The Edmond Sun

Business

June 29, 2012

Former coach, family open Wireless Zone franchise in Edmond

Company emphasizes customer service, community involvement

EDMOND — The first Wireless Zone franchise in Oklahoma opened its doors June 8 on the northeast corner of Second Street and Santa Fe under the ownership of the Tracy Holland family.

Tracy and his wife Jill have five sons and three of them are working with their father to make the family business a success.

Wireless Zone is the largest wireless retail franchisor in the country, and the Edmond location is the farthest franchise operation to the west, a company spokeswoman said. Holland chose the franchise after serving as head football coach for the University of Central Oklahoma for four seasons ending in 2011.

Having run a successful consulting business for several years prior to coaching, Holland said he wanted to make a fresh start with a new business venture.

“Overall, as franchises go Wireless Zone is highly rated with a great track record,” he said. “It was ranked recently as the No. 1 franchise in its category by Entrepreneur magazine. With Verizon making a push in this area I felt like it was a great opportunity.”

Opening his store has allowed Holland to pursue his goal of becoming a business owner in the wireless industry but more importantly, it has created an opportunity for his sons to build a future in the wireless industry for themselves.

With four full-time employees in addition to himself, the three brothers working at Wireless Zone with their father include Tucker Holland, Chad Holland and Eric Holland.

Tucker works part-time while attending UCO and 23-year-old Chad is working within the store as a partner. Eric, 25, is in charge of public relations, marketing and charities within the community. Partially blind, Eric has fought a lifelong battle with cancer after being diagnosed with a brain tumor as a child.

“My family is originally from Oklahoma,” Tracy Holland said, “and after Eric was diagnosed with a brain tumor, we moved back here from Colorado mainly so Eric could go to the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital.”

They fell in love with Oklahoma and never left, Tracy said.

The Hollands have two other sons living in Edmond, Zachary and Chase.

Wireless Zone Foundation is set up as a national charity and customers can contribute part of their purchase sale to the foundation.  

“Community service is ingrained within the company,” Tracy Holland said. “The company wants its franchisees to be heavily involved in the local communities, and this is something we are very excited about.”

Every Wireless Zone store is independently owned and operated, exclusively offering Verizon Wireless products and services. Founded in 1988, by 2010 the company had grown to more than 400 locations thanks to its recession-friendly and finance-friendly model, said Craig Aherns, vice president of system standards for Wireless Zone.

Aherns added that there is still some fallout and concern over the economy, making the ability to borrow money the greatest challenge for new franchisors.

“Name a product people value as much as their cell phone,” Aherns said. “It has become an extension of a person, one of those things people check and don’t think they can live without.

“Verizon and the accessories we sell are still a potential huge marketplace out there, and the investment community as well as lenders see the potential and success of the business.”

Aherns said the training team was impressed with what was going on in Oklahoma City.

“There is a lot of energy in Oklahoma City and Tulsa,” Aherns said. “It is a good economy and a good fit.”  

Aherns added Wireless Zone is about service and being involved in the community and Tracy is representative of those things.

“He lives in Edmond and raised his family in Edmond,” Aherns said. “You are going to see Tracy at church, in the grocery store, all over town. One of the keystones you get with Wireless Zone is the relationships you form.

“People give great thought as to what phone they want to purchase, and we have knowledgeable people to help them learn how to do what they need to do.”

Customer service sets Wireless Zone apart, Aherns said, adding good customer service puts a smile on people’s faces and the Holland family is all about serving others.

“I think Tracy is just an outstanding person,” Aherns said. “He is involved in charity work and involved in the community. We have been excited for his store to open.”

The store is at 2225 W. Edmond Road and is open seven days a week. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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