Women in Franchising: Q&A with Renee' Dubois

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As one of the first twenty Rainbow International franchisees and with more than 37 years-experience in franchising with Rainbow International Restoration, Renee’ DuBois brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to help those interested in franchising make informed decisions about the restoration industry, and more specifically, Rainbow International Restoration. She’s a champion not only for franchising, but an excellent example of a female leader in franchising.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

“Dina Dwyer-Owens. She was put in charge of Neighborly at a young age. A group of franchisees didn’t believe she was the right person to run our company. She met personally with the group and convinced them to give her 6 months to prove herself. At the end of that time period, she won them over. She is a strong leader who lives her life with morals and ethics. She won’t ask anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. She will go out of her way to help you in any way she can. She just plain cares about people.’

Mary Thompson. She is the consummate leader to me, she’s humble, she lets her team shine, she cares about them and she shows it in many ways. She will always make time for you and she is a true servant leader. ‘

Oprah Winfrey. She changed the world in so many ways. She is humble and cares about helping people in many walks of life. I most admire her for standing up for what she believes in and not being afraid to share it publicly, even when it was tough for her to do.”

Why franchising?

“I believe in it. I’ve seen it work personally in my own franchises and in working with over 200 of our Rainbow Restoration franchise owners as their business coach. I’ve watched as Neighborly team helped build our brands.”

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

“I grew up in a family business in the retail appliance industry and then went on to a successful 10 year management career in retail women’s clothing.”

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

“I had friends in the business that referred me to Don Dwyer. They told me how he taught them the systems to run a successful carpet dyeing and carpet cleaning franchise. I spent a weekend visiting with them and saw how they were running a successful franchise. I didn’t know anything about the business but they assured me he and his team would teach me everything I needed to know about this industry. “

What advice do you have for women who want to own their own franchise?

“Find the business for which you have a passion and go for it. It takes courage to own your own business. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Don’t let anyone talk you out of your vision or your goals! Owning a franchise requires hard work but it is very rewarding, if you are willing and able to follow the franchisor’s systems. Let the franchisor guide you and don’t try to reinvent the wheel.”

Have you faced any challenges in your career because you are a woman?

“Yes. When I started in franchise sales, it was dominated by men. I was the only woman working with an all-male staff. They didn’t feel a woman could make it in that part of the industry. Of course that’s changed now, but back then, I had to work extra hard to prove myself. It was worth it. The first month I was sales leader, and they realized I could do it and supported me.”

Why did you choose to become a certified franchise executive?

“The CFE program gives you an opportunity to learn about all the parts that make franchising successful. The classes are excellent and provide you a continuous learning experience. You meet many professionals at the various events. It is a wonderful group of people who are all willing to help you by sharing their knowledge and the systems that have made them successful. It is a network you are proud to be a part of and it allows you to share what you know.”

What do you believe are some of the most important factors affecting the success and growth of service businesses?

“When you are in a service business, you’re providing something consumers need. Those needs will always be there as in all the brands in Neighborly. The level of your success depends on your ability to perform the service better than anyone else does it. Consumers have a choice today. They will use the service providers who are professional and who care about giving world class service. A satisfied customer will refer you to their friends and families which will help your business grow. You also have the opportunity to also get repeat business. Today more than ever, social media can make a big impact in getting good reviews for your brand. Recruiting, training, and retaining the right people to work in your business is also critical for your success. It is a key factor in growing the business. The right team members will work together to make the business a success.”

How has your previous experience as a franchisee, franchise consultant and VP contributed to your success as a franchise developer?

“I’ve been where they are, so I am able to understand their perspective and this gives me the ability to relate to them on a different level. It has strengthened my belief and my ability to help others see our businesses as a vehicle to achieve their goals.”

Dubois started as an owner of two flourishing Rainbow International franchises. She was a Franchise Developer and then moved to franchise support as a Franchise Consultant, helping franchisees run successful businesses. In 2003, Renee’ was named Rainbow International’s Vice President of Administration. Named Rainbow's Franchise Consultant of the Year five times, Renee’ has earned many other accolades for her leadership, twice earning the President's Choice Award. She is also a member of the Rainbow International Hall of Fame and earned the Don Dwyer Award of Excellence, the highest award given in Neighborly.

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