An Interview with Les Frank – Discount Decor

by | May 17, 2024 | Construction Company

  • Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

We specialize in home remodeling with a focus on kitchens, bathrooms, and basement finishes.

  • Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Extensive background in custom construction and real estate investing. Have owned several business’s in the design and interior finishes field.

  • What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

The next generation of homeowner is moving to electronic/online ways of design and purchasing. The traditional methods of in person shopping are changing. People want to work with companies that are “easy” to purchase from without an extensive sales process.

  • What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Become proficient at your craft/trade

Learn business skills because just being skilled alone won’t be enough for a successful business.

Don’t be easily dismayed by short term failures. Successful businesses require you to be durable.

  • What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Communication, Organization, Teachability

  • How many hours do you work a day on average?

10 hours

  • To what do you most attribute your success?

Being pro-active when changes need to be made to further the business. Not getting too bogged down in endless discussion about how to move forward.

  • How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Building relationships with potential clients, trade partners, suppliers etc. Very little traditional advertising.

  • Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

I didn’t have investors. I became good at my industry with a traditional job and saved money to be able to start my first business.

  • What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

By being aware of the direction of the industry I work in and willing to evolve as the needs and wants of potential clients change.

  • Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Working only “as needed” in my business, not required to work daily.

  • Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

That’s tough to say, I’m not really one to focus on what others are doing. In general, I admire any small family business that has been successful enough to provide for their family and contribute to our society. For large companies I would say Scheels. They’ve proven that you can just pursue excellence and l be rewarded with success. It’s a service and quality driven company.

  • How important have good employees been to your success?

Critical, our business requires skilled people with a willingness to learn new things.

  • How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Depending on a lot of factors, some ideas take years to see a return. Typically, I stay with the idea but it might evolve as more information and experience develop.

  • What motivates you?

The fun of building a business. I enjoy building physical things like Kitchens, but also enjoy the process of building the business. It’s important to make a good living while doing it.

  • How do you generate new ideas?

If I see some aspect of the business that is struggling then I brainstorm with my staff and others in my network about solutions.

  • How do you define success?

Mostly financial but it also requires how smoothly my business operates. Also if we are growing on a yearly basis.

  • How do you build a successful customer base?

So far it’s been by referral and professional connections to decorators and realtors mostly.

  • What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Flexibility with my time and not having an income limited by a large corporate structure.

  • What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Might sound strange but it was when I was able to hire my first full time employee.

  • What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

The willingness to be responsible for their own financial success. Entrepreneurs typically don’t need the feeling of “security” that a traditional job brings. That said, I don’t believe that entrepreneurship is for everyone or in any way a superior way of thinking.

  • What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

It’s friendly but very fast paced. I tend to have a strong sense of urgency and expect it from others. Not everyone has fit well into that culture over the years and that’s ok.

  • In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.


  • If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Start and expand my business at a younger age.

  • How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Overall pretty well. As I work a lot it has given some flexibility that others traditional jobs don’t.

  • What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

I fear becoming complacent. I’ve seen this ruin a few good businesses over the years. I try to remind myself that the “world” isn’t concerned with my success and it’s up to me to keep my business on the right track.

  • Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

There are certainly “attributes” that all or most entrepreneurs have. Not always God-given…many of them can be learned.

  • What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Hesitation about trusting my own instincts plagued me as a young entrepreneur. It took time to be confident in building a business that best suited my skills and personality.

  • How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

Try my best to “in front” of potential problems. Not wait for them to happen and just hope for the best. Being pro-active and being able to see future issues is critical in our industry.

  • What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

Outdoor activities. Off roading, hiking and camping.

  • What makes you happy?

Being with my wife, children and grandchildren. Time together is very important to me.

  • What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

Living on the minimum amount of income early in my business is the biggest sacrifice. I could have made more income and more time off at first with a traditional job.

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