Keith Belair found a way to follow his passion for working with his hands and leave the stressful life of a custom home builder.
After years of working in custom home building, Keith Belair decided it was time to focus on a different part of the home design world. As the owner of a More Space Place franchise in Salem, New Hampshire, Belair has enjoyed taking on the responsibilities of being a business owner, while staying true to his creative, home-building background.
“My father found More Space Place when he bought a bed from the company. We had as much fun as we could building houses and it was time for something new. I thought More Space Place was a great business to own without having a lot of the headaches that come with home building.”
With his background, Belair was a perfect fit. He had the business expertise and carpentry knowledge that can provide his customers with a unique perspective when they are looking to customize their home-storage spaces. Although a More Space Place franchisee doesn’t need to have the knowledge and background Belair has in order to be successful. In fact, he credits his store's success to three things: the franchise model, the product offering and his commitment to customer service.
“With the franchise system, it's great to be able to have people doing the same thing you're doing that are willing help you if there's something you need.” He continued, “In the beginning it was really important because different people in the organization bring different strengths. So I can help other franchisees with carpentry, but others may be sharing their expertise in marketing or business.”
This supportive model is what has helped Closet & Storage Concepts/More Space Place grow to 40 units across North America. With start-up costs ranging from $73,000 to $492,600 and initial franchise fees between $17,500 to $38,500, Closet & Storage Concepts/More Space Place is a great option for franchisees looking to bring the gift of organization to their community.
It also helps that the brand offers unique products that fill the void in a niche market. “There's nobody else selling Murphy beds with a product line as extensive as ours. There are a few competitors, but we have 10 different models and people just like the variety.”
But Murphy beds don’t sell themselves. In order to be successful, Belair knew his focus had to be on customer service. While some owners plan to hire installers and store managers, Belair made the decision to do much of the heavy lifting himself. “My demographic is generally people who are over 60–when they first started buying things for themselves, there was a larger focus on customer service. In the world of the internet, a lot of customer service has gone by the wayside. When customers come into my store and I tell them that I can install exactly what they see in store myself, it gives them a comfortable feeling knowing the owner of the company will be doing the work.”
Belair fills orders from his Salem, New Hampshire showroom and loves seeing his designs come to life. More Space Place has provided him with an opportunity to continue to use his creativity and carpentry expertise, with the luxury of owning his own business. Although he’s busy, he wouldn't have it any other way.
“If you don’t mind working hard, it’s a great gig. It’s a good organization with a quality product.”