Beanie Boy

Blind Spot

When the five founders behind Budget Blinds became dissatisfied with the blinds company they had been working for, they jumped ship, started their own business and today head a franchise system 175 locations strong.

An inspiring story, no doubt--which may explain why Steve Thackerson, 30, now owns a Budget Blinds franchise. You see, Thackerson also worked for the aforementioned blinds company. But when that company started having financial problems, Thackerson knew it was time to move on. After reading about the window-covering company in Entrepreneur magazine, he began investigating Budget Blinds.

In 1994, he and his wife, Michelle, signed on and opened a franchise in Birmingham, Alabama. Like all Budget Blinds franchisees, Thackerson is homebased. But because Budget Blinds was not established in the South at the time, Thackerson had to spread the word himself. "Getting Budget Blinds' name out in the community was my big challenge," he recalls. Coupon mailers, fliers and an ad on a local Christian radio station did the trick. Today, his franchise hangs steady, earning $500,000 in 1998.

Budget Blinds is accepting applications nationwide. Start-up costs are approximately $20,000. For details, call (800) 800-9250 or visit http://www.budgetblinds.com

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