Former Accountant Buys His Own Business: Fibrenew Guelph-Cambridge
When Mark Huizinga first considered purchasing a franchise, one of his main considerations was lifestyle flexibility. He wanted to ensure that making such a transition would still allow him the ability to enjoy his family, keep volunteering as a basketball coach, and take an extra day off in the summer for a round of golf. After researching Fibrenew he realized the company was a great fit. “It’s hard work, but it’s also more of a nine-to-five opportunity rather than a 24-hours a day,” he says, adding that “Loyalty is also important to me. I didn’t see that in my old job, but I do with with Fibrenew.”
Huizinga’s “old job” he refers to was as a financial analyst with the country’s largest grocery store. In that role, he learned how to manage people, a bit about the franchise industry, and even sales strategies. But his most memorable work experience goes back to when he was a young man assisting his dad, who was a bricklayer, with his projects. “Working with him gave me the knowledge to just figure things out. He taught me work ethic — I don’t like half-assed, or ‘good enough.’” Purchasing Fibrenew Guelph-Cambridge means Huizinga can work with his hands and solve problems for his customers as the leader in leather, plastic and vinyl repair and restoration for the area.
Huizinga looks forward to diving into his franchise region, pointing out the possibilities that exist: “There is a lot of industry moving into Guelph — it’s the third fastest growing city in Canada right now.” In addition to being a university town, nearby is the Waterloo airport and numerous golf courses are tucked away throughout the region. The booming economy is also home to several restaurants and auto dealerships. In fact, Huizinga’s plan of attack includes starting with the local car dealers in the region and build on his essential skill set.
“That’s what I’m excited about,” he says. “The amount of opportunity here. I’m looking forward to working long hours and working hard to benefit me, rather than benefiting a large corporation.”
There were a few other attractive elements Huizinga identified in Fibrenew. “The variety!” he says. “Not doing the same thing over and over again. I’m looking forward to not having a set schedule of tasks, like accountants have!” He also sees the problem solving aspect as enjoyable: “It could be a puzzle to figure out how to fix something.” And being master of his schedule is something he’s very much anticipating.
Huizinga’s wife Susan has a career in occupational health and safety, as well as a lucrative side gig as a realtor. They both point out the connections and relationships they can create with Susan being able to refer Fibrenew Guelph-Cambridge to her numerous colleagues.
Both Mark and Susan completed their first training period in Calgary this winter. While they admit there was a lot of information to absorb and techniques to practice, they know the program developed by Fibrenew head office is successful. “I feel confident when I hear stories about people and how they’ve transformed through this process,” Huizinga says. “I can’t imagine what my skills will be in a year or two!”