I’m Diana Trondsen, FranNet’s Market President for Houston and the Gulf Coast Region.
I’d like for you to meet another recent client of mine, Nathaniel Prevost. He recently became the owner of Glass Doctor Home + Business of Greater South Houston. Below, Nate talks about his entrepreneurial journey from the petrochemical industry to becoming a franchise owner with a bright entrepreneurial outlook.
With the assistance of FranNet of Houston and the Gulf Coast Region, Nathaniel Prevost has recently become one of the newest Glass Doctor franchise owners – a business opportunity that became an obvious choice, thanks to a moment of epiphany that occurred in his own home. Below, in his own words, Nathaniel shares the story of his own entrepreneurial journey…
“I’m originally from Port Arthur, Texas, the sixth of eight children in the family, and our parents recently celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. You could say we came from humble, blue-collar roots. I went to school at Prairie View A&M University on a U.S. Naval scholarship. I graduated with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, then earned an MBA in Global Management with a specialization in supply chain management. Right after college, I received my Navy commission and served my duty in Orlando, Florida, Rhode Island, Virginia, and overseas in the Mediterranean Sea. It was 1991 when I finished my active duty tour in Norfolk. After leaving the service, I worked in the petrochemical industry in operations management, staying there for over 30 years.”
Why He Chose the Entrepreneurial Route
“As for being an entrepreneur, there might just be a genetic link involved. My grandfather was a self-made businessman – a contractor who supplied machinery and equipment to sugar cane farmers all across south central Louisiana. He built the business into a reliable operation for being a mom and pop run company. I think I saw that and wanted to do something similar – but ultimately on a much larger scale.”
“I chose the franchising model because I really didn’t have any interest in reinventing the wheel. I didn’t want to start a business from scratch and design systems and operations on my own. I wanted to rely on the experience and success of others through the use of a proven business model. I took it very seriously because I wanted to make the right decision. I needed a concept that matched up with my goals and objectives. Together, Diana Trondsen and I looked at several franchise opportunities together.”
“After we had been reviewing franchises for about three to four months, I kept coming back to an incident that stuck with me. Our home’s front glass door was damaged and needed replacement glass, so I tasked my son with handling the repair process. I had him call around and get quotes, so we could compare prices. A couple of weeks down the road, the glass still hadn’t been fixed and I followed up with my son to find out why. He protested, sharing that he had called these places – even sent pictures – but a couple of them never bothered to respond. There was such poor follow-up that these companies weren’t even paying attention. I think I realized right then and there that there was a need for this service. It made me focus on franchising with Glass Doctor.”
On What’s Truly Important
“Throughout the process of finding the right franchise opportunity, I kept coming back to an important factor. The business I wanted to run had to be community oriented – because I really wanted to be a good corporate citizen. I did my research and due diligence on ROI, but what I really wanted was a business that provided a good product and the opportunity to be of service by giving back to my community. We have so many needs to support our youth sports, scouting, athletics, and our elders. I wanted to set an example for my own family to follow by bringing back the basic concepts of a good business – one that has shared values and traditions. Service-oriented businesses just aren’t what they used to be.”
“I just opened for business in September of this year, and everything has gone pretty smoothly. I’m in a 2,700 square foot facility that I hope to grow out of in a couple of years. Glass Doctor was an excellent choice – their proven model went to work for me right away and my phones were ringing with service calls on the first day. As for the benchmarks, I’m out ahead of them with my business projections and that’s just working with one full-time technician. I definitely want to expand my operation at the right time, and I’ve got my eyes on bigger territories in the Houston area.”
How FranNet Helped
“Diana Trondsen was the perfect navigator in helping me find the right opportunity – a real confidant. She always pushed for me to ask the right questions, to keep an open mind, and to do my due diligence – but I never felt pressured to make decisions, which she left completely up to me. She also helped out quite a bit with the SBA loan process and Glass Doctor was a great help in putting together my business plan. I’m really excited to see what the future holds.”
For more information, please visit Nathaniel Prevost’s Glass Doctor Home + Business of Greater South Houston on the web.