Manav Gupta bought his InXpress franchise in Washington, USA, in July 2011 at the age of 27. At the time, he had just got married, bought a new house, was in the middle of getting his MBA, and quit his job, so the pressure was on! Here, Manav tells us his amazing story, including how he paid for his franchise on seven different credit cards!
Before I bought my franchise, I was working for my Dad, who owned two businesses in the car industry. My father wanted to run the business one way, and I wanted to run the business another way, so we weren’t seeing eye-to-eye. I had always wanted to start my own business, and my wife contacted Entrepreneur Source. They connected with me and presented three franchise options, including InXpress, which to me offered the best opportunity, even though I had no experience in the shipping industry or any sales experience. However, I decided to jump in and buy a franchise!
The only person in my family who knew about my new venture, was my wife. I didn’t want anyone else to know about it, because I didn’t want to hear anyone’s negative comments or let anyone try and sway me to not move forward. Just weeks before I signed my agreement, my brother called, yelling at me for leaving our Dad’s business, saying I had let him down, my family down, that I was a bum, and that I would never make anything of myself in this life. He then went ahead and hung up on me. This was a massive incentive for me, as I wanted to prove everyone wrong and prove to myself that I was truly capable. As soon as my franchise was up and running, I shot out like a rocket, as I was so determined to be successful as quickly as possible.
Getting to the point of buying the franchise was not exactly conventional though. Being newly married and having just bought a house, I had very little savings. When I called the accounts team at InXpress to pay for the franchise, I asked if I could spread the cost across more than one credit card. They said yes and asked how many? I told them seven! $3000 on this one, $5000 on that one etc. I maxed out all my cards and even then, I was $5000 short, but the next Boot Camp training session was the following week and I desperately wanted to be on it, so I had to take out the rest from my savings. This inspired me even more to hit the ground running. Failure was not an option!
I dove in headfirst, so that I could pay back my debts as soon as possible. I followed the model to the letter, as it’s a proven one, but there was one area where I decided to up the ante! We were taught at Boot Camp training to knock on at least 30 doors a day, but I decided to do 70 a day! I was doing an MBA at the same time, so it was a very intense period in my life.
I was so lucky that my wife was incredibly supportive of what I was doing, and she started to help me on the customer service side, so that I could focus all my efforts on selling. Within 12 months I had paid off all the debt I had from buying the franchise!
As soon as I started to see the business grow, I told my family about it. They thought I was doing terribly as I only made $26 in the first month, but they didn’t realise that it takes at least three months to build up your customer base and to start making money. When I reached $12k of monthly margin at the end of my first year, the respect from family went right up! I was never going to stop there though! Ken BrockBank, my coach and mentor, who led training at the Boot Camp, had lit a fire within me and I had so much hunger to learn how to be the best business owner and to reach my full potential.
My wife continued to work within the business for two years until we started a family, and then I hired a customer service rep. Even now though she helps me on the admin side of the business. I call her the CVO of my company (Chief Visionary Officer), as whatever goals I set myself, she constantly sets a higher vision and pushes me to aim higher. It works and makes me push to become a better version of myself and to see what I can achieve.
I now employ a customer service manager, customer service representative, and a sales rep and with this team behind me, I have built the business for my own freedom. I can leave the business for a month at a time and make just as much money as if I was there, if not more! In fact, the best month I ever had in the business is when I was on vacation on the other side of the world. Because the business doesn’t rely on me, it is also ideally set up if and when I decide to exit.
My greatest passion is to give back and I now spend a lot of my free time doing volunteer work for a non-profit organisation in upstate New York. I also have much more time to spend with my family and at the same time, my franchise continues to grow year-on-year! I love this business!!