Entrepreneurs in Action: Buying a Photography Franchise

Up close shot of a camera lens supporting the photography theme of the blog

Starting a business from scratch is hard work and is intimidating to most people. With TSS Photography, you receive a top-quality education, support, and service when you buy a franchise.

TSS Photography franchise owners, Steve Sindell and Joan Hollander, know the struggle of running a business. In the beginning, neither Steve nor Joan owned a photography business, and they both learned the ropes through working with TSS Photography.

Meet Steve Sindell

Steve started working in the restaurant industry with his father at the age of eight. He worked his way through the restaurant industry and was a fine dining chef for almost 16 years.

During his late teens, Steve was a professional assistant for different photographers in New York City. During his time, he worked with photographers at HBO, HBO Family, Wizard Entertainment, Woman’s World, Time Magazine, New York Times, as well as many others. He had some experience with photography at this time but didn’t have his own business.

He found an opportunity with a TSS Photography franchise owner and continued to learn more about photography from him until the unthinkable happened and the franchise owner passed away. The owner’s wife let Steve go during the transition afterward.

When he realized he was interested in continuing photography as a career, he joined forces with a friend who was interested in buying a franchise in California.

For a while, the business flourished. In a short time, the new franchise was named the rookie franchise of the year, and the owners made it into the President’s Club – which honors the top franchises in the country. During the course of the next several years, the partnership faltered, and Steve again wished to live on the east coast.

Inspired by her son, Steve’s mother invested in a franchise in Richmond, Virginia around the same time Steve and his partner bought their franchise in California. She enjoyed owning the franchise, but as the equipment and process switched from film to digital, she decided the change was bigger than she was willing to tackle. Steve seized the opportunity before him, took over his mother’s franchise, and moved back to the east coast.

“I took the time to re-vamp the staff,” Steve said. “I got things moving more to the functional side of the spectrum, and in 2016 we had the best year we’ve ever had. We’ve been off to a good start in 2017.”

Meet Joan Hollander

head shot of Joan Hollander - blonde with a bob hair cut - an owner of a TSS Photography Franchise

Joan Hollander decided she wanted to own her own business. She had worked for other people throughout the years, in addition to being a stay-at-home mom. She was on the hunt for an opportunity when she found TSS Photography.

“I started looking at franchises and nothing seemed exciting,” Joan Hollander said. “Then I found TSS Photography and there seemed to be great feedback. I should probably have spent more time checking it out, and honestly when I looked at the numbers and I went with my gut. It seems like everything has worked out well.”

It wasn’t that she had never been interested in photography; Joan just didn’t have any real experience taking photos for a living.

“I had a previous interest in photography,” Joan said. “We always took a lot of pictures and carried my camera with me. I took some classes several years ago about lighting, taught through the local community college. I hadn’t done anything with it though – I’d always fallen back on my accounting background.”

Joan hasn’t owned her franchise very long. She’s been working hard and has made it into the top percentage of franchise owners, landing her in the President’s Club.

“If you’re going to buy an existing franchise – get some help,” Joan said. “I was lucky that the previous owner was willing to stay on and help me transition while learning the ropes of the business. I think it is a good franchise and I am lucky I came upon it.”

What it means to be an entrepreneur with TSS Photography

Two ideas united these franchise owners – their excitement about setting their own schedules and their passion for the support system they are able to both rely on and be a part of for other franchise owners.

Flexible schedule

“I love being able to control my own schedule,” Steve said. “I am a hunting enthusiast. It makes me really happy that I don’t have to ask anyone for permission to go hunting when I want to. I don’t mind working six days a week as long as I can be off when we have a family engagement or I have somewhere I want to go. It’s all up to me.”

When you listen to Joan talk about her schedule, you can feel the excitement she feels. Her passion for her family and hobbies shine through.

“I have been busting my butt,” Joan said. “That’s what you should expect when you start a business. It’s nice, even if I find myself working every day – even several hours each day – I can still take off and go play tennis whenever I want. I will enjoy having more time off this summer, and anytime I need to check on my aging parents I can go take care of them without having to get permission. It is so nice.”

Training and support

The support system in place for TSS Photography Franchise Owners keeps both Steve and Joan’s operations running smoothly. In person, meetings happen twice each year. A Facebook page for franchise owners keeps people connected in a few keystrokes. A knowledgeable staff provides answers to questions ranging from photography to accounting. These are just a few of the support systems in place from the TSS Photography corporate headquarters.

“The ease of training with TSS for those who don’t have much experience with photography is incredible, and the training and communication continually get better,” Steve said. “When they introduce programs, they work through the kinks before they ever show them to us. I couldn’t be any happier with the new lab and anytime we have special requests, they aren’t cost prohibitive.”

“If I am going to have a business, I want to have good education and training as part of it,” Joan said. “If I have problems, I obviously want to know what I have to do to fix them. That often starts with a call to headquarters. They are always trying to keep up and get out in front of new digital technologies and social media trends. They help us to stay out in front of the trends, and it is beneficial to all of the franchise owners.”

If you are interested in learning more about how TSS Photography franchise owners feel about their businesses, read Veterans Plant Their Flag with TSS Photography. How different could your life look if you were a TSS franchise owner?