Shack Shine Franchise Partner Alex Blackwell talks relocating to Florida to start his new business, building a legacy he can pass on to his kids, and the benefits of being part of a franchising system: ‘it’s freedom within a framework’.
Read his interview below.
What made you want to own your own business… why now?
I retired from a 33 year career in printing, and I’ve always wanted to own my own business, it was now or never. I’m probably older than the typical franchise partner coming in, but I see that as an advantage – because I can leverage my previous career and use that experience to build a profitable Shack Shine business. So really, the answer is now or never!
And you’re moving from Kansas City to Florida East to start your business?
Yes, my wife and I bought a home in Florida seven years ago, and we’ve always wanted to live there full time, but we were on the career track, raising kids – it just wasn’t possible. Now we’re at a point in our lives where 3 of our 4 children live on the east coast, with 3 grandchildren, so we want to be closer to them. I call this my second act in life. My first act was the 33 year career in printing in Kansas City, and now this is my second act in Florida as a business owner – and being more present as a grandparent.
Why Shack Shine?
Well, I wanted to invest in a business in home services. My wife and I love to work on homes. So home services was the market segment I wanted to invest in. And Shack Shine is a great fit with Florida, because the climate in Florida lends itself to year round service. It was a very modest investment too, so that was a factor, but I think the real ‘deal sealer’ was the culture at O2E Brands. It exceeded my expectations. Just the… honestly, it was just the quality of the people – how much they truly cared about my success, it just blew me away.
And why franchising?
Again, my dream was always to own my business. In one of Brian Scudamore’s Founders Stories podcast episodes, one of the franchise partners said: ‘it’s freedom within a framework’, and that sums it up for me really. I can finally own my own business, but I have the support and the framework of many successful people behind me. So that’s why a franchise.
What are you looking forward to most about your new business, would you say?
Just the ability to create something from scratch, and watching it grow into something valuable for my family, my community, and the employees that I hire – the team that I build.
What’s motivating you, what’s the big goal?
Well, as I said I’m a bit older, so ultimately I want to create a legacy – I want to sell my business to one of my children, be a part-time business owner, and then fully retired, sitting on the beach. But I still have plenty of gas in the tank before that happens!
And finally, how are you involved in your community, what are your interests outside of work?
We’re just moving into this community full time, so task one will be to continue to meet people and make friends, and learn about all the fun things that area has to offer. Before now we only spent a couple of weeks a year there, but now we get to live there, so getting involved in the community will be a big priority. As I mentioned before, me and my wife both love working on homes too, so we’re going to spend some time renovating the house. And spending time with our grandkids of course!
Thanks Alex, and congratulations on your new business!
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