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The Great Franchisee: Doug Engle, Footprints Floors, Pennsylvania

The franchise industry veteran has spent time on both the franchisor and franchisee sides of the industry. Now, he’s joined the fast-growing flooring franchise with a new location in Pennsylvania.

By the time Doug Engle partnered with Footprints Floors*, the 50-plus-unit flooring franchise, he was no stranger to the franchise industry. Engle spent 20 years working on the franchisor side, focused mainly on franchisee training and support. Then, Engle opened his own franchise, which he eventually built into a 13-unit operation before selling to become a franchise broker. 

Now, Engle has transitioned back into a franchisee role as one of the newest owners with Footprints Floors in Pennsylvania. We spoke to Engle to learn more about his journey through the franchise industry.

1851 Franchise: Tell us your story – what did you do before franchising?

Doug Engle: I’ve worked in the franchise industry for 25 years with automotive and senior care brands. As Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer, I worked closely with franchisees for coaching, mentoring and training. 

1851: How did you decide you wanted to be a franchisee with Footprints Floors?

Engle: A friend and franchise broker referred me. I didn’t have any intention of buying a franchise; I actually wanted to become a broker. I reached out to several friends who worked as brokers at different companies and asked them to take me through their process. While doing so, one of the brokers mentioned Footprints Floors, and I was intrigued. I really like the independent contractor business model, and I ended up going the franchisee route.

1851: How did you perform your research?

Engle: I spoke to several franchise broker consultants and researched over a dozen franchise opportunities. None of which were of any interest until finally I reluctantly decided to investigate the Footprints Floors opportunity. I knew from the very first conversation that this opportunity was the right fit for me.

1851: Why did you pick Footprints Floors? What excited you most about the potential?

Engle: In my previous roles, I traveled 40-50 weeks per year. Not traveling will be a huge quality of life improvement for me. In addition, the value proposition for both the customer and business owner is exceptional at Footprints Floors. It affords the opportunity to help people while providing the perfect balance of business opportunity with the coveted work/life balance we all seek. I love the brand’s high-quality in-demand service, owner/operator model with the ability to scale the business quickly and exceptional unit economics. 

1851: What are your dreams with the business? What does the future look like?

Engle: I’m excited to achieve my goals while maintaining a balanced personal life with this new role. I also look forward to collaborating with other owners committed to building the brand.

1851: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise?

Engle: Don’t do it alone. Engage with a broker since they are the experts and can help you find the right fit. All franchises have pros and cons, but make sure you pick the system that is best for you. 

1851: What do you do in your personal time? 

Engle: I’m an empty-nester, so most of my time is spent with my wife and friends. We enjoy motorcycle touring, kayaking and canoeing. 


Upon his return to Littleton, Colorado after serving in the U.S. Air Force, Bryan Park noticed that Denver’s flooring industry lacked a higher level of customer service and sophistication. So, in 2008, he founded Footprints Floors, which today specializes in installing hardwood floors, carpet, tile floors, backsplashes and laminates. With more than 50 current locations, Footprints Floors offers franchisees a robust support system including a call center, flexible hours for work-life balance and a low cost of entry with outstanding economics.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.