bannerFranchisee Stories

The Great Franchisee: Eric Bruckner, Wireless Zone, Pennsylvania

The phone-service veteran is converting nine TCC stores to new Wireless Zone franchises.

Eric Bruckner has worked in the phone service industry since the late ‘90s. After establishing and growing his own brand, Wireless Made Simple, Bruckner is now expanding his reach by converting nine TCC locations into Wireless Zone stores throughout Central Pennsylvania. 

Wireless Zone is the nation’s largest wireless retail franchise, and by partnering with the brand, Bruckner aims to tap into the franchise’s expansive support and resources. We spoke to Bruckner to learn more about his path to franchise ownership with Wireless Zone.

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

Eric Bruckner: I’ve been in this industry for a long time, starting after I graduated from Penn State in 1996. After college, I worked at a phone kiosk in the mall before branching out to work in outside sales. In 2004, after spending nearly 10 years in this business working for various other companies, I decided to take the knowledge and experience that I had acquired from my other jobs to launch my own business, Wireless Made Simple. At first, I didn’t have a retail store, and I offered small business support for companies in the area. Eventually, as word began to spread and my company became more successful, I was able to grow the retail side and opened the doors to my very own brick-and-mortar store. 

I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to grow my business to include multiple locations over the years, and I have a number of employees who have worked with me since 2014. I’ve always been a big believer in servant leadership. I think that it has really shaped my success over the years. Put simply, as a leader, it’s your job to help the people around you who need help and provide constant support. If you do that from the start, you will build a strong team on a firm foundation of trust. 

1851: How did you initially find out about franchising and what was your perception of franchising before becoming a franchise owner?

Bruckner: It honestly wasn’t so much that I found out about franchising as much as my attention was caught by the opportunities that Verizon was able to provide. As our model continued to grow, it was immediately clear that Wireless Zone provided more support and tools for owners than other companies, and I knew that I wanted to stay on that path. 

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

Bruckner: This business really pulled me in and it seemed like the natural path from the trajectory I was already on as my own business began to grow. I wanted to have the independence over my business and the leadership to run things the way that I wanted but with the support and backing of a larger network. 

1851: Why did you pick Wireless Zone? What excited you most about the potential?

Bruckner: I’ve always been a big Verizon supporter, and Wireless Zone offers the best opportunities in the area. We live in a tricky coverage area, and Verizon is truly the best in terms of coverage and customer support as well as the options and features that they provide to owners. The Verizon name carries a lot of recognition and respect, and I was excited to pair that reputation with my own experience and business acumen. 

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

Bruckner: After successfully converting our 9 stores to Wireless Zone, we are looking forward to expanding in more areas and adding additional stores. 

As for the future of the business, we are big into community involvement, and I’m excited to continue working with and giving back to our community. We sponsor several local teams and donate to charities in the area. We also provide two paid days off a year that our employees can use to volunteer at the charity of their choice. It’s a program that I would love to continue to grow and find new ways to help businesses and other organizations in our area. 

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

Bruckner: It should always be customers and employees first — that’s really the only way to find success as a franchise owner. You have to view your employees as family and have an all-inclusive mentality rather than simply looking out for yourself. If you respect your employees, it carries through in every aspect of the business and customers pick up on it. It truly drives success. 

1851: What do you do in your personal time?

Bruckner: I love to scuba dive, and my daughter recently got certified. Once we can travel again, we are looking forward to traveling to Florida to do some diving. Other than that, I love spending time with my family, and we are truly a family business. My wife works with us as Director of Communications and Recruiting, and it’s been an incredible experience being able to work together. 



Founded in 1988 as "The Car Phone Store", the Wireless Zone® system has become the nation's largest wireless retail franchisor, was ranked the No. 1 franchise in its category by Entrepreneur magazine and #118 on Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 in 2021. Each of the over 400 stores are independently owned and operated, exclusively offering Verizon Wireless products and services. The Wireless Zone® system has been honored with Verizon's “Best Customer Service” award for five consecutive years and is franchised and operated by Wireless Zone LLC. For more information, visit