Hanover Park man ditches convenience for franchise
Humza Khan of Hanover Park loves buildings. He loves what you may not notice, like the ceiling, the floor plans, the color and the design.
So it's no surprise that the 28-year-old left behind a secure job with his family's 7-Eleven businesses to pursue his dream. He has taken his test to obtain a license as an inspector and aims to launch his own franchise of Pillar to Post, a building inspection firm, by early September.
"Growing up in Chicago, one of the most beautiful cities in the world that contains incredible architecture in the hundreds of buildings, I was always interested in buildings and design," Khan said. "I would notice crown moldings, cabinetry, floor plans of houses and just overall color schemes and think about the design style of each structure. It was a passion that slowly grew as I got older."
He said he once considered a career in interior design but was more interested in the overall area of real estate, architecture and remodeling.
"I initially began researching different business opportunities within the architecture and real estate areas and after several months of research, I found Pillar to Post," he said.
The franchise appealed to him because it combined the two things he has always loved and has been good at, architecture and people skills, he said.
"The business plan and methodology guided a new business owner to succeed and their code of business ethics allowed for a newcomer to provide honest, necessary, informed information regarding a building so a potential buyer can have peace of mind in their purchase," he said.
Khan was born in downtown Chicago. At 3, his parents moved to Hanover Park. When he was 18, he began working at 7-Eleven in Glendale Heights, owned by his older sister's husband.
For the next 10 years, he worked with his brother-in-law and they expanded the business and opened two additional locations, one in Park Ridge and another in Glendale Heights. Khan began as a sales associate and worked his way up to general manager of the two Glendale Heights stores. The experience has taught him about customer service and customer satisfaction to build loyalty.
He said after much thought and deliberation, he decided it was time to combine his passion with his business skills and create something for himself.
"Starting this company has been wonderful and terrifying at the same time," Khan said. "It takes a lot of courage and confidence to leave an existing profitable family business to go out and try to follow my dreams."
He also wants to help people build their own dreams as well.
"My goal is to continue to build and grow and help the residential community of my hometown to buy and sell property with confidence," he said.
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