Why We Give Back
By Shirin Behzadi
Chief Executive Officer
Home Franchise Concepts
As the top-selling family of direct-to-consumer brands in the home improvement space, Home Franchise Concepts (HFC) is in the franchising business.
We are deeply committed to helping people from all backgrounds and walks of life – from Millennials, couples and single parents to veterans, seniors and others looking for a fresh start – to control their own lives and financial futures. Our growing suite of brands, which includes Budget Blinds®, Tailored Living® and Concrete Craft®, offers something for anyone looking to own their own business.
For more than 25 years, HFC has been offering enterprising individuals the opportunity to own a business that capitalizes on a growing trend, treats people right and offers the support necessary for long-term growth and prosperity. To date, more than 1,400 people from the U.S., Canada and Mexico have taken us up on our offer to become franchise owners – making us one of the world’s largest franchise businesses.
But even more than changing financial futures, we’re passionate about changing lives. Probably the most valuable lesson I’ve learned since joining the HFC family in 1999 is the importance of following your moral compass, doing right by others and giving back.
In fact, I firmly believe that HFC has been able to meet aggressive growth goals precisely because our company and brands care about their customers, franchisees, employees and communities.
We successfully reached our 2017 goals of 2.6 million Budget Blinds window-covering installations for the year (and 25 million installations since Budget Blinds’ founding year of 1992) at a record pace of 50,000 per week. We now operate more than 1,140 Budget Blinds franchise territories across 10,000 cities in North America.
And our other brands are prospering, too. From its inception through the end of 2017, Tailored Living has organized more than 245,000 lives and Concrete Craft has installed more than 3 million square feet of decorative concrete.
HFC brands continue to climb the Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Franchise 500” ranking. In the most recent ranking for 2018, Budget Blinds and Tailored Living placed #23 and #131 overall, respectively, and #7 and #111 as top franchise choices among Veterans. Budget Blinds was also ranked #87 and #88 in the “Top Brands” and “Fastest-growing Brands” categories.
Military Times Best: Franchises 2018 also ranked Budget Blinds #2 and Tailored Living #3 out of 53 franchise businesses identified by the magazine as catering to Veterans and military-connected families. This latest ranking represents a dramatic increase from 2017 when the brands finished #7 and #18, respectively.
As the CEO, this growth obviously makes me very proud. But we can never forget that there is a very direct relationship between doing good and doing well.
At the end of the day, our business is based on products that make a house a home. Our corporate and franchise cultures are centered on caring and making our communities vibrant and full of hope. HFC employees are given time to volunteer, and that is a perk that brings both smiles and substance.
It is in that spirt that we recently launched our latest give-back program: Heart & Home, a long-term commitment to caring and transforming the lives of individuals through ongoing national partnerships and local, community efforts.
Heart & Home is an extension of HFC’s long involvement in Veteran causes and other nonprofit groups. HFC has renewed its partnership with Home for our Troops (HFOT), to which we have donated nearly $1 million in products, services and cash gifts through a five-year alliance that began in 2014. Beyond this corporate support, we have inspired our franchise owners to donate to HFOT at the local level – with some franchisees contributing as much as $45,000 in a single year.
We also recently renewed our alliance with Wounded Warriors Canada to help even more Veterans and others in need realize their dreams of obtaining work, career advancement, homeownership and the ability to transition to civilian life after military service.
Also Under Heart & Home, we launched a new effort with Working Wardrobes called Give Me $5, a fundraising program that provides Veterans and others looking for work with career training, job placement assistance, professional wardrobe services and spending money to buy gas and public transportation to get to job training, workshops and interviews.
On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2017, HFC awarded U.S. Marine Corps veteran Sohel Gilani with a Concrete Craft franchise plus two weeks of training and $80,000 in operating capital. The new business package, valued at more than $300,000, represented the culmination of HFC’s “There’s No Place Like Home Veteran Partnership and Giveaway.”
Gilani sums up our commitment to giving back better than anyone: “Throughout my military service, I witnessed things that no one should ever have to see. It was a constant internal struggle for me and, honestly, I felt as though my faith in humanity was slipping away. But winning this HFC program has restored my faith in humanity and reaffirmed what I have always known to be true. When you stay true to yourself, the kindness of others will prevail.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Our people prove it: there really is no place like HFC.
To learn more about the franchising opportunities at Home Franchise Concepts, and the current Heart & Home initiative, go to http://homefranchiseconcepts.com/.
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