Franchise Players is Entrepreneur's Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Device Pitstop is a franchise built on concepts Josh Powell knows well. The franchise is a resale chain that buys, sells, trades, repairs and upgrades computers and mobile electronics – tools that Powell was well versed in due to his work producing videos for his local PBS station. For Powell, becoming a Device Pitstop franchisee meant using knowledge he already accumulated to make some money. Here's what he has learned.
Name: Josh Powell
Franchise owned: Lexington, Ky.
How long have you owned a franchise?
The initial and ongoing support is essential key to the success of the business. Most businesses last less than three years, so it is important to have a team of people who can help you take the journey during the difficult times and the times of celebration.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
Before owning Device Pitstop, I was a director/producer at a local PBS affiliate.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I love technology and I love the concept of resale. It was easy to grasp because I was already using both concepts in my personal life. So, why not have some fun and make some money?
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
$32,000 (approximately): Working capital
$15,000: Initial advertising (TV and radio)
$10,000: Franchise fee
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
Most of my advice and research came from my mentor and friends who helped me open the store. They had heard of the concept before and were interested in it. Also, my knowledge of technology helped to influence my decision.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The biggest surprise was how successful my franchise was immediately. I wanted to make sure that my processes were scalable. Managing customer growth as well as internal growth issues like personnel were certainly a challenge.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Find a business model that you love, not just something that makes money. When you believe in a franchise and you love what you are doing, then the success will follow.
What’s next for you and your business?
Growth. I am always looking for new avenues of revenue or new processes to streamline our current systems. This year I’ve put a lot of focus into developing our processes, and the result has been an improved bottom line. As for the next 12 months, I am always looking for new locations.