We’re excited to welcome a new Franchise Owner to the Footprints Floors family! Shawna Eikenberry is starting a flooring installation business with Footprints Floors that will serve residents of Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas. This new Raleigh, NC location is actually Shawna’s second Footprints Floors investment- just weeks after being awarded her first Footprints Floors franchise, she decided to invest in a second opportunity within her community.
A self-described “noobie” to Raleigh herself, Shawna is originally from Kansas City, where she began her long professional career in local government. After obtaining her undergraduate degree in criminal justice, Shawna worked in corrections, as well as in a prosecutor’s office, where she worked with crime victims, before moving on to management. Upon earning her MBA from the University of Kansas, Shawna moved to Dallas, where she performed a number of public service-related jobs. “I started an emergency call center, ran a library, did some strategic planning…a little bit of everything!” she says.
Though Shawna had always enjoyed working in local government, she decided to explore different career opportunities upon moving to the Raleigh metropolitan area. “I had always worked in local government, which is rewarding in its own ways, but it doesn’t travel well when moving across the country,” she explains. Shawna became interested in owning a business, but did not necessarily have the desire to start an independent company, due to its time-consuming nature and the numerous associated risks that can come with it. “I don’t have the risk tolerance to start something for scratch on my own,” she says. “We started looking at businesses for sale and then we started looking at franchise opportunities.”
Starting a flooring installation business wasn’t exactly the first thing that came to mind when Shawna began looking into franchise opportunities, but after finding the Footprints Floors franchise website, she saw that our model aligned with what she was looking for in a franchise. “I liked the idea of business-to-business and home services,” Shawna says. “No retail, no food services.” As a hobbyist woodworker who enjoys home improvement projects, Shawna was also interested in the aspect of providing honest, high-quality flooring installation services to the people in her community, and felt that her past personal experiences with home improvement could be an asset to building solid relationships with her clients. “We’ve done a lot of home-improvement projects and so we have a lot of compassion that goes into it,” she explains. “It’s super exciting and incredibly trustful and it’s hard to find someone you can trust, so we really like the idea of being able to meet people in this space and make sure that we are that trustworthy service.”
In addition to the service-oriented aspects of the Footprints Floors opportunity, Shawna was also especially drawn to the home-based business model and simple operations that came with owning a Footprints Floors franchise, especially in comparison to starting a flooring installation business from scratch. “One of the things I liked about the Footprints Floors model is that you don’t have to invest in a lease space of any kind,” she says. “It’s just my car and me, going out and closing jobs.”
Having no dedicated warehouse or office space is more than just a practical aspect of the Footprints Floors model, in Shawna’s view. She also appreciates the ability to connect with clients in their homes so she can get a firsthand look at their vision for improvements to their flooring. “For me, a lot of what I talked about is being able to meet people in their homes,” she says. “We help people level up their biggest investments. For most people their home is everything to them, so we’re going to come in and help them level up. This is what’s most exciting to me about this.”
Shawna recalls her Discovery Day in Denver as an insightful and educational experience that helped her to know for sure that she wanted to invest in the Footprints Floors opportunity. She also enjoyed meeting our Founder, Bryan Park, in addition to other Franchise Owners and members of our corporate team. “He’s obviously a very smart, really nice guy- we really enjoyed him,” she says about Park. Discovery Day was also an opportunity for Shawna to take a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of a Franchise Owner. “From a practical perspective it was nice to see, in person, what this looks like on a day-to-day basis,” she notes. This close-up look at the Footprints Floors opportunity helped Shawna visualize what starting a flooring installation business through Footprints Floors would truly be like. As she puts it, “Thinking about what something might be is different than actually getting to actually see it.”
In addition to the favorable impression that she received at Discovery Day, Shawna mentioned that our outstanding support system played a major role in her decision to invest in the Footprints Floors opportunity. While starting a flooring installation business from scratch means having to handle administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling, as well as sales and marketing-related tasks, such as generating new leads, becoming a Franchise Owner with Footprints Floors means being backed by the full power of a corporate call center and marketing team. Shawna is excited to be able to dive right into the business of providing world-class flooring installation services to her clients without the hassle of all of the background details involved with operating a home improvement business. “I’m not having to focus on phone calls, or marketing, or playing phone tag,” she says. “These are more of the details that are more of a grind, though these are the nuts and bolts. I want to be out there, doing the job, and meeting people. In this system, Footprints takes care of these details that are so important to growing the business. I can just meet the customers and do my job.”
Shawna was also drawn to the freedom and flexibility that comes with starting a flooring installation business through Footprints Floors, and recently experienced something that would have been next to impossible in her past career in local government- a vacation! “This last weekend, we were out of town- we had two of our best friends that we hadn’t seen in a few months so we decided to take a trip over the weekend. No worrying about vacation time, no checking in with the boss- as somebody who has the background that I do, who’s got a very bureaucratic background, it was nice that I was able to just go.”
Shawna’s trip helped her to see the level of autonomy she would be able to have as a business owner, and she liked it! “Freedom and autonomy is huge and also just getting away from all of the office politics and stuff. We are going to run this business in the way that we feel is best for us, for the business, and we don’t have to worry about whether someone in the office just isn’t going to do their job. I don’t have to worry about office politics,” she says.
We are thrilled to have Shawna heading up not one but TWO Footprints Floors franchise locations in the Raleigh, NC metropolitan area, and wish her a successful and fulfilling journey into entrepreneurship!
Are you thinking about starting a flooring installation business in your community? Footprints Floors is currently awarding franchise opportunities in select territories. Find out more about our opportunity here.