The Storm Before The Calm: The One-Year Anniversary Of Men In Kilts On The Jersey Shore

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Men In Kilts Franchise Owner TJ Hale talks about his first year of business and the launch of his franchise amidst Hurricane Sandy.

Franchise Owner TJ Hale and Men In Kilts New Jersey celebrate one year in business on the Jersey Shore

Franchise Owner TJ Hale and Men In Kilts New Jersey celebrate one year in business on the Jersey Shore

'I had friends bringing their kids over for a hot shower. It was bad.' - TJ Hale, Jersey Shore Franchise Owner

Men In Kilts New Jersey opened beginning of November 2012 with Franchise Owner TJ Hale. Starting a business is a daunting task and there are many moments found thinking, “What have I got myself in to?” Now imagine starting that company amidst a hurricane. Unfortunately, this was the reality for Hale last year.

The grand opening of Men In Kilts New Jersey definitely had its unique set of challenges. The occurrence of Hurricane Sandy meant the community was focused on recovering and saving their money for more important things like rebuilding their homes, not cleaning them. “My launch was pushed out over a month. Business was slow. People lost their homes and many that were lucky enough to still have homes, had extensive repairs to do. Getting their windows or gutters cleaned was low on their agenda,” Hale remembers.

By the time Sandy had passed and the Men In Kilts crew were ready to work, Hale remembers feeling uncomfortable wearing the kilt. “Many people had just lost their homes or loved ones. Although the kilt is about making people smile, it just didn’t seem right to be walking around town in my kilt. I didn’t want it to seem as though I thought everything was okay because it wasn’t.”

Other businesses in the Jersey area were suffering too. Hale acknowledges, “Contractors were swamped as were landscapers. Other businesses were slow as well because no one was out shopping or going about their normal routine. Most of us did not have power for at least two weeks so many days were spent looking for gas for your generator or whatever you needed to get by. Restaurants and grocers lost all their food because they had no power and couldn’t keep their food refrigerated.”

Although the Hale residence lasted through the hurricane, many of his neighbors and friends homes were ruined. “We were one of few who had a generator. It gave us lights, food, heat, TV and hot water. I had friends bringing their kids over for a hot shower. It was bad.”

Despite the rough beginning, the first year in business went smoothly. Looking back Hale said, “The first year had some ups and downs and a very big learning curve. We were slow out of the gate, for obvious reasons, but exploded over the summer and we had to adapt quickly.”

Accommodating the needs of customers and a busy schedule was a very welcomed reality. As with any new business Hale admits mistakes were made, but that his kilted crew eventually got into the groove and the summer season proved to be great. Throughout the fall and winter, Hale hopes business will stay consistent and that they will have a booked schedule.

Hale spoke of his experience as a Men In Kilts franchise owner saying, “My experience so far has been great. Spring and summer were amazing and we should do even better next year now that all our technicians are fully trained. I am banking on next year being very successful as we have now established a small customer base.”

Some words of advice for anyone looking to start a franchise, Hale says “My advice would be to make sure you do your homework on the best practices in your area before you open. This way you will better understand your operation and how to be successful in your market.”

About Men In Kilts
Men In Kilts was started in 2002 by Nicholas Brand, a Vancouver based Scotsman who fashioned a hand-sewn kilt and put a visual to the otherwise faceless window cleaner.

By 2009, the location had grown to over one million in revenue and caught the attention of Tressa Wood, former VP of Operations from 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. Tressa joined the team as CEO and began the process of franchising the company. Men In Kilts now has locations across North America and plans to expand to every major metro by 2017.

Positioned to serve the growing demands of the multi-billion dollar cleaning and building maintenance industry, the Men In Kilts concept is about building a national brand that delivers an unparalleled level of professional service to both the residential and commercial markets.

For more information on Men In Kilts, or to see them in action, please contact Megan Nemeth at pr[at]meninkilt[dot]com or visit http://www.meninkilts.com.

--high-resolution images available upon request--

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