When I first started writing this blog, one of my primary goals was to create a forum where I could share my experiences as an entrepreneur with others. Often, when I talk to our new franchisees or other small business owners, I find that they are facing many of the same challenges that I have faced in building my businesses.
A great advantage of operating a franchise system, however, is that I also have access to a wealth of business knowledge among the hundreds of Edible Arrangements franchisees who are also willing to share their experiences.
For example, one of our most successful franchisees is Reva Enzminger. Reva is a former “Franchisee of the Year” who operates five Edible Arrangements stores Texas, with plans to add more. Like many successful business men and women, she often makes it look easy.
She will tell you, however, that it has been far from easy, especially during the early years.
Prior to purchasing two Edible Arrangements stores about eight years ago, Reva had spent much of her professional career at computer giant Dell. At Dell, she will tell you, “I did just about everything there was to do, from sales to training to supply chain to call center management.”
But Reva always knew she wanted to be her own boss and when the opportunity to purchase a couple of Edible Arrangements stores presented itself, she took the entrepreneurial leap.
Among her very first challenges — as is often the case — was financing. She remembers going from bank to bank to bank seeking a business loan and repeatedly being told, “no.”
“I quickly found out that getting a business loan is much different than getting a car loan,” she says. “You can get a car loan off your credit, but it takes more than good credit to get a business loan.”
What it takes, she will quickly tell you, is perseverance.
“Just because a bank said ‘no’ was not going to stop me,” she remembers. “I probably ended up going to a dozen banks. Most turned down my request, but I eventually found one that said ‘yes.’ I didn’t stop there, though. I kept going and eventually found several willing to give me a loan and that way I was able to negotiate a good deal. It was an early lesson that the key to building a successful business is to not take rejection personally. You have to keep driving forward.”
The results speak for themselves. Reva has much more advice for entrepreneurs who are trying to build a successful business. I will share more of her ideas in upcoming blogs.