Franchise Players: How Electronic Retail Became a Family Business for This Boomer
Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. After last week's franchisees under 30, this week we're profiling baby boomer franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the perks of getting into franchising later in life is that your previous experiences can make the transition easy. Scott Meyers had more than 25 years of experience with computers and mobile electronics before he signed on as an 1800Fix.com franchisee. Even better, now that his son and daughter have also developed strong interests in mobile electronics, game systems and computers, Meyers can involve the whole family.
Name: Scott Meyers
Franchise owned: 1800Fix.com, Winter Garden, Fla.
How long you have owned the franchise?
We signed on five months ago and will be opening in April.
I wanted a business that I could run with my family. I like the franchise model because many of the startup issues that businesses face, such as finding vendors, coordinating advertising and ensuring a successful business model, have been resolved. This allows me to focus on building solid customer relationships.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was an electronics retail store manager for three and a half years at Radio Shack and I worked as a store systems supervisor and systems analyst for 19+ years at two major retailers.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I have been interested in and working with electronics all my life; I have more than 25 years of experience with computers and mobile electronics. I’ve also used and worked with cell phones from the very beginning, as my son and daughter have a strong interest in mobile electronics, game systems and computers, and I understand the business. As the mobile electronics (cell phones/computers/game systems) business matures, it has created a need for support and repair services. 1800Fix.com provides these services and does it well.
How did entering franchising later in life shape your experience?
It has allowed me to develop the customer service and computer skills needed for this business. Additionally, my family is very important to me and this franchise will not only allow me to provide for my family, but also provide a career for my kids for the rest of their lives.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
$35,000 - Franchise, Legal, and Administrative Costs
$10,000 - Moving my family to Florida
$40,000 - Lease, Build out Costs
$10,000 – Misc. Items
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
New York City Franchise Show, lawyers, business owners and the internet.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
All the administrative matters that must be addressed before you can proceed to the next step. Through the process, I had to learn to keep moving forward, keep asking questions and take notes.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Do not pick a franchise solely for the money you expect to make; you need to find a franchise that allows you to do what you like to do. You can develop your skills and learn new things, and the money will come as long as you work hard and enjoy what you do.
What’s next for you and your business?
Hopefully more 1800Fix Stores.