Al Talison, Owner, Benchmark Window & Specialty Cleaning, Inc.
Regularly, we interview a successful SOURCE RW client to ask how SOURCE RW has impacted their business. This month, we feature Al Talison, owner of Benchmark Window & Specialty Cleaning, Inc. which has been in operation since 1982.
What services have you utilized at SOURCE RW and how have you benefited?
At SOURCE RW I'm presently working with a Business Coach and have met with the Executive Director to discuss business development. It’s been working well. We have been spending time with my business finances which has always been a weakness for me. I’m also participating in SOURCE RW's business ownership series which I have found very beneficial.
What made you interested in business ownership?
I had never given thought to owning a business. But a friend--a mentor--told me that if I spent as much time in developing my own business as I spent in sales (in the late 70's-in Chicago) that I would probably be successful. I immediately started considering what type of business to open.
What have you enjoyed most about business ownership?
The joy of servicing a customer's needs, in the area of our expertise, and having them elated at the results. I have always appreciated the joy and freedom of determining my own destiny as a business owner.
What have you enjoyed least about business ownership?
I can't think of any negatives to owning my own business – at least not at this point.
Was there ever a point when you wanted to quit?
Yes, only after I had down-sized the business, about 12 years ago, and I was doing all the work myself. It's pretty physical work and I was getting a little burnt-out. When the business was big and growing I never considered quitting.
Was there ever a point when you realized you had “made it”?
Yes, in the early 2000's we had large robust clients that we were servicing, and we continued to grow. But one by one we started to loose accounts--through no fault of our own--losing about 70% of our business, and I had to consider down-sizing. I really did have a few very large accounts that made up a majority of the business.
If you could tell aspiring business just one thing before their journey – that you had wished you had known prior to starting your journey – what would that be?
The importance of consulting with an accountant, attorney, and business consultant -- all of the A-B-C's must be followed to ensure success.