From the September 2002 issue of Startups

When Linda L. Burzynski joined Computer Moms International Corp., the franchise was still regional, attracting mainly sole proprietors to offer tech training, support and troubleshooting to business and residential customers. The company's board of directors wanted to change Computer Moms' approach to franchising and invited Burzynski, who had served as president of a residential cleaning franchise, to serve as CEO.

"The model for Computer Moms was still very, very small, so I completely reformatted the business to attract a full-time business owner," says Burzynski. After joining Austin, Texas-based Computer Moms in 2000, Burzynski re-launched the company, offering a new franchise package that would attract business owners who would handle the marketing and administrative side of the franchise and hire employees to serve customers. Today, the majority of Computer Moms' franchisees are part of its leadership franchise, focusing on operations over customer support. "We were attracting part-time franchise owners who could only train so many people themselves, and if they went on vacation or they got ill, literally their business stopped," Burzynski explains. "Our franchise owners now are really encouraged to develop an organization of mentors, trainers and troubleshooters."

Burzynski warns, however, that although Computer Moms franchisees no longer handle all calls themselves, they still need to have a technical background. "Some of our owners may do a few of the calls themselves," she says, "but the goal is that they not work in the business; they work on the business so they spend most of their time marketing the business and, even more important, working with the mentors that they hire to better serve the client."