Meet Scott, a year-four, single-unit Spray Net Franchisee and former franchisee of the year. Before becoming a franchisee, Scott worked a 9-5 job as a car salesman. While he enjoyed the comfort, security and steady hours of a regular day job, he found himself longing for more control over his career and life. Now, Scott enjoys the freedom of working for himself and managing his own business. But for many, starting a business will remain nothing but a pipe dream. And this is because the fear of leaving a day job creates a roadblock on many paths to starting a business. While Scott mustered up the courage to take the leap, he nonetheless calls himself a “controlled risk-taker.” Read about Scott’s experience and how he overcame the fear of leaving his job and why he thought starting a franchise was a safer bet than starting a business from scratch.
What made you want to leave your 9-5 job to start a business in the first place?
I have always wanted to be in control of my financial destiny. I felt that by working for someone else for the rest of my life, those companies were benefitting more from my skills and work ethic than I was. I like being a decision-maker and the only way I could ever have control over business decisions was to be my own boss.
How did you cope with leaving the security and income stability of a regular job for running your own business (where your income is based on your performance)?
For nearly 20 years before purchasing my Spray-Net territory, I was in commissioned sales in various industries, so I haven’t had a regular paycheque for some time. I learned a long time ago the harder and more productive I worked, the more financial success I would enjoy!
Whether it was thinking about finding new customers or new employees, did you experience moments where you were scared of the unknown? Even scared to fail? How did you deal with this?
I would consider myself a “controlled” risk-taker. I don’t mind taking risks, but I did my homework on the Spray-Net business model and I knew the demand for our unique service was there. A lot of the risks in starting your own business is removed by investing in a proven franchise model like Spray-Net.
If you aren’t willing to learn how to do EVERY role within your business (sales, HR, payroll, masking, pressure washing, spray painting), owning a Spray-Net franchise likely isn’t for you. You don’t have to be an expert at every role, but you have to be able to perform and train others for every role. Your employees will respect you more as well, if they see you in the trenches with them from time to time and not just the person that shows up to the job-site telling them what to do.
How did going the franchise route help you overcome some of the obstacles you were worried about in starting a business without any experience?
By investing in a franchise model, I knew the business worked. All I had to do was learn the business and apply that knowledge to my market. Sure, there’s bumps along the road, but I always have someone to help me when I have questions.
Franchisors usually provide franchisees with ongoing support, tools and resources to help them run their business. What support have you found to be the most useful in helping you run your business?
Spray-Net provides manuals, videos, conference calls, etc. and there’s always someone (corporately) available to reach out to when assistance is required. Whether it’s networking at the annual franchisee conference or just picking up the phone, it’s always great to reach out to fellow franchisees and the people that have likely already been through the same issues as you.
Why did you choose Spray-Net from all the other franchisee concepts you were looking into?
I have always been one that likes to stand back at the end of the day and (visually) appreciate the days’ hard work. It’s amazing to have your customers come home at the end of their workday and be so thrilled with the transformation of their castle! Can you imagine a better feeling?
When our customers choose Spray-Net, it’s a winning situation for all. They win because we are a lower cost alternative to replacement. For us, we build a profitable business and contribute to our community by employing our staff!
What is your favorite part of running your own business? What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day compared to your old job?
Flexibility of my time. Clearly, I am operating a seasonal business. For about eight months a year, I’m working long days and seven days a week. Even when I say I’m “finished” working for the day, my mind is still in work-mode and I begin planning for the next day. I’d be lying if I said I sleep well during our busy season, but it’s all worth it! After our season wraps up, I have lots of free time to spend with my family, taking vacations, and catch up on things around my home. I like to call it WORK HARD, PLAY HARDER!
Running a business and working for yourself is a dream that many people have. But let’s get real- it’s hard work! What was the most difficult moment for you in transitioning from your day job to running your own business?
HMMM, tough question! I don’t think it’s this way for most people, but I can’t say it was a tough transition for me. I admit I likely plan things out a lot more than the average person so that likely helped. My employees would likely add that I’m extremely organized!
Running a business is very hard work and isn’t for everyone. My business’ number one asset is my staff. I know that I have no business without them!
In just 4 years, you have become one of Spray-Net’s top performers and you’ve been named Franchisee of the Year. Looking back now, what advice do you have for people who want to start their business, but are scared to leave the security of their day job?
It would be reckless for me to say, “just do it!” But if you:
- Have an entrepreneurial mindset;
- Consider yourself a hands-on individual and don’t mind hard, physical work;
- Have the financial means to start and sustain a business
- Enjoy working with people, both customers and your employees
…then I say, “just do it!” (It also helps to NOT be afraid of working on ladders LOL).
While starting your own business may have its ups and downs, with some hard work and determination, the rewards of working for yourself and running your own business is priceless. If you feel that it’s time to make a change in your life and are interested in becoming a franchisee, download our franchisee kit or watch our webinars to find out more. Who knows- maybe you’ll be our next Franchisee of the Year, just like Scott!