Franchising World

By Angela Paules, CFE, Buzz Franchise Brands


Franchising has long been a popular way for entrepreneurs to own and operate their own businesses.

However, according to Franchise Business Review, only 32 percent of franchises are owned by women. And yet, in my 10+ years of franchising I have met so many incredible, successful women that it made me question why this number is so low. Is it because we’re simply not hearing from them enough? With that in mind I sat down with a few leading women who represent both franchisor and franchisee perspectives on why franchising is a great opportunity for women.


NORA FARHAT - Multi-Brand Franchisee

Nora left a successful corporate career to build her franchise empire, operating five brands over the past eight years. #powerhouse


MICHELLE BURNETT - Home Clean Heroes Franchisee

Michelle found franchising after 31 years as a Spanish teacher in the public school system. She is not the type to sit still in “retirement,” so franchising became her second career.


TIFFINY CONSOLI - Multi-Brand Franchisee

Tiffiny trusted her gut when she became the first franchisee for Pool Scouts. Whoever said women are risk-averse has not met her! She has since added a second brand to her portfolio.


ASHLEY GUNDLACH - President, British Swim School

Ashley entered franchising as a marketing all-star and is now leading a top swim school franchise system.


Angela: The more people I meet in franchising, the more times I hear people say they “fell into” the industry. It’s not something we’ve educated people well on in school. Why do you think franchising is a career opportunity more people should consider?

Nora: After many years in the corporate world, I knew that I wanted to be in business for myself. With franchising I was able to take the leap, but still limit my risk by looking at concepts that already had brand recognition and proven models. 

Tiffiny: It is great to go into a business that is proven and already has all the tools and resources to be successful — this saves time and money and allows you to grow your business much faster than having to do everything on your own.

Angela: What about for women in particular — we see such discrepancies in the number of women franchise owners vs men?

Nora: The great thing about franchising is that you can find a brand that works for your lifestyle; for instance, if you are the primary caregiver for your family, you could look for a business that allows you to manage your time around your schedule.

Angela: Michelle, what about your background in teaching made franchising a good choice?

Michelle: My opportunity to be around people and try to motivate them, listen to them, guide them, and work with them, granted me the opportunity to hone my people skills. This skill has carried into my Home Clean Heroes franchise business, as I’m interacting with new and current customers, as well as guiding and training my employees to do their best on a daily basis.

Angela: Tiffiny, with Pool Scouts, you operate in a traditionally male-dominated field. What do you think has contributed to your success as a female in the industry?

Tiffiny: I think my ability to build relationships with our distributors, other pool companies, our employees and customers has been key to overcoming any obstacles. I worked very hard early on to develop my skills and knowledge of the pool business and continue to do that every day. Because of that, I’ve been able to earn respect.

Angela: We often wear multiple hats as women and feel the pressure to manage it all flawlessly. How do you set yourself up for success when it comes to succeeding in your career and personal priorities?

Ashley: I’ve created processes for managing my life (personally and professionally), but there’s no one-sizefits-all approach. My two most impactful processes include time blocking for major priorities and a weekly sit down with my husband (with a glass of wine, of course) to walk through our family’s schedules and map out our plan.

Nora: With my family, I don’t focus on balance; my personal life and work life interlock. I work from home, and I bring my kids to work. I never see myself as having to go to work or not being able to pick up my kids from an activity as negative, I see it as showing my kids what hard work looks like. I want my kids to be strong, independent, confident adults, and part of that journey is to show them what that looks like.

Angela: Thank you all for sharing your insights. Any last words of advice for finding success in franchising?

Ashley: I’d give the same advice that I’d give to anyone looking to grow into a new role or industry — stay curious and make your voice heard. Reach out to other women in the industry and let them know your goals and ask for advice or what they learned in their career path. It’s amazing how welcoming this community is!

Michelle: First of all, do lots of research on the few franchises you’ve narrowed it down to. Also, make sure to join your local chamber of commerce, attend the meetings and contact other female business owners. Try to partner with a few of those women in supporting and handing out business cards/flyers for each other’s businesses.    

Tiffiny: Bring your own talents and strengths from other areas of your life and apply those to the model the franchisor has created. Be open, committed and determined.


Angela Paules, CFE, is the chief marketing officer at Buzz Franchise Brands, a multi-brand franchising company home to Pool Scouts, Home Clean Heroes, British Swim School and Grand Illuminations. Angela has 20 years of marketing experience.