Several years ago, Adam Hebekeuser was looking for a new career path that would give him and his wife greater freedom and flexibility in their lives. Hebekeuser, who had extensive experience in the agriculture industry, was looking for a business model that offered the opportunity of growth in the market.
In April, 2016, Adam opened a Creative Colors International (CCI) franchise location in the small Lansing farm community of Williamston, Michigan. As local franchise owner for the nation’s leading on-site repair and restoration franchise, Adam and his team serve the mid-Michigan market, including the Lansing metro area. We spoke to Adam about his career transition into franchise ownership with Creative Colors International (CCI), his first year and a half in business and where he sees it going in the future.
What did you do before becoming a Creative Colors International (CCI) franchisee?
I was in the agriculture industry. I grew up raising cattle and livestock and graduated from Michigan State with a degree in Agricultural Business and Management. That area was definitely a passion of mine.
Why did you decide to become a franchise owner and what attracted you to Creative Colors International (CCI), specifically?
My wife and I were looking at our future and wanted to have a career opportunity with a certain amount of freedom and flexibility in our lives. I had experience in the service industry and thought the concept of a repair and restoration franchise was scalable. When we met with Creative Colors International (CCI), we found their family-oriented structure appealing. They offered full disclosure with company plans and proved to be extremely supportive of their franchisees – always keeping their best interests in mind.
When did you join Creative Colors International (CCI) and what has the experience been like for you?
I joined Creative Colors International (CCI) in April, 2016, and it has been a great start. I’m in the mindset of preparing for the future through continuous growth. I’m investing in the infrastructure of the business now to put us in position to experience continued success. Right now, we have three employees and three trucks. I’m training them to be as efficient as possible and giving them a good work-life balance.
What kind of training and support have you received from the Creative Colors International (CCI) corporate team?
They provided us with certification training and ownership training. They are always accessible by phone and very responsive to our questions or needs. If we have a question in the field, they will always have an answer for us. Creative Colors International (CCI) has an open line of communication with their franchisees and are very supportive with anything we need.
What is it like working with other Creative Colors International (CCI) franchisees?
Most of my interaction with other franchisees came when we first started, and it was extremely helpful. Dick Neff and Kevin Kaiser allowed me to visit their operation in Indiana and do a field ride along. I thought it was a valuable experience and helped me learn the business firsthand.
What has made you successful as a franchisee?
I am a year and a half into a long-term plan, but we are off to a good start. We have had success in landing several accounts in the auto industry. We’ve been relentless in sales and convincing auto dealerships of the value of our work. We also go after high quality and professional vendors, which has worked well. We hired a talented staff and we owe a lot of the success we have experienced to their hard work.
Cars experience a great amount of wear and tear to their interiors over the years. Creative Colors International (CCI) provides all franchise owners with the proper training and instruction they have accumulated in over 35 years of business. We have excellent products and procedures in place so the quality of our repair leaves things looking almost new. That really helps us stand out when we are presenting to dealerships or new customers. Once they see the superior work that we do, it helps them add value. It also helps retaining service and developing long-term business relationships.
What do you think is the biggest benefit of restoring items rather than replacing them?
A lot comes down to cost – in fact, we can save customers up to 90% on replacement costs. We are saving the company money, both in repairing the item as well as keeping it in their business during operations rather than having it sent out to be replaced. We also save them a lot of time by going on site to do the repairs whenever they need, which is very convenient for the company as it doesn’t disrupt their business operation.
What would you say to someone who is considering the Creative Colors International (CCI) franchise?
Owning a Creative Colors International (CCI) franchise is a great opportunity. Make sure you have a plan in mind for your business and you will be successful. Stay focused on the objective and the industry that works best for you, and success will definitely come.
What does the “We Can Fix That” attitude mean to you and your staff?
“We Can Fix That” is a confidence in our services that we can repair nearly everything and there are very few jobs that are too big for us to handle. We can fix so many things that people believe are beyond repair or will cost too much money. Creative Colors International (CCI) has so many unique ways of repair, whether it be through our training, tools or materials we use, that we are able to fix a wide variety of objects and surfaces. It is a philosophy we portray in telling others about our company and a mindset we have when handling any/all jobs, no matter how difficult.
How do you believe owning a Creative Colors International (CCI) franchise will give you and your wife the freedom and flexibility you were seeking in your lives?
Right now, we are devoting a lot of time and resources to building the franchise. We are working our way toward eventually having that flexibility down the road. One of the benefits of being a business owner is having greater control over your schedule. I hope our family will be able to spend more time together, and we will have the freedom to do the things we want in life.
To learn more about CCI of mid-Michigan, please visit the website: www.wecanfixthat.com/MidMI/.
To learn more about Creative Colors International (CCI) franchise opportunities, please visit: http://www.creativecolorsintl.com/.