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.
In 2012 Quamisha Nelson was a newlywed, in love with her new husband, certainly, but also "deeply in love" -- as she puts it -- with Smoothie King, the healthy fruit-drink company. So, of course it was the perfect franchise choice. "I just followed my heart," Nelson says. And, while she says she's encountered some bumps along the way -- the construction phase was longer than expected -- Nelson aims, eventually, to own 20 Smoothie Kings. Now, that's a lot of "Hulk Strawberry" concoctions.
Name: Quamisha Nelsone
Franchise owned: Smoothie King in Jacksonville, North Carolina
How long have you owned a franchise?
I purchased my first Smoothie King franchise in November of 2012. I have been with Smoothie King for just over two-and-a-half years and I have enjoyed every single moment of this journey.
Startups are challenging, time consuming and very risky. I chose to franchise because it’s less stressful. Why re-invent the wheel when you can buy into a profitable system and be very successful?
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
Prior to Smoothie King, I was fresh out of college and a newlywed trying to figure out the next steps in life. I was trying to start a family and be a great wife. I never planned to open a business; I didn’t really have a plan at all. I was trying to figure out a plan, but I also wasn’t in a rush
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I chose Smoothie King because I love smoothies! How awesome is it to be able to sell a product that you love and that you are passionate about!
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
I spent about $350,000. About $150,000 went toward the cost of construction, and the rest went toward the equipment and franchise fees.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I didn’t really seek advice from anyone. I could have, but I didn’t want to, simply because of my passion for the brand. I’m so deeply in love with Smoothie King that I really didn’t want anyone’s opinions. I just followed my heart.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
The biggest obstacle I faced during the opening of my first store was construction. The construction of this location cost more than expected and took longer than I could have ever imagined.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
If you believe in the product, you can grow with the company, and if you can afford it, you should go afford it. You can’t lose if you’re investing in your dreams.
What’s next for you and your business?
I recently decided that I want to have 20 Smoothie King locations. I’m not sure how it is all going to work out yet, but I am looking forward to the journey.