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International Women’s Day: Behind the Scenes of a Woman-Owned Franchise
Stacie Stigar

Owning a small business was never in my life plan. I never dreamt of being my own boss or experiencing many of the challenges and rewards you often hear of when you talk to a small business owner.

Becoming a The UPS Store franchisee happened by chance. Before I opened my The UPS Store, I was the executive director at another company and used The UPS Store in Wasilla, Alaska frequently. Joey, the owner at the time, would listen to my wild marketing ideas – I was always asking him, “Can you make me some (insert crazy marketing idea)?” And his answer was always, “Yes.” He always found a way to make it happen. He was inspiring, and sparked the idea that I might want to own my own business.

When Joey sold the store to another owner, I felt like I had missed my opportunity. But about four months later, I heard about another The UPS Store franchise location that went up for sale. I contacted the owner and before I knew it, I was the proud owner of my very own business.

The problem was, I had no clue what it would take to run a small business. I thought I could let the current employees run the store, keep my full-time job, and come in and create cool things like Joey did. It didn’t take long to figure out that there was much more to operating a business. If I wanted to be successful, I had to get to work, figure it out and have the same mentality that Joey did: always say, “Yes.”

The first couple of years were hard, not only on me, but also on my family. It took a lot of effort to put everything into place with the business and learn how to balance my time with my husband and kids. But eventually I made it work and even spent time working with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to get included in their HUBZone program as a woman-owned business.

I’ve learned that even though it’s a lot of work, owning a business can be very rewarding personally and professionally – you just have to find that balance. Though I am the Chief-Everything-Officer in charge of employee relations, accounts payable and receivable, marketing, imaging consulting, graphic design, and much more, owning a The UPS Store franchise gave me access to an already proven business model and resources that made my life a whole lot easier.

So, for any female business owners out there, my advice to you is this: do what you love and work hard at it, but create a life for yourself that allows you to focus on your business while also enjoying the other stuff.

Check out the current franchising opportunities with The UPS Store.

Category: Inside UPS
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    Comments [1]

  1. Stacie is truly an inspiration to women business owners everywhere (she’s the reason I found the courage to launch my own business). Her “there’s nothing we can’t do” attitude is infused throughout her Palmer store and staff, and she instinctively knows how to make things happen. She’s epitomizes the importance of finding the business/life balance, and is the kind of business owner we all hope to be one day. Thanks, Stacie, for making Palmer a better place!

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