Expanding a local small business from one state to another can easily become a complex and daunting process. All manner of rules, regulations, and requirements can – and very frequently do – differ from state to state and it can be a steep climb to get started. It was for that reason that, when owners Amanda Martin and her husband James decided to leverage the success that they found in New Jersey by launching a second Mr. Appliance franchise in Florida, they turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for guidance.
Mr. Appliance is North America’s leading home and commercial appliance repair franchise system. Established in 1996 and now with almost 290 locations in the U.S. and Canada, Mr. Appliance franchises provide full-service home appliance and light commercial appliance repair services. “We have a Mr. Appliance in New Jersey and we wanted to grow,” Martin recalls. “Florida is a great place to do that, so we decided to open our second service center, Mr. Appliance of Clermont & Apopka.” Thanks to the professionalism, training, and the courtesy of their office staff and technicians, the Martins’ Florida office has established itself as the preferred vendor in its service area. “We truly care about getting you up and running as soon as possible,” Martin states. As an authorized service provider for many leading manufacturers including Bosch and GE, they receive the training and support needed to make the right repairs quickly, as well as pass on manufacturer’s discounts to their customers.
“We sought help from the FSBDC to start our company in Florida because we didn’t know where to start, or what’s needed by the state,” shares Martin. “The FSBDC really helped us get moving in a very, very positive direction and getting us up and running a lot quicker than we anticipated. They helped me every step of the way to create my business, getting all the paperwork taken care of with phone calls, video calls, everything I needed. Any question I had, they were there to answer them for me.”
“Working with our consultant Chuck Wheeler and the FSBDC was a dream,” Martin continues. “They made sure I stayed on target, stayed on task, stayed on track to open my business as soon as possible.” Wheeler’s and the FSBDC’s assistance didn’t stop with the launch of the business either. “Even now he still keeps in contact. “Now that we’ve been open 18 months, the FSBDC is assisting us with our marketing, getting our name out there. They have been a tremendous help to us growing in our target area, which is Winter Garden and Horizon West. We are definitely growing and becoming the superior appliance repair company that everybody in our area wants to call for their needs,” says Martin.
“The one word I would use to describe the FSBDC would be ‘Extraordinary’, concludes Martin. “They helped us keep on track with opening our business and to go above and beyond to keep furthering our expansion as well as growth. They care about how our business is doing in the State of Florida and we appreciate it very much.”