Name: Bill Scripa
Current role/title: I own a Premier Rental-Purchase franchise location in Syracuse, New York (Orange Rock Inc. dba Premier Rental-Purchase).
Years in RTO: 23 – I began my rent-to-own career with Rent-A-Center, Inc., in 2000, as an account manager in Auburn, New York. With a few promotions, I got my first store manager position in 2002. In 2008, I earned my first multi-unit position as a District Manager of six stores. In 2019, I was promoted to Regional Director of 102 stores, mostly in New York. A couple of years later, I left RAC and became interested in owning my own RTO business. I have a friend who’s a Premier franchisee, and he connect me with Trooper Earle at Premier. I was lucky and found someone in my area wanting to retire and interested in selling. By the end of 2022, we had closed the deal and I owned my first store.
What did you do before you began working in RTO?
Like many others, I began my working career at McDonald’s. It was fun to meet a lot of new and different people than I had known in my little town. I moved up to management in my five years there. I also tried car sales for a couple of years; while I’m a car enthusiast, that sales process wasn’t for me!
What do you do in a typical day or week?
When I come into the store every morning, I take a look around. I want to be sure customers’ first impressions when they walk in is the best we can present. Then, I talk to each of my coworkers to see how they’re doing and touch base about any issues we might have to wrap up from the previous days. As the day goes on, I review our collection reports, sales activities, and just observe daily operations, while staying out of the way.
How did you prepare for your current role?
From my McDonald’s experience, I learned about customer service, and doing things quickly and efficiently. I treat my backroom area the same as a McDonald’s – extremely organized, so it’s easy to do inventory counts. At the car sales job, I learned about working to get the sale and finding the customer’s buttons that trigger them to say yes. I also learned how to continue the customer relationship, through referrals, service, or repeat business.
What are the benefits of working in RTO?
RTO is a good mix of things being the same (processes) and different (new customers/relationships) every day. Also, while it’s retail, it doesn’t have the rigid hours structure of traditional retail (no late nights/Sundays).
What do you love best about your job or employer?
I always feel great about helping someone get an item they need or want, when they might not have been able to get it otherwise. Creating a great home is important to everyone.
How do you manage work-life balance?
Today, I believe in a strong balance of professional and personal life. I’ve missed out on important life moments because of work, so I’ve changed my mindset from the traditional work-over-life mentality. I now believe that a strong team that works hard to get the job done within a 40-hour workweek deserves whatever flexibility our store can provide. And cross-training and excellent communication definitely help!