Thousands of would be franchisees pass through Franchise Gator each month. Some have the guts and drive to follow through, while others have a tough time making the leap. A smaller handful have no question about how owning a franchise plays a part in their professional future.
Such is the case with Aubrey Janik, who recently reached out to introduce us to her program, the Franchise Blueprint. Aubrey was meant for franchising, and she knew it at a relatively young age. Her focus on owning her own business led her to be a franchise owner at just 21 years of age. Her story, which was highlighted on an MSNBC segment, impressed me enough that I decided to reach out to learn more.
Tell me about your experience.
I entered the world of franchising at 21 years old, but really, franchising and franchise ownership has been in my life for much longer.
I made money in high school through the stock market, and weighed out a lot of the different options for what I was going to do with that money. After a lot of time and research I decided franchising was what I wanted to do, and what I wanted to invest that money in.
I left college after my sophomore year, and in Fall of 2014 I moved to Chicago where I worked side by side with a multi unit franchise owner for 6 months. This person at the time owned multiple gas stations, fast-food locations, fast cause restaurants..etc. During my 6 months with him I learned the different rolls of a franchise owner, I worked every position possible from cashier to shift manager to manager. It truly was an invaluable experience that got me prepared for when I opened a franchise of my own.
After I returned home from Chicago I went to work on opening my own franchise. While I was in Chicago, I had signed my franchise agreement for opening my first franchise in my hometown of Dallas, TX. So when I returned to Dallas I went to work on finding a location, starting construction, and prepping for my grand opening.
In August of 2016 I opened my first franchise.
My experience from going to Chicago to learn and then coming home to actually open up my own franchise has been a really incredible journey full of ups, downs, and lessons that I know other newcomers could benefit from. That’s ultimately what made me want to create The Franchise Blueprint.
What made you decide to buy a franchise?
After I had made money in the stock market, I knew I wanted to use that money to start a business, but I didn’t know what business I wanted to start. I weighed out my options of starting a business from scratch; like a start up- but the risks associated with that turned me off. I didn’t want to invest all my money into a start-up that had a high chance of failure, especially considering the fact I didn't really have a solid idea for a start up business yet. That’s when I discovered the concept of franchising. I loved the idea of taking a proven concept like a fast food franchise, and to then be able to expand and turn it into a business of my own. The proven concept of a franchise is a huge plus compared to a start up, the corporate support that comes along with franchising, marketing support…etc. All of theses things are reasons why franchising was attractive to me. I didn’t want to go through the trials and tribulations of starting a business from scratch, I wanted to take an idea, and expand it.
What do you like about franchise ownership?
I love being my own boss. There is not a better feeling in the world than waking up everyday to go work for myself. Working everyday to build a future for myself is an incredible feeling, and franchising has made that possible for me.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned when shopping for a franchise to buy?
The biggest lesson I've learned is that choosing your concept to franchise with is one of the most important aspects of the entire business. You need to do your own research, you need to take the time to learn about the business inside and out before you sign the franchise agreement, because once you sign that agreement, it becomes set in stone. So do your research, take your time, and don't rush the process of choosing your concept.
Why do you think others can benefit from your experience?
Franchising and opening your first franchised business can be really tough for a first timer. Of course corporate does help you along the way, but not to the extent that people assume. When People think of franchising they think “This is a turn key operation. I just sign the franchise agreement and I am ready to open” when that isn’t the case at all. For me, I signed my agreement when I was just 21 years old, so it was huge learning experience. Learning how to choose a solid franchise to work with, learning how to negotiate an agreement, how to find a good location, negotiating a lease, hiring a staff..etc. These are all things that as a new franchisee, you are expected to do this and more, and for someone who had never done it before, it was quite daunting. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, a lot of mistakes that cost me time and money; and most, if not all of these mistakes where completely avoidable. So for new franchisees, being able to take what I’ve learned through my own experience, learning from my mistakes, from my mishaps, it will save so many people time, money, and stress, but also increase their chances of success.
What is the Franchise Blueprint?
The Franchise Blueprint is an online eCourse that walks an aspiring franchisee through the process of how to open a successful franchise. It covers everything from choosing a concept, to negotiating an agreement, to finding a location, hiring a GC…everything. It really takes the guesswork out of franchising, and lays out the exact blueprint of how the process works, what to expect, and answers a lot of the questions you may have as a new franchisee.
Why did you create The Franchise Blueprint?
Looking back on my experience of opening a franchise, I asked myself the question of “what would have made the process easier” and The Franchise Blueprint is the answer to that question.
To have a resource to turn to, to have someone or something to answer any of my questions, to guide me in the right direction, that would have ben invaluable to me when I was going through this process. I felt as though, if I struggled during my opening process, if I had a lot of unanswered questions, confusion..etc., well other new franchisees probably had similar experiences, so I wanted to solve that problem.
The problem of lack of transparency, confusion..etc. I wanted to make the process easier and less daunting, and that is why The Franchise Blueprint was created.
Why Will franchisees benefit from The Franchise Blueprint?
You look at opening a business and there are huge risks associated with it, and franchising is no different. There is a risk of failure when opening a franchise, but I feel as though there are 2 huge reasons as to why franchises fail.
- The franchisee does not know what to fully expect from business ownership: Maybe the franchisor misled them, maybe the franchisee just had unrealistic expectations, either way being uneducated as to what to expect and what is going to be required is a huge reason as to why franchises fail.
- Early mistakes that could have been avoided: Making mistakes early on in your franchise journey can cripple your success. Mistakes like choosing a terrible location, to using bad signage, being ill prepared for grand opening..etc. there are a number of things. Choosing a great location won’t guarantee your success, but choosing a bad one will almost guarantee your failure. Something like this, a mistake like this is completely avoidable, but due to lack of knowledge and experiences, franchisees make these simple yet crippling mistakes all the time.
Being educated, and avoiding early mistakes are the best ways to ensure success on your end, and that is what The Franchise Blueprint does.
Should someone buy the Franchise Blueprint during the buying process and before they've picked a concept? After they've picked a concept? After they've bought?
All the above. The great thing about The Franchise Blueprint is that it walks you through the entire process. So regardless of what phase of the process you are in, there is still valuable information to be learned.
Can the Franchise Blueprint help existing or future franchisees in any industry?
Absolutely. The Franchise Blueprint is universal to all industries because regardless of what industry or what concept, the process stays the same. There is always something to be learned, and always new information to be gained regardless of what industry your in, or if you are a new or future franchisee.
How much does the Franchise Blueprint cost?
The Franchise Blueprint costs $99 for unlimited access to the course.
Where can someone go to learn more?
To learn more you can go to https://www.thefranchiseblueprint.com - there you can find information on my experience, on the course, and more.
About Aubrey Janik
Aubrey Janik became a Franchisee at just 21 years old by signing an agreement with Erbert & Gerbert’s Franchise Systems. Before she opened her first franchise, she spent a year working for different franchised brands, working with different franchisees, and learning the ins and outs of the franchise industry. In August of 2016 she opened her franchise to the public for the first time. After opening a franchise of her own, she felt like the entire process could be dramatically improved- so she created The Franchise Blueprint, a program that teaches the process of how to open a successful franchise from start to finish.