Building Something Versus Working for a Paycheck

Ed and Jennifer Wagner bought their Assisted Living Locators franchise in 2013 after working for more than a decade in the corporate world. Located in Denver, CO, the Wagners say they love the autonomy that franchise ownership has offered them. You can hear more from the Wagners below.

Ed and Jennifer Wagner, Assisted Living Locator’s Franchisees in Denver, CO

What was it about the franchise model and/or leadership that led you to purchase it?

After working for very large organizations for 15+ years, we were ready for a new challenge where we controlled our own destiny. Employers often make decisions on your behalf without your input or consideration. By being franchise owners, we can make quick decisions ourselves in the best interest of the clients. Plus, we have the support of the franchise when we need it. In the beginning, this was very reassuring.

What type of business experience, education, and/or skills did you have prior to becoming a franchisee that you have found particularly helpful?

We came from a sales, management, and marketing background. This experience made it easier to get off to a quick start. We were not afraid of rejection necessarily but rather knew that persistence would pay off eventually.

What do you like most about your job/owning a franchise?

It is difficult to narrow it down to ONE thing, but autonomy is a huge factor. There is a direct correlation between hard work and results. In our previous employment, this was not always the case. Having the freedom to decide what to do (and when) is rewarding. As franchise owners, we feel we are building something vs. just collecting a paycheck.

How did you fund your franchise? Did you receive any discounts/incentives?

We funded it through savings.

What advice do you have for prospective franchise buyers? What do you wish you had known prior to going into franchising?

Before we decided to buy a franchise, we had realized that our happiest and most successful friends were small business owners. They were not afraid of working hard but simply seemed happy to have the freedom of being owners. This observation told us that we could also do well, but being new to business ownership we needed guidance and support! Looking back, we are glad we took this direction. In retrospect, we were so focused on our own market, but we could have spent more time learning from other franchise owners around the country.

What else would you like to share?

In our experience, franchise ownership was a good move for our family. We focus on the business, but we are not bogged down with countless meetings, unnecessary travel, pointless reports, etc. In fact, we actually have more time for our kids now than we’ve ever had.

Learn more about becoming an Assisted Living Locators franchise owner. 

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