Clint Finch (far left in photo) opened his Our Town America franchise in Houston in 2004 with his wife Michelle. In 2014, they opened a second Our Town America franchise in Fort Worth, TX. Franchise Business Review asked Clint to share his franchising experience.
What is it that you like best about owning your franchise? From a business perspective, I am in complete control of my income. I know that I can generate as much revenue as I am willing to work for. I also know that I have a strong company support behind me that continues to develop products and processes that help me grow my income. I am not alone out here and I can focus on my customers and their needs. From a personal perspective, I am able to take my daughters to school every morning. I can be at their games and events that were subject to my work schedule in the past. I have a company I am building that I can pass along to them or sell for our future when needed.
How did you find your franchise? I received an Our Town America new mover package in the mail when I bought my home. The concept was interesting to me, so I began researching it. When I was ready to make a change in my career, I contacted Our Town America.
What was it about the franchise model and or leadership that led you to purchase it? After personally using Our Town America’s new mover certificates, the product made sense to me. Once I met the leadership of the company I was sold. It was clear that the concept was proven and turnkey and that I would receive the support I needed. I also appreciated the fact that I could generate profit with my first sale since Our Town America has low start up costs and does not require equipment, materials or opening a brick and mortar location.
How did you fund your franchise? We funded our franchise through personal savings.
What experience did you have prior to becoming a franchisee that you have found particularly helpful when it comes to successfully running your franchise? I have been in advertising my whole career so it was an obvious fit for me. My wife was a school teacher with no sales experience and was able to jump right in shortly after training due to quality of Our Town America’s materials and support.
How long did it take to be profitable? With this product you can be profitable with the first sale if you are priced correctly. We were! Breaking even including our franchise fee took about three months. I was and remain very aggressive with my sales.
How did you make ends meet until your business was profitable? We used savings until our revenue/profit was at a run rate we were used to.
What advice would you share with people considering purchasing a franchise? Owning a business does not mean you automatically make money! It takes consistency and dedication. You have to leave the house and make it happen. Your focus must be on generating revenue.
What is your work/life balance today? I work eight to ten hours per day during the week with an occasional Friday off. We work on weekends a few hours here or there, but are in control of our time. I do find I have more time since I no longer waste one to three hours per day commuting in traffic! We didn’t have to work much more than we currently do when we first opened our franchise. We also get to work from our home office, which is wonderful.
What is the most challenging aspects of being a franchisee? Understanding and planning for taxes, healthcare for my family, and trying to find and hire sales people that have passion and commitment.
What kind of support did you most appreciate from your franchisor when you started and what do you most appreciate now? When we started, the training and field support was tremendous and needed! Now, it is more about new product development and systems support.
What kind of support did you get from fellow franchisees when you first opened your franchise and what kind of support do you get from them now? When I first began my career in franchising, I was fortunate to have another franchisee in my area who was a constant support and to have a close friend who started in the business at the same time. Now I have established solid relationships with other franchisees. We call each other for advice on customers, offers, and personal issues. It is a real family here.
Where do you see your business in the next five years? My plan is to have five areas with sales reps in each generating over $1.25 million in revenue.
To see how Our Town America’s franchisees rate it in a variety of crucial areas including leadership, culture, training and support, financial outlook, and franchisee community, click here. To learn about the experience Bassam Safi, another Our Town America franchisee, has had, click here.
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