We have a great show today. We are meeting with multi-unit franchisees and husband and wife team Mike and Shannon Kemp. Mike and Shannon speak about what it takes to be multi-unit franchisees, how/when they knew they were ready to expand beyond one brand/unit and their entrepreneurial advice on growing and investing in a franchise system for more than 20 years. Here's quick background on them:
In 1994, Mike was working part-time as an employee for Play It Again Sports the store buys and sells quality, gently-used sports equipment and gear (the franchise currently has more than 300 franchised stores in the U.S. and Canada). After Mike was brought on as regional general manager for the owner and helped him open six additional Play It Again Sports across North Carolina, he decided to go into business for himself. In 2003, Mike opened his own Play It Again Sports in Winston-Salem, and later went on to open up a second location in Greensboro.
That's when Shannon Kemp's wheels started turning. She saw her husband's success and saw the other sister brand stores, Plato's Closet and Once Upon A Child, expanding in the community as well. Plato's Closet is the same frugal recycling concept as Play It Again Sports but centers around clothing, shoes and accessories and is catered toward teens while Once Upon A Child caters to the kid demographic. Shannon wanted to bring something for women in the community and decided to bring the missing sister brand Style Encore to Winston-Salem in 2014. Most recently, she will be celebrating the grand opening of a second Style Encore in Greensboro.
In part 2, we meet with a legend in franchising, Lawrence Doc Cohen. Doc Cohen discusses why he choose franchising as opposed to starting his own concept.