Making an Unlikely Leap to the American Dream

Employees who work for small businesses love their jobs for many reasons, but rarely do those employees get the opportunity to own the business. But with one business model it’s more possible than you think.

Jolene Calvert is a franchisee for FASTSIGNS, a fast-growing nationwide printing franchise.

"Growing up with the [FASTSIGNS] business, I understood the importance of not having to reinvent the wheel. Following the successful business model was in my best interest," said Ms. Calvert.

At a certain point, Ms. Calvert began visualizing herself as an owner.

Not many business models allow you the opportunity to start as an employee and go on to own their own business, but the franchise model does.

"I thought, Do I let [the franchise] get sold to someone else and continue to be an employee? Or do I take the risk to get the financing I need and make this my own?"

Ms. Calvert’s question is one that many franchise employees ask themselves. They have the unique vantage point of on-the-job training and exposure with the franchise model. For many employees, there is a certain comfort level that comes with knowing the history of the franchise and brand.

And for millennials, working for a franchise often provides a way to quickly go into business for themselves at a young age.

Forbes profiled the ways in which the Dutch Bros franchise is turning young baristas into wealthy entrepreneurs:

“Kristen Von Tersch, a 28-year-old college dropout with a pierced nose, owns five Dutch Bros. drive-through coffee franchises in the sleepy southern Oregon town of Klamath Falls. A year ago she was making $35,000 as a regional manager. Now her stores are on track to gross nearly $4 million, leaving her $230,000 in profit.”

Other individuals at the start of their careers have found similar successes due to the reliable franchise model and shared-risk.


According to Entrepreneur Magazine, Brooke Wilson was a customer service representative for Two Men and Truck before she and her husband decided to buy a franchise. “As young entrepreneurs, it made sense for us to buy into a proven franchise model who would help mitigate the business ownership risk and help us access financing options,” she told Entrepreneur.

As these employees-turned franchisees thrive, they hire and train employees from nearby neighborhoods for positions that range from entry-level to senior management. Franchising builds a network of opportunity and opens the door for others to join.

Find out more about FASTSIGNS.