For many people, selling a wildly successful company to a private equity group would be the end of their career. Not so for Earl Rahn and Daniel Ochstein. “We were very young men in our mid-50s and we were like, ‘What are we going to do now?’” recalls Rahn.
The answer was NewSouth Window Solutions, which Rahn says is Florida’s only factory-direct window and door provider. “We’re no longer younger men in our 50s, but we’re still having a tremendous time,” says Rahn, co-founder and president.
And enjoying tremendous growth. In just eight years, the company has grown to nearly $60 million. By the end of 2018, Rahn says the company should hit $80 million. In two and a half years, he aims for $100 million.
How? By using its factory-direct approach not only as a business model, but also as a marketing tool. Through giveaways and open-house events, Rahn and his team bring in potential customers and wow them into sales. “When you pull up in front of our building and step into our 240,000-square-foot facility, it’s pretty impressive,” Rahn says.
Also impressive is the technology behind the sales. Salespeople do everything on tablets or smartphones to reduce errors and speed the process. A customer relationship management system tracks every step, and NewSouth doesn’t let prospective customers go easily.
“If you don’t hire us, you get more cards than if you do,” Rahn says. One drip tactic that works is a free gas card for any customer that agrees to come to the factory showroom. “It’s amazing how that $20 gas card has turned into multi-thousands of dollars in business,” Rahn says.
Rahn is equally creative when it comes to finding qualified help. When the company finds a great crew, it encourages that crew to find a new crew leader and split into two. NewSouth provides the logoed trailer and the tools with the ability for the crew to purchase them outright. “That way, they have more income, and we have another crew we can rely on,” Rahn says.
Ultimately, it comes back to giving customers great experiences. “I’m in the customer-care business,” Rahn says. “I just happen to manufacture windows and doors.”