starting a flooring business
For new Franchise Owner Dean Sandler, starting a flooring business with Footprints Floors is just one of the many changes that he’s planning to make within the next several months as he embarks on a new chapter of life in Asheville, North Carolina. Currently residing in New York City, where he’s enjoyed a career as a presentation consultant for a number of high-profile companies across multiple industries, Dean has spent the last 20 years helping major corporations add some professional polish to their presentations to clients, staff members, and prospects. “I was a pioneer in the presentation consulting industry, and worked for some Fortune 100 companies ranging from advertising to pharmaceuticals to financial services,” he explains.
Over the course of his two-decade career, Dean helped major corporations create a user-friendly, branded firmwide presentation template that everybody could use, as well as on-brand, professional-looking PowerPoint decks for future presentation needs. Due to the necessity of having to remain in close proximity to these large organizations, Sandler stayed rooted in New York. As he puts it, “I’m working with the Board of Directors, C-suite executives, major groups in companies directly to optimize important presentations. I’m trying to sell multi-billion dollar concepts or services. You kind of have to be in a big city for that.”
In addition to his presentation consulting career, Dean took a detour into building management, something that first got him interested in home improvement, remodeling, and other renovation-related industries. “I fell into managing the 89-unit condominium building I bought into, and brought a level of professionalism that was seriously lacking,” he tells us.
After achieving success as both a presentation consultant and a building manager, Dean was ready to fulfill some long-anticipated personal goals, including a move from New York to Asheville, North Carolina. “I’m focusing on enjoying myself,” he explains. “I wanted to move to Asheville after 35 years. I wanted a couple of dogs. I’ve ordered a French spaniel puppy and a pickup truck. I want to discover a part of myself that I can’t here in New York.”
As Dean became more invested in his move to Asheville, he began looking at possible business ventures that he could undertake in his next chapter of life. “I didn’t want to do consulting so I was looking for an opportunity in the restaurant/bar industry,” he says. He found just what he was looking for in a startup restaurant, Singletree Heritage Kitchen, in the neighboring town of Waynesville. “It’s a chef-driven upscale casual restaurant with a regional focus,” Sandler says, adding, “It’s run by a former junior partner of a restaurant called Corner Kitchen in Asheville- Obama ate there!”
Dean realized, however, that as an investor in the restaurant, he’d still need a source of income. That’s when the Footprints Floors opportunity presented itself. When a franchise consultant reached out with six potential opportunities, including Footprints Floors, Dean began to see how starting a flooring business could fit into the life in Asheville that he had envisioned. “I felt like it had good parameters, that it was doable by one person and that it was flexible. I love the fact that they handle lead generation through their call center. It brings a professional level.”
Sandler had also seen the unmet need for professional flooring services in Asheville and knew what kind of potential starting a flooring business could hold, thanks to his own personal experiences with getting the restaurant off the ground. “I knew Asheville needed more professional contractors because my restaurant construction has been delayed for so long,” he says. “Well-off people are moving there for retirement like I am, and there’s just a huge need for residential and commercial construction.”
Dean pursued the opportunity and began his Education Process, culminating in his Discovery Day at Footprints Floors HQ in Colorado. He found a kindred spirit in Founder Bryan Park, and describes him as “committed and involved and open, transparent.” He also found some common ground with Bryan thanks to their similar good taste in trucks. “His fleet truck is a Ford Ranger, and that’s the kind I’m getting!” he says. Most of all, Dean was eager to invest in a successful company that already has an excellent business model and world-class corporate support. He says, “I’m not reinventing the wheel like I would have had to do if I had started my own company.”
Though Dean signed his franchise agreement back in February, he has elected to begin his Footprints Floors training in August so he can take this time to get better acquainted with his new Asheville surroundings. “My territory is HUGE so I’m looking at introducing myself to all the different neighborhoods and looking at all the different styles of houses,” he explains. “I’ll be renting for the first year in a very popular area- it’s like the Brooklyn of Asheville- very alternative, lots of restaurants.”
Once he’s up and running this fall, however, what’s the thing he’s looking forward to most? “Making money!” he laughs.
Dean had a dream to leave the corporate life behind and embark on a new adventure miles away from the big city. Starting a flooring business with Footprints Floors is an ideal fit for his new lifestyle, not to mention a major asset to his growing community. We’re proud to welcome Dean to the Footprints Floors family!
Are you thinking about a similar career change that can increase your level of freedom and schedule flexibility? Does starting a flooring business in your hometown sound like a smart investment in your future? We’re currently franchising in territories across the United States, and they’re selling out fast! Now’s a good time to take stock of your future and think about where you want to see yourself in the next few years. If being your own boss in a recession-resistant industry sounds pretty good, let’s talk! Please visit our franchise website to learn more.
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