Mark and Cindy Bloomquist: Building a Successful Business Together
The year 2008 was a turning point for the Bloomquists. After 20-plus years working in and around the franchise development industry, Mark was laid off. Using the setback as a catalyst, Mark asked Cindy, “Now what are we going to do?” Cindy replied “We can do anything right now. We can move; we can stay. You can go back to corporate; we can start a business. The sky’s the limit. What do you want to do?” It was a question that the duo had never really asked themselves up until that point.
Having spent much of his post-Navy career working with quick-service restaurant franchises, Mark felt comfortable in that industry. Laid off on a Tuesday and by Thursday he was on his way to visit restaurants for sale. He logged over 12,000 miles in less than three months, visiting restaurants in five different states. Mark and Cindy reemerged as franchise owners, investing in three Little Caesar Pizza restaurants. Now on the other side of the franchisor-franchisee relationship, the pair spent the next eight years learning what it took to be successful franchisees.
2016 brought another change for Mark and Cindy. Their daughter and son-in-law, both members of the U.S. military and stationed in Turkey when security concerns prompted the U.S. government to evacuate all non-military personnel and civilians. This meant the Bloomquist’s two young grandchildren would be sent to their care while their parents remained abroad for an indefinite amount of time. Knowing that taking care of a 2.5-year-old and a 7-month-old would entail a huge lifestyle change, Mark and Cindy promptly sold their franchises. “We had no clue what was next, but we knew we needed more flexibility than owning brick-and-mortar businesses would allow,” explains Cindy.
Eventually, their daughter returned to the U.S. and was stationed in Washington. Because she would be alone with two small children, in a new state with no support system while her husband remained in Turkey, Mark and Cindy made the decision to move from Minnesota to Washington to help their daughter. This worked out great because their son and his family lived in Portland, OR and they were all reunited again as a family. After selling their home and business, and moving to a new state, the Bloomquists still didn’t have a clear idea of what was next.
Wanting something to keep him busy while supplementing their income, Mark started going to job fairs and looking at what was out there. Remembering the discouragement he felt at the time, Mark says, “No one would hire me because I was 64 years old.” Then he met with Bob, a Career Ownership Coach™ with The Entrepreneur’s Source®. “There was no pressure talking with Bob. He allowed me to reach my own point of clarity. I realized, I wanted to do what he was doing!” recalls Mark.
“Having been on both sides of franchising, I could leverage my experience to help people trying to reach clarity whether or not franchising was for them,” Mark continues, “And with a home-based business, I could schedule my own time and have the flexibility and freedom to be available for my family. It fit with our new lifestyle.”
Initially, the idea was that Cindy, who was working as a recruiter for a corporation, would keep her job and Mark would become a coach. However, after attending training, Cindy became energized and saw this as a great opportunity, not just for Mark, but for herself as well. On day three of training, Cindy called up her boss and quit to join Mark and The Entrepreneur’s Source®. Together, Mark and Cindy began to build their coaching business.
Since then, the Bloomquists have helped countless others discover self-sufficiency through business ownership for themselves. Cindy says, “Being witness to the ‘aha’ moments of our clients is just the best thing. One client told me that with business ownership she ‘gets to be a mom again’. I get goosebumps thinking about it. Another client, after 20 years working in retail and was never able to spend Christmas with his family. Becoming a business owner meant he would no longer have to work on holidays. Moments like that are exciting!”
Mark adds, “The great thing about The Entrepreneur’s Source® business model is that it removes the sales component. We create a safe place for our clients to glean information and come to that point of clarity. We follow the “why”. What inspires them to search for more.”
Working as a team has allowed the Bloomquists to combine their complementary skills to continuously take their business to the next level. “We are able to back each other up behind the scenes and bounce ideas off of each other,” says Cindy, “Because we have different communication and work styles, we can see things the other might not be able to. We share the workload and can step in for each other when needed.” Mark adds, “We love working together and building this business together. It’s not a contest, we celebrate all victories together. We are on the same path.”
With the help of TES, the pair has had many victories to celebrate, growing their business substantially over the years. “The support The Entrepreneur’s Source® provides is second to none. Their system has evolved to allow us to spend more time with the clients. They also help with seeker acquisition, IT support, adding Franchisor members, peer support, ongoing education, social media and so much more. All the support and training is ongoing. They provide everything we need to help us be successful,” says Mark.
“We have more flexibility and freedom than ever. Our families eventually relocated from the Pacific Northwest to Georgia and Florida. Recently we spent three and a half weeks in Florida visiting my son’s family and our business didn’t miss a beat,” Mark explains, “We can work from anywhere, all we need is a computer, a phone, and internet. We get to travel, take vacations and half days whenever we want. This is something we could never have done before.”
Business ownership with The Entrepreneur’s Source® has created a path for the Bloomquists to combine their skills and experiences to become self-sufficient without sacrificing their lifestyle goals. With the proper support and resources, franchisee couples like the Bloomquists have the potential to build a successful business that provides them with financial security, personal fulfillment, and the opportunity to work together towards a common goal. If you are interested in learning more about how The Entrepreneur’s Source® can help you do the same, click here for more information.