â€śThe first month, I made $52.30,â€ť says Powell, who found things more difficult than anticipated. â€śThe next two months, I made zero. I felt I wasnâ€™t going to make it.â€ť But the fourth month was the charm; she did $28,000 in sales and she hasnâ€™t doubted her decision since. Last year, Powellâ€™s operations finished with a little more than $600,000 in gross volume; a 42% increase compared with last year. And for 2009, they project $800,000. Today, Powell has 12 full-time employees, which during the summer also includes her 17-year old son, Tyler, and works out of a 3,000-square-foot facility that includes an office and storage spaces for clients when needed.
â€śIn any part of the country, thereâ€™s the potential for a disaster,â€ť says Lesonsky. And a disaster doesnâ€™t necessarily have to be a big one; it could be a fire in your strip center. Or your records blow up. So the growth in the industry is not a new need; itâ€™s the awareness of the need for the service.â€ť
Powell says she is optimistic about both the economy and her future as a franchisee, saying it will likely bring her and her husband into retirement. â€śIâ€™m not nervous at all [about the economy],â€ť she says. â€śIâ€™ll continue to do this as long as I can.â€ť
(View the 20 Recession Resistant Franchises list here.)
Further Reading: QUIZ: Is Opening a Franchise Right For You?
â€”Additional reporting by Bridget N. Armstrong
This article originally appeared in the September 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.