Franchise Players is Entrepreneur's Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email email@example.com.
Working in the world of medicine doesn’t always mean a job at a hospital. Dr. Samrah Mansoor realized this when, after struggling with her career’s inflexible schedule, she decided to open a business of her own. AFC/Doctors Express, an urgent care franchise, seemed like the perfect fit. Here’s what she has learned.
Name: Dr. Samrah Mansoor
Franchise owned: AFC/Doctors Express in Wichita, Kan.
How long have you owned a franchise? About a year and a half
My husband and I are both in the medical field. At one point in our careers, he was commuting four hours a day to work. He did that for two years and we realized that we needed to start our own business. We knew it would allow us to practice our passion of medicine, have a flexible schedule and settle down with our children in one city. But neither of us had business experience which is why we started looking at franchises. AFC/Doctors Express was the perfect fit for us because it gave us an opportunity to implement proven systems which minimized the uncertainty factor.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I was employed as a hospitalist physician at a large hospital system. My husband was a supervisor for the county’s public health department.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
We chose AFC/Doctors Express because it relates directly to both of our professions and there is no other similar franchise. AFC/Doctors Express stands out from all other urgent cares because this model allows the physicians to do what they are passionate about, which is treating patients and practicing medicine, while a business person handles the paperwork which can often become overwhelming for physicians in private practices. It was the perfect business model for us as a couple because it played to both of our strengths.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
Personal resources: $300,000
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
Internet resources, legal consultation, friends and family. We also reached out to many of the AFC/Doctors Express franchisees to gain insight about their experiences and their day to day operations. Their positive comments were a big help in making our decision of becoming franchisees.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
All the steps it takes just to get your doors open to the public. We are grateful to have had such great guidance from the AFC/Doctors Express franchising system. They were the experts we turned to whenever we had a question and it’s nice to know that we can still turn to them for guidance as we continue on our path of being successful entrepreneurs.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Franchising is a very good investment that can bring people the work/life balance they are looking for. It’s important to do your research first and make sure your finances are in order to help set yourself up for success.
What’s next for you and your business?
We believe in this franchise system and are planning to become an area developer for AFC/Doctors Express.