Lisa Coleman is a franchisee of Westaff serving Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Bossier City/Shreveport, Lafayette, Lake Charles/DeQuincy, Monroe and Walker, Louisiana. She has been a franchisee since 1993 and is a Franchise Business Review featured franchisee!
What was it about the franchise model and or leadership that led you to purchase it? I purchased an independent staffing company in Baton Rouge in 1990. I loved the interaction with the clients and candidates, but realized I was limited in the size and scope of business opportunities that I could pursue. In 1993, I was approached by Westaff, who was seeking a partner in the Baton Rouge market. I had a decision to make; remain an independent business owner in the staffing industry or join a thriving franchise. I chose the latter.
What type of business experience, education, and/or skills did you have prior to becoming a franchisee that you have found particularly helpful? Before opening the franchise office, I was the owner of an independent staffing company in Baton Rouge and had worked as a high school accounting teacher and guidance counselor. I earned my MBA from LSU in Baton Rouge, LA.
What things do you like most about your job? As a franchise owner, I have the flexibility to run a successful business while also balancing my passion for family and faith. My local staff are an extension of my family and I understand the crucial role they play in the success of the business. As part of the EmployBridge family, the core values of honesty, integrity, maturity, family first and passion are embraced by the corporate team, franchise owners and their local teams.
How did you fund your franchise? Did you receive any discounts/incentives? As the owner of an independent staffing company, I had a non-traditional entry into the franchise. I was able to successfully merge my clients into Westaff and received incentives for doing so.
What advice do you have for prospective franchise buyers? What do you wish you had known prior to going into franchising? I believe true success is found in relationships. You do not have to “go it alone.” There are franchisors, such as EmployBridge, that have systems, corporate staff and the financial strength available to turn your business vision into a reality. With a strong franchise partner, great local team members and determination, you can turn your business idea into a legacy where you can positively impact the lives of others.
Why do you think franchising is a good opportunity for women entrepreneurs? I think franchising offers great opportunities for men and women alike. Statistics prove that the failure rate for a startup business is high. When you are immediately linked to other professionals who have the systems and expertise, it certainly increases your likelihood of success. Also, the supportive interaction with other franchise owners can help you navigate the hurtles that we all face as business owners.
How do you balance work and life? I have a strong support system at home. I live with my husband of 35 years, Russell, in Denham Springs, LA. We love our family and are blessed with twin daughters, a son-in-law and three grandsons.