Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. This week, we’re getting a head start on Women’s History Month early, profiling female franchisees that everyone can learn from. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email.
Jeanne Lemieux was a technician long before she was a franchisee. She started working as a technician for Sears in 1981 and continued for 26 years. However, as she was researching to start her own appliance company, she discovered the benefits of becoming a franchisee. Here’s what she’s learned in her past seven years as a Mr. Appliance franchisee.
Name: Jeanne Lemieux
Franchise owned (location): Mr. Appliance of Strafford & Rockingham Counties in New Hampshire.
How long you have owned the franchise?
I have owned my franchise for seven years. I got everything started in October of 2007.
I selected a franchise because it comes with a recognizable name that people can trust. The franchise also comes with a great support system. Especially Mr. Appliance and the entire Dwyer Group system, they made it easier to get my business started.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was a technician at Sears for 26 years. I started in 1981 and worked until my Mr. Appliance opening in 2007.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I was doing research to start my own appliance repair company and a friend of mine was already involved with the Mr. Appliance Franchise. After going over the pros and cons and seeing how happy they were, it seemed like a good fit.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were official open for business?
Overall, I spent approximately $100,000. I had to purchase the rights to our territories, we needed vans for our employees, usable parts and tools, and office space and supplies to headquarter the business.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I obtained a lot of information online. There are so many outlets that have vital information when it comes to franchising. Also, most importantly, I reached out to friends and co-workers in the industry for any insight they may have.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
Hiring dependable employees and the time spent on everyday operations. Going through the daily grind of keeping the business running, you have to depend on your employees. When they are out in the field, they represent your business, so you have to be able to trust them.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Have the capital before starting out. Don’t dive in with little or no knowledge on the business and the location you’re operating in. Franchises have a proven system for a reason. Follow the systems that are in place and when there is support don’t be afraid to use it.
What’s next for you and your business?
Just like any other business, we would like to grow and expand with each year. We are always looking for ways to spread not only our client base within out territories but possible territory expansion in the future. Our immediate goal is to hire another technician this year.