Looking at Franchising Through the Eyes of Newcomer
Creating a new business is easy: all it takes is a willingness to spend every waking moment, and a few sleepless nights, to ensure a successful startup. For a
certain breed of entrepreneurs, that works. For those who want to be their own boss
without having to reinvent the wheel, owning a franchise with a proven, successful
model is the ideal win-win. That is exactly what sold Arizonian Don Johnson on
becoming a Fast-Fix franchisee.
After more than 20 years in sales and marketing for large companies selling industrial
products, Don was seeking a change of pace. “I was tired of the heavy travel schedule
and being away from my family. For me, the tipping point came when the company
needed us to relocate for the 10th time. That was when I really focused my attention on
planning my exit strategy from the corporate world.”
Don had always liked the idea of being his own boss and he had seen how successful
franchising could be.
“Even though my wife’s family had been franchisees in restaurants for decades and I
could bounce ideas off of my father-in- law, it still took a couple of years for me to find the
right business opportunity. I had some strict criteria for choosing a franchise business; it
had to have an existing model and proven success, it had to be a high-margin service
business, and I had to be able to understand the business very quickly, create a vision
for myself and lead my team right from the beginning.”
He found that opportunity in the Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs franchise and liked
how the business model allowed customers to have their jewelry or watch repaired while
they shopped. He also liked the fact that stores were located in high traffic malls, and
that as a franchisee, he did not need experience or knowledge in jewelry or watch repair
to be successful.
“The funny thing is, even though I was ready for a change and found the right
organization, it took a push from my wife to get me to take the risk and go for it.”
Don may be a newcomer to franchising, but he is using his knowledge and experience in
the corporate world to help him create a positive culture and work environment, one that
he says motivates and inspires his employees.
“The craftsmen are the expert jewelers and watchmakers - they’re the artists and the
talent. I simply need to create a place for them to do what they do best. My role is to
market the business, hire the best people, remind them of the difference they are making
for people, and implement a solid growth vision for the store.”
Getting Personal: Q & A with Don Johnson
What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a Fast-Fix
"If this is your first franchise, just know that it’s OK to have some fear. Even though I had
made the decision that Fast-Fix was the right opportunity for me, it took my wife telling
me to take the risk. She was clearly ready and her support was just the push I needed.
Also, when you are first getting started, there is a lifestyle change. You may be the only
one behind the counter in the very beginning, which means your hours may follow mall
"Building your own culture and implementing you own vision takes time and that’s OK,
"I have a personal motto I try to live by; 'Bring your passion with you and do work that lets
you live your life accordingly'. Franchising lets me do just that."
What has been the most rewarding part of the business?
"This may sound trite, but I truly feel like I am making a difference in someone’s life, every
day. I hear customers say, “Oh my gosh! I didn’t think that that could be fixed. Thank you
so much.” It might sound crazy but fixing a piece of jewelry or a watch can bring so much
joy to a person’s life. That is why we do what we do and it is such a great feeling."
What challenges have you faced as a business owner and how did you overcome them?
"I acquired a team when I took over the franchise, plus I didn’t come into the business
with a background in jewelry and that can create some tension. I focused on gaining
credibility quickly by allowing them to teach me."
"To help them understand what I needed from them I set clear and objective expectations
and metrics, rewarded the positive actions, and quickly addressed any negatives."
"I think this a challenge any new manager would go through, so it’s important to strike a
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
"In five years I would like to have one or two more stores under my belt. I see myself as
being actively involved in the stores, just not necessarily behind the counter. Rather I
see myself looking for new locations and making more community connections to help
drive more traffic. And, I would definitely like to be out from under the loan I took out for
To learn more about franchise opportunities with Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs in
your area, please complete the contact form or call (800)359-0407.
Testimonials found on this site are examples of what some of our franchisees have said about us. However, we cannot guarantee the results in any case. Your results may vary and every situation is different.