Franchise Players

Why I Became a Franchisee After Retiring From the NFL

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 ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

When Adam Terry played in the NFL, much of his life was planned out for him: what to eat, when to sleep, how to train, etc. When he retired from professional football, he worried that he would miss a certain level of support if he entered the world of business. Fortunately, like many athletes, he found structure in the franchising industry. Here's why Terry decided to become a Power Train franchisee.

Name: Adam Terry

Franchise owned: I own two Power Train franchise locations in Rochester, N.Y. I plan to open two additional locations in Albany and Syracuse, N.Y. before the end of next year.

How long have you owned a franchise?

I launched my first Power Train facility in 2012 in West Rochester. I opened my second facility in 2013 in East Rochester.

Related: Franchising When Subway Is Your Family Business

Why franchising?

After six years in the NFL and three knee surgeries in 2010 that culminated with a microfracture surgery a year prior, I hung up my cleats to pursue other opportunities.

Initially, I was not intent on franchising. I was interested in coaching, teaching or any role that would allow me to stay involved in football. Coaching and teaching were particularly appealing because I enjoy working with children and their families.

Following a discussion with Steve Saunders about Power Train’s franchise growth plans, my mind had been made up. The opportunity that Power Train presented would allow me to have an impact on young athletes and their families. Much more than that, I would be able to share the training system that had completely transformed my NFL career with members of my community.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I spent six years in the NFL as an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Titans and Tennessee Titans.

Following a successful collegiate career at Syracuse, I was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft. I played with the Ravens for four years before transferring to four different NFL teams. I retired in 2011 following a series of knee surgeries.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

I choose to invest in Power Train for a number of reasons.

For one, I wanted my voice to be heard. I had explored opportunities with a couple different fast-food chains before signing-on with Power Train. While conducting my due diligence, it became apparent that few of these franchise concepts took the time to listen to their franchisees before making decisions.

The leadership team at Power Train is different. Steve Saunders is a former franchisee that firmly understands the needs of his owner/operators. He allows his franchisees to share input and play an important role in driving the growth of the company. This is a rarity in franchising and something that I consider invaluable.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

The total initial investment for a Power Train franchise is less than $200,000.

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

I am consistently looking to improve every aspect of my business. Like any athlete, I am never satisfied.

I receive advice and mentorship from a range of sources including teachers, coaches, sports psychologists, clients and so forth. There is no shortage of expertise on how to build a better business, especially among those that I surround myself with.

In fact, there is an investment group in the Rochester market that owns and operates a number of fast-food franchise units that has offered me guidance on how to grow and develop my facilities throughout upstate New York. Their advice has been pivotal in my success.

Related: What I Have Learned as a Coupon Magazine's First Ever Franchisee

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

My biggest concern was the fear of the unknown.

Throughout my NFL career, I was given very specific direction on what to eat, when to sleep, how to train and so on. I had begun my career in a structured environment where managers, coaches and nutritionists carefully predetermine every facet of my training and preparation.

When I retired from the NFL, I was concerned that I would not have the level of guidance that I had become accustom to during my athletic career. Fortunately, thanks to the Power Train team, I did not need to go in it alone. From the moment I signed my agreement, I was given a playbook for success, which included on-going marketing and operations support. The direction provided by Steve and the team at Power Train corporate has become instrumental in the growth and continued success of my facilities.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

I would advise anybody who is exploring franchise opportunities to do their due diligence. It is imperative to do adequate research before investing in a new business venture. More importantly, it is critical to find a concept that you are passionate about. I look forward to heading into work everyday. I have truly found my calling and there is nothing more rewarding than that.

I was fortunate to sign-on with Power Train early on in the brand’s development. I have had the exciting opportunity to witness Power Train grow from a startup in Central Pennsylvania to a national fitness and sports performance chain. The evolution of the brand has been incredible. I am looking forward to helping grow our franchise network in the months and years to come. And, since we are so young, we have a number of available markets for interested franchisees to choose from.

What’s next for you and your business?

Looking ahead, I plan to grow Power Train throughout upstate New York including opening new facilities in Syracuse and Albany before the end of next year.

My immediate goals are to drive sales and increase profits at each of our existing Power Train locations.  

Related: How I Went From Working at State Farm to Running My Own Insurance Franchise

Edition: December 2016

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