The Rise of Mobile-Based Businesses: Fibrenew Franchisee, Jorge Figueroa

Written by Celeste Springer of Spectrum News 13

ST. CLOUD, Fla. — Gone are the days of classic brick-and-mortar stores. The St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce is reporting that many new small businesses are mobile, self-start, and frequently operating out of owner’s own homes.

After the pandemic, people like Jorge Figueroa sought franchising opportunities. Business operators have the chance to be in the business for themselves, but not by themselves.

Figueroa can refurbish just about anything. He can repair holes in your old couch, clean up your car seats, and even help give airplane interiors a face lift. But even though he works primarily with his hands, he loves using his people skills out on the job.

“Anything that has to do with dealing with people. For me, it’s great satisfaction,” said Jorge Figueroa, who operates a Fibrenew franchise out of Osceola County.

Before taking on this new endeavor, there were some faces he missed dearly. He spent decades in the military and later worked as a U.S. contractor overseas. When the world shut down because of the pandemic, it also shut him out from seeing his family.

It was a wake-up call.

“This is something I can do that will keep me here, keep me home, and I’ll satisfy that promise that I made to my family,” he said.

A survey by the Franchise Business Review shows franchisees have more work satisfaction now than before the pandemic.

“I just go out every day. Looking for opportunities, looking for business. This is all I got,” said Figueroa.

Others have started their own business, with a Census report showing 2021 had the highest number of new business applications on record.

The St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce says they’re seeing a big wave of self-starters.

“According to my friends at city hall, we’re looking at 35, and 40 percent of the businesses in St Cloud are home-based,” said Dirk Webb.

Figueroa’s business is mobile, and he travels to each job he gets. He says he’s not surprised by these numbers.

“The way things are happening in today’s society, people are wanting to explore different things. Work for themselves, versus working for somebody else.”


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