When we reached out to franchise consultant Jenny Childs to interview her for Raintree’s February Consultant of the Month award, her initial reaction was “What did I do to receive such an honor?” This response is telling of her humble nature in everything that she does. We replied simply, “Just being you! We appreciate everything you do, and it does not go unnoticed.”
Jenny is one of the consultants who consistently reach out to us about our brands, asking thoughtful, intelligent questions to ensure that she is sourcing the perfect match for her clients before referring them to begin the discovery process. Her genuine interest in the success of her clients’ future is apparent in her due diligence to gain a deep understanding of their needs and then thoroughly studying the brands to ensure that she is making the best possible connection.
In speaking more with Jenny, we were excited to learn about her background before franchise consulting, what she looks for in the brands she presents, and what she has learned throughout her years in the industry.
Tell us a little about your background before you became a Franchise Consultant.
I have worked in franchising in various aspects over the years. After college, I traveled for a few years, and when I returned to Texas to look for a job, I wanted to be sure it was something that would allow me the freedom and flexibility to travel. I had a job interview at Snelling Staffing Agency, one of the first staffing franchises. In speaking to the recruiter, I told her, “I want your job!” She then let me know that there was a franchise development position available. I ended up getting offered that position and that is when I completely fell in love with the franchising industry.
After working a few years at Snelling, I was recruited to work for Express Employment Professionals, another staffing franchise, where I worked as a Director of Franchise Development for several years. While I loved that position, in 2008 I had to move to Las Vegas, NV to be with my mom for personal reasons. At that time, I went to work with FranFund when they were just starting up. FranFund was a great company to work with and I am proud of the work I did to help them grow that business, but the nature of the work didn’t allow me to really get to know the customers beyond financing their franchise. My passion lies in relationship building and long term partnerships.
Throughout the years of working in franchise support, development, and funding, I had the opportunity to meet and work with a number of franchise consultants. In 2014, I was asked to join The You Network and I could not be happier with my decision to join! I am now on the board as the Vice President and Senior Consultant.
What do you look for in the brands you present?
I generally look at two major categories:
I look at myself as a matchmaker, so I need to be sure that the brand attributes meet what my client is looking for and makes sense with their skill set. If my client has a strong sales and marketing background, I need to find a concept where those skills will be an asset. If my client is looking for a healthy work-life balance, I need to find a brand that will provide them the lifestyle freedom they are seeking. Culture fit is also something that cannot be overlooked. Even with everything else in alignment. If the company culture does not mesh with the personality of the Franchise Owner, neither party will be happy in the long run.
I want to be sure that my clients are in great hands when they are awarded a franchise, so Franchise Owner support is of the utmost importance. I become very close with my clients as we work together to determine the perfect opportunity for them, and I want to make sure that they are provided all the tools they need to be successful in whatever franchise they end up in.
Can you share one major piece of wisdom you have learned during your time as a Franchise Consultant?
I have learned so much! But one very important piece of wisdom is to be transparent. Not everyone has the wherewithal to be a Franchise Owner. Some people are just too young and do not have the life experience, others may not be financially ready. My clients truly appreciate that I am a straight shooter and I have even received referrals from some clients who did not purchase a franchise themselves. Do not force something that isn’t meant to be! If you are consistently honest with yourselves and your clients, the placements will happen naturally.
Thank you, Jenny, for your consistent hard work and dedication to helping others change their lives through franchise ownership! You are a shining example of what franchise consulting is all about, and we truly appreciate your partnership.