Paul Berry - San Antonio, Texas
When Paul Berry began working for Mr. Appliance, he didn’t know the first thing about appliance repair. He had spent the last 30 years in the telecommunications industry, working for AT&T, but he had dreams of one day being his own boss. His mother-in-law, Reva Smith, was thinking about buying a Mr. Appliance franchise and asked Paul if he would step in and run the business for her. Over the last four years, Paul and his team have been dedicated to turning the business into one of the leading appliance repair companies in San Antonio, Texas.
How has Mr. Appliance shaped the way you
It has reinforced the idea of following certain steps and processes. Mr. Appliance follows a Code of Values and a 14-step customer service process, so we read the Code of Values and go over the 14 Steps at every meeting. It’s nice to have those systems in place, and to know that there’s someone to call if I have a question. If I don’t know what to do, I can always call my franchise consultant and ask for advice. We have written support, too, on the company intranet. With the Mr. Appliance systems, all the tools are right there for us. We didn’t even have to guess what our company name or logo would be. It’s already decided and packaged to make it easier on us.
What are the biggest challenges in your business?
The biggest challenge we’ve had since day one is getting our name out there. We’ve done all the advertising, but now I’m getting much more involved in community organizations to help drive our brand in the San Antonio community. Also, at first you worry about trying to make the phones ring, but then you have to make sure you have people to take care of all the calls that are coming in. That’s another challenge.
What is the biggest benefit of running a
Mr. Appliance franchise?
I think the biggest benefit is the opportunity to be independent. I came from a culture where if you wanted to buy anything, you always had to submit a form and show the return on investment. Now that I’m running a business, it’s very easy to evaluate on my own, or with Reva and Rey, whether or not we need something. We don’t have to ask anyone else’s permission.
What do you see in the future for your business?
We want to continue to grow. My goal is to have the Mr. Appliance name come to mind first when people need appliance repair. We’re striving to become the servicer of choice for high-end appliances in our community.
What advice would you give to a new appliance repair entrepreneur?
It’s really important to find a technician and a team who are willing to buy into your vision and commit to building the business with you. Coming in to this business, I didn’t have any technical experience, and I didn’t want to be the technician. We were able to bring someone on board who was experienced and committed to our vision and values for the company, so we had a great technician right away.
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