FBR’s Franchisee Insight Q&A interview column provides a peek into what owning a franchise is like as well as some great advice.
Rochelle Carrington left a successful sales career to purchase her Sandler Training franchise in Armonk, NY in 2007, which she named Second Wind Advisory Group. We asked her to share her thoughts regarding how franchising has impacted her life and about franchising in general.
What is it that you like best about owning your franchise? I work quite a bit, but absolutely love what I do. I love the product and working with business owners and sales teams every day. I am very proud of what I have built on my own. From a personal perspective, I get to set a great example for my kids of what you can accomplish as a business owner and that I am able to have freedom to be with them as much as possible.
Why did you elect to invest in a Sandler Training franchise? I was the Ad Director and Associate Publisher at magazines such as Glamour and Marie Claire. My years of sales experience, which entailed managing salespeople at a large corporation and hiring many sales trainers to help our sales team, made Sandler Training a natural fit for me.
I was impressed by the Sandler Training methodology and that it gives you the freedom to create any type or size of business you want. They also have a very clear model of what you need to do to be successful. The management team is very strong and the other franchisees have a great passion for the product and are talented in their own right.
How did you fund your franchise? Guidant Financial helped me fund my franchise fee through my 401K.
How long did it take to break even and to make a profit? I broke even in one year and was profitable in a year and a half.
Would you share your revenue figures? My gross revenue was $1 million in 2015. I estimate it will be $1.2 million in 2016.
What advice would you share with people considering purchasing a franchise? Conduct your due diligence, but don’t go overboard with analysis. Talk to franchisees that have the kind of business you would like to create. Once you buy the franchise, reach out to as many other franchisees for help as possible. Follow the franchise model and don’t get too creative. Be a product of the franchise product.
What do you wish you had known prior to becoming a franchisee? I wish I had known how to run Quick Books!
What is the most challenging aspect of being a franchisee? Coming from a corporate background where we had departments to do everything, it was challenging to get used to conducting all of the tasks myself until the business was more established. Now the most challenging aspect is finding good employees that have the same passion for the business that I do.
What is the most rewarding about being a franchisee? At Sandler, we have the ability to transform our clients’ lives. We teach them how to sell and manage their businesses more effectively and that gives them peace of mind in running their companies, which translates into their personal lives as well. It is incredibly rewarding to see how people transform their businesses and themselves with our help.
What kind of support did you most appreciate from your franchisor? When I first started, Sandler assigned me a coach whom I spoke to almost every day. He taught me the business and helped me get through some of the tough parts of being a new business owner. The franchisor support continues no matter how long you have been in the network and is invaluable.
What kind of support do you get from fellow franchisees? The “network of franchisees” is incredibly helpful. Everyone has an attitude of abundance so is very willing to help with advice and motivation.
Where do you see your business in the next five years? Ideally my business will be generating $5 million and I will employ four more people.
To see how Sandler Training’s franchisees rate it in a variety of crucial areas including leadership, culture, training and support, financial outlook, and franchisee community, click here.
If you are interested in learning what it takes to invest in a franchise, visit FBR’s Franchise Buyer’s Toolkit.
To see more franchises that are ranked highly by their franchisees click here.