On March 8, 2020, Greg Ross was excited to open the doors of his new Pilates franchise location. Ten days later, he – along with the rest of America – was locking the doors and going into quarantine. It was during this time in quarantine that Greg began evaluating his situation and made the decision to diversify his business holdings.
After researching essential businesses primed to endure market fluctuations, Greg decided to purchase One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning of the Treasure Coast in Stuart, FL. With the prospect of opening an HVAC franchise amid a pandemic, he knew he would need solid leadership and experience, so he decided to hire Chad Huddleson, the Pompano and Naples One Hour General Manager.
“I was inspired by Greg’s vision for not only helping customers and the employees we would eventually hire, but I love that he wants to use the business to help children from Ukraine (where he's from) receive world-class medical care here in America,” said Chad. "That was something I could really get behind and for those reasons, I decided to accept the opportunity."
Chad’s 11 years of experience managing successful One Hour locations gave him the advantage of seeing both sides of the franchise coin. When asked what some of the benefits and challenges of being a start-up business are, he shared that while a conversion business already has a customer list, many times the company comes with bad habits formed over the years. Whereas with a startup, you have a clean slate and can create the processes and culture you envision from the ground up.
"However, the challenge with a start-up is getting to know the market you are in and how to effectively reach and grow your customer base," said Chad.
The work being done by Greg and Chad to grow the business has paid off. Last month the location doubled their income as well as more than doubled their call count. “Watching the business grow each week has been very satisfying,” Chad shared.
If someone is considering starting a new franchise location from scratch, Greg and Chad shared these tips:
- Recruit early and often. Don’t wait until the last minute to begin.
- Television advertising has had the biggest impact on driving leads. If you can afford to advertise on television, do it. TV introduces you to customers who wouldn’t have known you existed and builds trust in your organization.
- Find a great, experienced General Manager who embraces your vision for the business and is passionate about helping improve other people’s lives.