October is National Women’s Small Business Month, a month that honors the women who dare to dream and pave a path for themselves in the business world. Among these inspiring women is Hannah Witherspoon, a former dental hygienist turned successful multi-state franchise owner at Chicken Salad Chick. Hannah's story is one of determination and entrepreneurial spirit. After twenty years as a dental hygienist, she began to search for a new purpose.
In 2011, during a trip to Destin, FL, Hannah stumbled upon Chicken Salad Chick’s inspiring mission to spread joy, enrich lives, and serve others. Hannah was drawn to the business not only for its substantial growth potential but also for its deeply rooted values and unwavering commitment to the communities it serves. In 2020, undeterred by her lack of business experience and the challenges posed by the pandemic, Hannah opened two Chicken Salad Chick locations within 7 months of each other in Indiana and Kentucky, alongside her brother and business partner, Matthew Duggar. For Hannah, business ownership and family culture go hand-in-hand. Not only is Hannah directly partnered with her brother, but her parents are actively involved in her franchise success with Chicken Salad Chick.
Hannah overcame the challenges with grace thanks to her tenacity, dedication to learning, and family's support. Here’s what she learned:
1. Embrace the Power of Womanhood: Hannah's family-oriented mindset allows her to manage her business as well as balance her roles as a devoted mother, loving wife, caring sister, and cherished daughter. Her unique perspective is reflected in the way she runs her business, where her employees are treated like family. This nurturing and inclusive culture is a testament to the unique qualities women possess. Celebrate the power of womanhood and support one another to amplify each other’s success.
2. Commit to Being a Lifelong Learner: Embrace the role of being a perpetual learner. Commit to educating yourself on what it means to be a business owner and how to best navigate the nuances of your business’s industry. Part of this growth is relying on mentors and corporate franchise leaders. As a leader, learning how to ask for help is vital to your growth.
3. Build Each Other Up: It is important to acknowledge the multiple hats women wear throughout their lives. Through encouragement and support, you can overcome obstacles and achieve your business goals. Join communities of like-minded women in business.
4. Do Your Research: Make sure you do your research before opening a business. Explore different industries and business opportunities before committing. A well-informed decision ensures the foundation of your business is strong.
5. Lead with Empathy: Leading with kindness and empathy helps create a positive and healthy work environment. Take the time to get to know and understand your employees. Investing in the growth and well-being of your team will ultimately strengthen your business.
Hannah’s story serves as inspiration to aspiring women entrepreneurs, reminding them that with determination, support, and confidence in their abilities, they can overcome any challenge and achieve their dreams. Crucial to Hannah’s success was the unwavering support she received from the dedicated team at Chicken Salad Chick. As a women-founded business, they understand the unique challenges women face in the business world and provide their franchise partners with comprehensive support in all areas of the business, including operations, marketing, management, and more!
At the center of Chicken Salad Chick’s mission is a profound sense of community and a dedication to enhancing lives and serving others. Hannah’s experience highlights the incredible impact that solidarity, mentorship, and empowerment can have on shaping the future of aspiring women entrepreneurs. As we continue to celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month, let us continue to empower women in business by recognizing the invaluable contributions they’ve made to the entrepreneurial landscape.
Contact us today to learn more about the rewarding possibilities of franchising with Chicken Salad Chick.