Name and age: Taylor Bond, 37
Franchise name and description: Computer Renaissance is a full-service retailer that also builds, repairs and upgrades computers.
Franchise location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
1999 sales projections: $4 million plus
Bits and bytes: After working at Domino's Pizza headquarters for eight years, most recently as the national director of market research, Bond felt the entrepreneurial urge. He financed his purchase of a Computer Renaissance franchise with an SBA loan that was eased by his familiarity with the franchise system. In addition to doing extensive market research, Bond made sure he was overcapitalized before buying the franchise.
Programmed for success: Some of the challenges Bond faced early on included building his staff and dealing with turnover. "It'll kill you," he says of the latter. And for the computer business in particular, he needed intelligent, articulate individuals who could knowledgeably sell the products. By placing his business in a college town, Bond found a pool of ready talent. Today, he has 17 employees, some of whom have been with him since the beginning.
Plan ahead: Bond cites preparation as the key to his success. "Be well-capitalized," he urges. "If a franchisor tells you you'll need $100,000 to get started, you better have $150,000."