Another Entrepreneurial Journey: Meet Bernard and Rosa Robin
A little over a year ago, Bernard and Rosa Robin made the jump from employee to employer when they became the owners of Gotcha Covered, a window treatment business, in the Greater Houston Area. Bernard and Rosa had much to say about their entrepreneurial journey and about the differences between working in the corporate world versus being the owner of a franchise business.
Background and Reasons for Leaving the Corporate World:
“I’m an engineer and I worked at Hewlett-Packard for 30 years. I started in France then HP had me move to the US in 1997. It was here that I met my wife, Rosa—so it’s a good thing that I moved to the US! Around when Covid hit, I was laid off and I decided that I just didn’t want to go back to the corporate world.”
Finding FranNet and Deciding on Franchising:
“After I was laid off, I investigated some of the services that HP provided to help people find another job. One of the things they provided was sponsoring presentations from other companies. I attended a presentation by Diana Trondsen from FranNet about franchising and I really liked it! So, I got in contact with Diana and we started the process.
“Diana took time to interview both of us initially and then she sent us a questionnaire that we had to answer. It was a very detailed assessment that included questions about things that we like, things that we don’t like, and our strengths and weaknesses to create a profile and help us understand who we are.
“The assessment also helped Diana understand who we were better, but she didn’t stop at that. We went on to have several more meetings where she counseled us, continued to learn more about who we were and what we like, and basically tried to discern what kind of businesses would be a good choice for us.
“Diana showed us several different franchise businesses that she thought might be a good fit for us and we wanted to just pick one of them right away. She encouraged us to do our due diligence; so, we investigated them a little more, talked to people in the different businesses, and ended up deciding that the best business for us was actually one of the choices we weren’t interested in at first!”
How it’s going now:
“Now, we have started our own business and it has the kind of culture that we wanted. For now, it’s just the two of us. But, as our business grows, we know that we want it to have the kind of culture where people feel like we’re not just a business that’s here to make money. We’re here as a business to help and serve people, to make people happy, and to make our employees happy.”
Why franchising instead of starting your own business?
“We would never have been able to get started on our own, not in the window treatment business at least. But with a franchise, we get great support from the corporate chain. The franchise system basically helped us to gain years of experience in just a few months. They gave us our initial training and helped us with our marketing strategy, our online systems, our initial setup and tools, and our advertising efforts. They even post for us on social media to keep all our different pages active. Another benefit of being part of the franchising system is you make connections, you make friends in your franchise, and people give you advice.”
How FranNet helped you along your journey:
“We wouldn’t be where we are without Diana. Without her, we never would have known about Gotcha Covered. She found it for us along with a few other options and she basically guided us and helped us to make a decision. So, we are extremely pleased with Diana Trondsen and very grateful that we met her. Now, with our own business, it doesn’t feel like we’re going to work every day. It is so much more exciting! In fact, we find ourselves wishing that our days had more hours so that we could work longer and serve our community!”