Leesha Cunningham and Leesa Franklin are more than business partners — they’re real-life partners who are working together to build the lifestyle they’ve always dreamed.
Crossing the line between personal and professional certainly has its challenges. But the two have proven that with perseverance and teamwork, the rewards are much greater. Below, Leesha tells us how they took control of their futures as owners of a WOW 1 DAY PAINTING franchise.
O2E: Tell me what it’s like to run a business with your partner.
LC: Running a business as a couple definitely isn’t simple. We’re both strong-willed, outgoing people, so we’re not afraid to speak our minds. It’s about acknowledging each other’s strengths and letting the other lead when it’s the right thing to do. We are a team both in work and in life — so we trust each other entirely.
We have common goals and our heads are clear about where we’re going and how we’ll get there. We agree on culture and customer service, and we paint a clear picture of how our team members should walk and talk. They need to represent what WOW 1 DAY PAINTING stands for every day. Sometimes it can be challenging dealing with different people and personalities, but we are so aligned on how we want our culture and company to work. We can work through all of these issues together.
O2E: Why did you want to join a franchise system?
LC: It was my first time owning a business, so I felt a franchise system was the best way to get support. Leesa had owned a franchise before and agreed we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel to be successful. She also has a military background, so she liked the idea of being a part of a team.
As part of a franchise system, you’re a member of a family. You never feel alone because you have a network to fall back on. Of course, the system only works if you work hard at it — but it’s comforting to know there are people and processes behind you.
O2E: How did you come across WOW 1 DAY PAINTING?
We were very intrigued and loved the concept of completing projects in one day. I reached out and we were invited to head office. Once we learned more about the opportunity, we knew we were in good hands. Brian has a great track record and reputation, so we trusted in the system to take us where we wanted to go.
O2E: Tell me what happened after you were awarded the franchise.
LC: We were part of the WOW 1 DAY PAINTING “Founder’s Club” (the first dozen franchise partners) — so even the company didn’t know exactly how it would go. For the first couple of years in operation, we had a few bumps to work out.
When we first started, we had no referral clients so building from the ground up was a bit scary. However, we never gave up. We followed the systems and we got busier and busier. I was in the business full time for the first three years, and then Leesa came in full time once it could support the two of us. Now, our business is strong and we are managing great year-over-year growth.
O2E: What is the best part of owning a franchise?
LC: We both love dealing with people, and with this job we get to meet new people every day. We’ve built strong foundations through our commitment to customer service. We do all our own estimates and we often get feedback about how genuinely we care about our customers and their homes. People also love that our business is owned and operated by two women.
Owning a franchise is hard work and it can definitely be stressful. But when you work for yourself it’s a different feeling: it’s freedom.