A bouquet of candy. From Candy Bouquet!
I was just able to score the 1st interview with the International Franchise Associations's 2011 Entrepreneur of The Year Award winner, MargaretMcClain McEntire,of Candy Bouquet International, Inc.
Margaret and I embraced technology early this afternoon, (Margaret used her iPad, and I used MS Outlook) and put this together, just for you…
Here's some insight on how an award winner does business…
Me: What do you feel you did in the last year or so that put you on the IFA’s radar for this fantastic award?
Margaret: We are a Blue Ocean company and I think we have attracted attention because of the non traditional way we do things. I am also on the Board of Directors at the IFA. Our primary mission is to take care of our franchisees and that word spreads!
Me: Why would someone interested in becoming a franchise owner want to explore the Candy Bouquet franchise opportunity?
Margaret: Someone should be interested if this is appealing to them. I have a painting in my office that says " If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life." Also and importantly, we were just named BEST DEAL IN FRANCHISING" by Entrepreneur Magazine! We have no royalty, either.
Me: How many Candy Bouquet franchises are open?
Margaret: 557 franchisees in 37 countries.
Me: Is there anything that you feel the franchise industry as a whole can do better?
Margaret: The franchise industry should stress that franchisors should pay more attention to their franchisees. We are partners in this business. There are too many franchises that charge their franchises for everything and then tack on hefty royalties. Business has to be profitable and enjoyable and we all should work together and never forget that.
Me: What should folks that are thinking about franchise ownership know, that they just may not know yet?
Margaret: What someone should know that they may not know is WHAT they are getting into. I recently read another franchise companies franchise document and was shocked at all of the hidden fees. There were fees to run your store if you were not there, fees if you died, fees getting a huge cut of orders they originate for you, etc. If you are a franchisee and we send you an order or an order through our locator, we are proud that you keep 100 percent of that order!
Me: What types of “community” and/or charitable events is Candy Bouquet involved in?
Margaret:Candy Bouquet has been heavily involved with the Rain Forest Preservation group. We have bought non profit lumber mills to saw fallen logs, returning the money to buy and preserve over 8.5 million acres of land. We also have a college scholarship fund, putting 30 plus of our workers through college.
Me: What would you like to add?
Margaret: Our business is FUN. I am in many businesses and there is nothing more fun than being a Candy Bouquet Franchisee! We are here for our franchisees, but look at it as your business. You have the freedom to make what you want for your customer and not have to pay us a royalty, part of an order or hidden fees. Enjoy whatever you do in life!
Congratulations to the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year!
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