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The Premier Companies was named the 5th fastest growing franchise in the United States by Franchise Times magazine.



Welcome to The Premier Companies
Congratulations to Matt Baker on opening his first store in Covington, GA
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On September 27, 2007, Matt Baker will open his 18th rent-to-own (RTO) store - the first one he will actually own - in the same town of Covington, Ga. where he started part time in college as an RTO delivery driver 14 years ago. Baker is the first to admit that the past several months have been a crash course in business ownership for him. The best part is that, according to Matt, "after 14 years of making everyone money, I'm ready to do my own gig. And I have the support to do it."
Matt worked up through a variety of positions all the way to district manager for several RTO firms, including American Home Furnishings, Rent-Rite and Southern Home Rentals. He won the President's Award as district manager for American Home Furnishings - the highest award for that 26-store company - among others, and he consistently maintained his district at Rent-Rite in the top 5% of the company. He got bought out several times by Rent-A-Center (RCII), the last time being a turning point that sent him to a new but related industry.
"I was bought out one too many times," he says. "I went to a national furniture retailer as Director of Operations for a 40-store chain." During that period, which he found a good step in his career, he hatched a plan to launch his own business and get back to RTO.
He considered his options for getting into business. He kept up with the industry online and continually saw information about Premier Rental-Purchase stores opening up. He knew of Premier President/CEO Trooper Earle, and he eventually contacted him to find out about the process of franchising. He wasn't ready at that time, but over the next few years "I got all my ducks in a row. Now I'm ready to be my own boss," says Matt.
"Premier has a fantastic program for people like me - operators by nature. I needed a plan that would help me get my business financed. We started conversations about the business plan, and I knew it wasn't going to be terribly difficult to get a bank to say 'yes.' Then, Premier had the support mechanisms a dealer may or may not need. That's just it. A Premier dealer can pick or choose what they want as an operator and not have to take a whole package of services they may not want. Premier did a phenomenal job getting information to me. Compared to competitors, they have a better program in place. I wanted to own my own business and Premier has given me the opportunity to do that."
Even as Matt rates Premier highly and has relied upon his own experience, there has been no substitute for his learning curve as a new RTO owner-operator. "I definitely think my experience through corporate RTO will help me be successful here. I will say, though, that no matter how high up I got in my corporate life, there were always people doing things that I didn't have to in launching a store. I should have appreciated them a little more. So, I'm learning those things now as I go along. But it's been a great experience so far."
Matt's long-established business philosophy is simple and always on the tip of his tongue: customer satisfaction comes first. Not unlike other Premier dealers, he also sees this philosophy as vital to success.
"Price is no longer a main factor so much in determining if an RTO customer is going to do business with a particular store. It's how he's treated and how comfortable he is in coming back into the store each time. Taking care of problems and concerns is key to earning and keeping business. There are often several RTO stores in a town, and we're all charging the same prices. We are separated by service. I feel I can do a better job as an owner."
Matt plans to open several stores over the next three years. While RTO will be his primary focus, he has thought of bringing in his retail experience and adding home furnishings as an additional and related business to his operation. Premier Home Furnishings is one of the four Premier Companies available to dealers. In addition to RTO and Home Furnishings, Premier has also introduced U-Getcha Cash Services and Wheel Rentals.
Matt offers advice to those on the fence about business ownership, having been there even recently. "Stay confident in yourselves and in your ability to get the job of opening your own business done. Lots of people were telling me I could do it. And I had a lot of people supporting me. But it's easy to listen to critics who say, 'You can't get that loan; you can't open a store,' whether they are family, friends or co- workers. I questioned myself many times. You've got to stick with it. If you are in front of a bank be prepared to hear 'no' and go find that bank that will say 'yes!' Stay confident and persevere. It would have been easy to give up several months ago. I was secure in my job with great insurance, stock, a 401-K. Why would I give up all of this? To do things my way, keep the money I earn, give my customers the service they deserve. And Premier has everything in place to get you what you need to get started."
But there is another aspect to being a Premier dealer that Matt found as an unexpected perk. Other Premier dealers. "Other dealers are a great wealth of knowledge. I've learned what to do and what not to do from them. I've learned from their mistakes and helped dealers behind me not repeat what I've done in some cases." Matt likes the camaraderie of the Premier family and recognizes its importance to the strength of the organization he's now a part of.
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The Premier Companies, 5248 Olde Towne Rd., Suite 11, Williamsburg, VA 23188, 800-277-3643, #F5558 The information contained on this website is for general informational purposes and is not intended as an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. Certain states regulate the offer and sale of franchises. Our registrations for certain of The Premier Companies have not yet cleared in all of these states. When you contact us, we will determine if you are covered by one of these laws. If you are, and we are not yet registered under that state's law, we can determine how quickly we can offer a particular franchise to you. California: These franchises have been registered under the franchise investment law of the state of California. Such registration does not constitute approval, recommendation or endorsement by the commissioner of corporations nor a finding by the commissioner that the information provided herein is true, complete and not misleading. New York: This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by a franchise disclosure document filed with the Department of Law of the state of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law of the state of New York.
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