How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I have had my share of challenges and success with each one providing something different from which to learn. I was the first person in my family to go to college so I had to really want it and push for it. However, being brought up by working class parents with no business experience, I became your more typical female people pleaser and was comfortable just keeping my head down and working hard. This did provide the foundation for a more collaborative leadership style but did not give me the wisdom of knowing when to tout my own accomplishments. However, as I gained experience, I learned to “lean in” to make sure my voice was heard and opinion known. It is interesting to note that once I started doing this I was encouraged by both male and female leaders/mentors to do it more. Sheryl Sandburg gets this one right.
How did your previous employment experience aided your position at Any Lab Test Now?
I have worked in several functions and industries for both large and small companies which allowed me to see the big picture of how things fit together in an organization to create success. Small business owners have to wear multiple hats and having skills in several areas has made the learning curve less steep. As a career coach for 10 years, I have encouraged people to look at other careers or functions if they were dissatisfied with previous positions or opportunities. Each new path or position broadens the skill set that we can draw upon.
What advice can you offer to an individual looking to be a franchisee?
Franchises can offer a proven system of success-that is what you are paying for. However, there are no guarantees and you need to set realistic expectations for hard work and profitability. There is no overnight success or easy money. It is also important to find a product or service you can get excited about day in and day out. Do your homework and your research.
Use the resources available to you. One of my favorite things about being a small business owner is the camaraderie of other small business owners. They understand your struggles and celebrate with your successes. Also, as you get started check out some of the services offered by organizations such as the SBA. Don’t feel because you own your business that you have to do it on your own. Use the expertise of others in areas you are lacking and get the support you need. You still get to make all the decisions but don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
As far as financing your business, there are many options outside of traditional borrowing if you need to supplement your own savings. I used part of my 401K without tax penalties. Benetrends provided the necessary administration and expertise to satisfy IRS requirements and allow you to use you own money without adding to the debt of your company.
What are your hopes for the future of Any Lab Test Now?
To continue to grow both in size and number and to see ALTN develop into a brand that evolves with our changing healthcare landscape partnering with consumers and businesses to give them more control over their health.
Read more Stories of Success on our website.