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.
When Chris Garrido began promoting his Mobile Gaming Revolution franchise, the first thing he had to do was explain what it was. Mobile gaming franchises bring entertainment to any event, with a self-contained video gaming theater on wheels. The entrepreneur, who has also worked as an education franchisee and owner of a custom cake shop, says that while the concept requires some introduction, being part of a new industry is an incredible opportunity. Here's what Garrido has learned as a franchisee for the swiftly growing brand.
Name: Chris Garrido
Franchise owned: Mobile Gaming Revolution in Tampa, Fla.
How long have you owned a franchise?
Mobile Gaming Revolution gave me the opportunity to have ownership in a legitimate, growing brand without the hassle and costs of developing from the ground up.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I worked as a TV as a sports reporter, anchor and producer and various stations throughout the Tampa Bay area. After that, I worked six years in education for Huntington Learning Center (another franchise).
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
Mobile Gaming Revolution is one of the fastest growing names in this industry. There is very little competition, and the market is growing by the minute. MGR also offered the best package of equipment and back end operations.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
I spent approximately $100,000 all together for the gaming theater, truck, franchise fees and development. Another thing that attracted me MGR are that there are several entry price points depending on which model of trailer chosen.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I did the research on my own. I am fortunate to have lived in Tampa my whole life, the headquarters for MGR. I worked right alongside corporate for guidance, advice and mentorship.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
Exposure. Since it is such an emerging industry we had to educate the public not just on MGR, but also the entire business of mobile entertainment.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Buy a franchise in an industry that you love. You're more likely to be successful when you're passionate about what you do.
What’s next for you and your business?
Growth. We want to continue to grow this business at current rates. We were up 600 percent in the third quarter this year, and hope keep that same pace. When this gaming theater can no longer sustain that growth, we plan to purchase a second and possibly expand our territory.