Mark Osborn has found post-retirement satisfaction giving back to his community with Interface Financial Group.
Charleston, S.C. – January 15, 2013 – Mark Osborn participated in more than 5,000 joint surgeries during his nearly 20-year career in healthcare. Osborn is not a surgeon or operating room nurse; he owned a medical device distributorship that supplied doctors with the joint replacements or implants. As a medical device salesman, he worked as many hours per week as the number of employees he had, 80, and traveled frequently.
Osborn, a father of three grown children, has had the entrepreneurial spirit since his youth. He started and ran his own painting business in high school through college. After graduating from the University of Virginia, he worked in sales and management for six years for an apparel manufacturing company. Osborn began his medical device career in sales after a stint as manager for a temporary staffing company in which he opened a new office and territory.
Building on his sales experience, Osborn, who considers two of his strengths to be in sales and organization, became a manager, and finally, owner of a distributorship. In 2010 however, a change in corporate leadership prompted him to sell his business and explore other opportunities.
Relocating and Opening a Franchise
Two objectives drove Osborn during his search. “My goals were to start over with no employees,” he said, “and to do it in a community and not travel as much.”
For those two reasons, Osborn chose to open a franchise with The Interface Financial Group (IFG). Another factor that attracted him to IFG was that he could make a nice income by using his financial reserves as his product, not some asset he would have to buy, like the equipment required for sandwich or yogurt concepts. After the training, which he said was exactly as advertised, Osborn and his wife, Madelyn, who have always wanted to retire in Charleston, SC, moved there to start his franchise, which opened in June 2011.
“You forget how many friends you have,” Osborn said about Charleston, “until you live in a destination location.”
In addition to friends, Osborn is meeting new clients. Many of his clients are from the construction industry, while some are manufacturers. Start-ups are another source of clientele.
Helping Start-ups: “That’s Been a Really Nice Part”
“They’re 6 months to 3 years in and they’re beginning to create a decent amount of momentum,” Osborn said of start-ups, “and that’s a really good client because they’re working hard and they’re growing their business. They just need more cash to support their growing orders.”
The benefits of start-up clients extend beyond their tendency to work hard. “I didn’t anticipate that in this business that at least half of your clients say, ‘You don’t know how much this is helping me maintain and grow my business. I’m so glad that you stepped up when no one else would.’ That’s been a really nice part. In the best scenario we’re helping businesses to grow to the point that helps them create jobs.”
Osborn believes IFG’s ability to help clients, including start-up businesses, is due in part to its business model which requires that franchisees bring business acumen developed from years—decades in Osborn’s case—of experience to rely on. “They all are bringing business experience,” Osborn said of the franchisees, “and don’t need hand-holding.”
Osborn was, however, happy to have a trainer guide him through learning the company’s software program, and a personal coach. “They were very professional.”
Before starting this journey, Osborn realized the IFG opportunity was more secure than its alternatives. With IFG owners in control of their transactions and ongoing administrative support from corporate headquarters, franchisees are able to prosper while helping cash-strapped businesses expand.
Now, after nearly a year and a half into it, Osborn’s speculation is proving accurate. “I’m 16 months in and I’m exactly where I planned.”