Women in Franchising – Interview With Michelle Shriver

Our team at Franchising USA had a chance to sit with Michelle Shriver , Regional Developer for Patrice & Associates , the nation ’s largest staffing firm in restaurants and hospitality.

As a fellow woman in franchising, we were excited to learn more about her journey to entrepreneurship, including the launch of six Tropical Smoothie cafes and a Patrice & Associates office.

Michelle Shriver brings extensive business, marketing and hospitality-related experience to her franchises, including more than 20 years of management experience, with 18 in the hospitality field.

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When did you begin franchising? Why did you leave the corporate world?

Back in July 2010, I began exploring franchise opportunities. My husband and I were attracted to the franchise business model because of our prior work experience. For me, working in corporate America for 18 years for a casino and resort company, I was ready to undertake a new challenge. I was ready for something different and franchising resonated with me for many reasons. For one thing, franchising means an entire company is behind me and committed to my success.

In addition, franchising gives me the opportunity to network with others and discover alternate strategies for success.

What attracted you to the Patrice & Associates franchise opportunity?

In my search for another business to compliment my past experience, I had to keep my specific goals in mind. My first priority was achieving financial freedom. I also wanted to take advantage of the market conditions and its high demand for great talent in the hospitality industry. As a restaurant owner, I know how invaluable Patrice & Associates is, as they find great people, and they do it fast and efficiently.

Also, as a professional business, it is great to see the flexibility of the Patrice & Associates opportunity – all I need is a computer and a phone. Now I have peace of mind knowing I can work no matter the circumstances.

When did you launch? What is your role at Patrice & Associates?

I came out of training with Patrice & Associates late January, and I launched my business in early February. In addition to serving as a Regional Developer in Nevada, Utah and Colorado, where I help attract potential franchise candidates and support them long-term after joining the franchise, I am also operating a local staffing office in Las Vegas.

What is your advice for women looking into franchising?

Women, and certainly everyone else, should make it a point to explore all of their options. I also recommend having a clear picture of what you want to accomplish with your business. With there being so many opportunities available, it is important to figure out the best fit with the lifestyle you want. Be aware of how you work best, as well as what your talents and gifts are.

For example, if you like having a hands on business and feel you would be most productive and fulfilled in face-to-face interactions everyday, a brick and mortar concept might be a good fit. If you want to travel and feel you can be disciplined with a more flexible work environment, you might want a business that is more virtual.

Are there any additional steps to take?

I would recommend anyone exploring franchise opportunities to become acquainted with the brand’s leadership team. In my case, I flew out to Maryland and met CEO and Founder Patrice Rice and COO Brian Miller. They were both generous with their time and information, and it was clear they cared about my success with Patrice & Associates. Another step to take is contacting current franchisees. Do your best to learn what makes one franchisee successful. Dive deep into how they’ve worked the business and utilized its systems, and again know yourself well enough – your drive, your talents and your work style – to see if you identify with those successful in the franchise.

Finally, complete a detailed three- to five-year pro forma on the business using what you learned from the FDD and from multiple franchisees you talked to. Give yourself ramp up time financially, and create a complete picture of what you can achieve – and when – before signing a franchise agreement. I am regularly surprised by how few people complete this step and only rely on Internet sources, FDD averages, or one franchisee’s numbers. The franchisor is there to support you, not do your work or due diligence for you.

What are you up to these days?

As I am relatively new with Patrice & Associates, my days are spent having regular meetings with the corporate headquarters to discuss the growth of my business. I also spend a lot of time with my recruiters who are helping me grow my Las Vegas office.

With my other businesses, I always keep a pulse on how they are performing. I regularly look at the sales numbers and other key performance indicators and how healthy they are. I meet weekly with my managers, play an active role in all of my commitments and I continually divvy up my time where it’s most needed.

At the end of the day, I work incredibly hard in order to play hard with my family. My husband and sons are also involved in the businesses, but we also like to hang out together, travel, and enjoy outdoor sports.

Where can we keep up with you on social media?

• www.linkedin.com/in/MichelleShriverMAK
• www.facebook.com/MichelleShriverPA
• www.facebook.com/TropicalSmoothieCafeColorado
Twitter: @MShriver_PA

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