AmiSight 5/16: Are You Navigating Economic Landmines Successfully?
In today’s podcast, MultiFunding President Lynn Ozer, aka SBA Queen, and I talk to Chris Earley, an ex-franchisee, founder and president of Liberty Inspection Group, based in Media, Pennsylvania. Chris tells us how he started his own home inspection company after getting his feet wet with a franchise. He also talks about diversifying his business to make it through the fluctuating real estate market. If your business is or isn’t experiencing shifts because of economic factors, let Chris’ story inspire you on how to navigate economic landmines.
“The franchise was good for us for a couple years; the business-in-the box was really, really good – kind of got me going faster than I would have ordinarily,” he explained. “But after a few years, it was just kind of like a waste of my royalties. I'm giving them 11% of everything I make, and I'm not getting any value in return.”
He was one of the first franchisees to leave the company and was only in year eight of a 10-year non-compete agreement. So, he switched the name and kept the number and kept all the same clients. Although the franchisor came after him and he had to pay their attorney fees, it was worth it for him as he made back the money that he would have paid in royalties within a year.
Although the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 took its toll as he didn’t have any income coming in, people began to “buy houses like crazy” and everybody was getting an inspection. But for the past 12-18 months, not only has the volume of sales down, but people are waiving inspections.
To compensate, he decided to start a handyman division, Canopy Building Services, with a separate C corporation and separate employees from the inspection side. Both companies share resources and have the same leadership team. The business model is also similar to Liberty’s as they both incorporate Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) and operate on traction.
Listen here as Chris also discusses what people should be aware of before selling their house, how his peer groups helped him through tough times, and the possibility of franchising his business.