January 17, 2012 // Franchising.com // PARKERSBURG, W. VA – “Going out on my own was scary. My old boss actually said, ‘What are you thinking?’ But it has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.” Potential Woodcraft franchise owners can now watch an online video and learn more about the dreams that led people like Monte Eldfrick to choose Woodcraft store ownership, sometimes trading lucrative careers to be their own bosses.
Go to http://www.woodcraft.com/enewsletter/franchiseletter.aspx to hear Monte Eldfrick (Boise, Idaho), David, Lee Ann and Aaron Sapp (Nashville, Tennessee), Michele and Ron Hall (Seattle, Washington), Mike Sauder (Houston, Austin, Ft. Worth, Dallas, San Antonio and South Houston, Texas), Joe and Susan Essin (Eugene, Oregon), Allan Chaney (Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) and Bill and Heather Caillet (Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia) talk about how they got involved with Woodcraft, what it takes to successfully manage a store and how the experience has changed their lives for the better.
Woodcraft Supply, LLC, the industry leader in providing a wide variety of top quality products, educational opportunities and one-on-one guidance to woodworkers of all skill levels, has more than 70 franchise stores nationwide and is always looking for additions to its store lineup. “In an effort to give would-be franchise store owners information from an owner’s viewpoint, Woodcraft has produced a video that tells the stories of retail store owners in seven states,” Gary Lombard, vice president – retail/franchise development Woodcraft Franchise, LLC, said.
Eldfrick, the father of five, left a 15-year career with a “fabulous employer” primarily because he spent too much time traveling and wanted to be home with his family. Besides business travel issues, others were looking for the opportunity to challenge themselves by doing something different, to be the boss, and in some cases to work with family members. A passion for woodworking also played a major role in most of their franchise decisions.
Why Woodcraft? After extensive research, including visits to the Woodcraft corporate office and stores and conversations with store owners, Ron and Michele Hall concluded: “… at the end of the day Woodcraft had the business model and ethics and attitudes we felt comfortable with and would provide us a foundation to grow our business.”
The Halls and other owners expressed satisfaction with Woodcraft’s support not only through the initial store setup and/or transition, but also afterward. “… Woodcraft continues to be a good partner. They give us the latitude on the local level to sell what our customers are demanding. It’s not like other franchises where you buy every product from them and sell the way they want you to,” Eldfrick said. “The support is there when we need it,” Bill Caillet said, adding that help comes quickly for technical problems as well as other issues, regional managers visit regularly and offer advice, and once a year franchisees meet prior to the Woodcraft Vendor Trade.
For Mike Sauder, owner of six Texas stores, the vendor trade show is the most important event of the store year. “It’s our chance to see all of our vendors in one place and learn what new products they will have and what deals you can make with them to make more profit in your store …”
Besides the satisfaction of owning and managing a successful business, the franchisees enjoy their customers. “It’s the relationship that you have with people. They are there to have fun and to come and learn something more about what has been a lifelong passion for them … It’s neat to be part of that relationship because it adds so much more than just another dollar, just another day at the store to make a buck for my family. It now becomes fun,” Joe Essin said.
Another benefit: working as a couple or as a family in the case of David and Lee Ann Sapp and their son, Aaron. “We wanted something that we could do together and wanted to own our own business together. We always had so much fun in the workshop that we decided to make it a living,” David said.
Would he do it again? “Oh yea, absolutely. It was the best decision I ever made. No question,” said Allan Chaney.
For more information about Woodcraft Franchise Retail Opportunities, call (800) 344-3348, email WoodcraftFranchise@Woodcraft.com, or visit WoodcraftFranchise.com.
Woodcraft Supply, LLC, is one of the nation's oldest and largest suppliers of quality woodworking tools, supplies, and plans. The Parkersburg, W.Va.-based company’s more than 20,000 products are sold at retail stores in over 70 major metropolitan areas across the U.S., through two million catalogs distributed annually in all 50 states and 117 countries, and online at woodcraft.com. All products are backed by our 90-Day Guarantee and the industry’s best customer service. Woodcraft also offers educational opportunities through classes and demos at the stores, how-to videos and articles online, and project, technique and product features in Woodcraft Magazine, which publishes six issues annually.