Joan and Wally Kusnierz

Joan and Wally Kusnierz operate a thriving COMPUTER EXPLORERS (CE)  franchise that covers 35 towns in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The husband and wife team have one regret: that they didn’t go in business for themselves sooner. “If I had to do it all over again, I would have owned my own business from the beginning,” Wally says. “I’m going to teach my son that this is the way to go.”

CE: How long have you been a franchisee?
Wally: Three years.

CE: Why COMPUTER EXPLORERS?

Wally: COMPUTER EXPLORERS offers a great opportunity in the long run, but it’s more than that. Besides being a good business model, it’s inspiring. That’s something we were looking for, a business concept that could keep us interested and engaged. Life is too short to grind away at something just to make money. From the business side, COMPUTER EXPLORERS  is solid.  There will always be children who need the classes. Technology will always be advancing. Parents will always spend money on their children to improve their lives.

Joan: We were serious about buying a business. We got to the point where we were narrowing it down, and we thought we might go with a drapery franchise. But we realized it would demand too much time from our weekends and nights. We kept tire-kicking until we met Deb Evans, the CEO of COMPUTER EXPLORERS, at a preliminary Discovery Day and really felt a strong connection. COMPUTER EXPLORERS gave us the flexibility we needed. We also loved it because it was a business that our son can relate to and be involved in. Our son Kristopher is our lead software tester.

CE: How did you hear about us?
Joan: We worked with Entrepreneur Source, a franchise finder’s company. That was an interesting process because they help you make a profile based on your wants and needs.

CE: What’s your background?
Joan: I worked as an executive secretary and project manager.
Wally: I have a computer networking background as an engineer and systems programmer. We both worked for IBM.

CE: What do you like best about the COMPUTER EXPLORERS franchise opportunity?
Wally: I call this a freedom franchise. You aren’t micromanaged. It’s flexible. You can pick up your kids for lunch if you want to. You are in charge of your own schedule.
Joan: I love the connections with the people and the idea that you are really helping children understand technology. It’s very gratifying, and it’s important work.

CE: Can you share one of your secrets?
Joan: Take advantage of the corporate support in Houston.
Wally: You can be in business as a couple and it can really work extremely well. Our skills compliment one another. Joan’s a natural marketer and good with people. I’m good on the back end. I’m a good negotiator.

CE: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned?
Joan: You don’t have to have an accounting background to run a successful business.
Wally: Get the word out and network. You can have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, you aren’t going to get very far. You have to go out and talk to the decision makers.

CE: What keeps you active in your free time?
Joan: Family and church.
Wally: Family and fishing.

CE: Why would you recommend COMPUTER EXPLORERS to someone interested in owning a business?
Joan: COMPUTER EXPLORERS doesn’t feel like Corporate America. It feels like a family. If you are looking for flexibility and a good income — and you love children — it’s a wonderful franchise.
Wally: You have to know your priorities. If you are looking to make millions and want to own a 35-foot yacht, this probably isn’t the franchise for you. It’s not McDonald’s. It’s a very good income and satisfying work.

It’s a very inspiring group to be a part of. COMPUTER EXPLORERS is a franchise I can have faith in.