Jumping into a new business is scary. Even scarier is owning your own business. Even scarier than that is entering a male-dominated franchise operation if you are a woman. In this day and age, asking for a seat at the table full of mostly men can be a daunting task. The good news is, women have come a long way, with 2018 being the biggest year yet for women- and minority-owned franchises.
While Franchise Business Source can help you acquire the right knowledge about business operation and help you choose an appropriate franchise for your skill set, it’s up to you to work hard and perseverelikethese three female franchise owners have, kicking butt all the way to the top of their franchises.
Barb Moran-Goodrich, CEO of Moran Family of Brands
You’d think that simply having the family franchise name as your own would make you a lock to run the family’s company. Not so for Barb Moran-Goodrich, daughter of Moran Family of Brands’ founder, John D. “Jack” Moran, Sr. (Moran is one of the leading franchisors of general automotive and transmission repair and accessory centers.)
In fact, Moran-Goodrich tells FierceCEO that she recalls her father telling her on more than one occasion that “she would not achieve a top position in an industry dominated by men.”
Despite her father’s reluctance to let her into the company, she fought her way to the top, working her way up from receptionist to CEO. Not to say the rise to the top was easy — she was even fired by her father when she was pregnant with her first child, as he insisted she become a stay-at-home mother.
Eventually, her father asked her to return to the company. In 1999, when he became ill, she was named president at the recommendation of a consulting firm. Even though she finally convinced her father she could run the business, she still had to overcome the male-dominated franchisees. “They thought I was put in that position based on nepotism and had no real background in the business,” she tells FierceCEO. “I realized the only way I could change that perception was to show them through my actions and words that I was the right person to lead our system.”
She moved to the CEO role in 2010, bought the business from her father, and rebranded the company to include more brands and services. The Moran Family of Brands now has more than 120 nationwide franchise locations (plus one in Africa) and six brands.
Pam Estabrooke, Owner of ProTect Painters of Central Gwinnett, Georgia
Pam Estabrooke(pictured on the far left) was a single mother of two, who wasstruggling to make ends meet when she purchased a ProTect Painters franchise in 2013. Prior to that, she had been let go from an IT project management job. This set her down the path to entrepreneurship, starting an interior painting business on her own and then going on to work for another ProTect franchise owner in the Central Gwinnett area.
As luck would have it, the founder of ProTect, Wayne Scherger, was her trainer. He then encouraged her to own her own franchise and continues to be a mentor to her, she told the Huffington Post.
In the subsequent years, Estabrooke learned to run a successful business while finding a work/life balance that works for her family, although working a schedule that varies with the seasons isn’t without its difficulties, like not getting home until after 8 p.m., missing family dinners, and other events. “My family and friends know that my schedule is unpredictable, and I do what I can,” she told the Huffington Post. “Letting go of the guilt that sometimes comes with missing life experiences can be tough.”
Estabrooke hopes to continue to help other women to become business owners, while continuing her streak of staying above sales projections and expectations.
Christina Clark, Franchise Owner, Molly Maid, Northwest Florida
When Molly Maid franchise owner Christina Clark got her start as a house cleaner for the service in the mid ’90s, little did she know that she would become a franchise owner in 2013. She went from assistant to route manager in six short months. From there she moved to the home office from the field, eventually working for 17 years in the same office, according to Entrepreneur.
After purchasing her own Northwest Florida territory, she then moved up the ranks again quickly, purchasing a second territory in 2015, then finally reaching that $1 million earnings a year mark, and joining the company’s “million-dollar circle.”
She says she learned she was good at listening to her employees as an office manager, telling Entrepreneur, “The employees felt comfortable coming to me with what they liked about the job and what they didn’t like about the job, because they were able to relate to me,” she says. “By the time I moved into an ownership role, I had a good understanding of how employees felt and what areas we should focus on changing.”
As for future plans, Clark says she’s looking to have her husband join the franchise in 2019 to help with vehicle maintenance.
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