In just 8 years, 33-year old Kyler made his way from rookie business grad to pitching the inner circles of some of the most renown brands in the hospitality industry. Despite his hard-earned success, he felt like something was missing. Read more about why Kyler left corporate America and with his best friend, took the leadership skills he developed throughout his career to follow his dream of starting a business.
Describe your professional background.
I have a Bachelor’s in Finance and MBA from West Texas A&M. I’ve been working in Finance and more specifically in revenue management within the hospitality industry. I started with Hilton Hotels and most recently was the Director of Revenue at the Hyatt Regency DFW and Thompson Dallas.
Why did you decide to leave the corporate scene, and after how many years?
I spent nearly 8 years working for 3 companies and had great experiences with each. I was lead well, given opportunity to grow and paid well for the positions and responsibilities that I had, but I was missing the ability to truly run things the way that I wanted to. I wanted more control and freedom for ideation.
Have you always wanted to own your own business? What made you decide to take the leap into entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is in my family, and I’ve always had an itch to do my own thing. I had my own mowing company in high school and then I tutored through college as I played football. I also watched my parents and grandparents run their own business and then my wife started her own business several years before we married. I’ve explored the possibilities before but was really looking for the right opportunity
How do you think your previous work experience and the skills you developed along the way will help you run your Spray-Net franchise?
Leadership has always been one of the key values I have perused. At Hilton, I was challenged on the idea of Ownership and not only of managing down but managing up. When I went to Hyatt, I got to really see how a business was run and was on the Leadership Committee that made decisions for the whole hotel. I regularly presented directly to the owners of the hotel and these conversations really shaped my understanding of how owners view assets and what information is important to them. This helped me develop an “owner mindset.” My outlook was reshaped to view actions by their impact on GOP and on the people that would be affected. As I climbed the ladder my vision became broader and broader, and this has really helped me see the interconnecting aspects of business and how departments work together for the same goals.The pandemic shook the hospitality industry, and I went from suite everyday to cleaning hotel rooms just so the business would operate. I also saw my boss role up his sleeves and get dirty with us. This has had a profound impact on me. As a business owner, I’m very prepared to get down and dirty on the jobs without losing the 1000-foot view required by a business owner and vision setter.
Why the franchising route to starting a business, in general? What were the main advantages that were important to you?
Franchises provide a proven process. As I looked at starting my own business, I wanted something a little more “secure.” I have 3 little girls, a wife, and a mortgage. My risk has to be calculated. The franchise route offered me a way to measure that risk and a process to follow.
And why a Spray-Net franchise in particular? What stood out the most to you about our concept compared to the other options you were evaluating?
I looked at dozen franchises. Spray-Net had a product that pops. When you see it, you just want it on your house. It was also in a needed industry offering something no one else can. The growth phase was also important. It is thriving in Canada with the US probably offering even better markets. To find a franchise opportunity close to home and to be operating within an exploding real estate market made it too good to pass up.
What advice would you give to millennials who have the itch to start their own business, but are afraid to take the leap and leave their 9-5?
Go for it now. The longer you wait the harder it will be to leave.