My Franchise Is Like My Second Child
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the youngest franchise owner in the BlueGrace Logistics franchise system, Dusty King says his job is similar to raising his three year old daughter. Why? He loves and invests time in both, and believes that both will grow into "honest contributors to society." Here's what King has learned as a franchisee and father.
Name: Dusty King
Franchise owned: BlueGrace Logistics in Atlanta, Ga.
How long have you owned a franchise? 2 1/2 years
Having the proven system in place is invaluable. Not having to start from scratch is a huge step forward in creating a business. You're able to take a proven business model and add your personal efforts toward achieving your goals. This allowed me to focus solely on obtaining new business and not so much on creating back end systems that businesses need to run on a day to day basis.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was an operations manager for a partner franchise in the BlueGrace system.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
For me it was easy. I had been in the business for a few years already and was very familiar with the opportunities in the industry. I settled on BlueGrace Logistics because of the leadership the corporate office already had in place, the systems and process established and the personal belief I had in the brand. For me that was an easy choice.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
We spent about $60,000 out of pocket. Around 75 percent of that was franchise and legal fees and the remainder was office space and equipment.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
Mine was a unique case in terms of me having such a familiarity with BlueGrace beforehand. Having worked for another franchise for the last few years and having strong industry knowledge gave me an advantage from day one.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
As with any new venture, uncertainty. Not knowing what tomorrow brings, but this is also what excites me so much that’s very rewarding to me. Also in my industry competition is a real threat. This is why we invest and will continue to invest so much into our operations and make it an absolute company policy to go that extra mile. Whatever that may be, on each and every shipment we handle.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Do your homework and find a system in an industry that truly excites you. This will be something that will be a large portion of your time and energy. Make sure it is something that really interests you. In turn, I believe the more effort from the heart you put into your business, the bigger and more gratifying reward you’ll yield in the end. I honestly look at it as a second child in a way: you have to take care, nurture and put effort into it. By doing this, you hope for it to blossom into a respectable honest contributor to society. I like to think any parent would want the same for their child.
What’s next for you and your business?
We would like to triple our business in the next 15 months. I'm already well on my way to having a fantastic leadership team in place and will continue to build that. I then want to step back and spend as much time as I can with my wife and our three year old little girl. We love to travel and having the ability to do that more often and more comfortably helps drive me short term.