Marti McDermmot is a business professor at Kaplan University and hosts a weekly podcast focusing on Franchising and Entrepreneurship. You can find our full interview on his website here: www.FranchiseInterviews.com
Hi everyone and welcome to a very special edition of Franchise Interviews, where for over nine years we have been interviewing the fran–trepreneur.
We have a great show today. We are meeting with Christy Wilson Delk. After 17 years in corporate sales and distribution, Christy Wilson Delk decided to risk it all. In 1996, she sold her house and cashed out her 401K plan for the down payment on the $1.7 million dollar SBA loan needed to buy and build a Kids R Kids Academy franchise in Orlando, Florida. She expanded twice and exited successfully in 2012.
Now, a professor at Rollins College, business speaker, and writer, Christy has turned her focus to helping others realize greater professional rewards through growing a successful business.
Franchise Interviews: It (the 15 years of ownership) went by fast, and it seemed like it was probably the right time to sell too, Christy. You and I both know that there was a lot more as you can say “players” coming into the industry probably particularly in your area because it’s such a hot area that it just made sense to sell it right at that time. I know financially you did great. I guess that was part of the plan too or was it just market timing?
Christy Wilson Delk: Actually Marty, you connected a couple of dots I hadn’t connected before! It seems that ‘you took a risk when you started’ drive that most entrepreneurs have, which is mitigated by good timing and homework, is the same drive and knowledge that you need to have when you start thinking about your exit. And so, “If I can do it, you can do it to” holds true for your listeners in order to exit well too. Stay on top of your business, know your market and pay attention to your life cycle needs. So absolutely, right on Brother, it was the same.
I think it comes down to this when you’re a quality business owner you know you really do have to be all in because people notice if it starts to wain and I knew that shift was coming. Don’t wait until the shift starts to happen, you want to be ahead of that. You want to be super engaged in your business when you sell and not the least little bit burned out. Go out on a high.