Owner opens up about life in business with the fastest-growing wood refinishing franchise
N-Hance, the fastest-growing wood refinishing franchise in the nation, celebrated the opening of its 500th location in 2018. This rapid growth is largely due to the success of the franchise network, the members of which come from varied professional backgrounds — often without any significant experience in the wood refinishing industry.
This is the case of James Carter, who bought his franchise in Eugene, Oregon, in 2011, and has since become one of the top-performing franchisees in the entire system. In the Q&A below, Carter shares his background, explains how N-Hance’s commitment to research and development helps drive sales, offers advice to new entrepreneurs and more:
This is his story:
What were you doing before you became an N-Hance franchise owner?
Carter: Before owning my franchise, I had worked as a meat cutter for many years. My father was a carpenter, so I had also grown up doing some of the things I now do in my business.
How has N-Hance supported you in your business?
Carter: I bought an existing business. It was somewhat developed, and I had the opportunity to “shadow” the owner for six months before I bought the business. That’s how I learned the N-Hance way of doing things. We bought and began our business in 2011. It has been a great experience for me.
How are the N-Hance product line and services different from what the competition offers?
Carter: Although I had experience doing similar things in my life, I would not have been able to do it the “N-Hance” way (which I believe is the correct way), without the technical support at the corporate office. The great support we receive includes help with marketing, business coaches, research and development, conventions and support options like sales summits and regional training.
How will new product offerings, such as the Cabinet Door Replacement program and a consumer financing platform, help you in your business?
Carter: Proprietary products offer us the advantage over the competition. I believe our products are superior. Our R&D team at corporate is awesome; I always get inspired when visiting there. Without trust in something it is hard to make a sale, and because I believe in the product line and have knowledge of our products, it is much easier to sell our services to customers.
Having a financial credit program can offer many advantages. Just last week a client wanted our services but had no way to do anything until after an inheritance. The ability to offer consumer financing helped us make that sale that much sooner.
A door replacement program has also helped me make larger sales. So many of my clients would like to change the look of their cabinets, and we have made that happen without a total remodel.
How has the Brand Marketing Fund helped you in your business?
Carter: I think the Brand Marketing Fund has greatly benefited everyone. We are seeing sales increasing from a much younger clientele, and I believe it is because of social media. Our name, the brand and our reputation are taking us to the forefront of wood refinishing.
Are you excited about the future of N-Hance?
Carter: Again, our R&D team excites me. Knowing that our finishes, tints and other things are changed for the better on a regular basis is exciting. I believe we have an exciting future ahead of us.
What are the qualities you need to succeed as an N-Hance franchisee?
I believe, to succeed as an N-Hance franchisee, one must believe in the processes — and you must learn about each and every product. Do your homework and reach out to other franchisees. Along with the technical department, you won’t find better people to learn from and work with.
Always look your client in the eyes. You can build a better relationship with them, and they are more apt to trust you. Be clean and dress appropriately, you are entering their sanctuary; make them feel safe in their own home. Build a bond with your client so they will want to refer others to your business.
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