What Makes the Perfect Territory for Footprints Floors & Meeting Our Newest Florida Franchise Owner

Footprints Floors has grown so much since we began franchising over ten years ago because our model easily translates to most kinds of territories. However, there are still a few areas that may not make the cut and be unable to sustain a new Franchisee long-term. Our support team has talked to prospective candidates from all over the country and looked at hundreds of communities, so we know exactly what a territory needs to be truly successful. In this blog, we’ll also meet the newest Owner to join Footprints Floors and learn all about why he realized he was sitting on prime territory for a new flooring business!

Where You Can Find Your Ideal Client

Once you know who you want to target as your ideal client, you need to familiarize yourself with them even more and consider where these customers may live – and if that’s your prospective territory. Although urban and suburban areas are perfect for sustaining and growing your home flooring business, you may still find great clients in rural areas if affluent people live in those areas of your community. Regardless of why a client may hire you to help with their flooring, it’s important to choose your territory based on the ratio of the population that fits your ideal client persona. This way, you can launch and scale without worry that you’ve already served everyone in your community.

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Your Territory’s Demographics

Now that you know exactly who your ideal client is and the types of areas you can find them in, our franchise support team will walk you through assessing your territory’s demographics to ensure they match your new flooring franchise’s needs. This typically involves looking at things like housing types, recent economic growth, age group distribution, and income levels. While flooring isn’t always a need-not-want service, the real estate market has forced more homeowners into remodeling over buying a new home, so Footprints Floors Franchisees should see demand in almost any territory they choose to join.

The State of Your Local Contractor Industry

Footprints Floors’ business model works so well because it leverages 1099 subcontractors to do the installation, refinishing, and other laborious work instead of relying on W2 employees. Because of this, an ideal territory is one that has subcontractors readily available and capable of accepting your clients’ flooring work. If your hiring pool is limited or other businesses in the area have subcontractors held to non-compete clauses, then you won’t have the manpower you need to deliver on your promises and execute projects.

The Future of Your Territory

Finally, the last factor to consider when choosing your franchise territory is the direction you see it moving in. Although immediate success post-launch is the first concern most Franchisees carry, your ability to sustain a Footprints Floors home improvement business will rely entirely on the future of your territory. Certain aspects, like trends in population growth and the type of real estate growth (i.e., industrial vs. residential), will help you figure out if your choice of territory will help you grow and scale your business into an empire, or only give you sustainable success for your first few years.

Welcoming Tom DiPaolo to the Footprints Floors Franchise!

As our newest Owner to join our franchise family, Tom DiPaolo is coming to us after a long, serious look into the franchise industry. Once he made the decision to leave hotels behind, he spent years looking for the perfect new franchise business opportunity until he came across Footprints Floors! Let’s learn more about Tom and how he realized his corner of Florida is the ideal territory for his new flooring business.

Tom’s Background

Our newest home services Franchise Owner has a classic background that makes him a perfect candidate for his own Footprints Floors location: a long history in hospitality. While he moved from retail to hotels, Tom eventually opened his own independent restaurant that was, unfortunately, shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. He then returned to hospitality to get by, most recently holding a General Manager role for a chain hotel, often wearing many hats and assisting across departments as is common in the hotel industry.

Tom DiPaolo - Florida - Footprints Floors Franchise Owner

However, Tom began to feel the wear and tear of the extremely stressful nature of running a hotel and recognized his quality of life and ability to maintain a personal life outside of work had disappeared. With his work becoming more of a mundane burden than a fulfilling outlet, Tom decided it was time to leave hotels behind and look into franchising for an escape.

“I believe [I have] a strong transferable skill set from my experience in the hospitality industry. [My] ability to empathize and adapt to different people and personalities will be a strength. Other learned skills such as organization, project management, profit analysis, [and my] understanding [of] KPIs and Sales should also transfer well.”

Getting to Know Footprints Floors

Footprints Floors may not have been the first franchise Tom looked into, but once he discovered our brand and model, he ended his search. During his search, he prioritized an affordable entry investment, fast ROI, and a much higher quality of life than what he was used to in the hotel world. Upon passing the first couple steps in our education process, he recognized that Footprints met all his prerequisites – and more.

“I liked the transparency of the company and being able to ask current franchisees questions without limitations. [I was surprised by] how vested the Footprints team [is] in the concept. There were several employees who worked for Footprints and also either owned a territory or used to own a territory. Even my Franchise Sales contact was a Footprints Owner. I felt comfortable with the core values, most notably integrity, [and] I felt the leadership was fully engaged in the success of franchisees.”

Like many others, Tom was attracted to the ROI potential shown in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and the minimal need for employees. However, it was ultimately our work-life balance, simple, zero-waste approach, and Franchise Owner validation calls that encouraged him to take the leap of faith and become a Footprints Floors franchisee! Today, Tom is looking forward to his new future with Footprints Floors and his new ability to make a difference in people’s lives and leave lasting impressions on future clients. In the long run, he plans to consider scaling into an additional territory once he’s dominated his initial territory – a diverse stretch of North Central Florida.

Looking Into Tom’s Franchise Territory

Once Tom had all the reason he needed to move forward with his own Footprints Floors location, his next task was to look into his community and decide which Florida territory he would claim as his own. Tom is currently living in Monteverde, FL, but looked just north of home to Gainesville, Ocala, Leesburg, and The Village. 

This territory will include a mix of rural, suburban, and urban areas, all of which are packed with new construction and retirement communities that Tom plans to target. Although some of this territory is currently sitting undeveloped, he’s confident that the growing population will soon look toward this region and need his flooring solution for years to come!

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Our Q&A with Tom

While Tom is busy with training and preparing to launch his Footprints franchise location, he made time to sit down with our team for a Q&A! This gave us the opportunity to get to know him better and hear all about his perspective on the education and franchisee candidate process. Here’s a sneak peek of what he had to say:

How important was it for you to meet the Footprints Floors team at Approval Day?

Tom DiPaolo: “It was paramount. Relationships are huge for me. Equally important was gaining a strong understanding of what the daily routine of a Footprints Floors franchise owner would look like. I was able to learn all these things as well as develop a sense of trust and confidence in the concept.”

What was the moment you decided to move forward with Footprints Floors?

Tom: “The easygoing nature of the team placed me quickly at ease. Seeing the team in polo shirts, jeans, and cargo shorts at the first meeting felt adaptable. [The] most memorable moment for me was Bryan Park in Crocs; this made an immediate impression. I’m not sure that I had a specific ‘aha’ moment, but the most eye-opening moments for me happened during the validation calls. I probably listened to 10 hours of validations. With few exceptions, most Franchise Owners seemed very happy with the move they made in purchasing a Footprints territory. That spoke volumes to me.”


If you have realized your community would be the perfect spot for the next Footprints Floors franchise, or if something in Robert’s story resonated with you, what’s keeping you from taking the next step? Join the other Franchise Owners who have used their new flooring business as the means to leave their corporate job and build a legacy for themselves! Learn more about what it takes to be the ideal Footprints Floors Franchisee candidate, or take our quick qualification quiz to get started.