As a Master Gardener and florist, Karen Dotson has a wealth of experience in horticulture. Nonetheless, despite having little experience in the glass business, she was not deterred to move out her comfort zone and into a new venture.
Her new venture came in the shape of a Glass Doctor franchise. “It’s like my new baby. I have to tend to it. Luckily my children are almost grown, so I have time to focus on this a lot,” Dotson said.
Dotson's background is in floral design, working in the business for nearly 25 years. She studied horticulture retail in college. Dotson's background, though in floral design, had roots in business.
These roots provided her with a strong understanding of one of the key principles of business - customer service. “It’s about treating the customer the way you would like to be treated. I worked in some of the best flower shops in the area. We had some wonderful customers that were picky, and we needed to please them. I wasn’t a stranger to that,” Dotson said.
Acquiring a legacy
At the end of 2011, the previous owner of Glass Doctor of Central texas announced his retirement. At that time, Karen and her husband, Doug, discussed buying the business. "Doug was Vice President of Franchise Relations and Training for Glass Doctor, and had been with The Dwyer Group for nine years," said Dotson. "Since my husband worked with the different franchisees, we saw first hand how successful the business was and we really believed in the brand."
In 2012, the Dotsons took over the existing glass franchise, and made it their own.
Dotson said there are definite advantages and disadvantages to acquiring an existing business. On the one hand, the Dotsons had a business system in place, staff employed, and a customer base. On the other hand, Dotson had to work hard to reorganize office materials, and the staff had to adjust to new management.
Taking on an existing business allowed the Dotsons to implement their development strategies immediately.The Dotsons know what their business is capable of achieving, and are working in the business to maximize their return.