Steve Smith is a jack-of-all-trades in the truest extent of the term. After dabbling in a plethora of different careers, Steve decided to open a hardwood flooring franchise with Footprints Floors in Mesa, Arizona. A recent article from the East Valley Tribune chronicled his past and his excitement on his newest business venture with Footprints.
Originally from Minnesota, Steve Smith became the youngest state-certified EMT in the state in the 70’s, later joining a field artillery battalion as a medic. This inspired him to go on to become an OB-GYN for the Air Force in Illinois, assisting with the delivery of over 260 babies. “The military is really cool, it’s like a self-sustaining city and everything you need is there,” describes Steve. But, after spending eight years in the armed forces, he decided it was time for a change and moved to Arizona in 1989.
There, Steve decided to go the managerial route, working for Circle K, where he won an award for managing the highest number of stores in the shortest amount of time. However, after 16 years, he decided to change things up once again, choosing to balance volunteering at the Gilbert (Arizona) Fire Department with being a 7th grade substitute teacher. Steve enjoyed these jobs, but being an avid M&M collector, he jumped when given an opportunity to become a territory supervisor for the Mars Chocolate sales team. He later went on to become a regional sales manager. Now, Steve is enjoying his latest adventure, owning and managing a hardwood flooring franchise with Footprints Floors. When asked about his motivations, Steve says, “I thought, ‘how do I get better control of my world?’ I don’t want to retire, but I would like an opportunity to pay for stuff when I’m not working so hard”. It’s safe to say that we think Steve is conquering his newest challenge with ease.
While Steve Smith’s skill set may seem far from the average Franchise Owner, his hard work ethic and go-getter attitude are exactly what Footprints Floor Franchise Owners strive to embody. “I’m a free spirit, that’s what my mom would say,” says Steve. “I am excited by change, there are people that are change agents – those are the people that go out there and help other people adjust to change – and I’m a change creator, the one that will make change happen.” Not many people personify the type of change that Steve speaks of, and we’re very excited to have someone like him in our family. His diverse background is helping us to bring change not just to the Mesa, Arizona community, but to the flooring industry as a whole.
Footprints Floors’ Founder Bryan Park may not have as diverse of a resume as Steve, but what the two do have in common is their passion for change. For Steve, it was change in his career and the desire to try something new. For Bryan, it was bringing change to an industry that was growing increasingly stagnant. That is exactly what he has done through Footprints Floors.
Bryan, also a veteran, saw that flooring customers weren’t getting the kind of service that they deserved. Projects were getting mismanaged and there was a serious lack of technology within the “old school” flooring industry. He believed that the industry could, “benefit from a more sophisticated approach and higher level of customer service.” So in 2008, right in the middle of the recession, he decided to start Footprints Floors, a company that could truly cater to the needs of flooring customers. At first, things moved slowly, but after several months, projects started flooding in at an alarming rate and Bryan realized that he had struck gold.
Today, our floor refinishing franchise has eight locations, including Steve’s Mesa location, with 12 more expected by the end of the year. Footprints Floors has found success not just from its new, refined approach and simplified business model, but by spreading its message to hardwood flooring Franchise Owners like Steve who are just as passionate about what they’re doing. In Steve’s own words, “The focus is not about selling floors. It’s about happy customers and spending time getting to know them.”
Steve, Bryan, and their fellow Franchise Owners weren’t alone in searching for a career that they were truly passionate about. If you are looking to find a stimulating, rewarding career owning a floor refinishing franchise, visit our franchising site today.