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Next Level Business Ideas

#empowerment #flourish #personalgrowth #theintentionaloptimist #womeninleadership May 02, 2022

For YEARS I thought there were just two types of entrepreneurs. 

Product and Service.   

But when Diane Pleuss, a “Franchise Matchmaker,” reached out to me to be a guest on my podcast, I soon figured out I was so wrong! 

I had NO idea the full spectrum of franchise options, and all the amazing opportunities available to those who want to be in business for themselves, yet might not want to start from scratch. 

If you think franchises are only “fries, burgers and chicken,” or that they’re only for the wealthy investor, and you’re not a candidate… read on, my friend. You’re about to have your mind changed too!

Diane opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities - next level business ideas, even - that just might have you looking at your future in a whole new light.

I learned SO MUCH in this interview, so I’m sharing a brief summary of the main categories and questions that came up for me.


First, a definition - or a contrast and comparison of what a franchise is like and what it isn’t. 

Of course this is NOT an exhaustive list, and talking with Diane will get you the real details you need, but these are good, broad examples we discussed.

A Franchise is LIKE:

  • A “regular” small business
    • It’s owned by you.  I own my business. I have an LLC. It’s the same with a franchise, you own your business. You have control over hiring, firing, how big you grow, what territories you take over, 
    • A franchise is sellable, scaleable, inheritable, and can help you build generational wealth. I have every intention of building my business to a level where I can hand it off, or at least will produce residual income and generational wealth to pass along to my son and future generations. That’s a very real appeal to owning your own business.
  • A Multi-level Marketing business
    • Ready made brand recognition, a mission, policies, procedures, support community and immediate access to products or services with scripts and sales practices that can kick-start your business off immediately.


Franchise is DIFFERENT from:

  • A “regular” small business: Even though I have an LL, I had to figure out everything I needed (and still need) to do in, and for, my business. I’m not gonna lie… there are days where that feels unbelievably overwhelming and I want to just curl up in a ball in the corner. A franchise offers you a well planned and tested system for pretty much everything. Not quite a “business in a box,” but to know you have a certain territory, an IT system and support, HR policies, built-in vendor relationships, not to mention brand recognition… that’s a big difference.
  • Multi-level Marketing business - While you have a support system, brand recognition, processes and policies already in place, you do actually own the business. You’re not just a consultant or distributor. You enter into a legal agreement, and  your hard work and effort will come back and benefit YOU and your family. Not the company you represent.


Additionally, she mentioned a couple of franchise MODELS:

  • Executive Model: You don’t need experience in a specific area in order to purchase a franchise. You might just need your management or administration skills and experience you’ve built up over the years. They are looking for people who:
    • Have business experience 
    • Want to be involved in the community
    • Have Leadership skills
    • Are willing to hire, train, direct and develop personnel
    • Have Advertising and Marketing experience.

They will then train you to hire the right people to do the work of the business. For instance, if you’re interested in a plumbing business you don’t need to be a plumber. You need to have skills and experience that will allow you to learn how to run that business when you hire those skilled workers.

  • Manager Run: This is for someone who wants a safety net or to just diversify their financial investments. Great bridge or transition opportunity. This is like an ideal side-hustle. You can grow as fast or slow as you want, and keep your job/career, until you’re ready to transition into the full-time running of that business. (Hair Care, Fitness, Massage, Nails, Office rentals)


What does this mean for you? 

In my last post, I demystified what it means to be empowered, and put simply, it means you have the knowledge, ability and means to make your own choices and decisions.  

There is no ONE way to take your future into your own hands and do that. However - I’m an unapologetic advocate for entrepreneurship, and Diane put into words my beliefs about being employed by someone else.  She said “so many people think of a JOB as security, but the reality is a job is INSECURITY! When you are an employee, you can be downsized, laid off, and held back by someone else.” 

This is the story of the majority of the women I have interviewed. Several have been laid off (some more than once), and many (like myself) have found that being held back, instead of being allowed to truly flourish and benefit the organization, was so stifling they were compelled to make the change.

A business of your own (in this case a franchise), will allow you to BE THE leader of your own team!

Literally, empower yourself to be and do what you are either called or gifted to do. 

So, what Green Flags did Diane share to help you determine whether or not a franchise option might be for you… 

  • You need to know your WHY!

When you have a passion for something or someone, or a process, this could be the opportunity to capitalize on that with a franchise. Perhaps you see a real need in your community for a specific product or service, but may not know how to offer it up, a franchise could be the answer.

  • You need to be ok with some risk.  

There are tradeoffs for not being an employee.  If you need a guaranteed paycheck, this might not be the road for you.  But if you’re willing to take the time and get curious and ask questions, you can probably find a franchise with an acceptable risk level. If you want the freedom to write your own paycheck, to grow a business or team to any size YOU want, you should be able to find one that will offset whatever risks are inherent in the process.

  • You need to be willing to learn their system.

Yep, you might have ideas and be a guru in process improvement, but they have a system for a reason, and you need to be willing to “use the recipe” first, learning the current system and then offer enhancements. If, like me, you’re fairly averse to having others tell you what to do and how to do it… well, you notice, I don’t own a franchise. 

If you’re on board so far, and you think these green flags apply to you, here’s her advice. 

Advice, if you’ve never thought about a franchise option before.

  • Keep an open mind - there are options you’ve never considered that might have robust margins you’ve not seen. Look at your skills and experience to see how to leverage them. They are transferable, and she will help you figure out where they can be used. Explore, have fun, give yourself the opportunity to start with a broad and open net. It can always be narrowed, no worries. 

She remarked “they’re looking for someone with a HEAD for business and a HEART for clientele.” They’re NOT selling you here, this is an opportunity to rule each other IN. I experienced this through my adoption process. While it can be daunting and unnerving to walk through the process, talking to each birth mother, and figuring out if we’re a good fit, we ALL want to make a plan that is best for the child. So we’re all looking to “rule each other IN,” not out. 

There is a full vetting process they walk you through, in which they will share their infrastructure. Marketing, IT, HR, etc. They interview you, you interview them, and you get the opportunity to  interview other franchisees. 

It is in THEIR best interest for YOU to succeed! So, keep an open mind.

  • Don’t get hung up on the money - they aren’t all million dollar investments! Franchise Fees are the biggest part of the investment AND they give you access to the whole business! She compared the process to purchasing a house… very few people slap down cash for a house. There are financing opportunities. Small Business Associations, Retirement funds (tax advantages, etc.), second mortgages… All of these allow you to start from an equity position rather than a debt position. Which is another difference from a “regular” business that I didn’t mention above.  

Keep this little nugget in mind: The VALUE of the franchise is you get further down the road faster. Talk about a kick start.

  • Relationships are what matter the most - look for support in your network that can help you with your new venture. Several of my recent interviews have pointed out this fact. They know you. They can help you see things you might never have seen in yourself. Plus, your COMMUNITY - makes a difference. Not only will they support you as you become a business owner, you then have the ability to become more involved in your local community - closing the circle, and giving back.  

I left this interview so excited, I was walking on my tipy-toes! I absolutely LOVE learning new information that I KNOW will help so many people, and this topic most certainly will. I realized, as I was listening to her, that women kept popping into my mind as perfect candidates for her services, and I would love to connect you!  

 Are you wondering if you’re one of those “women who popped into my head?” You just MIGHT be! 

I know SO many women who have a“head for business and heart for clientele” that franchises are looking for. You’ve sat in my office, chatted with me on zoom, shared concerns or wins in my Facebook group.  

 I know you’re there. 

I see you. 

I hear you.

Has all my “cheerleading” about being an entrepreneur, or just taking control of your future sparked something in your own soul? 

Has this information encouraged, emboldened and empowered you to begin the conversation?

I’d love to help you figure out a strategy for your future. Hop on my calendar for a free 30 minute consultation and let’s get you a strategy in place.

Here’s my consultation link!

Stay tuned! Next week I’ll be reflecting on how I love curating opportunities and helping women see possibilities, and then you’ll hear from a fabulous woman who is making a franchise her life’s work and purpose. 

Don’t miss it! Subscribe today!


Listen to the full conversation here: 

Where to find Diane: Franchise Matchmaker

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