Meet Craig and Julie Sedelmeyer, a Houston couple who left the oil and gas industry to pursue a more fulfilling life as small business owners. Tired of the corporate routine, the Sedelmeyers found an opportunity in The Groutsmith few other franchises offered: a chance to learn a new professional skill, reconnect with their community, and achieve a more comfortable lifestyle. This is their success story.
- Craig and Julie Sedelmeyer both worked in the oil and gas industry prior to becoming Groutsmith franchise owners. Neither had experience in business ownership or grout and tile work before bringing The Groutsmith to their area of Houston, Texas.
- The Sedelmeyers chose The Groutsmith because it had everything they were looking for in a franchise opportunity: an established business model, a strong support system, a low up-front cost, a simple royalty structure and the ability to easily manage their growth as business accelerated.
- The Sedelmeyers describe The Groutsmith as a “sustainable, manageable opportunity to create your ideal lifestyle.”
- Craig and Julie feel the business fits nicely with each other’s strengths––even without any prior experience. Craig manages their technicians and performs estimates while Julie mainly oversees the admin tasks back at their home office.
- While their business is only about a year old, the Sedelmeyers are poised to grow significantly as they continue to scale their business.
Read the full story, packed with Craig and Julie’s own words below.
A fulfilling new venue for skills and experience
Before buying their franchise, Craig and Julie both built careers in the oil and gas industry. Frustrated with the lack of control and choice in their roles, they decided to make a change and pursue business ownership. While going from corporate careers to buying a franchise might seem like a leap, Craig says the skills he gained from his prior role gave him a huge advantage as a Groutsmith owner––specifically, a commitment to customer service and a dedication to high-quality work.
“Julie was Director of Business Development for an energy publishing company and I was the Manager of Engineering for a large energy corporation. What’s important is a commitment to customer service and prompt resolution to warranty issues along with a dedication to high-quality work.”
A perfect match for the investment, business model, and more
Knowing they wanted to hit the ground running by buying a franchise rather than starting a business from scratch, the Sedelmeyers went searching for an opportunity that satisfied a few important criteria. Specifically, they were looking for an established business model, a strong support system, and an opportunity to connect with customers in their homes rather than in a retail environment.
“We were looking for an established business model with support from the home office when needed. We weren’t interested in a food establishment or a storefront that requires seven days a week and very long establishment hours. Instead, we wanted one where clients invite you into their homes. Once you’re in the door the process and product sells itself.”
Looking back on what made The Groutsmith stand out among other opportunities, Craig says a few major benefits resonated with them in a huge way.
“The Groutsmith’s simple royalty structure, low upfront initial investment, time spent during Discovery Day and the ability to easily manage growth were the compelling factors. The corporate team was direct, straight to the point and transparent. There is a real sense of family in this organization. We love that.”
“A sustainable, manageable opportunity to create your ideal lifestyle”
Financially, the Sedelmeyers point to the sliding scale royalty structure as a huge benefit that has enabled them to see long-term success with the business.
“The sliding scale royalty fee gives every franchisee the best opportunity at establishing a long-term successful franchise, not a flash in the pan that fizzles out after a few years. This is a sustainable, manageable opportunity to create your ideal lifestyle.”
Getting to business days after training
Learning a new skill and taking it to an expert level can be difficult and time-consuming without the right training program. The Sedelmeyers are proof positive that The Groutsmith’s two-week training program can turn folks with zero grout and tile experience into experts eager to capitalize on their newfound skills and impressive products.
“The 80 hours of training prepared us to come home and hit the ground running. We were executing work within days after finishing training. Having your advertising campaign plan established prior to training is recommended––that helped us start right away.”
A newfound sense of flexibility and lifestyle
When asked what they enjoy most about being a Groutsmith franchise owner, the Sedelmeyers point to the flexibility and lifestyle they simply couldn’t get in the corporate world.
“We love the flexibility this business affords us. We have much better work-life balance than we ever had in the corporate world.”
“You don’t have to have tile installation experience or be a seasoned construction expert”
Craig and Julie’s advice for anyone thinking about franchising with The Groutsmith is simple: it’s not rocket science! The business and the training that comes with was specifically developed to transform complete newcomers into skilled experts.
“Be open-minded about the tile and grout business. You don’t have to have tile installation experience or be a seasoned construction expert to operate this business. The service is simple and the results speak for themselves.”
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