Did you know that women represent 47% of the workforce and, in 40% of households, they are the primary breadwinner? Or that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to outperform the competition?
Women in leadership positions are a driving force in our economy.
Fresh Coat Painters is lucky to have Tara Riley at its helm as brand president. With over thirty years of experience in franchising, Tara brings a valuable combination of operations expertise and leadership skill to this brand.
In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History month in March, Tara recently shared her thoughts on being a woman in leadership and her role with Fresh Coat Painters.
What is your vision for the Fresh Coat Painters brand?
Tara: My vision is to make Fresh Coat an iconic brand, one that is known, trusted and loved. With this vision in place, I can work to align each individual goal to that core value. Goals without a vision can be interpreted in many ways and you end up with a mixed bag of results. With this vision of being an iconic brand, we will be selective about who we bring into the franchisee network and continually seek to improve our systems so that our franchisees are supported and can deliver consistently amazing service to their customers.
What is your role as a leader?
Tara: My role is to make sure that our team is made up of highly skilled people who will bring value to the brand. I try to surround myself with a team that knows more than I do about their respective areas of expertise. I must constantly evaluate our whole system and look for any gaps so that we can deliver on the three pillars of our mission: 1. Promote the profitable growth of our existing franchisees. 2. Grow our brand equity by adding more territories. 3. Deliver an excellent onboarding experience for new franchisees so that they can hit their goals quickly.
How would you describe the ideal Franchisor/Franchisee relationship?
Tara: The key to a great relationship between franchisor and franchisee is to recognize that we are business partners and accountability partners charged with protecting the brand and making sure that every customer’s experience is excellent and consistent. The franchisee’s role is to grow a profitable business with happy customers who become cheerleaders for the brand. The franchisor’s role is to work on all the support systems to ensure the franchisees have what they need to be successful. When both sides of the table honor that contract, we come together to create an iconic brand.
What has been your greatest professional challenge?
Tara: After over thirty years in franchising, I thought I’d seen it all and could seamlessly handle any issues that might come up. Then along came the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. This has, by far, been the greatest challenge of my career. There was no playbook on how to run a business during a global pandemic. We have been able to successfully navigate this situation by staying true to our values and making sure our franchisees were able to continue to deliver services to their customers, even if we had to find alternative methods.
What advice would you give to women who would like to advance into a leadership role or start a business?
Tara: Seek out a diverse group of mentors. Don’t pigeonhole yourself or allow limiting beliefs to hold you back. Learn to recognize the difference between your “Circle of Control” and your “Circle of Concern.” When facing a difficult decision or situation always ask yourself what you can control and start there.
Tara Riley has been the brand president for Fresh Coat Painters since December of 2014. Before that, she held executive level leadership positions in operations for several franchise brands. Her introduction to the world of franchising came when she was a Field Service Manager for McDonalds after graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in management. Tara also earned an MBA from Kennesaw State University.
When she isn’t busy leading her team or supporting franchisees, Tara spends time playing her guitar, riding her motorcycle, and creating delicious meals on her grill.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Fresh Coat owner fill out an inquiry form today.