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.
Franchise owned: Mr. Appliance, of Plano, Tex.
How long have you owned a franchise? 12 months
Franchising provides you the opportunity to pursue your financial dreams at your own pace. It also allows you to do something that you are truly passionate about and provide jobs in your local community.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I spent 35 years in corporate America as a national sales managers for Sears Home Repair Services at the company's headquarters in Illinois. After retiring in January 2015, we relocated to Texas to open our franchise because of the tremendous growth opportunity available in the state.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I chose to purchase my Mr. Appliance franchise because of the corporate values of Dwyer Group, which places emphasis on respect, integrity and customer focus. To me, the Dwyer Group really stood out in an industry that’s completely based on trust since you are in the customer’s home making repairs, and it was immediately obvious to me that the company doesn’t just speak to these values, but truly lives it everyday. This made purchasing a Mr. Appliance franchise very appealing to me, because in today’s environment, it’s crucial to share the same values in regards to how you treat your customers and your associates. Additionally, it is a very profitable business model and provided me with the opportunity to successfully do something that I really love.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
My total cost was $77,000, including: $35,000 for a van purchase and tools, $23,000 for a franchise fee down payment, $2,500 for office set-up, $7,500 for insurance -- general liability, auto and workers comp, $4,000 for marketing materials and advertising and $5,000 in other expenses
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I got most of my advice from current Mr. Appliance franchise owners, including Kim Gandy, who owns the Crystal Lake, Ill., location and had previously worked with me at Sears; and Andrew Green, who owns the Mr. Appliance of East Texas and is one of the company’s top franchisees. Additionally, Robert Tunmire from the Dwyer Group provided me with exceptional information regarding the market I was considering purchasing.
The Dwyer Group has a phenomenal support network, and everyone involved is truly willing to help and emphasizes that this is a genuine collaborative effort, where everyone has the same goal. The supportive environment and existing network were huge assets when I was starting out and launching my franchise. Additionally, I also did extensive research on different types of franchises, as well as utilized Entrepreneur magazine!
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What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
I would advise them to thoroughly research the franchise network that they are considering joining and to become part of a business that they are truly passionate about. Additionally, if they are going into an area they're not familiar with, I recommend shortening the learning curve by connecting with the local chamber of commerce and industry professionals, as well as utilizing a local realtor and business networks as resources to get information. Learning about your new community should always be a priority, as it’s key to understanding how to better serve your new customers.
What’s next for you and your business?
Currently, we have three technicians. We plan to double the size of our workforce in the next 18 months and grow our annual revenue by 25 percent.