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Franchise Players: A Complete Nutrition Franchisee on Learning to 'Be the Boss'

Franchise Players: A Complete Nutrition Franchisee on Learning to 'Be the Boss'
Image credit: Ashley Olson
Ashley Olson at her new Complete Nutrition store

Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. This week, we’re kicking off with three franchisees who got their lucky break through reality television. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

Ashley Olson won her own Complete Nutrition franchise on A&E’s reality show Be the Boss, but she took her time before opening it. In the 18 months she continued on as general manager, she gained training from surrounding stores and other franchise owners. At the same time, Complete Nutrition’s brand sky rocketed, as the number of store quickly multiplied. Here’s what you can learn from Olson’s journey in franchising.

Name: Ashley Olson
Franchise owned (location): Complete Nutrition in East Wenatchee, Wash.

How long you have owned the franchise?
We opened in December 2013.

Why franchising?
I enjoy the sense of community, a structured entrepreneurial venture and ultimately a chance to follow my passion. The power of the Complete Nutrition name and the brand definitely helps jump start your business. The Complete Nutrition home office wants you to succeed and they are your biggest cheerleader. They give you all the tools you need to be successful! In my case that includes marketing and advertising materials, vendor relationships and business advice.

Related: Franchise Players: The Sweet Success and Brand Support of a Cinnabon Franchisee

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was the general manager at Complete Nutrition in Eugene, Ore.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?
The executive team at Complete Nutrition has more than 15 years of experience in nutritional supplements and consultation. Today, the Complete Nutrition business model yields superior, exclusive product lines, a consultative “WOW” customer experience and highly profitable stores.

Just a short time ago, Complete Nutrition had just 15 stores in a few states. Today, after just two short years, that number has increased more than tenfold and continues to rise.  Our system for sales, marketing and operations is constantly evolving, ensuring that every Complete Nutrition franchise is supported for long-term success. And the icing on the cake is the sense of family and team unity that permeates companywide.

What was the process from being on a reality show to opening your own franchise? What was your own economic investment, if any? (Please give us a cost breakdown).
I participated on a television show on A&E called Be the Boss and was chosen by the owners of the company for my efforts to receive a store. So far the Complete Nutrition home office has paid more than $170,000 for my store to open.

Related: How the Producer Behind 'Jersey Shore' Turned Her Life Into Reality TV

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research? 
I continued my role as general manager for 18 months before opening my franchise. I got plenty of training from surrounding stores and the franchise owners I worked for.

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
I wish I could clone myself, and there aren’t enough hours in the day! 

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
You can’t prepare for the unexpected, so remember that you are doing what you love and enjoy it!

What’s next for you and your business?
We’ve only just begun here in East Wenatchee. The town has greeted us with open arms, and we are currently exceeding their expectations.

Related: Franchise Players: An Auntie Anne's Franchisee on the Importance of Seeking Advice

Kate Taylor is a staff writer for Entrepreneur.com.

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