Call to business ownership
crystal clear for young entrepreneur
Kevin Hand’s aspirations to open a business crystallized at the age of 23 when he returned to his hometown of Crown Point and was cheered on by his family.
“I long dreamed of owning a business at some point in my life, but if I’m being honest, I would not have pursued it so soon without the encouragement and prodding of my family. They are the ones who gave me the confidence I needed to follow my dream,” said Hand, who had plans to work in the pharmaceutical industry after graduating from the University of Iowa.
Hand landed on a growing franchise opportunity: Zounds Hearing, which has more than 200 locations across the country.
“Zounds is an innovative hearing aid company focused on providing the most technologically advanced hearing aids to the world at an affordable price,” he said. “We specialize in comprehensive hearing testing and same-day fittings of digital, custom-programmed hearing aids.”
Opening his first location in Crown Point in 2014, Hand has already expanded to Munster, Schererville and Valparaiso. He has increased his number of employees from three to seven.
“This is a growing industry with a bright outlook, but what really drew me to this field was the unique opportunity it offered to help people,” he said. “I’m not sure how many other businesses out there can solicit tears of joy from customers as often as it does.”
As a young entrepreneur, Hand sees being a business owner as a way to connect with the community and grow and develop as a person.
“I enjoy the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur. It tests you in so many ways, but ultimately refines you as a person, in my opinion,” he said. “I also love the opportunities granted with business ownership to meet and interact with such a variety of people – from employees and customers to fellow business owners and leaders in the community.”
Hand’s work ethic has roots in his upbringing and his first job at the age of 12 at a local horse stables. He advises emerging entrepreneurs to work hard and smart.
“Don’t be too prideful or stubborn to ask for help, and have humility to listen and accept when it’s offered. Know that the path you are setting off on is a difficult one,” he said. “There will be mountain-top moments, but there will also be deep valleys. And there will inevitably come a point in time – or multiple points in time – when circumstances do not go your way and a sense of hopelessness begins to take hold.
“In those moments, breathe, collect yourself, pray, redirect that anxious energy into positive action, and stay the course.”
Crown Point, Munster, Schererville, Valparaiso