We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Conner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my own business out of necessity, lost a job and had family turmoil. Starting a business was really my last option when my back was against the wall and I felt like I could help family members who were also in tough spots. You hear stories and read books about people in situations like this and I never thought much about the experience until I was literally IN it. The reality is that someone like me would probably never have taken that leap into entrepreneurship. I liked working for someone else, having structure, guidelines and feeling like I was safe with a regular paycheck and 401k. When the rug was pulled out, it hit me that there wasn’t the security that I had thought was there with a W-2 job and I’ve been thankful I was pushed ever since. I wish I would have planned more, taken others advice and spent time with a mentor or two, but I think part of why it worked for me was I just had no other options. Kind of like a fight to the death feeling and every day was a battle to push forward, but it was fun at the same time!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Franchise Marketing Systems is a full service franchise development firm working with entrepreneurs to build, develop and design franchise models. The company started in 2009 with me working from my basement making calls and just working like my hair was on fire. Our firm works with primarily small to mid-sized businesses who are in virtually any industry and are looking for ways to scale their model. We provide franchise strategic planning, franchise market research, with third party franchise legal counsel create the FDD, Franchise Agreement and provide franchise state registration services. We have an operations and franchise management team who helps these brands create the necessary systems, processes and documentation needed to teach and train new franchisees and a marketing team that creates the presentation and tools needed to recruit new franchisees. What makes us unique in the franchise development market is that we do both the development and sales components of launching a new brand making us a true strategic partner in the franchise market.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a big fan of Atlanta and feel a lot of pride in the city and area, any time friends or family comes to see me here, I love showing them restaurants, areas like Buckhead, Midtown and other spots in the city. It’s a fun place because the city has all of the resources, opportunities and energy of a BIG City, but also has the feel of a small community. I live on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, GA, so part of the visit always has to include going out on the lake and showing them how incredible the outdoors can be around Atlanta.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife, without question took the majority of the sacrifice in starting Franchise Marketing Systems. She has been consistent, dedicated and always a rock for me to lean on and count on as I put in 100 weeks to get the company started. Alaina Conner, you’re amazing and I love you!