Before he became a franchisee, Paul Ferguson was a landlord, flipping houses for a living. In short, the career didn’t pan out – he simply couldn’t keep up with the number of properties he had. Debts piled up, and eventually Paul got so broke that he and his wife, Heidi, had to leave their home and move into Heidi’s sister’s basement. Times grew desperate, to say the least.
Struggling with financial strife and looking for a way to get out, Paul and Heidi put everything on the table: in 1999, they used their last dollar on purchasing a Pillar To Post franchise after they had learned that Paul’s uncle found success doing the same. The franchise, training, and start-up materials cost a total of approximately $30,000. It was quite the gamble; if things didn’t work out then they would be in even more dire straits.
Fortunately for them, the risky move paid off.
Using their previous experience in construction and real estate, the Fergusons worked hard to grow their home inspections business. They also received help along the way from Paul’s uncle and the Pillar To Post corporate team. Today, they are no longer living in a basement but in their own home and in better circumstances than when Paul was a landlord, thanks to their success as franchisees.
Paul’s advice for individuals who want to own their own franchise is to be prepared to live on tight finances for the first year or two, to keep on building business relationships, and to maintain patience. He believes that as long as you stick to the plan, you’ll make it.
The experienced franchise lawyers at The Internicola Law Firm, P.C. couldn’t agree more. If you’re a prospective franchisee, it’s important to have persistence and patience. It’s also important to seek help, especially if you’re a novice. We encourage you to “enroll” in our Franchisee University program to attain the skills and knowledge needed to become a successful franchisee.