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Franchise Owner Spotlight: Kevin Kalstad

Kevin Kalstad has been a Gecko Hospitality owner since 2010. He now has divisions of his business spread across Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington. Why was franchise ownership of an established staffing company a good investment for Kevin and his family? What regrets does he have? Finally, are there tips that an experienced franchise owner like Kevin can share with those just considering the investment?

Why Did You Consider Franchising with Gecko Hospitality?

During the 2008 great financial crisis, Kevin, like so many Americans, experienced a corporate downsizing from his international hotel chain. He wasn’t alone; The Washington Post says, “The crisis was the worst U.S. economic disaster since the Great Depression.” Between 2007 and 2009 nearly $8 trillion in stock market values disappeared. Americans lost more than $9 trillion in wealth from their home values that declined and retirement accounts just disappeared.

Fortunately for Kevin, he already had a friend in the Gecko Hospitality community. He turned to Robert Krzak to understand the possibility of taking on his own Gecko franchise. Today, Kevin says, “We have never looked back since that time.”

What Was the Experience of Owning a Gecko Hospitality Office?

Kevin’s experience was obviously phenomenal. He started with the Oregon market and did so well he followed with a branch in Washington State, then Alaska, and most recently, in Northern and Central California. His success is typical of the kind of experience many Gecko Hospitality owners have.

Ironically, Kevin had never been a business owner before. He always had a boss and a salary. But he says, “Looking back, I wish I would have done this even sooner. It has been a great blessing for our family and we have zero regrets.” 

What Kind of Tips Do You Have for Someone Considering a Gecko Hospitality Franchise?

Kevin offered some great advice for fledgling franchise owners. He says:

  • Determine the total costs of ownership and have plenty of savings to fall back on when you get started. We think this is great, practical advice for any business owner just starting out!
  • Form a partnership with a bank or financing company and get creative in how you approach the business.
  • Plan for three to six months before your billings become regular and cash flow evens out. This is actually kind of incredible—most startup companies struggle for at least a year if not longer.
  • Reach out to senior Gecko partners for advice and support.

It’s this last point that Kevin wanted to reiterate. He says, “The support office team is amazing and will get you up and running and then sustain you and your growth plans.” He explains that this team, “are not our bosses, but more like coaches to guide and support us.”

Kevin has been working on his franchise businesses for more than a decade now. He’s a model for new potential franchise owners as they consider the awesome responsibility of owning a piece of the Gecko brand. He’s glowing in his praise for the franchise model, stating, “Great people and systems equal a winning formula.”

Kevin is the perfect example of the kind of relationship we build with our franchise owners at Gecko Hospitality. It’s a family of sorts, as we all work together toward achieving our goals. Kevin says he and his wife Tammy love this work, stating, “Day in and day out we at Gecko get to partner with some incredible clients and candidates alike. No day is ever the same and we get the great honor to connect these folks every day.”

If you’re ready to take the reins of your finances and join us in a lucrative and rewarding business, talk to our franchise team about how this would work for you. We’re standing by to make sure you have the same kind of experience as Kevin and Tammy Kalstad have had. Contact us today if you’re interested in more information.

Hospitality Franchise Contact

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