Steven Knight is a Partner at Mosaic Home Services Ltd., an Edmonton based incubator of home-improvement brands. Together the partners at Mosaic are on a mission to build Canada's largest home-improvement franchise network. Since 2016 Steven and his team have invested in 10 home-improvement brands, growing each by an average of 58% per year. Mosaic’s business model focuses on helping entrepreneurs in the home-improvement sector grow franchisable business models by building in recurring revenue models, regimented systems and processes, and infectious corporate cultures. Unlike venture capital funds, Mosaic’s partners work with their investments every single day, recognizing that building the model is only half the challenge; building the entrepreneur is paramount. Steven is an active member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, YEC, and The Global Shapers Communities. His thought leadership in the small and medium-sized enterprises and home-improvement industries has been featured internationally in Forbes, among other publications.
1. What’s the story behind Five Star Holiday Decor?
Five Star Holiday Décor was founded in Edmonton in 2010 by two seasonal business owners who had some great staff and an abundance of time, but no ability to provide service in the winter. When I became involved in 2015 the company serviced 110 houses, today we service in excess of 600, and an additional 144 commercial sites across Alberta. The company has grown to a year-round service provider with industry leading energy efficient temporary decorative LED lighting solutions.
2. What made you decide to create this franchise?
Like most things, necessity drove me to franchise Five Star. As the business grew clients pulled us into new markets, and instead of opening corporate offices I looked at the business model and decided that I would rather package it into a business in a box that another entrepreneur could open, operate, and use to build the company of their dreams.
3. What was your background prior to forming the company?
Prior to becoming involved in the business I completed a degree in commerce from the University of Alberta, and spent a few years in commercial construction.
4. Can you tell us about the holiday lighting market?
The holiday lighting industry is full of extremely passionate people who just want to deliver holiday cheer to families in their area. Every year, millions of homeowners stand in front of their homes thinking “there must be a better way” than to spend hours in the cold climbing ladders and hanging Christmas lights purchased from their local home improvement store. We’re there for those people with custom LED lighting solutions for their homes & trees that are made to measure for their home, installed professionally, and maintained properly.
5. Could you describe your corporate culture?
Our corporate culture is very entrepreneurial. We are one big family, and we’re dedicated to always trying to do better. We conduct regular audits of our systems to find new ways to service customers more effectively, improve efficiency, and increase sales.
6. Who or what has been your greatest inspiration?
To me, my father embodies the traditional “entrepreneur.” He founded his business out of the basement of our 900 sq ft home in 1999, and sold it in 2015 at it’s peak with over 100 staff. He continues to inspire my entrepreneurial journey to this day.
7. What are the advantages in being a Five Star Holiday Decor franchisee?
Five Star has a few key advantages:
- Industry leading supply chain & product
- Low Startup Cost
- Low inventory requirement
- Seasonal – perfect bolt-on for entrepreneurs in roofing, landscaping, or window washing
- We take care of all inbound sales, scheduling, and marketing
8. What differentiates Five Star Holiday Decor from its competitors?
Five Star truly is a business in a box that anyone can open, operate, and begin generating profit. It’s an incredibly niche industry with few competitors in any given area, and what makes us unique is our commitment to providing services to franchisees. Our Edmonton based call centre team is here to sell clients over the phone, book appointments for installation, and handle all outbound marketing campaigns in your area. Franchisees are getting a level of support that is unmatched in the industry.
9. What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
Really think about WHY you’re looking for a franchise. A common misconception is that if you buy a franchise you don’t have to work at it, and that it just grows by itself. In reality, buying a franchise saves you 10 years. It saves you 10 years of building a brand, figuring out what works, what doesn’t, and negotiating with dozens of suppliers. What you need to realize is that buying a franchise is like buying a map – it shows you the way, but you still have to drive down the road.
10. In your opinion, why do you think that Five Star Holiday Decor would be a great opportunity for someone?
Five Star is a great opportunity because it is a very flexible business model that can be operated year round if someone so chooses. It’s a great opportunity for someone looking for a full time business they can grow & use to conquer their local market, but it can also be operated by someone looking for a business to operate in the winter only. We are here to make it easy for you to service customers, generate profit, and live the entrepreneurial life you want to live.