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.
They say you should do what you love, and Pat Abernathey loved his job in franchise development so much that he decided to take a hands-on approach by becoming a franchisee with the company. While he appreciates the proven business model that franchises provide, he warns, “it’s all on you.” Read on to learn more of his advice.
Name: Pat Abernathey
Franchise owned: Caring Senior Service in Boulder and Lakewood, Colorado
Q: How long have you owned a franchise? 3 years
Q: Why franchising?
I chose franchising because it is a proven business model and is a solid system. There is no need to recreate the wheel because the process in place already works and has a proven track record of success.
Q: What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was previously a vice president of franchise development at Caring Senior Service
Q: Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I chose Caring Senior Service because I had previous experience working with the franchisor. I had a wonderful experience and believed in their system 100 percent.
Q: How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
Total Cost: $45,000
$35,000 Franchise fee
$1000 for office set-up
$2500 for insurance
$1000 for marketing material and advertising
$3000 for license
$2000 in other expenses
Q: Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I got a majority of my advice and research from other franchise owners. I also read a lot of business news outlets and publications like Entrepreneur.
Q: What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
While none of the challenges I faced were unexpected, due to my other franchise experience, I can’t say that they don’t exist.
Q: What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
I would tell people considering their own franchises that “It’s all on you. The franchisor can't do the work for you. You have to put in the appropriate amount of time, effort and resources to get the most out of it.
Q: What’s next for you and your business?
It is our hope and goal to expand additional franchises into other states.