After decades in the workforce, many employees spend the twilight of their careers watching the clock and dreaming of retirement. Yet, a growing number of older adults who give retirement a try end up changing their minds.
While some go on to pursue part-time careers to maintain some structure and specialized skillset, more former retirees are finding a successful second-act career by building their own business. More than 50 percent of small-business owners are over the age of 50.
Pat DelBrocco was one of many who reached retirement age but wasn’t yet ready to close the door on his career. Instead, after nearly four decades as a top sales executive at The Coca-Cola Company, he decided to open his own SpeedPro franchise.
“When I was looking for a new opportunity as I was retiring from Coca-Cola, I ran across the SpeedPro brand, which from my perspective was a very exciting prospective business for a number of reasons,” said Pat. “With the endless opportunities and growth potential, I kept going back to that brand for business ownership.”
Taking the First Steps toward a Second Act with SpeedPro
After looking further into the SpeedPro franchise opportunity, and the booming large-format printing industry, Pat was sold on the business. He and his wife, Charmane, decided to open their own SpeedPro franchise and begin building the business in their Tampa Westchase community.
“I was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years before Pat and I bought this franchise, and while I was at home, I was very active as a community volunteer – particularly with the PTA,” Charmane said. “When we decided to invest in SpeedPro, I was browsing the client verticals. One of those verticals was education, and I immediately felt a connection there.”
Almost four years after opening their doors, the DelBrocco’s continue to have longstanding client relationships and partnerships with area schools to this day.
“When I’m dealing with SpeedPro and particularly with Pat and Charmane, I know that they are going to partner with me and help my vision come to fruition – and see that process all the way through,” said Robert Florio, a longtime SpeedPro client and local high school principal.
At SpeedPro, no two days – or two studios – are the same, but developing a strong B2B client base for long-term, repeat business remains a universal, system-wide key to success.
That’s why the DelBroccos spend much of their time nurturing these client partnerships, in addition to participating in the hands-on printing and production process.
“For us to be successful, it’s really important to have a longstanding relationship with clients,” said Pat. “That way, we can understand the client’s buying and printing needs, so we can develop solutions they may not even be thinking about and really ‘wow’ them. That’s one of the areas we pride ourselves on – going above and beyond to really impress our clients.”
“There’s nothing better than having a client say they love the work you did,” Charmane added.
A Strong Base of Repeat Business that Builds Itself
Plus, by developing a foundation of high-value, repeat clients, SpeedPro franchisees benefit from a built-in network of business prospects – so they can seamlessly grow their business without spending their days generating new leads.
Instead, they can also enjoy the creative and collaborative process that goes into the creation of unique marketing solutions, which help clients achieve their business goals with large-scale graphics.
“My role in this industry is helping customers take advantage of our resources that can help build their brand, generate awareness and boost their business,” said Pat.
Although neither Pat nor Charmane came from a background in marketing or large-format printing, the comprehensive, interactive training and support they received from the SpeedPro home office helped prepare them for any and all projects thrown their way.
But, because each day, project, graphic and client is so unique, the DelBroccos still haven’t found a dull moment in business ownership with SpeedPro.
“In this industry, I’m always challenged to find the best possible solution for our clients,” Charmane said. “It is a challenge, but it’s extremely rewarding as well.”
To learn more about becoming a business owner with an industry-leading franchise, contact us today!