SpeedPro Imaging's July 2017 Franchisee in Focus: Alan & John Ferguson, Omaha, Nebraska
Nation’s Leading Printing and Graphics Franchise Monthly Franchisee Series Focuses on Studio Owners Alan & John Ferguson’s Blueprint for Success
With a foundation forged in the construction industry, Alan Ferguson is building a legacy that is already leaving a mark across his hometown and beyond. Alan and his brother, John, are the owners of SpeedPro Imaging studio in Omaha, Nebraska. While their tenure with SpeedPro Imaging, the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise, is just getting started (they opened their studio in June 2016), the Fergusons are off to a hot start because of their passion for the business. At 30 years young, Alan loves owning his SpeedPro Imaging studio that reflects a culmination of several family ventures that actually has roots dating back to the 1930’s.
For Alan, his professional journey began in 2010. He worked as an intern at a construction firm while attending the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. After graduating, Alan stayed with the firm, learning the ropes, and quickly ascending to assistant superintendent. But it wasn’t his only job. He along with his siblings, twin brother Mark and older brother John, were building their own enterprise.
“I always had the entrepreneurial spirit inside me,” says Alan. “My brothers and I started a home remodeling business in 2012. I was working part-time there, while my older brother John operated the business full-time.”
At the age of 25, Alan was already paving his way toward becoming a franchise owner with the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise, by launching his first business with his brothers. The company was called El Dorado. It pays homage to their grandfather, who once owned and operated a trucking company in New York City in the 1930’s bearing the same name.
It’s a good thing he went with his gut and started his own business. After parting ways with the construction firm, Alan packed up and moved back to his hometown Omaha where he landed a second job with a homebuilder. The good times were about to hit turbulence, professionally and personally.
In November of 2014, Alan’s twin Mark, died in Tennessee, a Good Samaritan trying to help a traffic accident victim. It was a devastating time for the Fergusons, coupled with the fact that Alan was dealing with being laid off from his full-time job. He was now fully committed to the El Dorado company, but with the sudden death of Mark, both he and John found it hard to carry on. “We were not enthusiastic about home remodeling at that point,” says Alan. “It was simply difficult operating the business without Mark.”
Alan and John decided to seek out new business opportunities. The pair decided all options were on the table when they noticed the local SpeedPro Imaging studio was up for sale. The Fergusons says they haven’t regretted their decision to partner with the nation’s leading printing and graphics franchise for one second.
“Every business in Omaha needs our services. It’s rewarding to see our work across the town. We’ve built great relationships with many local businesses, but anytime we see returning clients, it’s always a good feeling.”
Alan says he likes to grow his personal and business networks via various networking groups in Omaha. He wants to make sure the area knows about SpeedPro Imaging and how it can serve the community. Ferguson adds word of mouth is an effective tool.
So how does working in the construction industry translate into owning a company based on large format printing solutions? Surprisingly well, according to Alan.
“It all comes down to schedules. When I was a homebuilder, I supervised contractors. Now I do the same with graphic production. Everything must be scheduled-- what goes in the machine, what we print is most important. I mastered time management in construction and now that skillset is paying off at SpeedPro Imaging.”
The best part of it all, is that he gets to hang out with family all day long, both members of his team, and his brother, business partner, and best friend John. Alan is certainly glad to dispel the myth that you shouldn’t work with family.
“Working with your family, you do know where you stand,” says Alan. “It comes with its own set of challenges. Good days are awesome, bad days are okay. But he’s been my best friend since 2005. We know when to stay away from each other. People say you can’t work with family, but I say I wouldn’t know how to work with anyone else.”
The future is bright for these budding entrepreneurs. And they're looking forward to building on their success.
“Owning a business is a challenge, but it’s rewarding,” says Alan. “It can be rough because every day it’s all on you, your livelihood depends all on you making success happen. It’s rewarding because the successes you and your team achieve, make it worth the effort you put in.”
For more information on the SpeedPro Imaging franchise opportunity and what it takes to be successful franchise owners like Alan and John, please visit http://www.speedprofranchising.com/.