As the owner of Silex Fiberglass Windows and Doors, a YWG business with 30% yearly growth, Zhen Liu shares why TEC Canada membership works.

Zhen Liu Shares the Secret Behind Building a Successful Business

“Family Support is an Important Part of my Success.”

Zhen Liu is a family man, but he still finds the time to lead a multimillion-dollar business with an average annual growth rate of 30%. One of the secrets to his success? Joining TEC Canada as a member in 2017, where he discovered our unique model, exposing him to valuable ideas, concepts, and growth opportunities he never would have learned on his own.

Silex Fiberglass Windows and Doors is a privately owned firm based in Winnipeg with office, showroom and fabrication facility at 1450 Wall Street, and specializes in pultruded fiberglass windows and doors.

Early Beginnings

Zhen grew up in China and moved to Canada 24 years ago, settling in Winnipeg where he started a family. Reflecting on his decision to stay, he humorously acknowledges a local saying: “If you stay in Winnipeg, there are two reasons: love and work. That’s absolutely true in my case.”

After completing his degree in commerce, he embarked on a career in financial administration. However, an opportunity to pursue his long-held dream of entrepreneurship presented itself. Inspired by his desire for independence and ownership, Zhen was faced with a pivotal decision. Encouraged by his wife to seize the opportunity, she reminded him, ‘If you don’t start, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life,” so he took the leap.

Silex Fiberglass Windows and Doors is a privately owned firm based in Winnipeg with office, showroom and fabrication facility at 1450 Wall Street, and specializes in pultruded fiberglass windows and doors.

Silex Fiberglass Windows and Doors

With the support of his family, Zhen started Silex Fiberglass Windows and Doors from scratch in an 1800sq/ft warehouse. Since then, it has expanded four times and Zhen has adjusted his leadership style with every iteration.

After six years of business, working tirelessly, their revenue reached 1.8 million. Deeply motivated by seeing growth in his company and employees—witnessing the opportunities he could provide and the smiles on their faces as they arrived at work—Zhen knew that to reach the next level he would have to move “from more hands-on to a visionary, delegation, for-cost leader,” and that’s when he found TEC, or rather TEC found him.

Discovering TEC and its Impacts

Zhen’s introduction to TEC Canada, through his TEC Chair’s husband, turned out to be a pivotal moment. He remarks, “That’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Under the guidance of his TEC Chair, Joanne Sigurdson, Zhen learned the crucial shift from working in his business to working on it. The collaboration with peers from diverse, non-competing industries within his TEC Small Business group has been instrumental. They not only guided the enhancement of his R&D department, emphasizing innovation but also provided valuable insights and support. This strategic shift not only led to the creation of new revenue streams and proprietary technology—such as Silex’s  VisionPlus Collection—but also propelled the company’s revenue towards the 10 million mark, significantly transcending its ‘small business’ status.

Taking time away from work as an entrepreneur sounds intimidating, but not for Zhen. Becoming a member and joining more than a dozen non-competing business owners who share similar challenges has provided him with a wide range of expertise, from accounting and legal to construction and manufacturing. From the value he’s received as a TEC Canada member, he has now also enrolled several employees from his company team into TEC’s other executive leadership development programs, as he believes that his people are his greatest asset and strives to support their growth as individuals. 

“It helps us share the same vision. When we’re looking at things, we’re in agreement, we’re on the same page. It’s easier to communicate as we share the same values and ideas.”

Silex Fiberglass Windows & Doors has a full line of fiberglass windows and door systems that are the best choice for extreme hot and cold temperatures.

Among all the benefits Zhen finds as a member of the TEC Small Business program, the one-to-one meetings with his TEC Chair prove to be some of the most valuable. “It’s fantastic. I feel very lucky that I met Joanne… She listens to my needs. In different stages, she’s provided different help.” Notable examples of her impact are the development of a five-year strategic plan, setting yearly leadership-style goals, and even checking in on the rest of his team while she visits him on-site.

Zhen discovered a valuable team of similar-minded leaders within his TEC group. They worked together to overcome isolation and supported each other through their respective challenges and successes. If you want to take the first step towards becoming a TEC Canada member and achieving your next level of business excellence, fill out the form below.

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