Insight into the Life of a Year-One Franchisee
Donna Dziewik, owner of 101 Mobility® Milwaukee, opened Wisconsin’s first 101 Mobility® location in March, 2014. She came from a 15-year career as a Director of Sales (domestic and international) from the biotech arena. After seeing how her family cared for her 80-year-old mother, Donna discovered the benefits of aging in place. When Donna began searching for a new beginning to help others like her mother, the 101 Mobility® concept “clicked” with her deep-rooted philosophies of providing excellent customer service and doing the right thing. .
Read on about Donna’s decision to franchise [Donna’s opinions are her own]:
Did you always plan on franchising? No, but I am glad I made this choice. Looking back, all the support accelerated growth. Without it, most 101 Mobility® franchise business owners might have gone through all of their funds before even opening their doors.
What aspects of corporate support have been most instrumental to your business? Everyone at corporate has been instrumental to our growth. When you start a franchised business with 101 Mobility, you get a brand presence, buying power, and support in nearly every aspect of your business — from Mobilink® (proprietary business management software) to accounting, and even business development.
How has 101 Mobility Milwaukee been able to stand out against the competition? It starts with onboarding. 101 Mobility expects franchisees to operate with integrity. There is a brand image to uphold. We’ve hired employees who are family and friends; they all go the extra mile. We receive great customer reviews all the time.
Who are your primary customers? Most of our business is B2B as a result of partnering with complementary services and educating the community on available options. Retail customers come in at second and veterans makeup about 30% of our customers served.
What have been some challenges along the way? Even though there is a lot of support at corporate, the franchisee is the one who needs to make the connections and is ultimately responsible for quality control. With sales, getting started requires repetitive work. That work is paying off –most of our referrals are from word-of-mouth rather than from paid Google AdWords™ or Bing Ads™. We recently had one gentleman who bought two scooters for himself and his wife; he took a handful of brochures and went to various facilities in Madison and told them about us.
What have been some of your favorite moments as a 101 Mobility® franchise so far? There have been so many! Helping a military veteran is always a great feeling. I’d say whenever we go out of our way to help someone and they recognize it.
Advice for those considering buying a 101 Mobility® franchised business? The first year is tough but fulfilling. Get involved with local non-profits that champion causes for the elderly and people with physical disabilities. Learning your community will give you a head start.