Who Am I & How Did I Get Here?
Well, let me tell you about one of the worst days of my life...
I had a job. A regular job working at a regular company. The name of the company doesn't matter. What matters is they fired me. That's right. Fired! They tried to soften the blow by calling it a layoff. But the fact is: I was jobless. No income.
Feeling betrayed, angry, and a bit foolish, I realized I'd put my ability to earn a living, my ability to provide for my family in someone else's hands. . . someone whose priorities weren't the same as mine.
I decided then & there, never again would I suffer the uncertainty of worrying if my job was secure. Never again would I put up with the politics of working in someone else's business. I did not want to be a mere cog in someone else's wheel.
What other options were there for me? I started looking into being a franchisee. That was in the early 90s. I haven't regretted the decision once. Wanna know why? Now
no. one. can. fire. me. EVER.
During my 11 years as an Area Developer with the Mail Boxes Etc. franchise (now The UPS Store), I owned and managed my own location, while laying the foundations for 23 more stores in South Central Pennsylvania.
Consistently ranking in the top 200 units nationwide, I earned the Bronze Eagle award (superior operations) for 9 consecutive years. I helped prospective owners with the franchise investigation and validation process. I provided ongoing field support and was involved in networking and training for over 300 stores in the Mid Atlantic Region.
Pretty good, huh?
I always knew I could sell. But I had really found my niche. Not only did I develop a great franchised business, but I was also helping other franchisees succeed.
In 1999 I sold my area license and store, and became partners in a maid service franchise. Responsible for sales, advertising and public relations, I set record revenues in the early stages of the business - this led to another venture as business development director for an East Coast dry cleaning delivery service franchisor.
Again, I rolled up my sleeves and helped franchise owners benefit from my success strategy. My responsibilities included mentoring 35 franchise owners about sales and marketing, and securing business contracts. I also assisted in administrative aspects of their business start-up, and conducted networking seminars at national conventions to help franchise owners increase sales and productivity.
My passion is helping others find the career freedom I enjoy. At another franchising opportunity in 2004, I took on the consultant role, which was a natural way to share my franchise experiences. With my hands-on approach to franchise business ownership, I continued to guide my clients through the process of matching their goals and desires with a franchise opportunity.
As satisfying as that was, I came to realize that after 7 years of working in a home office, I missed the daily community interactions. I wanted to get involved with a business model that put me in direct contact with other business owners in the community. So I started my own search, enlisting the aid of an independent consultant to find such an opportunity --- because "a doctor who treats himself, has a fool for a client". I sifted through many opportunities until Sparkle Wash landed in the mix. Eight years later, this venture has resulted in me receiving six different awards, topped off by being "Franchisee of the Year" in 2017.
This was my journey to get here!
Like many serial entrepreneurs, I feel like it's now time to move on...
So "What's Next"??
I'm not completely sure... I know I want to continue to foster some of the advice that I have imparted to others as a SCORE Mentor. Perhaps I can help an eager, young entrepreneur who typically wears multiple hats, learn how to manage them. Perhaps my love of sales processes, public speaking engagements, & 35 years in the York business community may be of value...
2019 was a year of change for me
I served as interim Chapter Chairman of Susquehanna SCORE;
my term has now ended & I remain active as a Certified SCORE Mentor
I spent some time fostering my love of dogs, while helping Invisible Fence organize some of their operations
I have now brought my business operations experience to a new company, and have also begun business consulting for some other local companies
Change can be a good thing, especially if it helps you grow… even at this stage in my life, things change & I’m still growing!
“I have used Lou as a mentor for several years now, he has extensive business experience and shares that willingly with me regularly. The first thing he did when I met him was introduce me to BNI. That has become my greatest networking group. He is extremely energetic and regularly helps me - usually he plays devil’s advocate to keep me on the straight and narrow. I enjoy bouncing things off of Lou because he tells me straight up the truth which is what I need in order to succeed in business. I don't always follow his advice, and pay the price sometimes. Lou has been an invaluable help to me and continues to tell me not what I like to hear but what I need to hear. Thank you Lou you are awesome!”
— Name, Title
I wanted to share this note; it took Erin nearly 2 years to get to her dream… Dreams are reachable! (Susquehanna SCORE)
“Dear Lou - Just a note to say thank you for the time you spent with me as I began my franchise journey. I enjoyed working with you & appreciated all the help you provided… My store on 241 Walker Post Road in Chambersburg… If you are ever in the area, I would love to show you around. ~ Erin L. Cohan”
"Lou - Congrats on the new position! They are getting a great asset. I am very grateful I had the chance to meet and collaborate with you at MJS. Your professionalism was unequaled. Best wishes. ~ Nate Resh"
Thanks Nate (ROCK Commercial Real Estate, LLC) ...I will be sure to refer to you....it was a pleasure working with another true professional & all around good guy"