From One Oil Exec to the Others…it’s Never Too Late for a Second Career Act

Mark & Liz Beattie make up a dynamic husband-wife duo, operating their own Budget Blinds franchise in Fulshear, TX, a sprawling suburb west of the Houston metroplex. This couple’s roots stretch back to their home country of Scotland, but their lives have now branched out into entrepreneurialism in the Lone Star State. And as you’ll find out, they found a way to make their business operation a true family affair.

Mark’s background as an electrical engineer made him a highly sought-after commodity in the oil and gas industry. It earned him a transfer to the United States, where he hooked up with the global oilfield service powerhouse, Schlumberger. In a career arc spanning over 30 years, Mark eventually reached the managerial level—before an unexpected layoff in 2017.

Liz was herself hard at work, juggling office managerial work and raising their son and daughter. Corporate adversities common to the energy industry eventually arose, including a shaky market and a one to two-hour commute to her job. After Mark was laid off, the couple began to assess their future options.

“So, we weren’t quite old enough to retire yet and our 401k funds were still out on the horizon,” joked Mark, looking back on the situation he found himself, following his layoff. “I wasn’t sure about going the entrepreneur route—I just knew I didn’t want to be tied down 24/7.” Liz chimed in, “…and neither one of us had ever run a business before.”

Through an outplacement service, Mark attended a seminar led by Diana Trondsen, FranNet’s Consultant for Houston and the Gulf Coast Region. He found the idea of franchising intriguing, made an appointment, and he and Liz began their investigative process.

“It was like, but with business concepts,” stated Liz. “We had the opportunity to share our goals for what we wanted in a business and Diana presented different franchises that matched with our strengths and weaknesses.”

“We began to understand the real benefits of owning a franchise,” said Mark. “First, you get such a head start—a full roadmap and infrastructure that’s already in place. We really wanted a concept that the whole family could run, where each of us could contribute.” Liz chimed in, “We would have the responsibility all to ourselves, both the success and the blame.”

The winning franchise concept for the Beattie’s turned out to be Budget Blinds, which specializes in custom window coverings of all types and designs. The couple purchased their operation from an existing franchisee, which also included a book of clients and cashflow projections that greatly assisted them once the opened for business in March of 2018. To date, the Beattie Family has acclimated well, with repeat and referral business offering a stable platform to begin building incremental revenue.

“The previous owner’s projections were based on a 12-month calendar year,” said Liz. “Our goal was to reach that number in 10 months, which we surpassed by 20%. Our annual goal has been a 10% increase in total revenue and we’re on track to surpass that as well.” Mark is quick to credit the Budget Blinds leadership by providing an exceptional level of support on an ongoing basis.

The Beattie’s remain thankful and fortunate to have had guidance from FranNet’s Diana Trondsen, as they began their entrepreneurial journey. “To try and investigate all those different franchise concepts on your own—it would have been like walking through a minefield,” says Mark. “But FranNet has the experience in identifying only quality operations for you to consider. And you’re only shown the ones that match up well with your set of circumstances.” Liz echoes this sentiment. “Diana listened, but she also heard. Not everybody does both well.”

As for the Beattie’s “” experience using FranNet, they found true love with Budget Blinds. To learn more, please visit Mark & Liz Beattie’s Budget Blinds franchise website.

Aug 3, 2020