Brothers John and David Tipton, both equal owners of Schooley Mitchell Palm Coast, always dreamed about starting and running a business together. When John received a phone call from David, in the summer of 2017, that he had come across an incredible opportunity that would allow the pair to own their own business and combine John's sales and marketing experience and David's finance background, John was intrigued.
"David was the Director of Finance for True Religion," John said. "He saw what I was doing with my insurance company and the freedom and flexibility that came with being my own boss. We both looked at various options. Based on the business model, Schooley Mitchell seemed like the perfect opportunity for us."
At the time, John was running an insurance agency focused on Medicare sales to seniors. Originally from Pittsburgh, he was recruited in 2012 by another insurance company to relocate to Palm Coast to help run their operations there. After a quick visit to Palm Coast, John immediately saw the potential, affordability, natural beauty and central location of the area. He was sold and took that job until he and his wife opened their own agency in 2014. John spent the next three years building out his agency and making a name for himself as an honest agent with integrity and dependability at his core.
John and David made it official in August 2017 and purchased their own Schooley Mitchell Franchise in Palm Coast. The business is not brick and mortar and there are no boundaries. As such, David lives in and focuses on the Dallas market, while John focuses on Palm Coast. They also have an office manager in Pittsburgh in order to maintain a presence where the two brothers originally grew up.
John explained the business model and what makes Schooley Mitchell such an attractive option for business owners. "We're a cost reduction firm," he said. "We focus on saving money and time and improving knowledge and security in the areas of Telecommunications, Merchant Services and Small Package Shipping. When we first meet with a client, we put together a baseline cost of expenditures in these three areas. From there, we start our negotiations, on behalf of our clients, with the carriers. We're the largest independent and objective firm in the United States that does this. We're not tied to vendors or carriers, so our recommendations are truly objective."
John continued, "Our special software crunches the data and we provide our clients with a report showing the savings we found. When we find savings, our fee is 50% of the savings. Clients don't pay the fee unless we find savings. A lot of times, we can negotiate a better deal and not have to change carriers and equipment. We show our clients the report and they let us know how they want to proceed. They always have the final say. If we don't find savings at first, our analysts will continue to look for savings. We'll come back to our clients every quarter. We do this for 36 months, at not charge, until we find savings and then we charge the 50% of savings fee."
John and David were well equipped and well prepared to launch their Schooley Mitchell franchise. They have the sales, marketing and finance backgrounds and understand the importance of networking. John explained to us that this business places a heavy emphasis on building relationships. To that end, John focuses on educating his prospective clients and showing them that there's absolutely no risk involved in retaining their services. "We can almost guarantee savings, we're not going to hurt you and it's truly risk free," he said.
John and David have big plans for their franchise. "Our first goal is for our franchise to be rookie of the year," John said. "We grew up in a military-style household. We're used to competing and winning. Five years out, we want to be one of the top five franchises in the company. We also want safety and security for our families. We're going to work hard to make that happen."
What advice does John have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "If you're thinking about a Plan B, you'll resort to it," he said. "Throw away the life raft. Whatever you do, it's important to play to your talents and abilities. You should focus on something that's fun and helps you to achieve your goals. Also, it's important to own your own results. Don't blame anyone else. Own your results!"