There are many reasons why people get involved with franchising. For some, it is the investment opportunity. For others, it is a passion for the industry or providing a needed service. No matter what the reason, buying into a franchise it is a great way to feel confident as a business owner. Working in a proven system and having the support of the corporate team is a great feeling when investing so much money, time and emotion into a business.
1. A Good Investment
Brett Devries has been involved in the restaurant industry all of his life. At the young age of 19, he was a cook for a restaurant in his hometown of Greensboro, NC. From working in a locally owned restaurant, he then moved to working for Outback Steakhouse. There, he continued to work in the kitchen as a prep cook and moved his way up the chain to become a manager. Outback Steakhouse introduced him to the world of chains and franchising. He discovered the positive aspects of having a set system and rules when running a restaurant.
“I always had the mindset of making everything simple in a restaurant,” said Devries. “When I was at Outback there were 13 menu items and everything ran smoothly. I really thought it was a great way to run a restaurant.”
After leaving Outback, Devries got a call from a local restaurant in town that burned down and requested his help for opening it back up. Devries agreed, but quickly got out of the business because it was overcomplicated and not a good investment choice. Around the same time a business partner reached out to him about the idea of opening a Jimmy John’s franchise. Devries was initially skeptical but decided to give it a shot.
“I had never been a franchisee before so I wasn’t sure what it would entail,” noted Devries. “After doing a lot of research, talking to other franchisees and the corporate team, I really felt confident that the simplicity of the restaurant and the proven model would be a foundation for a successful business.”
Devries opened his first Jimmy John’s franchise in 2009 in Wilmington, NC. He currently has five locations and is working on opening the sixth. He believes that if it wasn’t for the simplicity and corporate support he wouldn’t be involved in the restaurant business at all, especially as an owner.
“Many people try and make their restaurant a fancy and unique food option,” said Devries. “While that mindset might work, you will only get customers once every couple of months. I think it is a better business decision to do something basic, good and affordable so you’ll get regular customers visiting as many times as possible.”
2. Passion for the Industry
Stacy Edwards has always had a passion for fitness and sports. He coaches girls’ basketball at a local high school in a suburb of Seattle and broadcasted high school football games for the past 18 years. It wasn’t until two of his friends passed away that he decided he needed to take his passion for fitness and create a business to help others.
“When two of my good friends passed away in their 30’s from health and weight related issues, I knew I had to do something,” said Edwards. “At first, I thought buying or opening a gym would be the best idea, but I was wrong. A gym would be too expensive and too difficult to run without a proven path for success.”
After consulting with a franchise coach, Edwards learned about other business options that would help achieve his goal of making an impact on Seattle residents’ lives through fitness. One company in particular that stood out to him through the whole process was GYMGUYZ, the mobile fitness franchise.
“GYMGUYZ offered something that no other fitness brand had, convenience,” mentioned Edwards. “So many people have a difficult time making it to the gym or can’t afford a gym membership. GYMGUYZ solves this problem. Our trainers go to the clients preferred place to work out, which can be in their home, a neighborhood park, their office or place of worship.”
Four months after opening, Edwards is happily achieving his goal of why he decided to get into franchising. He now trains a variety of people and is making a huge impact in their lives. He trains an 85-year-old man, a 20-year-old autistic man, a nurse, a doctor, a Microsoft business executive, a real estate agent and a stay-at-home mother.
“Without the franchise structure and support, I don’t think I would have been as successful of a business owner,” mentioned Edwards. “It is a great feeling being able to do what I am passionate about and help so many in the Seattle market.”
3. Providing a Needed Service
Yilan Liu and Shan Zhao moved from China to Canada and then to the U.S. with hopes to providing more opportunities for their children. When they moved to California they both found a lack of quality education. Living in the Bay Area, where many immigrants are flocking to because of Silicon Valley, many of their neighborhood friends felt the same. Liu and Zhao decided they wanted to provide more education opportunities for their children and other children in the area. Being immigrants and new residents to California, and the U.S., the only option to fulfill this dream was through franchising.
“Since we both recently moved to the U.S. and have lived in two different countries prior to the U.S., we need support on the business level to make sure that we adhere to all the rules and regulations,” said Liu. “In addition, the school system in China and Canada are very different than the U.S., so we wanted support to make sure that we were collaborating with the school system to help the students.”
When determining what company would be best for their supplementary education business, they landed on Best in Class Education Center because of the dedication for their franchisees.
Liu and Zhao’s location will open in the beginning of 2018 and they hope to open more locations throughout the Bay Area.
“The size of Best in Class is really what made us feel so confident as potential franchisees,” noted Liu. “We met with some companies that were really big and felt that we wouldn’t get the necessary attention we needed as franchisees. Best in Class is the perfect size, it is large enough to have brand recognition but small enough to provide individual support.”