For 34 years, Bryan Rhodes worked his way up the ladder in the fast-food franchise industry, from beginning behind the counter to ultimately become the vice president of operations at a Burger King franchise.
Only then did Rhodes conclude that, well, the restaurant industry wasn’t for him — but franchising was.
In a recent Franchise Players Q&A interview, Rhodes talks with Entrepreneur.com’s Kate Taylor about how, because of his familiarity with the franchise environment over his career, he chose the franchise route to take advantage of proven methods and systems, marketing resources and a developed brand that customers can identify with.
Just as we share our vast point of sale experience and expertise with startup owners in order to help them make the best decisions from the very beginning, we at Sintel Systems are happy to share articles and commentary about mid-life career changes and older entrepreneurs entering into the franchise sector, a major area of our POS expertise.
In the Q&A, Rhodes also notes the great resource available to him in the network of other franchisees dealing with the same opportunities and challenges that he’s dealing with. “I didn’t want to ‘reinvent the wheel,’ but still wanted to operate my own business,” he tells Taylor.
Rhodes says he “grew up” in the restaurant business and stayed with it after graduating from college, but after spending the majority of his life working six days a week, including nights, weekends and holidays, it was time to find something new not only for himself, but that also gave him the opportunity to spend more quality time with his family.
Rhodes tells Taylor he chose Window Genie for a number of reasons, including the excitement and enthusiasm of Rik Nonelle’s corporate team, the online and local marketing support, the business model and ongoing corporate support.
“I also liked the fact that my quality of life would dramatically improve, and that the franchisees were very in tune with the corporate message,” says Rhodes. “Those whom I spoke with never regretted their decision.”
Rhodes tells Taylor he’s in for roughly $102,000 which includes the franchise fee, start up equipment and supplies, pre-open marketing, training, insurance (general liability, equipment and workers compensation), professional services (financial, legal, etc.), computer equipment, and two financed vehicles (one vehicle was required).
Rhodes hired a franchise coach to help him determine what types of opportunities would suit his goals and requirements and then set up initial introductions with several companies. Meanwhile, he did a lot of online searches about the companies he was looking at.
“After that I had extensive conversations with people within the identified companies, asking them a myriad of questions about the business as well as questions related to disclosure documents that I had studied,” Rhodes says. “As I started to narrow down the field, I contacted a number of franchisees with different levels of experience within the system to get their take and elaborate on their experiences.”
Rhodes hasn’t seen a lot of unexpected surprises in his first three months of operation. One challenge is coping with less administrative support than he was accustomed to in his previous career in handling book keeping, documentation, payroll, and following up on technicians’ paper work. “Proper time management helps with that,” he tells Taylor. “In my market, finding the right advertising vehicles to get the word out has been a challenge, but we are having success at narrowing down what works.”
Rhodes has this advice for others who want to own their own franchise, “First, identify your goals and what YOU want to accomplish. It’s not only about financial security — though that is obviously important! Have an open mind about opportunities that you may not have originally considered that fit your stated goals and what you want to accomplish. Take the time to do proper research.
I recommend a coach who will help you narrow down your choices but not one that pushes you to a particular decision. Talk to as many franchisees of your target franchises as you feel comfortable talking to, not just a chosen few, and ask tough questions. I found most franchisees to be very forthcoming with information when I asked the right questions. Ask any questions you may have of the franchisor. The good ones may not have the answer immediately, but will get someone who will give you the information you are looking for. Make sure you look at all your financing options as there are a number of ways to accomplish this goal.”
Rhodes concludes his Q&A with Taylor saying, “Our goal for the near future is to continue to build a solid core of repeat customers. We are targeting adding another service vehicle (and appropriate technicians) within next year with a minimum of five by year four. I plan to add office staff to help me focus more on the growth of the business in the near future.”
Read Kate Taylor’s full Q&A with Bryan Rhodes here.
For more insights into the franchise-seeking mindset, check out our related posts, A Franchise Personality Fit For A King, For Entrepreneurs Over Fifty, A New Age, Debunking The Old Saw “Youth Must Be Served”, The Baby Boomer Franchising Boom, Franchising Happiness, and Changing Careers in “Interesting Times”.
Before you make your franchise move, consider calling Sintel Systems for a free phone consultation to help weigh and understand your point of sale (POS) options. We serve as a franchise incubator for clients across the retail, restaurant and service industries, forming lasting partnerships with our clients that you simply can’t get from a reseller.
Don’t wait until late in the game to plan for your point of sale system. There are many benefits in establishing an early relationship with your point of sale company, even before you decide on a franchise direction.
Sintel Systems is the only direct to end user full-service provider of tailored Point of Sale systems across retail, restaurant and service industries, including frozen yogurt shops, pizzerias, sushi restaurants, cafés and retail stores.
As a single source for business solutions, our experienced, knowledgeable team negotiates the complex POS landscape for you to enable you to find the right POS system for your business and budget. Hardware – Software – Support