Why Opportunity Knocks More Than Once in Franchising

Opportunity knocks once

Franchise Consultant Lisa Linkowsky Shares Her Journey from Corporate Crossroads to Unlimited Opportunities

Ten years ago, the franchising world found me. I was not looking for it. After working for a wonderful company for over a decade, I was at the proverbial crossroads that so many people face…career transition. During my last corporate job, I worked remotely (well before it became a trend) and knew that returning to a corporate office was no longer what I wanted. Then something magical happened: Opportunity knocked. A direct mail piece arrived in my mailbox and changed my life forever. It contained promotional gift cards to upscale restaurants, spas and boutiques. This piece resonated with my marketing background, so I sent my resume inquiring about potential employment. I received an immediate response stating that they were not hiring, they were offering franchise opportunities.

Opportunity Knocks Once

My initial reaction to owning a franchise was to wrinkle my nose. I was dubious. I had no clue why I had that response, but looking back, I believe it was the mystery of it all. I did not know anyone who owned a franchise. I knew what franchises were and heard the occasional radio ad, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I told my husband if I did not investigate it further, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I always heard that opportunity only knocks once, and I wanted to answer the door.

I attended my first meeting about the franchise opportunity armed with more than fifty questions. It turns out they were testing this concept for five years, and they were ready to launch the franchise once their Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) was finalized. I became their first franchisee six months later. 

Owning a business for the first time and being the first franchisee was daunting, but I did not feel that way. I was nervous but exhilarated. The concept spoke to me and entered my veins, and I could not shake it. Now as a franchise consultant, I advise my candidates that they should always feel excited. If that passion is missing, it could be an indication that the franchise opportunity is not right for them.  

For close to seven years, I had a fantastic, thriving business. Mine was the third-largest franchise territory in the system. I mentored and trained many of the franchisees that became owners after me. I initiated and led a franchise advisory committee, created a forum for franchisees to communicate with each other, and helped the system to improve strategically and financially. It gave me the lifestyle I needed and the capability to be present for my young children. 

Opportunity Knocks Once Again

Franchising provides an exit strategy, and my goal was to sell my business in year eight. However, in March 2020, life had a different plan for me. Seemingly overnight, my business was gone. The franchise system went down and was never revived. However, my love of franchising was not diminished. In fact, it was emboldened because the pandemic sparked a fierce need for people to become business owners.

Three years ago, I began research into becoming a franchise advisor. I was diligent in selecting a training program to give me the skills to help people in the position I was in when my franchise journey began. My company, Milestone Franchising®, was created with the tagline…leading you in a new direction. This captures the essence of my desire to help others on their career journey.

Opportunity Keeps Knocking

Before that direct mail piece arrived at my door, I would never have guessed in my wildest dreams I would host a TV show, become a monthly contributor for FranchiseWire, have a booth at the International Franchise Expo, make incredible lifetime relationships within the franchise world, and have people trust me inherently with their decision to go forward into business ownership. Through franchising, all of these things have happened.

They say opportunity only knocks once, but in franchising it just keeps on knocking. Franchising is full of opportunity. It’s no wonder it has grown so much over the years. According to the International Franchise Association, there are approximately 790,492 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.4 million direct jobs, $825.4 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and almost 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Those numbers are expected to keep growing.

It’s remarkable that a direct mail piece that landed in my mailbox ten years ago put me on an extraordinary journey to success. I am grateful that the amazing opportunities in franchising keep knocking on my door. Cheers to ten more years! 

“You must be fearless to travel on the journey of unknown.” – Lailah Gifty Akita 

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Lisa Linkowsky is the CEO of Milestone Franchising. She is a Certified Franchise Consultant and member of the The International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG). She is also the host of Franchise Focus on RVN Television. Lisa has more than thirty years of extensive experience in consumer marketing, sales, project management, and strategic planning. After working at various Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies, Lisa followed her entrepreneurial spirit and became a franchise owner in 2014.
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