Carl Zitofsky had already been thinking about making the transition to business owner, but when his position in a corporate job was eliminated, he knew it was time to pull the trigger. For Carl, choosing franchising over starting from scratch came down to the structure and the systems. Find out what motivated this Franchise Partner to run his own business, and what makes him most proud about being an entrepreneur.
Q: What made you want to own a business?
CZ: I’d actually looked into owning a business a few times. I’m over fifty, and it was time to take control of my future. I had been working in my previous role through the pandemic, and just as I was preparing for my next move, my position was eliminated. It kind of felt like a sign!
Q: Why now – what was it that made you take the leap?
CZ: I’m in a good position financially. After the crash of ‘08, I had started exploring other options. By the time the pandemic hit, I knew it was time to pull the trigger: I wanted to work for myself rather than working for others.
Q: In your opinion, what are the benefits of joining a franchise system?
CZ: Hands down, the structure. I’m entering an industry about which I know essentially nothing. By joining a franchise, you’re joining an operation that has learned what works and what doesn’t. You’re given the right roadmap to be successful. Brian Scudamore often talks about being “willing to fail” – with so many years of experience in franchising, this is a system that will help me avoid these mistakes. Another reason is that I come from a corporate background, so I tend to work better with structure. Franchising also gives you a network of other people that are doing exactly what you’re doing – they’ve done it already, so from Day 1 you’ve got a network to ask questions.
Q: Why Shack Shine, what made this the right fit?
CZ: The investment, for one: it was an opportunity that fell within the budget I had. When I first moved here there were hardly any homes; now there’s thousands of them. I didn’t see any other companies doing what we do, especially not any that have over 30 years of franchising experience behind them.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about being a business owner?
CZ: My ultimate goal is to become a respected brand in my neighborhood: right now we’re brand new, but I’m looking forward to the day that we’re well known around the community. And then it’ll be about supporting the local community and giving back. There’s also the work-life balance aspect of things, and being able to go on vacations – all of that stems from the success of the business.
Q: What are your passions / interests / hobbies – what makes you happiest and motivates you?
CZ: I’m an avid golfer, as it allows you to meet a whole lot of people but also be on your own at the same time. It’s great for networking as well. I’m also really proud and motivated by 5-star reviews: when friends and neighbours have confidence in you, that’s what makes it all worth it. Being my own boss also allows me the flexibility to be more involved in my kids’ lives, which is incredible.
Q: Tell us about your territory, what makes it unique?
CZ: I have most of the northern part of Delaware. I moved from New York to Middletown, when it was very small – a gas station and a few shops, but not much else. Now, there are more schools, more shopping, everything. But, it still has that small town feel to it. It’s been amazing to see how much this community has grown, to witness the transformation. I love living here, and all of the growth has provided more opportunities to live, work, and play in my own backyard.
Thank you and congratulations on your business Carl!
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