Happy Father's Day to These FranDads from Goddard School and TCBY!

Spotlight on People
David McMurtry Goddard school

Happy Father's Day to David McMurtry, Goddard School franchisee in Denver, Colorado! We asked David what it's like being a dad AND a franchise business owner. Here's what he had to say:

How has being a dad made you a better business owner?

Being a father allows me to be a true customer as two of our three children attend our Goddard School. Every day, I get to see my customer’s perspectives, which is invaluable as the business owner. As a plus, I get to be friends with my customers because they see me going through the parenting journey with them. My wife and I can have a good chuckle when we receive an Incident Report for our own child at school from a bite, or a bump, and especially when his teacher shares a hilarious story with us at the end of a long day.

How has being a franchisee has made you a better dad?

Being a Goddard franchisee has made me a better dad in many aspects. Thanks to the franchise support we receive from Goddard we were able to grow our business exponentially faster than expected. Had we not joined a franchise system it would have taken us an extra five years to get to the same place we got to in the first year. This is relevant because I was able to create financial security for our family more quickly and I had a better work life balance to spend more time with my children. A dream of mine is having one of my sons take over the franchise, but no pressure!

How has running a business during a pandemic has helped you teach your kid(s) about giving back and philanthropy?

Although the pandemic has been an incredibly difficult time for most small business owners, we’ve learned a tremendous amount regarding decision making and strengthening relationships with our customers. It has been a time of reflection for us, to appreciate what we have, and do more for those that need help. With recent events highlighting again the need to address racial injustice, we also feel a strong responsibility to make this world better for the next generation. Teaching children about philanthropy, how to speak up and help others, and giving back to your world starts at an early age. It is rewarding and meaningful work.

What is advice you’ve learned from your dad that has helped you become a better business owner?

It seems there are two primary deterrents for most people to start a business: funds and risk. The rewards can be life changing, but the stakes are high.  My dad instilled in me confidence and a tolerance for risk. From a young age, my dad made me believe I could do anything, and that with hard work I could achieve great things.

What is something that you’ve learned from being a business owner that you want to teach/share with your children?

When my kids are older and have a bit more perspective, I hope they look back at me being a business owner and see the importance of hard work and having a purpose. While running a business is often very challenging, I know that deep down running this school gives me a reason to get up each day, to connect with our amazing staff, to contribute to families and to have fulfill my purpose. I hope that my kids observe this and that they see how work can fill your cup each day and that it is not something I have to do. My desire for my boys is for them to love their job the way I love this one.

Advice you have for other dads who are thinking about becoming franchisees?

Becoming a part of a successful franchise is life changing.  If you are thinking about starting your own franchise I would advise you to choose a business you love, with a product you believe in. Take pride in your work and model hard work, joy, and kindness for your children.

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mike murtaugh tcby

Happy Father's Day to Mike Murtaugh, TCBY franchisee in Peachtree, Georgia! We asked Mike what it's like being a dad AND a franchise business owner. Here's what he had to say:

How has being a dad made you a better business owner?

Our key customer base at TCBY is families with children.  Being a dad provides a first-hand understanding and insight of the family dynamic and needs and mindset of the customer, which makes it easier to properly configure our store and guest service experience to align with expectations of the entire family unit.  Many of the lessons learned raising my three sons crosses over on how we implement our staff training, day-to-day mentoring and making time to understand their career goals after. Like any dad, we want the best for our kids, so it’s no different for our young adult team members.

 

How has being a franchisee has made you a better dad?

Being a hands-on and present franchise owner, allows me to engage with many young adult staff members, along with the opportunity to share my experiences as a restaurant operator with middle and high school students. Making time for others has helped make me a better communicator which has created a deeper connection to my grown sons. Also, I’m always happy to support our sons when they approach me for “incentive” TCBY treats or gift cards to share with the players they coach or employees they work with.  As a dad, it’s nice when they think of you in this way.

 

How has running a business during a pandemic helped you teach your kid(s) about giving back and philanthropy?

Our three sons are grown, but they’ve seen how we’ve utilized our TCBY store as a means to support many causes and organizations in our Peachtree City, Georgia community since opening in 2010. Recently, we expanded our commitment and deepened our local partnerships to share the fun and flavors of TCBY with our local hospital, nursing home, first responders, food banks and church ministries.  Through the use of our nostalgic 1950 TCBY Catering Truck, we’re able to literally deliver hands-on, hearts-in gifts in the form of a frozen treat that provides a smile and levity at a much needed time.

 

What is advice you’ve learned from your dad that has helped you become a better business owner?

I worked for my dad, a retail store manager in sporting goods, hardware and automotive in the 1970s, from ages 11-18. Looking back, he had an amazing marketing mind and was a great people person, not only with customers but his staff. He was an innovator and the youngest department manager at Montgomery Ward’s history. Somehow, I absorbed these skills being around my dad, while learning the value of working hard and the benefits realized. The biggest thing my dad instilled in me was, You’re Given Something Called Integrity, No One Can Take It From You, So NEVER, Ever Give It Away”.

 

What are two things that you’ve learned from being a business owner that you want to teach/share with your children?

The first lesson came before we opened.  It was made clear that our TCBY franchise adventure was for my wife and I – not any of our sons. It was important for me to allow our sons to discover and follow their own passions that would become their adventure. 

The second lesson is we need more entrepreneur-minded and next generation business owners or operators that allow them to fully utilize their passions and skills to benefit their community.  Each of our sons are applying their passions and are serving others in their own way and enjoying it.

 

Advice you have for other dads who are thinking about becoming franchisees?

No matter what business concept you’re considering, you must embrace fully IT’S YOUR BUSINESS!  Read the book “The E Myth”, by Michael E. Gerber.  In many ways, it’s like raising another child, constant attention, nurturing and love are required to ensure healthy growth. Before you commit to a franchise and feel that your business plan financials are solid – take a step to half the projected sales and double your expenses to see if you still have game.  Make certain your family foundation is strong because early on you will be pulled away to focus on getting your business launched and on a path of success — always stay connected as the ‘dad’ of your family. 

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Happy Father's Day to Jordan Stone, Goddard School franchisee in Frisco, Texas! We asked Jordan what it's like being a dad AND a franchise business owner. Here's what he had to say:

How has being a dad made you a better business owner? 

As the owner of a preschool, I am able to empathize with parents when they are concerned about their child’s development. I am able to speak to the dads in the school as a father, who has probably experienced their concern at some point with one of my three children, and that really helps our relationship.

 

How has being a franchisee has made you a better dad? 

As a Goddard owner, I’ve really had to learn how to speak to children by getting on their level and have learned a ton about different types of behaviors in classrooms which has helped me communicate better with my own children.

 

How has running a business during a pandemic has helped you teach your kid(s) about giving back and philanthropy? 

While this isn’t about “giving back” or “philanthropy,” we were very committed to paying our employees throughout the pandemic, regardless of programs like PPP. It was difficult and we lost a lot of money doing it but at the end of the day, people are the most important part of our business. It’s important to keep the big picture and a long-term outlook in mind. You will be remembered for how you responded when the proverbial chips were down and I want to be remembered as someone who put his team first.

 

What is advice you’ve learned from your dad that has helped you become a better business owner? 

My dad always taught me that I should treat everyone the same, regardless of their appearance or your perception of who they might be.

 

What is something you’ve learned from being a business owner that you want to teach/share with your children? 

The old adage that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” is 100% true. It’s important to create an environment where people actually want to come to their job every day because they understand that you’ve got their best interests at heart. You do that by being willing to lose customers over the way they treat your team. In the end, customers come and go (so do employees), but a lot more customers will go if your team sees that you put revenue ahead of their well-being.

 

Advice you have for other dads who are thinking about becoming franchisees? 

I’m in a unique position in that my children come to work with me, and my business also happens to be caring for children. My advice to any dad thinking about becoming a franchisee is to be the boss you would want your children to have. Don’t think of your employees as resources. Rather, think of them as another dad’s child and it will change the way you lead them.