How This Father-Son Team Discovered a Franchising Opportunity While Trying to Lose Weight

Today, Steve and Dennis Holzwarth are trying to spread the word about a Profile by Sanford location of their own.

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By Kate Taylor

Steve Holzwarth
Steve Holzwarth

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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

Dennis and Steve Holzwarth discovered Profile by Sanford as clients, trying to get fit and lose some weight. The father-son duo did that and more – they discovered a business opportunity. Today, they are the first franchisees for the brand. Here are their thoughts on advertising and spreading the word about a company that is still unknown to many potential clients.

Name: Steve and Dennis Holzwarth

Franchise owned: Profile by Sanford in Lincoln, Neb.

Related: It Is Not My Goal to be the Biggest, Simply the Best

How long have you owned a franchise?

July 2014.

Why franchising?

Both my father and I firmly believe in the product/program we are selling. It has worked for both of us so we know what it can do for others.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

We both worked at U.S. bank. My father was an investment portfolio manager and I was in the trust department. My father retired in June of 2013.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

Like I mentioned above, we firmly believe in the product/program we are trying to sell and believe it is something that truly works, and is safe and effective.

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

It is very hard to say. We haven't been billed for our construction renovation of our store yet. We have only paid the franchise fee and some miscellaneous extra costs, so I would say around $100,000.

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

First hand research of the program. We also had several meetings with Profile corporate regarding a more detailed background of Profile and how everything comes together.

Related: Why This Chiropractor Chose the Franchised Path to Entrepreneurship

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Being able to promote this program being outside of the Sanford Health footprint. No one in Lincoln, or Nebraska for that matter, knew of us or knew of Sanford Health so it has been a lot of hard work getting our name out in the community and letting them know who we are and what we do.

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

Make sure they have the right advertising plan in place to target the right demographic of people and the right advertising avenues. You get most of your business just hitting the streets and selling your business and your story to the people face to face.

What's next for you and your business?

We hope to open at least one and maybe two more stores in the Lincoln area. The word is spreading here and the community is starting to see how we differ from the other weight loss companies and how we can better help them lose weight, as well as sustain and maintain their weight.

Related: Joining the Family Business and Becoming a Franchisee at Age 25

Kate Taylor


Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

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