We’ve all heard entrepreneurship advocates make the same sort of claims: “Open your own business, be your own boss, and you will have flexibility! It will be rewarding!”
While there is truth in these statements, I have never worked harder than while working for myself. If you want to own a business, just know that it will be hard, stressful, rewarding, fun, maddening and exhilarating. There will be tears, laughter, sleepless nights, heartaches and joyful moments.
My journey began with a dream my husband, Joey, and I shared to have something that was ours that would carry us into retirement. We sought a business that I could run and build while he still worked the “day” job, as we called it. We researched many franchises, and even before settling on PuroClean, we were interested in the restoration industry due to a previous poor experience we’d had with another company. We felt we could do it better and knew we could educate customers and treat them with respect, kindness and compassion.
We investigated the industry, talked to other PuroClean owners and ultimately purchased our franchise in June of 2018. We are an emergency service business, so we must be available 24/7/365 to help owners whose property incurs water, fire or mold damage.
We receive franchise support, but success or failure rests on our shoulders. The key to our success, like everyone else’s, has been hard work, determination and persistence.
One of the challenges I’ve faced is having a woman- owned business in a male-dominated industry. I have overcome this difficulty by getting educated and certified in water restoration and in mold remediation. After being in the business for four years, I have become a resource for home inspectors, insurance agents, realtors and homeowners.
A second challenge I face is maintaining a work-life balance. I have two children and three grandchildren, and I struggle with owning a 24-hour business while being a wife, mother and grandmother and finding time for myself.
Overall, I have been blessed beyond measure. I have met great customers who have become dear friends. If you aspire to start a business, my best advice is do your research, talk to others in your industry and spend some real time in a successful business in your field. Find a mentor you can call when things get hard, and celebrate your successes. I am fortunate to have a supportive husband to listen to my trials and lend a helping hand when needed.
Bonnie Teichert is owner of PuroClean of Oceans Springs, located at 3110 Government Street. Reach her at (228) 456-3200, or firstname.lastname@example.org.