As any parent can tell you, kids are a lot of work. And when there’s only one parent around to shoulder the responsibility, things get especially difficult. Can a single mom (or dad) really start and/or run a business when the children require so much time and attention?
Meet Nusha Pelicano, an entrepreneur and single mother of six. (That’s right, six.) Oh, and if that wasn’t impressive enough… she also runs marathons.
It was during a trip to run one of these marathons that Pelicano came across the company for her. She’d been looking for a franchise opportunity to support her family, and chance led her into an Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt. That was in 2010, and she opened her first franchise that October. Now she owns six locations. (What is it with her and the number six? Must be her lucky number.)
She grew up in Mexico City, so owning a business in the United States came with special challenges. English is not her first language. She wasn’t surrounded by family and friends that could support her. And she didn’t know the ins and outs of business in this new environment. But she remembered what her grandfather taught her—take risks to get rewards—and she followed that advice.
Despite the challenges that stood before her, she was confident that she could do it. She took a risk, but she did it intelligently. By opening a franchise, she was jumping into a business that already had procedures in place, as well as a support system for franchisees.
Her grandfather had also advised her to surround herself with people that had expertise in a variety of areas. She did exactly that. Rather than attempt to do everything on her own, she got a lawyer to help her set things up. She got an accountant to handle the books. And she spent time with other folks successful in business.
Did this mean everything would be easy?
No. Of course not. Even though Orange Leaf was an existing business with an existing brand and a pre-packaged way of doing things, it was a relatively new endeavor. Pelicano went through serious growing pains with the company as they expanded and evolved.
Her advice to those looking to open a franchise? Do your homework on potential companies and choose wisely. Having a strong brand with a product you believe in is vital, as is establishing strong communication with your franchisor. Work hard, ask questions, and make friends in smart places.