When Leslie Greene realized her business passion and it wasn’t something on Gary Prenevost’s franchise roster, the help kept on coming
Leslie Greene may be the happiest person ever to work with Gary Prenevost … even though she and husband, Bill, begged off from his list of potential franchisors and found one of their own.
“We opened our Pet Valu franchise May 7,” Leslie Greene says of the store in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto.
The adviser throughout the process of finding and vetting the franchise opportunity was Prenevost … even though he didn’t make any money in the process.
“He didn’t have any pet franchisers,” she says of the list she and her husband studied after first encountering Prenevost at a franchise fair and beginning their meetings with him around the holidays in 2012.
After their first meetings with Gary and filling out a questionnaire to try to match them to a business opportunity, Leslie and her husband felt good.
“It was an excellent learning process to have someone helping you learn what you are good at and also how much you can afford to invest. Then he presented us with options of things we could be potentially interested in,” she said.
It was with that training firmly in their minds that the Greenes visited the Pet Valu where they had recently gotten kittens and found out the local franchise was in need of an owner. They decided to look into it and another local pet store franchise operation.
She and her husband felt a little guilty since there was a notable lack of purrs and barks among the franchise companies with which Prenevost is connected.
Instead of being upset, Prenevost continued in his role as adviser.
He said, “let’s see how it stacks up,” and began helping them look into the pluses and minuses of the businesses.
“He said ‘I just want you to find the best possible solution to what you are looking for. If it’s another one (a franchise he isn’t connected with), it’s easy come, easy go. Don’t worry about it. You are my clients and I’m here to help you.’”
And so the relationship continued, with Leslie Greene contacting Prenevost with the same questions she’d have asked if investigating franchisers with which he was connected.
“He would answer my calls to each concern I had,” she says. “He was super supportive. It was an amazing experience.”
With his consultation, the Greenes “boiled it down and decided on Pet Valu.”
“He was there all the way” as the couple did their discovery and crunched numbers.
“We decided this business was fairly recession proof,” she says, noting that to many people pets “are like their babies. Some people have kids and pets. Some have their pets as kids.”
“Gary really taught us what to look for.”
Now the business is up and running, offering customers “pet food, pet beds, supplies, anything from leashes and collars to … pretty much anything to do with a pet.”
Among the nice touches is a self-serve dog wash. “It’s a half-hour for $10. You use our soap, shampoo and blow dryer and towel service.”
And she cannot say enough times how much she appreciates the guidance from Prenevost.
“He’s really a great, good-hearted person. He’s good at what he does and he has no strings attached.”
The she laughs that the experience may just have Prenevost adding pet stores to his list. “He did ask for us to put in a good word for him with the Pet Valu people.”