Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For sisters Jianna King and Jaysie McLinn, franchising is a family business. Their father was involved in franchising, so when the stay-at-home moms began looking into businesses that would allow them to spend plenty of time with their kids, Great American Deals was one of the first places they looked. Soon, they had founded their own local community deals and bargains franchise, North County Deals, with another stay-at-home mom, Jodi Gallen. Here's what the trio has learned since opening up their franchise.
Name: Jianna King, Jaysie McLinn and Jodi Gallen
Franchise owned: North County Deals in San Diego.
How long have you owned a franchise?
Jianna: My sister Jaysie and I approached Jodi in early 2014 about starting North County Deals. We launched the site in the spring.
Jaysie: We loved the idea of having the freedom to run our own business while also having the support of the home office. We knew it would still be hard work, but we really believe in the proven business model Great American Deals offers.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
Jaysie: Jianna and I were both in a transition period. I had worked at Google for seven years as a strategist for online operations, but had recently focused my time on being a mother to my three girls. Jianna had a number of jobs in marketing, management and sales, before also becoming a stay at home mom.
We knew Jodi from having our kids go to the same school. She is very well connected in the community through her intricate involvement in the school systems. Jianna and I knew she would be an asset to our team.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
Jianna: Our dad comes from the franchising business and originally told us about Great American Deals, because he really liked the model. We talked and did research for about eight months before deciding we could make this work in our community. All three of us are really passionate about supporting local businesses as well as giving back to local schools and organizations. This seemed to be the perfect opportunity to accomplish both through a career. We also have the flexibility to stay at home with our kids, which was very important to us as well.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
Jodi : The franchise fees were $35,000. We also reserved an extra $15,000 for marketing, advertising, events, etc.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
Jaysie: We learned a lot from Canejo Deals (our sister company). They have been very successful and we love the way they run their business. We are also thankful for the support of our franchisors. None of this would have been possible without the support of Michael Silber and Mark Vannuki, our friends and business partners at Great American Deals. Their belief in us means a lot!
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
Jaysie: The most challenging aspect of the business so far has been rejection and learning how to deal with it in a healthy way. We have adopted the attitude that it’s okay to hear “no.” We want to work with people who want to work with us and we respect people’s right to say "no" if they feel it is not the right fit. We move forward, knowing that a yes is right around the corner.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Jodi: Surround yourself with reliable people. As a mother, wife and busy community member on top of being a business owner, it is important to have a support system. There is always more work and responsibilities than we anticipate, so make sure you surround yourself with people you can rely on in both your personal and professional roles.
Jianna: Have patience. Starting a business can be extremely frustrating. Expect to fail at times, stick with it and don’t give up! And of course, have an idea or concept that you are passionate about, make a firm business plan, revise if needed and don’t take rejection personally.
What’s next for you and your business?
Jodi : We hope to establish North County Deals as a leader in the North County area not only through the sale of deals, but also by helping local businesses grow. Our ‘Give Back’ program allows us to donate money back to the local schools and organizations helping to fortify programs that are consistently underfunded. This program creates a symbiotic relationship between local business owners, schools and organizations as well as community residents.
Jaysie: We would also like to further develop our relationships with the small businesses in our community who have supported us with such enthusiasm. We are hoping to support our wonderful give-back partners as well, by giving back enough money to make a significant financial impact.