Women franchisees spotlight

7 female franchisees on what drives them in business

Sarah Stowe

Shannon Menzies (pictured above) is one of CouriersPlease’s longest-serving team member. She joined as a relief driver nearly two decades ago, before signing up as a franchise partner 13 years ago.

“I’ve been in the transport and logistics industry for my entire career, as I love driving, physically active work and the outdoors. I also love connecting with people in the community I service, and building strong relationships,” she says.

My goal is to continue doing this until I retire

Adelaide-based Carolyn Van DeLeur also spent time as a relief driver before purchasing her first territory as a CouriersPlease franchise partner in 2021.

“I love giving anything a go, and I give 100 per cent to everything I set my mind to,” she says.

“Before CouriersPlease, I worked in hospitality for 10 years, ran a deli for seven, owned a caravan park, and ran a tennis centre. I absolutely love my job as a franchise partner. My ultimate goal is to continue doing this until I retire.”

Since starting her business, Carolyn has seen an exponential growth in parcel volumes and now delivers to 140-190 customers a day across several Adelaide suburbs. 

The courier sector is traditionally a male-dominated industry. So too is the world of finance.

This role is about helping people

ANZ Mobile Lending franchisee Elise Williams believes there is still a perception that financial roles are male roles.

“It’s quite old-fashioned thinking that both financial matters and indeed sales of financial products are not aligned with feminine skills and values,” she says.

“We need to get more people talking about it… and repositioning the role from being purely a sales role,” she says. “It’s about helping people. If you’re good with people and are passionate about helping people reach their goals then this might be the path for you.”

For Express Employment Professionals franchisee Jelyn Davis helping people is a key driver to her business.

“I love working for myself, and helping people grow and achieve their ambitions,” she says. “I’m building the business up through the community.”

Building trusting and long-lasting relationships

The brand is a global business, and in the US, fellow Express Employment Professionals franchisee Alyssa Chumbley agrees.

“To be successful in this industry you must have compassion and a drive to want to see people excel even if they can’t see it themselves. Having a deep desire to want to build trusting and long-lasting relationships is vital because this certainly is not a “transactional” business.”

Alyssa is a fourth generation business woman. “Time, money, leadership, community impact, and purpose are all reasons to be a business owner,” she says.

As a leader Alyssa says she needs to offer personal and professional growth so her team can continue to enhance and build the business.

And as the economy flows and changes, so does the business.

Financial uncertainty is part of business ownership

“If you don’t enjoy economics and prefer consistency or little change, this business is not for you. You must enjoy the chase of constant change and the “never dull” moments.

“However, I do believe this is what makes Express so successful – because the business is able to ride economic turns as long as you change with it.”

ANZ Mobile Lending Franchisee of the Year 2022, Sallie Williams, agrees women in business need to be prepared for a rollercoaster ride.

“You’ve got to be in a good financial position to take the risk of starting your own business and investing in a franchise. Part of owning your own business is being prepared that business will fluctuate and that can create uncertainty for many women.

“It’s understandable many might ask, ‘How do I prepare? How do I budget? How do I sustain this?’”

For The Cheesecake Shop franchisee Sajida Perveen, the impact she can have on people around her is a driving force.

“Working at The Cheesecake Shop is like working with the community,” Sajida says.

“Having a business, you can do more good in the community. Now I’m not just an employee, I’m an employer as well,” she says.

It’s important for Sajida to be an exemplary, nurturing employer to her six staff.

“That’s how you grow society. I’m not changing the whole world, but six people’s lives,” she says.