Franchisee Success: Outdoor Lighting Perspectives
With a passion for home improvement, Tim O’Brien is ready for the franchising side of an old hobby.
BY Jackie Minchillo
08/31/2015 12:27 pm
Tim O’Brien is one of the newest franchisees in the Outdoor Lighting Perspectives system, having just signed and opened his first location in Baltimore in March 2015.
Prior to his decision to purchase his Outdoor Lighting territory, O’Brien spent nearly two decades in New York as a Convertible Bond Broker, an experience he says has been invaluable to him now as a business owner. “My work was part sales, part service and most of all, relationship driven,” says O’Brien. “I apply all of these skills now to my daily work in growing my Outdoor Lighting business.”
O’Brien was drawn back to Baltimore in 2012, wanting his young daughter to grow up closer to family. Shortly after, he made the decision to begin researching business opportunities as he was ready for a new chapter in his career as well.
“I’ve always had a passion for home improvement and DIY projects, and I decided it was time to turn that hobby into a business after all the time I had spent behind a desk,” said O’Brien.
He went on to say that the decision to invest in Outdoor Lighting was fairly straightforward. During his research he found the company to be very solid with a great foundation and a long-time proven track record. In addition, all of the current franchisees he spoke with about their experience were positive and provided him all the reassurance he needed.
While the first year in business for many new small business owners is largely focused on numbers, O’Brien says he’s running a marathon, not a sprint with Outdoor Lighting—and he has long-term vision in mind.
“For me the first year is all about gaining as much knowledge as I can and working out all the kinks to ensure increased profits in the future,” said O’Brien. “I didn’t want to start hiring people before doing all the jobs myself first so that I can train my employees rather than learn with them and I didn’t want to invest in warehouse or office space until I feel the business is truly running like a well-oiled machine,” O’Brien went on to say.
This dedication to learning and running all of the ins and outs of his own business has also been a part of what O’Brien has considered to be the biggest challenge.
“While none of the jobs are extremely difficult on their own, I have found it challenging to juggle all of them at once, in addition to trying to balance my home life,” O’Brien explained. “I have a two-year old and a five-year old and one my of my biggest concerns is not infringing on my time with them. The support I receive from our corporate office has been invaluable.”
So the first year, O’Brien is focused on soaking up as much knowledge as possible so that he can begin hiring before the year is out. He would like to hire two employees; definitely a field installer and possibly someone to handle office and bookkeeping. In addition O’Brien is actively working to identify a small office space and a warehouse that can be developed and fully operational; heading into the busy Spring season in 2016.
“There will always be a learning curve and new challenges to overcome, but my goal in becoming an expert in my own business this year is to avoid as many beginner errors as possible, and build a solid foundation for an efficient business so that other people can feel good about joining my team and working together to build a great reputation in the Baltimore market,” said O’Brien.
In the future, O’Brien would not be opposed to purchasing additional adjoining territories, should they be available, but he’s focused on building a successful outdoor lighting business in Baltimore first.
- See more at: http://outdoorlightingperspectives.1851franchise.com/article_details/2370/Franchisee-Success-Outdoor-Lighting-Perspectives#sthash.GSXvCQtX.dpuf