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The Most Valuable Lessons I Learned My First Year

Starting your own business is an exciting endeavor. Ownership allows you to take the reins of your financial destiny and play a direct role in pursuing your individual goals. We spoke with a pair of Batteries Plus Bulbs owners about their experience as owners, the lessons they learned during their first year in business and what advice they would pass on to prospective owners.

Corporate Support

Erik Granroth opened his Batteries Plus Bulbs store in Arlington, WA in July of 2018. He ended up researching a lot of franchise opportunities, but ultimately chose Batteries Plus Bulbs because of “the consistent rankings in Entrepreneur magazine for best franchise opportunities.”

As he learned the many facets of the business, Erik was impressed by both the corporate and one-on-one support he received, saying, “any time I’ve needed help, there was somebody helping me or a team member out.”

Eric was particularly impressed by the way in which this support continued long after setting up his store. “They sent out a new store planner, we open the store, and then, to my surprise, they came back. They really care about making sure that we’ve got all the processes ironed out.”

David Harshfield opened his first Batteries Plus Bulbs location in Temecula, California in May of 2015, opening a second store in Palm Desert a few years later. He came to Batteries Plus Bulbs after exploring a number of different franchises and came away impressed by Batteries Plus Bulbs’ comprehensive network of support. “I’m telling you, nobody has a distribution channel or the support like we have. You couldn’t do it on your own. This evolved over 20-some years into what it is, and every year, it just gets stronger and better.”

The Importance of Asking Questions

For David, one of the first and most important lessons he learned was to, “ask lots of questions. You’re going to be so much happier when you’ve answered your questions upfront and you’re not surprised.”

Eric Granroth pushed this a bit further, pointing out the importance of asking your customers questions as well, saying, “Talk to your customers and find out what they are using items for.” This is especially important as “nobody comes in the store to wander around and look to see what we have. They come in because they need something and they need it now.”

For David, customer engagement goes far beyond simple selling. He said, “You want to educate them and find out what their pain points are and what they need and ask them more questions.” Talking to customers is a great way to ensure you have what customers are looking for and allows you to anticipate future customer needs.

Learning From Other Owners

For David, one of the earliest keys to his success was learning from other franchise owners. Spending time with top performers allows you to “learn what their magic formulas are, what their success factors are and see how they look at challenges.” For David, it made “a huge difference because now I have a lot of confidence in how I’m doing things, adding certain products, or trying something a little different because of these mentors’ help.”

The use of mentors has proven useful to Erik as well. “I have formed excellent relationships with the other owners in Washington State and what I have learned from others has been invaluable.”

Conferences are an ideal resource for this type of networking, allowing new franchisees to meet with veteran owners. Every other year, the company hosts an annual national convention and has begun hosting additional regional meetings throughout the year.

Erik benefited greatly from attending the 2019 owners’ conference in New Orleans. “I was able to gather answers to questions ranging from product knowledge, vendor knowledge and commercial sales best practices. I would say I got as much out of the networking opportunity as anything else at the conference.”

Having benefited from mentors himself, David made the following offer, “If you’re in California, come visit me, spend a half a day or a full day if you want. I don’t have a problem with it. I’m eager to have more great people who are as passionate and excited as I am, because it means we’re all going to be better and stronger.”

If you’re interested in owning your own business, Batteries Plus Bulbs offers a fantastic opportunity to pursue your personal goals while enjoying comprehensive corporate support. Please explore our research pages and be sure to fill out the form below to receive a free franchise report. A representative will reach out to you shortly to answer all of your questions and help you determine if owning a Batteries Plus Bulbs franchise is the right fit for you.

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