Dave Butz is in the zone. Being a business owner isn’t easy – but he makes it look that way.
Before Butz became an Our Town America franchise owner in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, he worked as a plant manager. In fact, for eight years, Butz worked at an industrial factory that made building components. When we caught up with Butz recently, the former plant manager turned Our Town America franchise owner, he was a fountain of information. Here are a few highlights from our conversation.
How Butz got started. Butz was good at his job and doing just fine at the factory, but it was a demanding profession, one that required him to be on call, 24/7.
“After my son was born, I started thinking that I would like to do something on my own, so I could work my schedule around watching my kids grow up,” Butz says.
He began doing research, looking into starting a business or buying a franchise. “I thought about restaurants,” Butz says, adding: “I have no restaurant experience, so I’m so glad I didn’t go that route. I’d probably be back working at my old employer if I had.”
He also concludes that even if he had been a successful restaurant owner, it may have been a more time consuming job than being a plant manager. “I work with so many restaurant owners now,” he says. “They’re always working.”
The best part of being an Our Town America franchise owner. The last dozen years have demonstrated that Butz’s decision to become a franchise owner was undeniably a good idea. When asked what’s the best thing about being his own business owner, Butz can’t quite come up with only one thing.
“You’ve got a lot of flexibility in your schedule, and that’s nice. You’re home for the holidays. You can determine your own income. You’re your own boss,” he says. “Geez, what don’t I like about it?”
Hardest thing about being an Our Town America franchise owner. But that isn’t to say running an Our Town America franchise is easy. Being a business owner never is. “You know, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. So you’ve got to be very motivated,” Butz says. “Plus, there’s no water cooler, where you have a crowd of people with whom to interact.”
Working in a city that’s known as a tourist destination. Being the owner of a New Mover Marketing franchise in a city like Myrtle Beach can be interesting. Some businesses in vacation destinations, of course, feel that they don’t need to necessarily market to the locals moving in as they have a slew of tourists paying money. Other business owners are desperate to market to the locals; it isn’t like a lot of tourists are flocking to a chiropractor or an auto repair shop in Myrtle Beach. Still, many business owners recognize that they want to attract everyone, local or not.
In any case, for Butz, Myrtle Beach has been a good location to set up shop. It’s the second fastest growing area in the country, according to census data, Butz points out.
“It’s awesome,” he says. “People are moving down here in droves. It’s turned into a place where people move to year-round, and that’s reason enough for business owners invest in New Mover Marketing, even during the winter, when many owners are careful about their spending.”
What businesses seem to really gravitate to Butz. Restaurants, he says. “They’re a dime a dozen over here and very competitive.”
The fun stuff. Butz is enjoying being an Our Town America owner, especially the work-life balance that he has managed to create. Butz and his wife, Tanja, are often at the beach or on their boat with their son Finley and daughter Emily. Butz often fishes with his son. The family skis, snowboards and mountain bikes. Tanja runs triathlons, and the kids are both on a soccer team that travels and occupies a lot of time, especially on the weekends, according to Butz. When they’re at home, they hang out with their dog, Lilly, and Finley’s pet turtles.
Our Town America is a pretty great business for someone plugged into the community, according to Butz. “You absolutely build some great relationships doing this. I’ve become friends with a lot of my sponsors (clients), and you end up running into your sponsors at the grocery store. This is a small town.”
And it probably helps if you’re an extrovert?
“Actually, I wouldn’t call myself an extrovert, but I’m not an introvert either. I can turn it on and off when I want to. If someone is 100 percent introvert, this may not be the best fit for them, as relationship building is a large part of this business.”
Advice for fellow franchisee owners, especially the new ones? In the beginning, Butz says, it can be challenging to start an Our Town America franchise. “There’s a sink or swim mentality when you first start the business, and if somebody does tell you no, that they aren’t interested, you have to work a little harder. But after a while, when you have a lot of accounts and somebody says no, it gets easier.”
But whatever you do, Butz says, “Don’t take rejection personally. Maybe that sounds kind of cheeseball, but it’s all business. You have to stay motivated and not take a ‘no’ to heart. It isn’t personal.”
Are you looking to get in the zone as a business owner, like Dave Butz? Does the Our Town America franchise opportunity sound like it could be for you? If so, learn more at https://www.ourtownamerica.com/franchise-us/.
Brittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations.