Lottery Winner Becomes Franchisee
Upon winning a mega lottery like this month's $1.5 billion Powerball, you typically hear stories of winners putting their earnings toward buying a new home or a luxury car. While there are a million ways to spend the winnings, the key is to make smart investments that enable you to maintain and grow your fortune. Jason Fry, owner of four successful Batteries Plus Bulbs stores in Florida, would testify that franchising is one worthwhile investment.
After winning $47 million in the 2008 Florida state lottery, Fry did what most overnight millionaires would do: he bought a boat, an Escalade, a Shelby Mustang, a motorcycle, and a house in Ft. Myers. He also made several business investments, including acquiring a Batteries Plus franchise store in 2009. Fry learned about the franchise after visiting a friend's Batteries Plus store in Orlando. His research revealed that Batteries Plus had a "recession-resistant" business model built on the growing and constantly evolving battery industry, where there is always a consumer and business need. The company, now rebranded to Batteries Plus Bulbs, also provides access to a comprehensive selection of light bulbs and smartphone/tablet repair services. Fry has expanded his store footprint and now owns three other locations in Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, and Naples.
Fry says investing in a franchise business was one of the best decisions he's ever made. He attributes his ongoing business success to exceptional customer service and employee relations. Treating employees and customers with respect is absolutely crucial and his philosophy stems from his years as an employee. In a time where people are often met with terrible customer service and a lack of customer empathy, Fry's strategy is to always put customers first and stand firmly behind everything he sells.
Fry has five pieces of advice he's learned since winning the lottery and opening his franchises:
- Research is key. Fry always wanted to own a bar, but through extensive research he determined it was a risky business. Instead, he opened a "man cave" at home.
- Be flexible. Being flexible and a good listener are two ways to ensure you're making solid business decisions. Be sure to keep an eye on what other entrepreneurs are doing and listen to what your customers are saying so you can make educated decisions
- Loan money wisely. With wealth comes requests from friends, family, and peers for assistance.
- Family first. Starting and investing in businesses can be very time consuming. Make sure to carve out time for family as they matter most.
- Don't be greedy. Not all investments will make large sums of money overnight and many will take years of hard work to grow into something worthwhile. Patience and hard work will ultimately lead to greater success.
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