Written By: Danielle Pollard
Former NFL Defensive Back Dwayne Harper has moved into franchising with the opening of his first Massage Envy location. Voted one of the Top Cornerbacks in the 1990’s, Dwayne was named to the Sports Illustrated All-Pro Team, played in the Super Bowl, and enjoyed 12 years in the league playing with such teams as the Seattle Seahawks, San Diego Chargers, and Detroit Lions. Dwayne ventures into franchising with optimism, focus, determination, and a winning attitude.
An enterprising individual since his days earning his degree in marketing at South Carolina State University, Dwayne has always had an interest in business. So when his agent recommended he get involved in real estate during his early years in the NFL, Dwayne jumped at the opportunity. He bought apartment complexes, land, and property to build his portfolio. Once he retired from football he began to explore other opportunities specifically franchising with Chick-Fil-A. As he advanced through the application process, Dwayne discovered that he did not have a passion for the food business and determined that owning a restaurant was not the right fit for him. He abandoned his franchise plans and put them on the back burner. Years later an impromptu visit to a Massage Envy location in Charlotte, NC reignited Dwayne’s interest in franchising. After becoming a member and visiting several Massage Envy clinics across the country, Dwayne was convinced this was the way he wanted to go. He spoke to his financial advisor and began the journey of owning a franchise.
On August 16, 2011 Dwayne opened his first Massage Envy Spa at the Villages at Sandhill in Columbia, SC. Dwayne oversees the operations and handles the marketing. He spends his days monitoring the numbers, advertising the business, managing his team, and meeting with corporate clients. Dwayne also spends his time giving back to the community he serves. He speaks regularly at schools, youth groups, and juvenile detention centers teaching kids and teens about the importance of making smart choices and taking advantage of positive opportunities. “The best part of franchising is being able to support the community and give someone a job. There’s nothing more rewarding than receiving appreciation for giving someone an opportunity. When I can provide an environment that is fun to work in and my employees are happy – I’m satisfied,” says Dwayne.
Dwayne recommends prospective athlete-franchisees concentrate on building a strong support team. “Hire a lawyer who specializes in franchise contract. Find a good tax accountant. Don’t just hire family and friends. Hire qualified professionals and conduct background checks. Be clear about your expectations and make sure your team cares about their work. Be honest and treat your team with respect.”
Dwayne Harper has definitely found success in franchising. With plans to open two more locations this year in Lexington, SC and Augusta, GA, respectively, Dwayne is proud to be a franchisee. Dwayne will also be participating in the 2013 PAFI Franchise Summit. To learn more about PAFI and The Summit, visit www.thepafi.org or register here.
To learn more about franchise opportunities with Massage Envy vist www.massageenvy.com.