high school, I joined the Carpenter’s Union. As I graduated from an apprentice to a journeyman, I thought carpentry was my future.
Good pay, skillful craftsmanship and union benefits all seemed like the way to go. That was my plan, and for a long time, that’s what I did.
Then I had a bad fall from a scaffolding that seriously injured my lower back, changing my entire plan. After my injury, I couldn’t find companies that saw me as anything other than a liability. They just wouldn’t take me on, and I was concerned about my future.
So, I went back to school and switched gears, receiving degrees in business and marketing. I started working on the business side of construction because that’s what I knew. I was employed by a window replacement company, and Your Window Solutions developed from there. The reason I stuck with windows was because I knew them like the back of my hand.
What made you decide to start Your Window Solutions?
Well, that’s a controversial question because of what the answer is going to be.
Unfortunately, I think most employees tend to feel underappreciated or underpaid for the effort they put forward. I think that’s a common situation, but that wasn’t the issue for me.
I made a lucrative income doing what I was doing for that window replacement company. But my moral compass was in constant conflict with what I was doing for a living.
My education allowed me to understand sales very well, and I excelled at sales. That part of the industry became my focus, and certain tactics among window companies weren’t sitting right with me. I watched renovators use a lot of sleights of hand just to get customers to sign on the dotted line.
Many in this industry mislead and overpromise, treating customers like handfuls of money instead of human beings. The industry is riddled with manipulative ten-step selling scripts for salesmen who will stick to anything to close a deal. They’re selling like a used car salesman, but they’ll try to make you feel like you’re talking to someone more trustworthy.
I didn’t agree with any of it. Yes, I had a lucrative income, but at what cost? So, I jumped off a veritable cliff.
My wife and I had many talks about this. She noticed the discomfort that came with what I was doing to provide for my family, and she told me I’d never be happy until my word was my word. The only way to achieve that would be to have no one to answer to.
With every paycheck, I’d save a significant portion. I made a plan, saving and saving until finally, I resigned from my position. Without investors or partners, I used my own money to start Your Window Solutions.
Finally, I was in control of what was happening. My reputation mattered more than a few dollars. I could sleep at night with a sound conscience because people who are doing home improvement are spending a lot of money. A lot of the time, renovations can be more expensive than a new car.
Yes, we’re a business. Of course, we need to make money. We have to pay the bills and our employees, but how we do that is most important. As our parents taught us, “Treat others as you want to be treated.” A sole focus on profit loses the customer in the process.
What were some lessons you learned about the home improvement industry as you started your company?
I’d say good help is hard to find. Any business can relate to that, but I didn’t struggle with people who work for me as much as other businesses did. But it was because I treated them well.
I remember that experience of feeling unappreciated, and it was not a fun time. Monetary and emotional appreciation are critical.
Many of my employees, especially installers, are paid for excellent work. When you’re trying to get cheap labor, it won’t be any good.
At Your Window Solutions, everybody receives bonuses that help them understand that they’ve done well. We appreciate our workers, taking better care of them than any other business out there.
We want our homeowners and our employees to be happy, and we have good relationships because I know what it’s like to fear higher-ups. My employees are like family to me. We go on fishing trips!
What are some ways you’ve innovated to make Your Window Solutions better than other options out there?
Our focus is on the customer rather than profit. We may not be the most profitable company in the industry, but we all sleep well at night. I like going to bed knowing I put my best foot forward.
My Dad raised me to believe that a man’s word is a man’s word, and that meant something to me when I was growing up. Integrity is the bottom line. We treat customers with integrity. Life is about doing the right thing even when no one is looking.
How do you make a positive difference in the lives of the customers you serve? What brings you the most joy?
I wouldn’t do what I do for a living unless I loved it. I check with customers, employees and job sites daily. Simply, I love how we’re a family company that serves McHenry County. I have a home here, too. I drive past projects that we’ve done daily, and every time I do, it looks beautiful. It fills me with a sense of accomplishment that I cannot explain, knowing we helped make that happen!
The people who live in these houses are more comfortable. They can pay their bills and can close their windows. Throughout our projects, we build relationships with customers. By the time we complete home renovations, many customers feel like friends. And if we end up staying in touch, they can come to us for further renovations down the line.
What mistakes have you learned to help your customers avoid?
I’ve learned quite a few lessons. Before moving forward with renovations, most customers meet with many companies. There are many companies out there doing work just like we do.
The biggest lesson that I’ve learned is this: I cannot tell you how many customers we have done home improvement projects for that have already done that exact same project many years before. They went with the company that seemed to be the most affordable.
Look, I understand. I am a consumer just like everybody else. We all are looking for a good deal, and budgets do matter. I get that, and we work with our customers knowing that. But when you are shopping for home improvement, if someone is always the cheapest, they’re typically the cheapest for a reason. If the cost of materials is low and the labor is cheap, then both will be bad.
Accordingly, we’re not the cheapest option out there, and we don’t want to be. We want to be the best. Ultimately, you get what you pay for!
What advice would you give to homeowners who are considering a window replacement right now?
This is the best piece of advice I can give: Get off the fence and into action. It’s not because I want your business (I’d love your business). It’s because of the market we’re living in. Nothing will become cheaper in the next few years.
Since the beginning of COVID, everything we’ve done on a daily basis has become more expensive. Your renovation will never be as cheap as it is right now.
Think about how much you could save on energy bills in the next few years if you bite the bullet for a comprehensive siding renovation. You just can’t put a price tag on peace of mind and feeling comfortable in your own home.
How do you envision the future of Your Window Solutions? What are you most excited about?
What’s most exciting is the ongoing work we’re doing to maintain our great reputation. Many businesses often focus on scale and growth. That’s all great, but our focus is to do everything the right way to avoid negatively impacting customers. If we’re not the biggest, that’s ok as long as we have an excellent reputation.
Need Services from Travis’ Window Replacement Company?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at how things work at Your Window Solutions. As you can see, Travis is passionate about giving customers the personalized service and high-quality results they deserve from a window replacement company.
Are you interested in hiring Your Window Solutions for your window, door or siding needs? Please give us a call (833) 367-9687 or email email@example.com to schedule a free consultation.