Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email email@example.com.
After 16 years in banking, Stacy Huston wanted to take control and invest in her own business venture. The former Wells Fargo Financial employee saw franchising as a chance to break free from a corporate job while minimizing the risk of opening a new business. Four years in, it looks like she made the right choice to open a Handyman Matters: her franchise recently grossed over $1 million. Here's how she did it.
Name: Stacy Huston
Franchise owned (location): Handyman Matters in Dallas, Texas.
How long have you owned a franchise?
Opened in Jan 2010
Franchising offers individuals like me an opportunity to break free and own their own business whilst at the same time minimizing the risk that is inherent in opening an entirely new business from scratch. Franchising also enables you to become involved as part of a company that has established a tried and tested system and has achieved some market share and name awareness. In the end, you’re given the responsibility to succeed without micromanagement.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was a sales development consultant manager for Wells Fargo Financial in Dallas. In this role, I was responsible for training professionals in the sales process.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
Many reasons. The corporate office is comprised of a great bunch of people. I was looking for a business opportunity where I could make a difference in my local community. I am passionate about customer service and experience.
I also wanted to be sure the franchise I chose would be one where I would always remain running the business, not working “in” the business. Finally, I wanted more of a work/life balance. I have a five-year-old daughter and wanted a career where I could simultaneously focus on my work and family.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
Purchase franchise: $60,000
Marketing upfront costs: $20,000
Hiring upfront costs: $5,000
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
Prior to purchasing my Handyman Matters franchise, I took the time to speak with some of the concept’s existing franchisees. I also researched the industry online quite extensively.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
I really didn’t have any unexpected challenges in opening my franchise. Running the franchise, however, is a constant challenge. Especially hiring and retaining quality and trustworthy craftsmen who will help me achieve my goal restoring public confidence in the home repair industry.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
I would not have had such success without the training I gained while working at Wells Fargo all those years. Know your strengths and delegate out/hire out the areas where you have a weakness. Do this quickly!
What’s next for you and your business?
I have grown my business pretty quickly. Next for Handyman Matters Dallas is to make it more profitable than it already is.