For 35 years, Jeff Ward led cybersecurity for financial institutions and manufacturing organizations. He worked long days, six and seven days a week sometimes, for nearly three decades.
Over the last two years, Jeff frequently traveled for work and rarely saw his family.
"I worked in a role that never let me take time off. I was always on duty to help protect the company’s data from unauthorized access. Bad guys don’t work business hours," Jeff said.
After working in a high-stress work environment for so long, he realized it was time for a change.
"It became too much, and I wanted to do something different," Jeff said.
Because of his high-level position, Jeff knew looking for a similar job elsewhere would be difficult and would require him to relocate him and his family.
"I knew I was overqualified for a lot of positions, and it would've been hard to step down to a lower role," he added.
With the ultimate goal of someday owning his own business, Jeff decided to take his future into his own hands and explore franchising opportunities.
Trying Something New
A simple Google search brought Jeff to our home services franchise.
"Bloomin' Blinds was appealing to me because they offered a service that would always be needed," he explained. "It seemed recession-resistant."
Particularly interested in the sales and service aspect of our blinds franchise, Jeff began to explore our website. Within two hours of inquiring about a franchise opportunity online, a member of our franchise development team reached out to him.
Jeff met with our franchising team and signed an agreement to take over an existing location in Charlotte, North Carolina, last February.
Starting a Franchise in a Pandemic
Opening a blinds franchise during a global pandemic posed its challenges, but with the Bloomin’ Blinds corporate team's support, Jeff was provided the tools for success. This includes a comprehensive two-week initial on-site training program in Dallas, ongoing training, marketing support and much more.
"The franchise team streamlines everything. If you follow the structure, it's easy," Jeff said, "Plus, they're always available."
Jeff was particularly interested in taking over a current franchise because of the existing customer base.
With stay-at-home orders in place, people spent less money on vacations and more money on things like home renovations and home repairs. Because of this, Jeff got in front of new customers that under normal circumstances wouldn’t be home during the day because they were working remotely.
Plans for the Future
For the last year, Jeff has been putting in the leg work to get the business off the ground.
"Right now, it's a one-man shop, but I expected that," he added.
As sales increase and profitability continues to grow, Jeff plans to provide even better services and hire more employees.
Jeff lives by the three-C mantra: consistency, continuity and commitment.
"By doing things the same way, you can track progress. With continuity comes communication, and if you're committed, you know the job will get done," Jeff explained.
Now, Jeff gets to make his own schedule and spend more time with his family.
Bloomin' Blinds Franchise Opportunities Await!
It's no secret that our success is due to the strength of our franchise model. When you join Bloomin' Blinds, you're joining a team. You won't be starting from scratch. When you're a franchise owner, you're a part of our family and we give you the support you need at every step of your journey.