With the assistance of Mark Cory, Market President and Franchise Consultant for FranNet of Michigan, Hamilton Gayden is making his entrepreneurial dreams come true — as the owner of a multi-unit enterprise consisting of two 101 Mobility franchise locations. Below, in his own words, Hamilton talks about his journey with FranNet…
“After graduating from the University of Virginia, I headed overseas to work for General Motors in Taiwan, and then on to Hong Kong. A few years later when I returned, GM then sent me back to graduate school. I ended up working in sales and sales operations roles in the automotive industry for over two decades, but the Great Recession in 2007-2008 made the industry a bit too volatile. I finally left GM and went to work for a smaller consultancy in Michigan where I had the chance to set up a team of my own back in China.”
On Becoming an Entrepreneur
“I liked the way the consultant group was centrally managed, but I didn’t plan on sticking around indefinitely. I’d always dreamed of starting up my own $10 million dollar business. It was around this time that I began looking into some business ownership opportunities, and I ended up crossing paths with Mark Cory.”
“I chose the franchising route because, as a 50-something year old executive, I had no real desire to start up or build a business from scratch. I just didn’t have the time, energy, or desire to go that route. What I really wanted was a flexible but proven business model – a feature that’s at the core of any franchise business opportunity.“
How FranNet Helped
“After assessing my skill set, goals, and financial tolerance, Mark presented five different concepts for me to review that matched up well with my intentions. 101 Mobility was one of them, but I initially wasn’t that interested in pursuing it. But Mark patiently explained that I should keep an open mind and consider how the concept was a fairly decent match for my risk tolerance and level of financial commitment. The target market was definitely there – as anyone can see that the population continues to age. But I also appreciated how the service that 101 Mobility provides is doing good in the world, demonstrably helping people live better lives – it was a meaningful and purposeful ownership opportunity. I got deeper into the discussions and ended up shadowing an existing 101 Mobility owner, which really helped to convince me that this business model was the right way to go.”
Where Do You Stand?
“In 2015, I opened my first location in the northern suburbs of Detroit. The grand opening and my first year of business were relatively smooth. My primary focus was on sales and new customer acquisitions. Two years later in 2017, I expanded to six territories after acquiring the Ann Arbor franchise operation. And I’m pleased to report that we’re expanding once again, as I plan to open another location in Grand Rapids in July of this year. 101 Mobility ended up becoming the right choice for me in a lot of ways. I love how the business model works across different markets, even if they have their own target market and dynamic. There’s commercial, Veterans Administration (VA), insurance, and other lead-generation opportunities to go after. Thanks to the other franchisees in our system, I learned quite a bit about each one of these individual target markets.”
“Mark Cory really helped me cut through a lot of the heavy lifting during my franchise investigation. In fact, were it not for him, I may not have even come across or considered 101 Mobility. Mark was really good at finding very reputable options for me to review and every one of them did align with my stated goals. I’m thankful he was there to help me establish a business of my own that I’ve been able to expand successfully.”
For more information, please visit Hamilton Gayden’s 101 Mobility site on the web.