Right at Home Franchise Owner, Reid Grier
Miami, Jacksonville, & St. Augustine, Florida
Franchise Business Review asked Reid Grier, Right at Home franchise owner, about his experience joining the Right at Home franchise family and the success he’s experienced through the years of his rewarding franchise business.
Why did you purchase a franchise instead of being an employee or opening an independent business?
I worked at investment firms in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) throughout my career. I became heavily involved in the operational aspects of family-owned businesses and absolutely fell in love with what I saw. Given my experience, I started the journey of purchasing an existing business for myself in the Fall of 2019. When I came across Right at Home, I was immediately drawn to the business and market-specific fundamentals, especially the joy of caring for some of the most vulnerable in our society.
Did you have your mind set on a specific industry or franchise brand from the start?
I met with several different businesses in multiple service industries. Some were franchises; some were not. I looked at businesses in industries like commercial locksmithing, landscaping, pest control, plumbing, commercial parking lot sweeping, you name it!
Of your prior skills and experiences, which were most helpful in launching and operating your new business?
My experience in private equity was a huge asset when I decided to purchase a business myself. Throughout my career, I have been heavily involved in M&A and operational aspects of businesses in various industry verticals. I had been involved in overperforming and underperforming businesses, which presented unique challenges and successes. The diverse nature of my experience gave me the most confidence at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.
When researching franchises to buy, what criteria or data points mattered to you most?
I was looking for service-based businesses with a recurring revenue stream, high client retention, favorable macro dynamics, and relatively recession-resistant. The company I would eventually purchase would also need to have a great reputation in their market.
Did you speak with other franchise owners? Which questions did you ask?
When I decided on Right at Home, I made it my mission to speak with as many franchisees as possible. I spoke with about 10 different Right at Home owners and then another owner in a competing franchise system. They gave me lots of valuable information.
Which questions did you ask the Right at Home leadership team?
Most of my questions centered on brand standards, operational support, marketing strategies, and what made their most successful franchisees successful.
What were your biggest challenges when you first started, and how did you overcome them?
We closed the acquisition on March 27th, 2020, so I’m sure you can imagine what kind of challenges we immediately encountered. In the first month of ownership, 20% of our client base canceled services due to the quarantine ordinances put in place by state and local governments. My main focus was trying to round up as much PPE as possible. I even went to vehicle maintenance stores like AutoZone to find any masks I could use for my business to keep my employees and clients safe. Luckily, most of the clients we initially lost eventually came back on board a few months later, and we made it out of the pandemic with flying colors.
How does your franchise support and encourage your success?
I was impressed with Right at Home’s support right off the bat. Although I was a new owner within a new system in an industry I had never worked in, the pandemic caused us to be in the same boat. The amount of support Right at Home corporate gave to us during the Summer of 2020 is something I’ll never forget. These days, the biggest asset corporate provides is the owner network. It is so nice to call any owner, whether I have met them in person or not, to bounce ideas off each other. Typically, conversations intended to be 5-10 minutes last over an hour!
What are you most proud of and why?
I am most proud of the team we’ve assembled. It is truly a joy to come to work every day and reward those who work hard and do the right thing. Nothing makes me happier than giving one of my employees a bonus or a raise. It means they have found purpose in life and are working hard to make their dreams come true.
What advice would you give to new or potential franchise buyers?
Don’t buy a business the week after a worldwide pandemic is declared! But seriously, I always recommend talking to as many other franchise owners as possible because everybody comes from different backgrounds, they run their businesses in different ways, and you never know what you might learn. The other thing is always to do the right and honorable thing—no matter if it will make things harder for you in the short term.
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