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Breaking Ground

One seasoned land developer puts his experience to good use.
July 1, 2003
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/62798

Jerry Baker had been financing and building subdivision homes for seven years in a successful land development business with his father and brother. But as the economy slowed and the risk of keeping large capital investments became too stressful, Baker decided to look for another opportunity.

After researching different franchises, Baker found the perfect one: A UBuildIt franchise would capitalize on his 16-plus years of construction experience without requiring a huge investment. UBuildIt is a construction service that helps inexperienced homeowners build or renovate their homes by mapping out the gritty details-from scheduling and site visits to creating budgets and finding subcontractors. "It provides systematic, step-by-step [direction] on how to go through the building process," says Baker, 42. "It simplifies the process for [owner-builders]."

Just a little more than three years after starting his UBuildIt franchise in Vancouver, Washington--with revenues increasing at a whopping 60 percent per year--Baker expects to expand his two-person staff and move into a bigger office. He's even looking into the possibility of opening another UBuildIt franchise within the next two years.

The best thing about his franchise? Being able to take off running. "I was a bigger business than I would have been by myself," says Baker. "All the stuff involved in the franchise I could have created. I said someday I'd have checklists for superintendents for every stage of construction, but I never got around to it because I was so busy working in my business instead of working on my business." Thanks to franchising, Baker's "someday" has finally come