Shapes Franchising's Director of Franchise Development offers advice for entrepreneurs looking to buy a franchise.
1851: What was it that drew you into franchising?
Erica Poynter, Director of Franchise Development for Shapes Franchising, LLC: I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I've always wanted to own my own business. Franchising is such a great way for people to become entrepreneurs and reach their dreams of becoming successful business owners while mitigating the risks involved. I love the fact that I get to help so many people reach those dreams. If and when I do become a business owner, it will most definitely be as a franchisee.
1851: How did you get in the role you’re in now?
Poynter: I met Shapes' president and founder, Debbie Harris, at an industry conference, and we clicked right away. The more I learned about Shapes, the more interested I became in the business, and I could tell it was a brand I'd love to help grow. I am very active, and I wished there was a Shapes fitness club in Atlanta where I live! My favorite part about Shapes is the sense of community that it embodies.
1851: What advice would you give to someone deciding to own a franchise?
Poynter: Make sure to do your due diligence. Be clear about your expectations and make sure you're willing to follow the concept's systems and processes that are already in place. If there is an area you're struggling in, do not hesitate to reach out to the support team for assistance!
1851: Who is one of your role models or influencers, and why?
Poynter: Hopefully I can pick two: my parents. They’ve run several businesses for 30 years in the stone industry. They have endured many ups and downs over the years and had an especially hard time during the Great Recession a few years ago. It was hard to watch them struggle, and they were forced to make some super tough decisions. However, they made it through and are doing much better now than in the past several years. Failing was never an option, so I admire their perseverance through those tough times.
1851: What are some things you like to do in your spare time?
Poynter: I love music- so anytime I can go to a concert, I do! I am a big Atlanta sports fan, so I always enjoy attending Hawks, Falcons and Atlanta United games. I love to travel and especially enjoy trying new food and restaurants when I do. Atlanta also has a ton of great restaurants, so I am always encouraging my friends to try the new places around town with me.