Boosting Confidence is Job One for FranSelect Hire
Barbara Marshall, newly hired at FranSelect, believes in "holding their hand" when helping prospective franchisees through the process.
Barbara Marshall had inspiring words when I reached her last week, to buck up anyone who has ever struggled in school or any aspiring business owner who could use a confidence boost—in other words, quite a lot of people. She is a U.S. Air Force veteran, a former franchise owner of SportClips, and now a newly hired coach at FranSelect, the Chesterfield, Missouri-based outfit that helps prospective franchisees find the right franchise for them.
She joined the Air Force at age 18, and like all women at the time had to have her parents’ permission to do so. (Men could join at 17 and did not need permission.)
It was the Vietnam War era, and she started out in an administrative job. “That or nursing were what was available,” she said. A new role in career counseling was created, and she was the first woman to go through the class. Her job was to work with people who planned to get off of active duty, helping them craft their resume, and then providing up to six months of training.
“It was the best move I could have ever made,” she told me in a delightful conversation last week, which seemed especially apropos as it came in the midst of graduation season, about her enlistment in the Air Force. “I was a terrible student in high school,” she said, so terrible that when she received a letter in 2016 saying her former high school “wanted me to be on their Wall of Fame, I thought it was a mistake.”
But her high school did want to honor Marshall, who after the Air Force went on to have a banking career before her most recent moves, and she began preparing her talk. “I began thinking of talking to the other students, who were not honor roll students but that perhaps struggled as I did.
“It’s kind of what I hope to do with a lot of women veterans that I’m talking to,” in her new job at FranSelect, she said. “I think most everybody at some point dreams of owning their own company, and may lack the confidence to take that first step, or maybe they lack the information needed about franchises.”
She sees her role as walking prospects through the different franchise models, helping them with research, connecting them with other franchisees in that system who can give them the real story, helping them through financing options. In short, she’ll be “holding their hand,” she said. “And it wouldn’t just be women who might lack the self-confidence, but men as well.”
People like Marshall, willing to give encouragement to others, especially those who really need it, are one of the best parts of franchising.