Accountant Brothers Spot a Sound Investment in Our Floor Franchise!
Meet Ben Norton, who, along with his brother Jim, just became our newest floor Franchise Owner! The brothers are all set to launch their Kentucky Footprints Floors franchise, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them in our floor franchise family.
About the Nortons
Ben and Jim come to us from careers in public accounting. They’ve built great careers at top global consulting firms like Ernst & Young.
But accounting is only their day job. Ben and Jim have their hands busy with other entrepreneurial ventures.
“Accounting is my professional experience,” Ben says. “On the side, I work in real estate investing with my brother and a couple of other brothers specializing in mobile home parks. And then I do small multifamily real estate on my own as well.”
Their professions might be white-collar, but the brothers don’t mind doing some hands-on labor of their own (not that they’ll have to with our industry-leading model that takes the actual flooring off our Franchise Owners’ plates!). And even with a growing real estate portfolio, they were still looking for new opportunities to take on together. While Ben will be handling the day-to-day operations of owning a Footprints Floors franchise, Jim will be working in the background to ensure the success of the business.
Discovering Our Floor Franchise Opportunity
Jim is the one who discovered Footprints and presented it to Ben.
“It just seemed like a great opportunity that fell in line with our prior experience with residential real estate,” Ben says. “There were a lot of similar aspects like working with contractors to do renovations and things like that. That’s really what drew us to Footprints.”
Our home services floor franchise was the perfect addition to their portfolio. But we weren’t the first one on their mind. It turns out we had a touch of early competition with another floor franchise.
“I looked at Floor Coverings International and it just seems very large and bulky,” Ben says. “And I had just been coming from E&Y, which is a huge organization. But I was definitely looking for something that was smaller and a little bit more personal.”
Our floor franchise is run like a close-knit family business, even with our rapid growth. But our personal touch wasn’t enough to convince these accountants, though they appreciated the close-knit company culture.
In addition to a good cultural fit, the floor franchise opportunity had to be financially sound and right for both of their lifestyle needs, which happen to be quite different.
“For Jim, the draw was the ability to create cash flows and being able to take a more hands-off approach to get more flexibility. He needs more flexibility moving forward as his family grows and as they get older,” Ben says.
“I think Jim is more looking at it along the lines of trying to transition away from a more hands-on approach to property management. To the Footprints model where you can either have an owner-operator or an owner and managed by someone.”
So, Jim wants less daily involvement and more family time. Ben, on the other hand, is ready to dive into his floor franchise.
“I’ve always really liked different home improvement jobs. One of my favorite things about property management is getting to do different small jobs here and there. I like to get my hands dirty sometimes, so that’s definitely been an appeal for me,” he continued.
“We’re both technically owner-operators but I will be doing the vast majority of boots on the ground stuff, you know,” Ben says. “I’ll be running the day-to-day and stuff and Jim will mostly be there for support and strategic direction.”
The Footprints Floors Approval Day Experience
Ben and Jim got an experiential preview of what running our floor franchise is like when they came to our Denver, CO headquarters for their Approval Day, also known as Discovery Day, to get a taste of what a day in the life of a Footprints Floors Franchise Owner is truly like.
“Discovery Day was great,” Ben says. “It was great to meet the team and everything. I got to see what it was like interacting with the customers, with the jobs that were currently being run and managed. And I had the opportunity to go on a sales call.”
“It was really good to see how that works in person,” he continued. “You know there’s a little apprehension there. And it was good to see just how that worked and how the team made the pitch.”
The Norton brothers also met Footprints Floors Founder Bryan Park and our executive team. This gave them a sense of where Bryan is taking the company and how he relates to our Franchise Owners.
Ben says, “you know, he’s a really nice guy and a really smart guy. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that Bryan, the rest of leadership, and the other principles are all very active. They’re answering people’s questions and offering suggestions. It’s great to have that kind of support.”
Outstanding Floor Franchise Support
One of the most practical support services is the training our Franchise Owners get for managing the day-to-day tasks of a floor franchise.
See, Ben and Jim still felt a touch apprehensive about certain aspects of management, even with their real estate background.
“One thing that has been our concern is finding good contractors,” Ben says. “We were able to talk to Bryan and Brian [Knuth, Director of Franchise Development] and we feel pretty confident that we’re going to be equipped with the tools and training to go out and find those contractors and be able to manage and interact with them.”
Many of our new Franchise Owners feel the same way, particularly when they come from white-collar backgrounds.
This is why we put so much emphasis on providing a supportive franchise structure with plenty of resources. We let our Owners focus on being energetic, passionate, and connecting with the customers in their floor franchise territory. And they can do this at their own pace.
“I’m very outgoing,” Ben says. “I love meeting people and I love seeing people’s homes and the possibilities.”
“I am looking forward to having a little bit more flexibility,” he continued. “I’m going to be able to decide the days that I work and the days that I take off and I know Jim is looking forward to the flexibility as well.”
It can be tough for business partners to find an opportunity that works for both of them. That’s one reason why our floor franchise is the perfect choice for a solo or joint investment.
If you’re looking for a business with strong profitability potential that’s flexible enough to suit your lifestyle and fit the needs of any business partners, visit our franchise website for more information.