I’m Sara Waskow, FranNet’s Market President for Dallas-Fort Worth and Oklahoma.
I’d like for you to meet a former client of mine, Mike & Andrea Sims. About three years ago, Mike happened to catch one of my SCORE presentations, which led to several meetings in which we discussed the possibilities of an entrepreneurial future for him and his family. Because Mike and his wife, Andrea, are motivated and passionate individuals, it’s no surprise that they ended up as the owners of their own business, but he says their greatest satisfaction comes from helping others improve themselves by living a healthier lifestyle.
Another Entrepreneurial Journey: Meet Mike & Andrea Sims
With the assistance of FranNet of Dallas-Fort Worth and Oklahoma, Mike and Andrea became the proud owners of a multi-unit franchise operation with The Exercise Coach. Turns out, it was the perfect fit for Mike’s love of exercise, and Mike and Andrea’s passion for helping others. Below, in his own words, he shares his FranNet journey…
“I moved to Texas way back in 1983, when ‘Dallas’ was still a hit TV show. I earned a degree in finance from TCU and later added an SMU MBA. I spent 30 years in financial services, specializing in risk management and capital markets. I’m blessed to be married to Andrea going on 24 years, and to have two beautiful children.”
On Becoming an Entrepreneur
“After three decades of working in the financial services space and a seemingly endless cycle of professional ups and downs, I think I was ready for a change. I’m very passionate about my health and fitness in general. I have been blessed to love exercise and wanted to have a little more flexibility and freedom to explore how I might integrate my interest in fitness and coaching others with a business ownership opportunity. My career’s Second Act began with a SCORE presentation that Sara Waskow gave, which led to several in-person meetings to go over my and Andrea’s FranNet Entrepreneurial Readiness Assessments.”
“What took me by surprise was learning just how many companies and brands out there are franchised operations. What gives them a leg up is a proven business model for the owners to follow. I liked the idea of being able to focus on growing a business, and franchises typically have built in systems for things like operations, marketing, and administrative tasks. And I liked that FranNet only worked with the top choices and good business concepts.”
How FranNet Helped
“To begin with, I’m eternally grateful for Sara’s patience. She was always very prepared and came ready to discuss different business concepts that matched up with Andrea and my profile. I think we started with about 6-7 concepts and Sara suggested I investigate The Exercise Coach franchise opportunity in further detail. I was a little skeptical at first because I’ve always devoted my own fitness regimen to cardio intensive programs, and was therefore hard-wired into thinking that more miles and hours was the path to being healthier. However, The Exercise Coach’s high intensity/short duration strength training program was intriguing to me, had been proven successful, and was backed by science. What finally sealed the deal was seeing how The Exercise Coach corporate team’s values aligned with Andrea and my values. For The Exercise Coach, it’s about helping others become the best version of themselves. To become healthier. To be able to enjoy life to its fullest. Sara was instrumental in assisting our journey at every stage. She did more than just handle the introductions, such as by providing essential connections for legal and accounting representation before my wife and signed the deal. After everything was in place, she also became one of our first clients—and continues to be a client to this day!”
Where Do You Stand?
My wife and I signed a multi-unit deal for three locations with The Exercise Coach. We opened our first location here in Southlake, back in November 2019, and within the next month we will begin seriously looking for a second studio location. Our first studio has done quite well, especially considering the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on small businesses, and has hit the benchmarks and goals we set for it. I’m really happy with how everything has turned out. As an owner/operator, and also as a personal trainer, I get to focus my energy on helping our clients improve themselves. The word that best describes that feeling is ‘rewarding’.”
For more information, please visit Mike and Andrea Sims’ studio location for The Exercise Coach in Southlake, TX.