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.
Would you relocate to open your own business? For Kevin, Curtis and Steve Newman, the decision to move to San Antonio to do just that simply made sense. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, the three brothers decided to buy a franchise together. When a pair of Two Men and a Truck locations were available in San Antonio, the trio decided to make the purchase. Here's what they've learned.
Name: Kevin Newman, Curtis Newman and Steve Newman
Franchise owned: Two Men and a Truck in San Antonio
How long have you owned a franchise?
We began running our first franchise on Dec. 8 and took over our second franchise on Dec. 22.
Franchising allowed us to become business owners without jumping into the business world alone. With franchising, there is enough structure to give us the necessary support we need to get on our feet while allowing us enough freedom to develop and grow our own business. The ongoing support from other franchisees and home office also allows us to share best practices. Many of the strategies we plan on implementing came from fellow Two Men and a Truck franchisees. We never would have had this assistance if we had not chosen to purchase a franchise.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
- Kevin: Before becoming a franchise owner, I studied at the University of Iowa and obtained a BBA in Finance. After college I worked for Aviva Investors on their data management team and Wells Fargo in their Home Mortgage department.
- Curtis: I received an accounting degree from Coe College where I also played on their tennis team. I then spent some time as a tennis pro and a finance manager at a car dealership before pursuing entrepreneurship options.
- Steve: Prior to Two Men and a Truck, I practiced law and invested in real estate.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
We decided to partner up with Two Men and a Truck because every franchisee we spoke with said they would invest with Two Men and a Truck again. Also, Two Men and a Truck fit the criteria we were looking for in a business. For us to invest, the business must be scalable, be a manager driven model, and cannot be replaced by technological advances.
We decided to invest in the San Antonio area because of its population growth and potential. When we discovered we had a chance to own two franchises in San Antonio, we leaped at the opportunity. Of course, the weather in Texas also doesn’t hurt!
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
That is a tough question to answer, as a lot of our costs relate to the purchase of two businesses rather than opening up a new franchise. One should expect to spend between $2,000 to $5,000 on legal and due diligence and another $5,000 on qualifying for an SBA loan. Additional costs such as rent, security deposits, uniforms, supplies, equipment, and inventory also need to be addressed. Another cost most people do not think about is paying yourself for your time as you hire employees, finding a location for your business, and getting the business ready to be opened.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
Our primary mediums for advice at this point are other franchisees and our contacts at home office. Their advice and insight has been an enormous amount of help to us. We also lean on advice from our family and friends. We know that without their support this would not be possible nor as enjoyable.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
All of the little things. No matter how prepared we think we are there always appears to be something left to surprise us.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Remember why you wanted to become a franchisee. It can be easy to lose track of why you are in this line of work when problems pile up but it’s important to take time to remind yourself it’s worth it.
What’s next for you and your business?
The next step is actually starting to run the business. We’re all excited to expand the Two Men and a Truck brand and see what the future brings.