Becoming a franchise coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source (TES) is a unique and fulfilling franchise ownership opportunity. Today, we’ll be talking with successful TES Coach Lauren Cantor. She has an amazing background in advertising and marketing and has found her perfect niche with TES. She loves being her own boss and controlling her own success.
For more information on how you can get the help you need to open your own franchise location as a TES Franchise Coach, visit www.coachingisbooming.com.
Q: Lauren, can you tell us a little about your background and how it led to Entrepreneur’s Source?
A: I attended Tulane University in New Orleans and majored in Art History. I know it sounds silly, but I consider myself “a lost child of the ‘60s.” Women in 1972, which is when I graduated from college, became social workers, librarians, psychologists etc. I knew no one who went to business or law school. Women just didn’t go into business.
I moved to Boston and did a little bit of everything, before ultimately deciding to go for it and go to business school. I attended business school at Boston College and determined that marketing was where my passion lay. When I graduated from BC, I pursued marketing positions. I received an offer from a premiere Madison Avenue advertising agency, so I went into advertising in 1978 as an Assistant Account Executive. It was not the “Mad Men” era, but right on the heels of that era. Women in account management were very rare, but I stayed there for 17 years.
I next became a recruiter and started working for a branding company. I then moved to Charlotte, almost 15 years ago, and got a taste of what happens when you’re older in the advertising world. I was having trouble finding a job – I was too old, too overqualified, and too expensive. I did some consulting and eventually got a job at an agency and worked there until 2008. I was let go when the economic down-turn came into play
I did not go through the denial stage that I see some of my clients go through. I knew the odds were very low that I would be hired again, so I set out to reinvent myself. I was going to become a professional organizer. I would help people clean their closets and offices, and it would be a great start-up business. I built the website and got started on marketing, only to realize I didn’t know how to market myself as a small business owner
Then in 2010, I met a coach from The Entrepreneur’s Source through a mutual friend. My first exposure with TES was attending a Franchise Expo in Charlotte and the rest is history.
Can you tell us a little more about your coach and your journey with TES?
The coach who introduced me to TES is Fred Williams. At the Franchise Expo, Fred exposed me to numerous business options, and we discussed my transferable skills. It boiled down to my transferable skills are: I am a good listener, a good problem solver and a relationship builder. Those were the things in my background that could help me moving forward.
We looked at a number of businesses and went through validation and talked to franchisors. Then I had my “AHA” moment – “Fred, I want to do what you’re doing!” I loved the idea of helping people solve problems and learning about different businesses. Being a Franchise Coach fit my transferable skills perfectly.
So, what about your skill set makes you a good fit for TES?
I like to build relationships with people. I think I’m good at that, and the fact that I can build those relationships over the phone is a testament to that skill. Now, I did not come from a sales background – previously, corporate would hand me my clients as an account manager. The one thing I was missing in my skill set was how to get clients. Luckily, TES does a really good job training you on the process of how to obtain new clients. It took me a while to get out there and network, but I was able to do it through two avenues – formal TES training and the extraordinary support that coaches give to each other. We are hard-wired to help others, and it’s amazing the time and generosity coaches are willing to devote to fellow coaches. The corporate support is wonderful, but the support of fellow coaches is invaluable. It’s so important to tap into that coach network to really become a successful TES coach.
What are some of your other favorite things about TES?
The business fits me quite well. I see myself doing this business until I don’t want to work anymore. This is a lifestyle business for me in that I get to travel if I want to. We went to Spain last year, and I would answer emails in the morning when I woke up, then spend the day out touring. My business didn’t skip a beat, and that’s really important. My husband has a corporate job, and he’ll come home and tell me about everything he is dealing with, and it makes me so happy to be working for myself. I’m comfortable. The harder I work the more upside potential there is.
I’m pretty analytical, so I do regular check-ins and track my metrics pretty closely. I keep an eye on my client pipeline and see how many people I have lined up. If I see that my numbers are low, I’ll ramp up my marketing efforts, and recently I’ve bumped up my referral business. Referrals have been a great new avenue for me, rather than cold-calling and resume mining. I like that I can have a hand in controlling my success based on my own hard work.
What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far with TES?
I’m really proud of my referral network! I’m excited that my work has been so well received that even clients who have decided not to move forward with me for whatever reason, are still recommending me to their friends and family. That says a lot – that the experience of working with me was a positive one, and that I am worthy of a referral. That’s probably what makes me feel the best.
If I or anyone else were considering joining the TES family, what would you tell me?
It’s important to like helping people! Each person comes with all of their own unique personality, experience, skills, goals, needs, and circumstances – you’ll need to understand and grasp all of it. You may sometimes think it’s very likely that a client is going to place into a business, then they may suddenly get offered a full-time job. Things happen, and you have to be okay with that in this people-driven business. Just know, if you do a good job, that particular client might come back when they are ready…it’s happened to me multiple times. In TES, you are trained to always serve the needs and goals of your client first, and do the best job you can for them, but also remember that “life happens”, and that’s okay.
Also, you must understand your pipeline and see where clients are in the process, so you can improve upon that! Pay attention to your numbers and use that information to improve your results. It’s a very measurable business if you plot your targets and watch your numbers. Having a sales or business development background could help, but I’m proof that if you like people, have good communication skills, and are organized and hard-working, you can be a very successful TES coach.
How else did TES help you achieve success?
I worked with my TES Regional Developer. He spends quite a bit of time with new coaches. Whether it’s one-on-one coaching calls, group coaching calls, regional team calls, our TES Regional Developers do it all. He helped me out quite a bit and was very responsive to my questions. In the beginning he was even on calls with me with new clients so I could gain that experience. He helped integrate real life experience with corporate training. And of course, peer to peer coaching was so very helpful. TES has a multi-tiered approach to training, and I’m so thankful for it.
If you’re ready to take control of your future like Lauren Cantor and hundreds of other successful TES franchise coaches, please visit www.coachingisbooming.com.