What is your background and how does it help you in this franchise?
I started as a sales associate in the medical device industry about 11 years ago. Almost straight off, I was given my own territory and moved up the ranks to territory manager.
As territory manager, I was given three reps that reported directly to me and helped me grow my business. This gave me a working knowledge of management and sales, which supported my confidence in new endeavors.
This also gave me experience with encouraging others, creating and moving towards a vision, and building a successful team.
When did you first start thinking about franchising?
Probably within the last couple of years.
When you stay in one type of career for so long, for me it was about 7-8-years, you get to a point where you have a decision to make. It wasn’t necessarily burn-out, but it was the desire to embark on something new.
I was at the age where I thought, “Man, am I gonna go off and do something on my own, or am I just going to continue to work for somebody else for the rest of my life? Am I ever going to have the freedom of controlling my own schedule?”
So, my wife and I were looking for ways we could make our money work better for us. We wanted more freedom. A good friend of ours came alongside us and said, “Maybe you guys would be a good fit for this certain franchise.” So, we started that process, and here we are today.
How did you make the decision to go from researching to buying a franchise?
One of my biggest motivators was being able to spend more time with my family.
Now, I was already able to spend more time with my wife and kids than most. My schedule was not a typical 9-5. It was very flexible. There were days I worked long hours, but some days I only needed to work a few hours.
I would always take advantage of my free time by spending it with my family. But, I still didn’t have complete control of my time. I would say that’s a motivator that was very near and dear to me.
Now, it’s one thing to say this is very important to me. It’s easy to say, I don’t want to lose time with my kids before they grow up and move out of the house. It’s easy to say, I want to maximize the time I have with my family. But it’s a whole other thing to actually do something about it.
Another motivating factor was to find something my wife and I could do together. We have a great marriage, and we work well together.
When I thought about my ideal job, it always involved doing something alongside my wife where we could work together everyday and have fun. I wanted to really build something together that could be ours.
The desire to have complete control of our schedule and for my wife and I to work closely together everyday were the two main factors driving us from researching to actually purchasing a franchise.
What did you want in a franchise?
Since we had very little experience in franchising, other than just reading about it online, I knew we were going to need something that had an effective, established corporate structure.
We needed to have access to a great deal of corporate support, and the franchise needed to allow us to be somewhat absent. We did not have much interest in moving and uprooting our family.
We love the community we live in. We have a great church family and great friends, so leaving was not really an option. To be able to do something from afar was high on our list of priorities, and not every franchise gives you that ability.
That proved to be a challenge, but we feel like we found a really good fit.
What did you not want in a franchise?
There were two big things we wanted to avoid in a franchise.
The first, and biggest thing we chose to avoid was an overwhelming financial commitment. We had been diligent in counting our pennies, and we had been saving for quite a while to be able to build the capital we needed to start a business.
We did this on purpose to avoid having to go to a bank and overextend ourselves.
We wanted to be able to maintain the same standard of living we had grown accustomed to. Now, we had already set up a frugal lifestyle to make this more attainable. We made sure to do our best to do fun things with the kids while still living within our means.
The other thing we didn’t want was to pour 40-50 hours a week into this endeavor, when we were told we only needed to put in 10-20 hours a week.
That was very important.
We wanted to be hands-off and partner with someone who would cover a lot of the hands-on work. Someone that would allow us to manage and come alongside them and be a franchise owner, rather than insist on us being in the everyday grind of the business.
How does your background help you in the franchise?
Being in sales for so long, I think I have an extensive understanding of numbers, seeing angles, and identifying where there is market share. I’m able to find the right markets to get into.
That was another key in this whole decision process. The corporate side of the franchise we invested in was prepared and gave us all the information we needed. They set us on the path towards a very profitable opportunity.
Nothing is ever for sure, but we feel like we have placed ourselves in key market areas that are set up for success. Having a sales background, I can really see that and say, “Yeah, this will be a good area to tap into.”
Then, I also have the experience of building relationships. Sales is all about relationships. I am able to build relationships with our employees and help guide them. I can instill within them the importance of building relationships with our clients, our members, and the community.
What are your biggest fears?
There are two big ones I can think of.
The first would be the fact that, over the past 10-12 years, we have set ourselves up to be ready to make this investment. And it doesn’t matter how well we researched this, we are in fact taking a calculated risk. If this one risk doesn’t work out, there is a feeling that it would erase everything we have done in the last 20 years.
At the same time, I know that would be worst-case scenario. If things didn’t go as planned, I think there would still be opportunities to get out without a huge financial risk.
The other fear is having this adventure drive a wedge into our marriage.
Anytime you go off on an adventure like this, you better have a strong marriage. Or you better really like the person you’re working with. Working closely together like this can cause things to come to the surface that weren’t even an issue before this adventure started.
Not having the ability to know how to deal with that would be the second big fear. I don’t want to lose this great thing my wife and I have together.
What are your personal goals three years and five years from now?
With the franchise we purchased, we bought rights to an entire territory. We would like to be operating in all aspects of that territory in three years.
In five years, we want all the stores in that entire territory to be operating at a high profit margin.
Also, with the market research we have done, in five years I should have the freedom to move away from my current position and hand it over to one of my associates. This allows them to make a little bit more money and receive a promotion.
My wife and I will be comfortable with the finances coming in from the franchises we have already set up. This will give us a lot of freedom with time management and the freedom from the responsibilities of this current job.
To be able to have that option to walk away with peace of mind is really exciting
Too many people are so dependent upon their current job because of the way they have set up their lifestyle. It’s crippling. It doesn’t allow people to flourish and robs them of the joy that is out there to have.
I’ve had some great mentors and have tried to maintain a positive mindset on how to approach each day. Somedays, you get really beat up, but you have to let those days go as soon as you walk in the door of your home. The whole point of setting up a business in this way is to allow you to be able to have freedom built into your future.
Any parting comments?
Money is not the end all be all. Money is not really what’s motivating us, and it wasn’t the motivating factor in taking this leap. More so, our motivation is the mentality of being good stewards of what we’ve been blessed with.
We could have sat back and continued to live a status quo lifestyle. I made more than enough money to support my family and do some fun things. We would have had a savings account that would have allowed us to do what we wanted.
However, we were also of the mindset that if we let money just sit there, waiting for us in a bank account, no one else was going to be blessed by that.
A huge motivating factor for us was to utilize the funds that we have been blessed with to do something that will allow other people to be blessed alongside us.
I think about the people we are going to hire, the jobs we are going to create, and the opportunities we are going to provide with this franchise, and it’s exciting. It’s exciting to give other people opportunities that they may have never had before.
Our life is enriched because we have freedom to live the life we desire, and we are also able to utilize our blessings to be a blessing to other people.