Crystal Windows Chairman Shares Insights as Immigrant Entrepreneur at International Franchise Expo

Window & Door
June 7, 2019

Thomas Chen, chairman and founder of Queens, New York-based Crystal Window & Door Systems, was a featured speaker at the International Franchise Expo last month at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Organized by the International Franchise Association, nearly 350 companies exhibited franchise opportunities, and numerous workshops and seminars were part of the show’s three-day program.

Although Crystal Windows is not involved with franchising, Chen was invited to share his past immigrant business experience. Chen’s seminar, titled "How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur in the US," focused on strategies for startup and sustained growth.

During his presentation, Chen shared the challenges he experienced 29 years ago in launching and growing his window manufacturing company and how Crystal Windows overcame these challenges. “As an immigrant from Taiwan and new to America, my initial employees and I in 1990 had several additional challenges to overcome besides the typical issues faced by a startup entrepreneur,” says Chen. “We had to develop better English language skills, adapt to American business practices and culture, build a professional organization, and develop a brand and image before Crystal could really grow.”

In addition to keys for continued growth such as vertical integration, investing in new equipment, and seizing opportunities to expand, Chen offered what he considers the most important advice for entrepreneurs. “Building positive relationships and sharing with others are vital to the success of any business,” says Chen.