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: One of the things you mentioned a lot in this interview Christy—I don’t know if you know it or not– you used the word system a lot, and you have this appreciation for systems.
I was thinking in the beginning, that one of the attractions–I guess you could say–of franchising was this extraordinary appreciation of systems. Was that one of the factors as well, in considering franchising? There are a lot of different routes you can go in entrepreneurship. You could start your own business on your own; you don’t have to go the franchise alternative. It seemed like you had that appreciation for systems. Am I correct in that?
Christy Wilson Delk: I do have a strong appreciation for systems that allow you to do the other work that helps you sustain and grow your business. I think that’s one of the things that attracted me to franchising. When the franchisor does their job well, you have every opportunity to do yours. They take care of so many things for you. But, and this is the big but, there are so many things outside of the basic operating manual , that (with your franchisors blessing and that good relationship you developed or your track record) that are important for you to address to stay relevant in your market, creative and strategic – all those things so that you as a business owner in order to stay really engaged. The exact same kind of things that separate a so-so entrepreneur with a really successful one. There’s a lot more to it than just following the ops manual!