Leaving Corporate America for Franchising After 30 Years Paul Deal didn't know what to expect when he opened a one-man business as a Floor Coverings International franchisee. Here's what he's learned.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Paul Deal
Paul Deal

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.

After nearly 30 years in corporate America, Paul Deal was ready to go into business for himself. So, he signed on as a Floor Coverings International franchisee.

Opening his own business brought some surprises. Deal hadn't realized how much attention little details would take, like the difficulties of disposing packaging. He also hadn't realized how much he would love going into work every day.

Here's what the flooring franchisee has learned.

Name: Paul Deal

Franchises owned: Floor Coverings International, in St. Louis.

Related: How I Run a Restaurant Franchise With Virtually Zero Turnover

How long have you owned a franchise?

Six months.

Why franchising?

I had worked for large and small corporations for 30 years and I decided that I wanted to work for myself.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I was vice president of marketing and business development at Stupp Bros., Inc. for 18 months. Then, I was director of marketing at Emerson Electric Co., later called Nidec Motor Company, for 17 years.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

  • I liked the business model.
  • The industry is extremely fragmented and allows me to build a brand in a region.
  • The Mobile Showroom is a significant differentiator in the industry.
  • I have the ability to work on the business versus working in the business.
  • This is a business that, once built, will not rely on me or my involvement in the future—my children can take over or I can sell it.

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


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

I consulted current and former franchisees, franchise consultant, career consultant, friends, family, and FCI.

Related: This Couple Discovered Franchising as a Way to Give Back Locally and Globally

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

  • Having worked for large corporations for 30 years, I had become accustomed to having a significant support surrounding me. I didn't realize how many little details there were that required my attention.
  • I did not expect to enjoy my days as much as I do. I have to make myself go home at the end of the day.
  • Handling the delivery of all the samples and disposing of all the packaging!

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

Do your research. Talk to every franchisee you can find—especially ones that failed. Compare the two types and understand what leads to failure and what it takes to be successful. Then, honestly evaluate your strengths, weaknesses and commitment.

What's next for you and your business?

Continue to grow and hiring my first employee.

Related: How These Three Stay-at-Home Moms Teamed Up to Buy a Franchise

Wavy Line
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. 

Editor's Pick

A Leader's Most Powerful Tool Is Executive Capital. Here's What It Is — and How to Earn It.
One Man's Casual Side Hustle Became an International Phenomenon — And It's on Track to See $15 Million in Revenue This Year
3 Reasons to Keep Posting on LinkedIn, Even If Nobody Is Engaging With You
Why a Strong Chief Financial Officer Is Crucial for Your Franchise — and What to Look for When Hiring One

Related Topics

Starting a Business

5 Tips For Launching a Business While Keeping Your Day Job

Launching a business while holding down a 9-to-5 is no small feat. It's a common path for aspiring entrepreneurs, but it's not without its challenges.

Growing a Business

This Stock Screener is on Sale for Memorial Day

invest while mitigating risk with this top-rated stock screening app.

Business News

The Virgin Islands Want to Serve Elon Musk a Subpoena, But They Can't Find Him

Government officials would like to talk to Tesla's owner as part of an investigation into the Jeffrey Epstein case.

Business News

Amazon Employees Plan a Walkout at Seattle Headquarters, Say Morale Is at an 'All-Time Low'

The organizers hope the walkout will include nearly 1,000 participants.

Business News

Mark Zuckerberg Wins Gold At First Jiu-Jitsu Tournament in California

Last year, Zuckerberg said training helps him "solve whatever problem at work for the day."