Meg Schmitz, 56, is a senior franchise consultant for FranChoice, where she has worked for 16 years. Before working at FranChoice, she owned five Great Clips throughout the northwest suburbs for 11 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in counseling from Northwestern University. Schmitz jokes that she received a master of business administration degree after owning the Great Clips locations. She is married to Peter Layton, and they have three children. Schmitz lives in Glenview and grew up in Wilmette.
Q: What inspired you to become a business owner?
A: I didn’t really have the desire to get into it, but it didn’t take very long for me to find my attitude, find my voice, and really take over the business and work with my employees. That’s the counseling side of me. I like to know what makes people tick and makes them do better. I enjoyed engaging with my employees.
Q: What do you enjoy about working at FranChoice?
A: Everyday is different. I work with people who have an aspiration to own a business. Sometimes it’s the first time. They don’t want to work for the man, they want to be the man. Other people have done this before either as an entrepreneur or as a franchise owner. What I enjoy about it is everyone has a different journey and, like counseling, I get to go on that journey with them and help them make a decision that is the right decision for them. These people have a desire to own a business that is already fleshed out. There’s already a playbook. They already understand the marketing and who the customer is. They don’t want to recreate the wheel. They want something that they can execute now and start making money sooner.
Q: What advice would you give someone who would like to get into business?
A: People don’t realize that consultants like me are out there. Work with me. I’ve got 27 years of experience in business ownership. I’ve helped entrepreneurs launch, and I’ve helped entrepreneurs turn their business into a franchise. Leverage my knowledge base and I’ll help you find the thing that suites you best.
Q: Why should more women purse careers in business?
A: Women do well in franchising because we’re used to spinning a lot of plates and prioritizing things. Give us a recipe, we can execute it. Give us an operations manual, we can execute it. Women do well in franchising all over the world, it’s a documented fact.
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