Troy Simmers-Vanhevel, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors Franchisee
Troy Simmers-Vanhevel is no stranger to entrepreneurship; growing up, his parents ran a family business and it was their work ethic that inspired him to become a business owner himself. “They taught me that the harder you work, the more rewards you get,” says the 26-year-old Pillar To Post Home Inspectors franchisee.
Business ownership was appealing to Simmers-Vanhevel for another reason – at the age of 17, he spent eight months in hospital after he was hit by a pick-up truck. Nearly ten years later, he still suffers from pain from his injuries. “Being a business owner has given me the opportunity to work around my pain and medical appointments,” he says.
Before becoming a franchisee, Simmers-Vanhevel operated his own renovation company. Having been both an independent business owner and a franchisee, he says the franchise business model offers many benefits. “A franchise increases your chances of success because you’re associating with proven products and methods,” he explains, adding that franchisees also benefit from brand recognition and a pre-sold customer base, which would typically take years to establish.
When it came to choosing a franchise, Simmers-Vanhevel says reputation was important. “I found that Pillar To Post is a trusted and reliable brand and their reputation excels among real estate agents and customers,” he says. He also benefits from the extensive support provided by Pillar To Post’s home office. “They’re committed to helping their franchisees grow their businesses year after year.”
For anyone considering a franchise, he recommends developing a business plan and thoroughly investigating franchise opportunities. “It’s important to do your due diligence,” he says. “Speak with a lawyer before signing any contracts, speak to franchise owners, ask to shadow a business owner and volunteer in the field of choice with a franchise of choice.”
To be successful, he says franchisees need to be dedicated and able to work well in a team, since you’ll be working closely with home office staff. For Simmers-Vanhevel, the experience has been a positive one. “I love the ongoing operational support from the Pillar To Post team and the friendships I’ve developed with my colleagues and peers who are willing to share their experience and knowledge,” he reflects. “Being a franchise owner is an attractive and powerful way to achieve success.”
Originally published in FranchiseCanada Magazine, September/October 2015