Get All Access for $5/mo

How Franchising Helped Me Find Work-Life Balance This father of three left a job in retail, leaving behind unpredictable schedules in the process.

By Carly Okyle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Shutterstock.com

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 franchiseplayers@entrepreneur.com.

For 12 years, Jason Jacobus was in retail management, where working on weekends, holidays, and night shifts kept him away from his family. Three and a half years ago, Jason became a Minuteman Press franchisee. The change has allowed him to coach his kids' sports teams and go to their school functions. Read on to see how he made the switch and how he made it work.

Name: Jason Jacobus

Franchise owned: Minuteman Press in Flemington, N.J.

Q: How long have you owned a franchise? Three and a half years

Related: These Franchisees' Business Runs Off Batteries Essential to an Alaskan Winter

Q: Why franchising?

I believe franchising gives you the head start needed to be successful from the beginning. For me, the Minuteman Press home office as well as my local support team was there to show me the ropes and guide me along the way, and people like my regional vice president Jim Galasso are still there for me to this day. A great franchise like Minuteman Press, they will be there with the same support 20 years in that they gave me in this first 3.5 years.

Q: What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I have a printing background from the early 1990s, but I was in retail management for the 12 years prior to purchasing my Minuteman Press franchise. Minuteman Press enabled me to leave behind unpredictable schedules so that I could have more time with my wife and three children. Family is important to me and working nights, weekends and holidays really wore on me. Now I work Monday through Friday, am home for dinner at 5:15 pm every night, I coach my kids' teams and attend school functions, and I can plan my family weekends and vacations accordingly.

Q: Why did you choose this particular franchise?

Being in the print industry prior to retail, I knew the name. But what sold me on Minuteman Press was the fact that the same people who started the company 40 plus years ago are the same people running the home office today.

Q: How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business? I spent roughly $60,000 to get started.

$26,000 for the franchise fee and software licensing. My shop was the purchase of an existing store.

$5,600 for rent deposits.

$23,400 for equipment and build out upgrades.

$3,000 initial paper order.

Related: This Franchisee Has Learned 'How Sweet It Is' to Be in Business for Herself

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

I asked a lot of questions during the initial meetings with Minuteman. We toured a few stores and the owners of these stores were very helpful by answering my questions. The Internet was also a great source for research. Of course, I reached out to family and friends who own their own businesses for advice.

Q: What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Going from working in an environment where things were laid out for you to being the one who lays out and executes the plan. Being ultimately responsible for everything that happens good or bad.

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

Do your research on profit margins and startup costs. Figure out a reasonable time frame to the breakeven point. Have enough startup capital to pay your bills -- including payroll, rent and utilities -- for at least four to six months.

Q: What's next for you and your business?

The sky is the limit. We hope to continue the growth of our current location at the same rapid speed as the last three years, and we're looking to open a second location when the time is right. Lastly, we want to continue to evolve with the current print world we live in. It's not just letterhead and envelopes anymore, but everything from creative design and cross media marketing services to promotional products and more!

Related: Translating My Experience Into Action as an Entrepreneur
Carly Okyle

Editorial Assistant

Carly Okyle is an editorial assistant at Entrepreneur.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Franchise

Four Takeaways for the Franchise Industry From My Time at the Republican National Convention

Matt Haller, President and CEO of the IFA, says the stakes are high for franchisors and franchisees in the upcoming presidential election.

Business News

How to Build a Successful Startup, According to an Investor Who Made Early Bets on Twitter, Lyft, and Twitch

He's found a few patterns after nearly two decades of investing in startups.

Growing a Business

The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

Discover the top 5 AI tools for marketing and content creation that every marketer needs to know.

Science & Technology

No More ChatGPT? Here's Why Small Language Models Are Stealing the AI Spotlight

Entrepreneurs can leverage this growing tech to create innovative, efficient and targeted AI solutions.

Marketing

10 Effective Growth Marketing Hacks and Strategies for Your Startup

Working at a startup can feel like building a plane while you're trying to take off. Use these ten marketing tips to effectively grow and sustain your startup.