Franchise Players

Sometimes the Best Business Opportunities Are Not the Most Obvious Ones

Sometimes the Best Business Opportunities Are Not the Most Obvious Ones

Chris and Jessi Hendrix

Image credit: Chris and Jessi Hendrix
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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.

At first glance, Chris and Jessi Hendrix's experiences in the military don't directly translate into the skills needed to become Window Genie franchisees. However, when these veterans were looking for new careers after retiring from the Army, it became clear that the franchise was a perfect fit. After consulting with other entrepreneurs and small business advisors, the duo decided to open up a location of their own. Here's what they've learned.

Name: Chris and Jessi Hendrix  

Franchise owned: Window Genie, in Greenville, S.C.

Related: How You Interact With the Customer Will Make or Break You

How long have you owned a franchise?

We opened on March 23, 2015.

Why franchising?  

After retiring from the Army, we were looking to do something different. The idea of “being your own boss” was appealing to us, and with Window Genie we did not have to start from scratch. Their corporate team and network of franchisees and resources made the transition from the Army a smooth and easy one.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

Chris served in the Army for 22 years while Jessi, who is also a veteran, worked in statistics and analysis and was a stay-at-home mom.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

More and more people are recognizing the value in having their windows, siding, decks, and more taken care of by a professional. By utilizing a service such as Window Genie, customers have the ability to spend their free time with family and friends and enjoy home ownership, rather than working tirelessly to fulfill household chores and working to keep each aspect of their property up to date.

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

We spent roughly $95,000. That includes business formation (licenses, taxes, professional fees, phones, etc.), franchise fee, start-up package, and living/travel expenses for two.

Related: I Wanted to Work to Improve My Life – Not My Employer's

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

We started the process by speaking with a business consultant. The franchise itself has been and continues to be a solid foundation for our success. CEO Rik Nonelle and the entire team have been very detail oriented and been a huge help in shortening the business learning curve.

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Trying to coordinate the opening of our business with retiring from the Army and relocating across the states.

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

Keep an open mind. Sometimes the best opportunities are not the most obvious ones.

What’s next for you and your business?

We would like to be able to grow the business and in doing so, hire additional technicians, expand our service area, and to be a household name within our community.

Related: First-Time Franchisees Bring Industry Expertise to Their New Venture

Edition: December 2016

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