1851: What was it that drew you into franchising?
Kristen Pike, Director of Franchise Sales and Development for Serendipity Labs: I was raised in a very business oriented family. The desire to grow and promote a brand was important in our household and those values have stayed with me throughout life. What drew me to franchising was being able to educate others who may be hesitant about owning a business. Franchising allows individuals to invest in themselves, while capitalizing on a brand that’s already invented and tested the wheel. Franchising gives the franchisee a piece of mind knowing that they are backed by industry leaders who have done all the trial and error, and who have integrated what they’ve learned to be successful in development, operations, marketing & technology. As a franchisor, we provide guidance with financial models and are quick to resolve issues as they come in or before they happen. I love that I get to work with entrepreneurs who want to be part of something bigger, and understand that partnering up with a solid franchise brand can be their ticket to major success.
1851: What advice would you give to other young up-and-comers?
Pike: Develop a strong relationship with all clients first. Whatever position you decide to take, you will more than likely be working with people. Building trust with whom you interact with is important in all aspects of life, and especially in business. People appreciate you looking out for them and not only for your company. I will always be truthful with a client, even if that means we end up not closing a deal. One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in franchising is that everything is about timing. The future is unknown, and clients are more inclined to go back and invest in brand where they had the strongest relationship with the people in the company.
1851: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Pike: You’re not going to win them all even if you have done everything right. Franchise Development is a roller coaster and I always blamed myself for losing a deal here or there. Sometimes every box is checked and you still fall short. Shake it off, go workout, eat a sandwich and move on to the next opportunity!
1851: What advice would you give to someone deciding to own a franchise?
Pike: Do your due diligence, and don’t sign on with a franchise company just because it’s the “hottest brand in the market.” You’re investing in the people more than anything, and you need a team who will invest in you. Find a franchise that treats it’s 1-location owner the same as their 20-location owner. Ask lots of questions. Sign on with a brand who will constantly educate and push you to reach personal and financial success.
1851: What are some things you like to do in your spare time?
Pike: I am a singer/songwriter by trade and I’m lucky that I live in Music City where I can get in a jam session occasionally. Aside from music, I love spending time with my husband, Jonathan (we’re newlyweds), and our adorable lab/beagle mix, Delilah. We love to travel and are huge foodies, but I can’t help but admit that I also “work” in my spare time as well. It’s not hard to do when I get to be part of a brand that I truly believe in.