Tom Morris has been an InXpress franchisee based in Utah, USA since September 2009, having previously owned a home cinema audio-visual company. The year of 2009 was when the full force of the recession was being felt, and Tom’s AV business took a big hit, with over $600,000 of debt outstanding, which forced him to wind up the company. Here, Tom tells us how he went from adversity, to being one of the top franchisees across the global InXpress network.
“When my audio-visual business was wound up, I was at a crossroads and had no idea which way to turn next. Just when I was in despair about my future prospects, I had a chance meeting with Ken Brockbank, InXpress’ Chief Training Officer. Ken is so passionate about InXpress and helping people to fulfil their dreams, that he inspired me to buy an InXpress franchise with my business partner – Craig Hendricks.
The first few months in business, was about laying the foundations for it; putting together a business strategy, getting the systems up and running and – most importantly – selling! That early period was tough though and sometimes I couldn’t afford to eat or put fuel in my car. I became a regular visitor to the nearby InXpress USA Head Office in Salt Lake City, where I was renowned for dropping in for ‘lunch’ via a jar of M & M’s which they always had supplies of! On one occasion I had no money for fuel and had to borrow $50 from Ken so that I could get home.
I distinctly remember the day when everything turned around for the business. It was in the seventh month of being a franchisee and followed a day of feeling as if I couldn’t go on, as people weren’t taking my calls and I was feeling dejected. That day was the lowest point and I knew that the only way from there was up! I gave myself something I term ‘A & E’ – attitude and energy – which is just what’s needed when times are tough!
Around that time, I also attended the InXpress USA annual convention, where I networked with fellow franchisees and the leadership team which motivated me further and I took away some valuable learnings about how to grow the business faster!
By the third year of ownership, I was one of the top franchisees in the network and I am currently number one in the global network!
I bought Craig out of the business after six years, and I now have team of seven working with me. Sherry McPeak is my customer service manager, who has been with me since day one. Paul Winn who is a long-standing friend and joined after Craig left and who is helping to grow the business further. It really is a family business, which was always part of the dream, as I also employ Paul’s son Richie, my two sons Kyle and Kameron and my daughter Kayla.
I believe in outsourcing where needed, and I work with two partners who will help me further expand the business – Booth and Partners who support Sherry with customer service and Lean Staffing who are helping to build and grow the freight side of the business.
If I could put the success of my franchise down to a single factor, it is because of Sherry who has been a consistent strong, stable and steady force within the business, and knows how to build raving fans. Another huge factor has been the support of my best friend, my wife of 25 years, who has been there for me throughout this journey. It has been a magical time together and owning an InXpress franchise has given us the freedom to live the lifestyle we always dreamt of”.