Pop Quiz, Monday with Christy Wilson Delk

Christy Wilson Delk

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Christy Wilson Delk

What is your job role?
I have two jobs! I’m a business professor at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and a franchise industry writer and speaker.

Tell us about your company?
I started CWD Enterprises several years ago after I sold my (very) large franchise for a (very!) nice profit. The mission is to guide, encourage and enable franchisees and independent business owners to be as successful as they want to be through talks, workshops, articles, and sales of my recently published book, Adventures in Franchise Ownership – 4 Pillars to Strengthen, Protect and Grow Your Business.

What do you love most about your job?
As a professor, I love seeing the students gain the understanding that being an effective (and successful) manager in today’s world takes being good at many different things – and seeing their desire to Be That Person. With the publication of AiFO, I am thrilled to hear comments from readers and audience members as they relate to the book – and how they will use the information to be a different kind of manager or business owner.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Everything! At this stage in my career, the motivation is totally intrinsic – although, of course, I like to get paid too!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
At Rollins, our department is truly diverse. Because I live and work in my hometown, spending time hearing points of view (and accents!) from around the globe humbles me to consider I am part of a team that wants to teach the managers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
When I owned my business, my favorite prank was to coordinate outfits for a week with one of the managers; I had 3, and then let the others think it was all just a coincidence! By Friday, it was impossible not to laugh and let the ‘cat out of the bag’ but for several days, the others would be scratching their heads wondering ‘how is it that they both are wearing black slacks and striped shirts today??’

What are some of the challenges of your job?
As a professor, the challenge is balancing the needs of the students with the workload of teaching. As a speaker and author, it’s finding the right way and the best time to focus on making genuine connections so that trust is established in order to involve me in their business.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
For business owners – don’t fear to raise your prices. I waited too long to do that when I opened and then when I did, I raised them too much. A small annual or bi-annual increase with ample and thorough notification should not deter your clients from doing business with you. I share this story in Adventures in Franchise Ownership. Another would be not to make decisions too quickly. Process before speaking and have a go-to catchphrase ready to use, such as ‘let me sleep on that, and I’ll let you know on Thursday’ so that you have proper time to analyze and get input from others who may be impacted.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
For someone starting off in the franchise industry, I recommend reading my book! It’s full of advice from me and 16 other top performing franchisees representing as many different segments. One piece of advice I’ll share here is to develop a good rapport with your franchisor and the quality assurance representative. It will pay huge dividends. For independent business owners, I’ll share what my very successful divorce attorney shared with me when I was starting out. She said that as an owner, you must show your staff how willing you are to work hard and then do it! She was right, and I reflected on her words often during my 15 years of business ownership.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

others to come from Sharon @ Finn

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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