Georgia Native Justin Kidwell Opens TWO Northeast Atlanta Footprints Floors Locations!
Congratulations are in order for Justin Kidwell, who decided that starting a flooring business with Footprints Floors was the right move in 2020! Now up and running along under the supervision of General Manager Greg Bowman, Justin’s two Footprints Floors territories are able to serve cities in Northeast Atlanta, including the Lawrenceville/Suwanee area.
We caught up with Justin to talk about starting a flooring business, and to find out what made him choose to invest with Footprints Floors. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your personal/professional background prior to starting a flooring business with Footprints Floors?
A: A native Georgian, I grew up just northeast of Atlanta in Duluth. I received a B.B.A. in finance from Georgia State University and an M.B.A. from Kennesaw State University. I make my home in Auburn, GA with my wife Nicole and three kids Grey (8), Andie Lou (6), and Howell (4). Professionally, my 15-year career has been spent managing commercial real estate projects and transactions across the Southeast.
Q: What are some of the hobbies or interests you enjoy in your free time?
A: I enjoy coaching youth soccer, playing pickleball and tennis, and reading. I also love classic Chevy cars and trucks and have owned several over the years.
Q: How did you first learn about Footprints Floors?
Q: What made you decide that starting a flooring business with Footprints Floors was the right fit for you?
A: Footprints Floors is the right fit for me because I feel like the organization truly cares about its Franchise Owners. Also, its system of values aligns with mine which gives me assurance that it will always operate with honesty and integrity and make decisions that are in the best interest of the Footprints brand and the organization as a whole.
Q: What did you like about Footprints Floors’ business model?
A: Overall, I really liked the simplicity of the Footprints Floors business model. Specifically, I was drawn to the low overhead and the ease with which the business can be scaled up and down. I also liked the proven track record of using HomeAdvisor as the primary means for lead generation. Lastly, I liked the professional services and tools (i.e., customer service reps, technology services, ClientTether, Joist, etc.) provided by the Footprints headquarters thus allowing Franchise Owners to focus more of their attention on sales and production.
Q: What did you like about meeting Footprints Floors’ Founder Bryan Park and the rest of the corporate team?
A: Meeting Footprints Floors’ team gave me a chance to understand who they are, what’s important to them, their beliefs and core values, and their vision for the organization. It went a long way in helping solidify my decision to become a Franchise Owner.
Q: What did you like about the Footprints Floors Discovery Day?
A: The Footprints Floors Discovery Day gave me a behind-the-scenes look at the business including the franchise’s technological infrastructure, the foundational elements of the business (marketing, sales, and production), and how success is measured.
Q: Some of our Franchise Owners talk about a specific “a-ha moment” where they realized that starting a flooring business with Footprints Floors was the right move for them. Did you have a moment like that?
A: My “a-ha” moment came when I was watching a webinar, “A Conversation with Bryan Park & Aaron Benedict,” hosted by Franchise Growth Mastermind. Three things really resounded with me. First was the simplicity of the business model with its low overhead and scalability. The second was how the business was started during the Great Recession which was reassuring given the pandemic we’re in. Third and last was Bryan’s calm demeanor and perceptible servant leadership coupled with all of the positive things that Aaron had to say about his personal experiences as a Franchise Owner.
Q: Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?
A: Part of me has always wanted to own and operate my own business. I just didn’t quite know how I would go about doing it and the kind of business I would pursue.
Q: What do you think will make you successful as a Franchise Owner?
A: I think two things will make me successful. First, following the Footprints Floors business model, as it has a proven track record. Second, the determination not to give up coupled with a willingness to self-reflect and improve my shortcomings.
Q: What sets Footprints Floors apart, in your eyes, from other franchise opportunities in the Service Industry?
A: In my eyes, a number of things set Footprints Floors apart from other franchise opportunities in the service industry. First, the initial investment is quite low. Second, once open, overhead is very low which in the short run significantly increases the chances of success and in the long run increases the viability of the business especially in economic downturns. Third, Franchise Owners can make money as soon as the business is open and very quickly reach profitability. Fourth, Franchise Owners are not required to purchase materials through the franchisor and as a result are able to form relationships with local suppliers. Fifth, Footprints Floors has a great infrastructure in place in terms of support and technology thus allowing Franchise Owners to focus more of their attention on sales and production.
Q: What has been the best part of your experience with the Footprints Floors corporate team so far?
A: The best part of my experience with the Footprints Floors corporate team has by far been their patience and flexibility with my becoming an Owner. From start to finish, the process for my discovery and purchase took about seven months. All along the way, though, Corporate more than anything felt like a partner, which put me at complete ease.
Q: What advice would you give to a potential Franchise Owner who is thinking about starting a flooring business with Footprints Floors?
A: Look at the values of the organization you’re about to go into business with. Consider your initial investment and how long you think it will take to recoup it or if you can adequately and consistently service your loan if you funded the business with debt. Consider the infrastructure and tools in place, your cost for those as a franchisee, and whether or not they will add value to your business and help you be successful.
Q: Why did you decide that starting a flooring business was a better investment than starting a business in a different industry like the restaurant industry?
A: The cost of entry for the restaurant industry is hundreds of thousands of dollars at a minimum. Owners need real estate, equipment, employees, inventory, etc. The hours are long. And, because margins aren’t particularly high, owners oftentimes need to own several restaurant locations before realizing significant financial gains.
Q: What do you look forward to most about owning your own Footprints Floors franchise?
A: I look forward to living out a dream that I wasn’t sure would actually come to fruition. I also look forward to seeing how my business as well as the Footprints brand will grow in the years to come and how I will grow both personally and professionally.
Instead of starting a flooring business independently, Justin made the decision to franchise with Footprints Floors and receive all the benefits of being a Franchise Owner with us, including comprehensive Franchise Owner training, in-depth corporate support, and access to our call center, which handles ALL lead generation, appointment scheduling, and customer service queries, allowing him to grow his business faster while still having time for a good game of pickleball!
Glad to have you on board, Justin! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for your NE Atlanta territories!
Interested in starting a flooring business with Footprints Floors? Visit our franchise website to learn more.