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A hurdle or two shouldn’t keep you from finish line


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Years ago—please don’t make me give you a number—when I first began working for this company I was a young journalist in my 20s. It was my job to write about franchise lenders, banks and finance companies, and to get to know the players, especially when they were all in one room together at the Restaurant Finance Monitor’s annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. (The Monitor is the sister publication to Franchise Times.)

It was intimidating. I was a young woman, and I was walking into a room full of suits, many who had been in the business before I had taken my first steps as a toddler. I’m not sure what concerned me more at the time—my inexperience, which I thought surely shone like a beacon to those around me, or the fact there were few attendees who looked like me.  

I overcame, of course. I dug my heels in and just did it. And as I learned more about the business, I relaxed and enjoyed the ride.

I was reminded of that experience when I read Franchise Times’ Senior Editor Tom Kaiser’s story on Aubrey Janik, an Erbert & Gerbert’s franchisee who started her business when she was a mere 21 years old. I’m sure she encountered obstacles because of her age, but she moved beyond them.

Tom first wrote about her when she started her business a few years ago. This month’s story is about Janik’s additional venture, The Franchise Blueprint. It’s a video training series she’s put together to help new franchisees get ahead faster, and avoid the mistakes she and other franchisees made when they were starting out. Talk about youth overcoming.

To say that my experience early on in business was an obstacle is to overstate the case, especially when I read our cover story this month, starring Shirin Behzadi, the CEO of Home Franchise Concepts. FT Managing Editor Laura Michaels had the opportunity to sit down with Behzadi at the franchise’s headquarters in Anaheim, California.

There, she told Laura about how a life-threatening tumor and a subsequent two-year rehabilitation years ago helped ground Behzadi’s outlook today.

“You know if you’ve been working since 17, you’re just reactively living life and this turned the tables to me claiming life,” she said. You’ll want to read Laura’s story on how Behzadi’s life perspective is taking an already successful brand and shooting for that next level of success, offering opportunity to franchisees on their own terms.

Mary Jo Larson

Mary Jo Larson

Publisher
Reach Mary Jo at 612-767-3208
or mlarson@franchisetimes.com

Taking care of business is not for the faint of heart: In this issue, you’ll find articles on a franchisee suing her franchise attorney (he claims extortion), a city in the Sunbelt trying to revive a downtown, and a cupcake war of the non-TV variety.

Also in this issue, you’ll get a preview of the Franchise Times’ Dealmakers Awards panel discussion, made up of the big winners of the awards. The awards ceremony, as well as the panel, will be held at this year’s Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference May 7-9 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. As you know from last month’s issue, the Dealmakers awards are given to the top M&A deals in franchising over the past year. FT Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen will lead the discussion, urging our panelists to reveal what made them overcome their obstacles to get those deals to the finish line.

It’s all here: The hurdles and the subsequent successes. And if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment to phone one of my franchise finance contacts. It is, now, one of the best parts of my job.

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