Franchise Spotlight: Peggy Barron
Tell us a little about your background
I began my professional life as a metallurgical engineer. During my 30-year career, I worked in several different types of organizations, including a start-up company, an “old school, rust belt” company, a non-profit that managed government contracts, and two Fortune 500 companies. These organizations varied in industries served, including armor, automotive, high-temp and wear-resistant materials, steel refractories, advanced materials for military applications, tires, and cleaning & sanitizing chemicals (B2B). I held positions in product/process development, R&D, project/program management at local, regional, and global level, in manufacturing – production, quality, engineering & maintenance, hourly workforce training, and high-performance work teams. A lot of very different experience, and early on, I found that I wasn’t afraid to take on new challenges even when I had no experience in the new area.
What makes you unique?
Outside of work, I’m active in Rotary and I enjoy equestrian sports, especially foxhunting and polo. If I’m not in the office, I can be found hanging out with my horse, Ceili! I also enjoy spending quality time with family playing games and fishing. I will be a grandma for the first time this coming winter!
Why did you decide to open an Office Evolution franchise?
In 2016, I experienced an unexpected job loss. After several months of unsuccessful job search, I started to consider investing in a franchise, and I decided to invest in Office Evolution. When I met the OE team and learned about the corporate values, especially the concept of “Ohana”, I knew that I found the right partner.
Tell us a bit about your Business Center Manager
I didn’t have to search far for my first Business Center Manager. When I learned about how important the BCM role is and the skills that a BCM should have, one person immediately came to mind. She has sales and marketing experience, is great at customer service, and has owned her own business. Best of all, she’s my sister!
Tell us a bit about your members
Most of our members are entrepreneurs but our business model works for just about anyone! We have doctors, lawyers, accountants, contractors, life and business coaches of multiple types, logistics companies, financial planners, IT and GIS businesses and staffing companies just to name a few. Unless the companies’ situations dictate the need for temporary space, our members have signed up for the maximum length memberships. The ones who have left us to head off to their permanent space always hate to go! Our community of members is very supportive of each other, so our culture has a great vibe.
What makes your location unique?
The Piedmont Triad (Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem) is a great place for entrepreneurs. I’ve met so many people starting their businesses, going out on their own from a large firm, or growing a business on the side while they continue their “day job”. There is a lot of opportunities to meet and give/get support from other business owners. Regarding our specific location, the networking that I was doing during my job search naturally morphed into networking for my business. I was talking about Office Evolution months before we were open. Without exception, when I told people where we would be, they said, “Wow, that’s a great location!”
How were you able to see success?
We have made steady progress. Each time we add a new member or hear one of our members telling someone how much they like being in our space, I feel successful.
Advice for future Office Evolution franchise owners?
Take advantage of all that Office Evolution offers. The guidance and support offered are great. As a first-time business owner, I did not want to figure out everything on my own. I felt a lot more confident having the OE team supporting me every step of the way.
Anything you’d like to add?
In my last few positions in the corporate world, what I enjoyed was supporting people in their professional development and then helping them move up into a new job and get ahead. Now, I get that sense of achievement when I help members connect with the people and resources that can help them get ahead in their businesses.
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