I’m Roxanne Rapske, FranNet Consultant for Dallas, Texas, and I’d like for you to meet a former client of mine, Michael Castillo. I met Michael at one of my workshops back when I was working for FranNet in California. A banking and finance veteran, Michael came to realize that he needed an opportunity that would help him balance the needs of income security and his loving family.
With the assistance of FranNet, Michael Castillo became the owner of a Citywide franchise operation in California’s Inland Empire. Below, in his own words, he shares his FranNet journey…
“I was previously in banking and finance, am married, and my wife works for the state of California. Together we have three beautiful children. When I began my job ownership search, we were worried about the risk, but we did have access to benefits. As for entrepreneurship, I was influenced by my father-in-law, who owned his own spices company. He started it when he, himself, lost his previous job. It was inspirational to see how he turned things into a success.”
On Becoming an Entrepreneur
“I was in a job running back and forth all the time and I was becoming increasingly frustrated. Going back to 2008, things had gotten unsteady and were beginning spiral. I began to think about starting my own business. However, there was just so much information out there on the internet, it was really hard to tell which direction to even begin the process.”
“Right before I met Roxanne Rapske of FranNet, I had done my own research and searches online, and look at businesses, and people’s different stories. I got an email about a franchising seminar, hosted by her, down in San Diego. I happened to have a client down there, so I attended. We took a class with a personality exam, and Roxanne returned a few concepts that matched up with my answers. One of the choices was Citywide and it helped me to realize that up until this point—I had done everything backwards. When you have a family and three kids and are already tied into a lifestyle with a certain income, it became necessarily to have the assistance from FranNet in helping me determine what a good business ownership opportunity would look like.
I think franchising in general can get you to more than just a 50-50 shot at succeeding. That was a real comfort level and the executives at Citywide were clearly as vested in my success as I was.”
How FranNet Helped
“FranNet, right out of the gate, was just really a blessing. I don’t know where I would have ended up if I didn’t have that level of guidance. I realize now that I didn’t have the ‘know-how’ for direction I truly needed to go. Roxanne and FranNet helped me find the perfect match for a business ownership opportunity in Citywide. When each and every one of the franchise concepts were presented to me, Roxanne helped me to ‘vet it out’, which was her phrase for keeping an open mind. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and experience I had.
If anyone is at a point where they’re looking at making a move, they should align themselves with people they can trust. A single individual can’t make it happen all on their own. It takes family, friends, and people like Roxanne at FranNet, who have your best interests at heart.”
Where Do You Stand?
“I signed the paperwork back in 2014 and by 2015, was ready to begin operations. I was still really scared, because I had some limited funds that would carry me through to break even and profitability. I started with just one employee and, yes, it was a struggle at first. But you crawl, then walk, then run through the years—along the way, I averaged out really well on the income side of things. I’ve learned to be patient. That everything can be worked out. It’s a mentality where you’re OK with whatever the outcome is. Now we have a much fuller staff and things are going in a positive direction. It’s not that the worry or concerns ever end, but we’re continually learning new ways to be better and more successful.
At the end of the day, I now believe that it’s scarier to be working for someone else than working for yourself. I believe that because I did go through job changes and have lost positions. But having control over the environment has helped, security-wise. Last year, I had a client retention rate of over 88%, and added $1 million in revenue in a calendar year, while selling 33% of non-janitorial services. All three of those metrics were worthy of winning one of Citywide’s Platinum Awards—and we were one of 15 out of 70 offices to earn this distinction. That was pretty cool.”
For more information, please visit Michael Castillo’s Citywide franchise on the internet.