Take a look at how an influential woman embraced the opportunities available to her to build a successful franchise.

To take the lead and embrace the challenges facing women in terms of being in the minority in the franchising world is by no means easy, which is why it is paramount to highlight and celebrate those women who have paved the way for others to do the same.

One such woman is Carol Drepaniotis, owner of the John Dore Flooring franchise, a retail company that installs high-end flooring for both domestic and corporate clients for the past 24 years. After opening her first store in 1990 she was approached by a potential franchisor about expanding the John Dore Flooring brand to the rest of South Africa. Today there are 10 John Dore branches countrywide, located in Gauteng, Western Cape, Free State, North West and Mpumalanga.

“Having a franchise is more customer-focused,” says Carol. “Managers are not as committed to client satisfaction as franchisees are, who are more hands-on and dedicated to client satisfaction. With franchising, there’s greater opportunity for personal and business growth, the standards and value are kept on par and you can keep better control of branding, quality, etc.”

Carol believes she has found success as a woman by being just that – a woman. She is of the opinion that women tend to be great organisers, can prioritise well and have an eye for detail. “Female business owners also tend to be more financially conservative and willing to start small on their way to growing big,” she continues. “This is the kind of business approach and philosophy that is perfect for opening, operating and growing a franchise.”

Despite her success, Carol adds that there have been obstacles and that women have to accept the fact that they will have to work harder to prove themselves, as is the case in any business. However, she concludes by emphasising that these challenges make one work smarter and force one to change thinking patterns in order to always be one step ahead.

Acknowledgement and thanks are given to www.smesouthafrica.co.za for the information contained in this article.