One the heels of a pandemic, franchising has become a haven for many people who seek a better work-life balance, were furloughed, or have lost jobs. The support franchisors have given to their franchise partners during this time has proven the strength of the franchise model. Fibrenew franchisee Scott Neal is grateful he chose to launch a franchise business rather than start a business on his own. After a long career as a sales executive, Neal grew tired of corporate America. “I desperately wanted a lifestyle change and something that I could feel passionate about,” says Neal.
Starting a business from scratch wasn’t an option for Neal. “I didn’t want to take on that level of risk,” he says. A friend’s franchise investment prompted Neal to look at franchise opportunities. “I knew I wanted to have a solid support team behind me,” he says.
Support, plus all the other items on his franchise wish list were met with Fibrenew. The Canadian-based company offers on-site repair of leather and vinyl upholstery.
Since he launched his West Central New Jersey location in 2018, Neal has been more than pleased. “It’s been a great lifestyle change. I have more time for myself and I really enjoy the work. No two days are ever the same,” he adds.
Support Through COVID
The support that sold Neal initially was pivotal throughout the pandemic. “The corporate team was amazing and kept us moving forward with increased communications and innovations to the business,” he says. The company waived fees temporarily and banded together with regular “huddle calls.”
Seminars that were planned for later in the year were moved to a virtual platform. “The seminars took everyone’s minds off the crisis and made good use of our down time,” he says.
With more than 250 locations, franchise owners have a great resource in each other. “We are always sharing ideas for business and techniques…something you just wouldn’t do with competitors if you were in business by yourself.”
About one third of Neal’s business is residential and the rest is B2B, which brings in recurring revenue. Here are some potential clients:
- RV and Car Dealerships
- Auto Body Shops
- Medical Offices
- Furniture Stores
- Warranty Companies