I often speak with clients about the importance of generational wealth and why business ownership is key in achieving that goal. And while careers such as Physician or Attorney can provide excellent salaries over one’s lifetime, those salaries alone will not build wealth.
Husband-and-wife team Rachelle Nurse and Dr. Joseph Goodly from Texas, share why, despite lucrative careers in the Health Care industry, business ownership was important to their family.
Black Enterprise: With both of you having great careers in the Health Care industry and two children, what made you want to add business ownership to your already busy plate?
Nurse: We both come from traditional backgrounds – go to college, get a job and work for somebody – that was success for us. However, for years we had talked about what can we do to invest our money, what can we do to move into the entrepreneurial space. There was a fear factor there that we had to overcome. Candidly, one of the things that really pushed us forward, was that our kids went to private school, and we would meet very wealthy individuals and ask them “how do you all have money like this?” We all went to college, had a number of degrees between us, but they were clearly more successful. We started asking ourselves; what’s different? Every single one of them were business owners. Their candor and transparency about their business dealing and what they owned made us realize we’re missing out on something.
Goodly: I’ll just add – we met people, got good exposure to entrepreneurs and that helped us make the leap.
I’m also very analytical, so I made sure to analyze everything. Rachelle is the innovator of the team and would throw a lot of different ideas at me every year, many of which were not resilient to scrutiny.
How the Adventure Began
BE: What led you to choose the Urban Air Adventure Park franchise?
Nurse: We had been looking at several different industries, but we recognized that there was a need for children’s entertainment options in our area – serving the eight and under kids. So, we decided to focus on that sector. In 2017, I took my daughter to a party at Urban Air and it just blew me away! It was the first time we had seen so many different activities all in one space, in addition to trampolines. It was a ‘wow, what is this?’ moment. When I got home, we immediately jumped on the computer and started researching.
Nurse / Goodly: As we went through the Discovery process, we were very impressed by the proforma (profitability potential). We also really liked the franchisors support and vision.
BE: Indoor children’s activity franchises are not inexpensive. Urban Air requires a minimum of $600k in liquid capital, and the investment for one location ranges from $2.9M – $4.6M. Did you have any sticker shock?
Goodly: Yes, we had sticker shock. It is a major investment. The cost is probably much higher than many other franchises, but we looked at the whole picture and the commitment it would take. There is a need to work with lenders, perhaps multiple lenders, because the first lender (laughing) is probably not going to be your last lender or your final lender. Persistence and resilience – that is something you have to have.
Nurse: It’s important that everyone understands their lane. Joe’s lane is the financial side of things, and I’m on the operational side. There are so many different options on how to finance this. As a potential franchisee, you want to look at all your options.
BE: You recently opened a new location in New York state. How are you handling the day-to-day operations of your businesses, being that you both still maintain full-time jobs and now one of your locations is remote?
Nurse: I’m from Canada. My parents live 45 minutes from the Canadian border. So, I’ve spent the last 30 years traveling through that region of New York and the airport four to five times a year (maybe more) to visit my parents. We realized it was a great market for the business. To make it work though, we have had to invest in good people. I am in my parks whenever I can be in those parks and I talk to my GM’s multiple times in a day. At the end of the day, for us to be able to make this all work, we must have good teams – in all locations.
BE: Are you looking at other business opportunities to diversify your portfolio?
Nurse: We’re open to different opportunities. If we are going to continue being relevant as entrepreneurs, we need to be looking at that. We go day by day.
Goodly: Yes, the plan is to diversify. In terms of future endeavors at some point, we’ll have to sacrifice; we’ll have to decide where we need to make changes to scale up.
BE: Any last advice for our readers that are thinking about taking the leap into franchise ownership?
Nurse: Don’t let failure or the thought of failure hold you back. Failures are a part of the journey, and once you’ve made that step and become an owner, particularly for people of color, share what you know. Help to elevate and bring another entrepreneur with you. I think that is so valuable to our community. Also, surround yourself with like-minded people; the group of individuals that were around us gave us the confidence to say let’s do it.
Goodly: If you plan, strategize, and are analytical in your approach, you’ll be in a much better place. Really look at the franchise to try and get as much knowledge and detailed information from multiple sources. After you make that leap of faith, you will also go through challenges, but at the same time, you’ll feel much better about the accomplishments that you’ve made throughout this journey.