Four years ago, Jeff decided he wanted a change of pace from his job within the hotel and resort management industry and began looking into owning his own business. Jeff had always been independent and wanted his own business but recognized he didn’t have a trade skill like an electrician or plumber to cash in on – which made it difficult to see how he was going to fulfill his entrepreneurial dreams.
However, Jeff wasn’t about to give up – and began looking into franchise concepts and found his ideal opportunity: Bloomin’ Blinds.
Research Leads to Success
“I didn’t really have any direction – I knew I wanted a business but didn’t want to own a bar or grill,” said Jeff. “I didn’t really know where else to go except look through all those franchise company lists.”
Thankfully, Jeff’s research paid off. He discovered Bloomin’ Blinds through a franchise trade magazine’s top 500 franchise companies. He saw an opportunity to run his own business without the need to hire a large team of employees or invest in a brick-and-mortar location and decided to look into the company further.
“In the initial stages of my research, Bloomin’ Blinds really stood out against other franchises,” explained Jeff. “The franchise had a much better fee structure, cost of ad ventures and provided the freedom and independence I was really looking for.”
Creating a Space for Franchisee Independence
But our financial structure and franchisee freedom aren’t the only things that appealed to Jeff as he continued to look into our franchise.
He also appreciated our roots as a family-owned business, as well as his ability to start a home service-based business without the overhead associated with running a physical retail space in an inconvenient spot.
“I would’ve had to set up a physical location at least 30 or 40 minutes away from where I live – and I really didn’t want to put that on myself,” said Jeff. “I didn’t want to have to be hiring someone to hold down the fort while I’m not there. When I was in the hotel management industry, I didn’t like having to micro-manage others – so I just wanted to be able to do everything myself.”
But Jeff quickly realized he could use assistance as his business grew and asked his wife, Marinda, to help out after a year of being open. Jeff wanted someone he could trust, and since she was ready to move on from her 20-year career in dental hygiene, it was the perfect opportunity to join Jeff as co-owner of their Bloomin’ Blinds franchise.
Doing What You Love With the Person You Love
The two realize that going into business with your spouse can be difficult, so they divided up their duties to be able to work together while feeling independent from one another.
While Jeff mainly takes care of installations and sales, his wife takes care of the day-to-day and administrative side of the operation. While they obviously get along well outside of the business, they recognize the importance of respecting each other’s roles within the walls of their business in order to succeed.
“You have to treat each other as peers and partners rather than employee and employer,” said Jeff. “You need to have the respect level of a good relationship while also being able to speak freely and call each other out when it’s necessary.”
Putting in the Work to Succeed in His Community
Once Jeff opened up his location in the coastal territory and Wilmington, North Carolina in July of 2017, he hit the ground running and was pounding the pavement the first three months to bring in business. From talking to realtors to property managers and landlords, Jeff worked hard to get his name out there in his area, all while learning the importance of advertising and marketing his business.
“You can’t be afraid to spend money on advertising – which is a tough pill to swallow when you’re first starting and you’re not initially bringing in a bunch of revenue,” said Jeff. “But, you’ve got to spend the advertising dollars on digital advertising, radio and print advertising in order to bring in business and serve your community.”
As a Bloomin’ Blinds franchisee, Jeff has demonstrated that understanding your management style, business ownership needs and doing your research can lead to incredible entrepreneurial opportunities and success – no matter how big or small you want your business to be.