Female entrepreneurship has made great strides over the past 20 years. The world of women’s entrepreneurship is vast, diverse, and of substantial economic significance. Women-owned enterprises exist everywhere. There are approximately 13 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., which comes out to equal roughly 42% of all firms across the United States according to the “2019 State of Women-Owned Business” published by American Express.
If you are looking to become a female entrepreneur, a TapSnap photo booth franchise could be your answer. With any entrepreneurial endeavor, the options can be overwhelming. Investing your time and money is a huge commitment, and you want to feel confident that you are choosing the right business for your investment. Whether you are looking for more flexibility with your lifestyle, or a low-risk investment where you can become your own boss, a franchise can be a great investment. If you can align yourself with a franchise that fits, you’ll be much happier, which in turn results in higher productivity and success. A photo booth franchise is fun, flexible, and provides many different opportunities that you can tailor to your interests!
Kristen-Poli Welch-Aki, TapSnap1050
To celebrate female entrepreneurs and gain some insight into what it takes to become one, we interviewed some of TapSnap’s successful female franchisees. Here we will dive into our conversation with three female franchisees as well as other questions related to women entrepreneurship. You may find yourself identifying as an entrepreneur too, and below, gain some valuable insight into how to transform your vision into a reality. Find out if a photo booth franchise is a good fit for you and take the next steps towards your future!
What is TapSnap?
TapSnap is a leader in photo marketing experiences and event entertainment. TapSnap offers state of the art, open-air photo booths, with full social media integration, and unlimited high-quality photo prints. With the technological features that TapSnap offers, we can make any event vision the client desires come to life! Animated borders, overlays, photo props, and customized backgrounds create a once-in-a-lifetime photo experience for users. TapSnap can be integrated into social events such as weddings, birthday parties, and sporting events or used as a marketing tool at corporate events such as product launches or trade shows. The options are truly endless with TapSnap.
Why a TapSnap Franchise?
TapSnap isn’t just a photo entertainment company; we’re a quickly growing franchise company as well! For that reason, our goal is to provide useful information to help you learn more about the benefits of franchising and how to build successful franchise businesses. The decision to become an entrepreneur and buying a franchise is a big investment! Luckily, TapSnap has years of experience and over 100 franchisees around the world. With TapSnap, you have the reassurance that we know what we’re doing, and we will help you succeed. TapSnap falls into the special event industry, which is currently worth $556 billion and continues to experience growth year after year.
Let’s hear from three of our successful female franchisees, Pamela Lietz of TapSnap1205 North Carolina, Kristen-Poli Welch-Aki of TapSnap1050 California, and Melanie Pagnotta of TapSnap1165 New Jersey. These women use their expertise in the field to provide some excellent franchise advice and reasons as to why franchising is a great option for those looking to start a business. Read our interview below for our franchisee's words of wisdom!
Melanie Pagnotta of TapSnap1165
No Industry Experience Required
- What did you do before joining TapSnap?
Pamela - I worked as a Healthcare Administrator for 23 years.
Kristen - I was fortunate to live in Silicon Valley, and my first corporate job was working in a warehouse at a big semiconductor distributor, which led to many promotions and a long career in inside sales.
Melanie - I worked as a brand ambassador for a few different companies, specializing in large-scale events and trade shows.
- Before TapSnap had you had any photography or event industry experience?
Pamela - I have been a shutterbug all my life! Don't even ask how many hard drives I have filled with photos. Early in my healthcare career, I recruited physicians from all over the country, so I had some corporate events experience.
Kristen - I have had no experience with photography or events, including business ownership. I had always dreamed of owning a business. I also have enjoyed looking at people in photos, even if I don’t know them.
Melanie - I always had a passion for photography, whether it was taking pictures or posing for them! Having been in the events industry prior, I was already very familiar with the atmosphere and industry professionals.
If you, too, are considering a change of lifestyle but have not had any photography or event industry experience, that is okay! Like some of our franchisees, all you need is to be able to be the driving force behind a business, with the determination and skills to not only launch a new business but build it through strategizing and networking. If you become a TapSnap franchisee, you will go through specific training that will provide you with the tools you need to be successful. You'll be ready to book your first events as soon as you walk out of the door! However, TapSnap offers a fun field of work, and if you have a previous interest in events or photography, you will find yourself finding all the more success!
Being a Female Entrepreneur
- What is most important to you and why at this point in your life?
Pamela - Professionally, providing the best guest experience and customer service to the client is most important because I want to be the very best at what I do.
Kristen - Making a difference in others’ lives. The feeling that I bring value to my clients, staff, and the people I meet along the way. Being calm (I try and desire it), spending time with my family, friends, and dogs. It is important to have financial stability and good health insurance.
Melanie - First and foremost, my family and being a great wife. Second, to that, being able to provide my clients with a unique experience that would make them smile! This year we have also acquired the Brooklyn NY franchise, which was a substantial milestone for us. We would love to expand even more and hope to continue growing our business even further.
- What advice would you give someone who is interested in starting their own business?
Pamela - Outsource what you don't like and, or what you have weaker skills in - payroll and accounting, respectively for me.
Kristen - Invest in someone to set up your financials and review with you quarterly for the duration of 1 year. Your best form of marketing is YOU, so be sure to get out and network and meet as many people as possible. Not all will be a client, but when they connect with you, it is more likely that they will refer you and introduce you to their friends and network. Be organized and disciplined by collecting business cards. Enter the info into a CRM or add to Constant Contact to send out newsletters. Having your name show up in an email subject line is very powerful.
Melanie - If you are super passionate about starting your own business and believe in your product, go for it. Life is too short not to take the risk!
- What are some challenges of being a female entrepreneur?
Pamela - This is for any entrepreneur - female or male - being able to manage it all!
Melanie - We are very fortunate to be living in a time of equal opportunity. I can proudly say that I have not yet come across any gender-specific obstacles within my business.
- What meetups, local entrepreneur events, and resources do you recommend that have helped you grow?
Pamela - Some resources are the Chamber of Commerce Small Business programming, Downtown Association, MPI, NACE.
Kristen - Business coaches are an excellent way to learn. Attend seminars and meetings provided by your local chambers. There are more learning opportunities than one can attend. One on one or small group coaching is imperative and helps you keep accountable.
Melanie - I recommend joining as many networking groups within your community as possible! We are currently part of a few weddings and corporate event networking groups that have helped us meet all different types of people. Some of the networking groups I'm involved in are specifically women-run businesses, and it rocks! We also have a great following on social media, which helps our past, present, and future clients check out our work.
Being a Franchisee with TapSnap
- What made you decide to want to start your entrepreneurial journey with TapSnap?
Pamela - I had been hoping to start my own business for a long time. My son had faced a life-threatening cardiac condition and came out of it healthy and just as rambunctious, and I was much more able to live in the moment and risk starting a business.
Kristen - After 30 years in an amazing career, I chose to take a layoff package as I wanted to get out and about in the world. I had physical issues sitting in a cubicle every day. When I saw the TapSnap opportunity, I knew this was what I had been affirming for my career change.
Melanie - I always loved working in the events industry and wanted to have a job that complimented it. After researching the company for a while, I had the opportunity to meet with the CEO and had the chance to see and use the photo booths in person. Both the photo booth and software design were unique and well ahead it's time. That, paired with the ever growing franchise community, was enough for me to realize that it would be a great fit!
- Every franchisee has their favourite types of events. How did you decide what market to target?
Pamela - Corporate! But I started with weddings because I knew it would be harder for me. I would not do it that way again! I came from the corporate world and should have started with corporate, got my legs under me, and added social afterward.
Kristen - I felt my best target would be Company Socials, which has gone well. These events are my favorite in regards to financials, but I have enjoyed doing community and church events. The families are so appreciative and love when they have multiple generations in their printed photos.
Melanie - I love marketing to large-scale corporate events and functions. For the most part, they contact us looking for a custom build-out of the photo booth and software features. They want to wow their audience, so planning the execution of how we will do that from start to finish is really fun. TapSnap is great at being able to offer these fully customized experiences and building it into something much more than your standard photo booth activation.
- What makes your franchise unique?
Pamela - I love executing a creative vision for clients! The more creative, the better!
Kristen - Our team services events differently and myself by connecting with various organizations and businesses through networking.
Melanie - At TapSnap 1165, we put a heavy focus on quality to make sure our clients are happy from start to finish. We love to share their enthusiasm for the event and use the opportunity to get creative with them so we can offer a top-of-the-line quality service for them and their guests! We also have a physical office and showroom that clients are more than welcome to come in to see our photo booths, us, and staff in action.
- What do you see are the exciting opportunities in your industry?
Pamela - The photo booth is becoming a standard at events, so we have an opportunity to keep it fresh.
Kristen - Corporate social events offer possibilities. We had a handful of consistent clients but need many more to advance our business. The other big opportunity is having a strong relationship with the venues that host the events.
Melanie - We are always meeting so many great companies and people at the events that we host. These interactions not only help us to grow as a business but also as individuals. Just one connection can open the door to many different opportunities down the road. Get out there and meet people!
- What is the best part about being a franchisee?
Pamela - Seeing the delight in guests' faces at events.
Kristen - The feeling of empowerment and that our success is because of our hard work. Business does not come to you, so I am proud of myself to be proactive and get out and build it. I enjoy having a flexible schedule in the morning, with many days not setting the alarm. This way, I can enjoy comfortable clothes, a good cup of coffee, and puppy time!
Melanie - Loving my product and being my own boss! It's great to have the flexibility and freedom to create your own schedule and offer job opportunities to others. The benefits of being a franchisee is having the support from our franchisor and other TapSnap franchisees. Everyone comes together as a family to help further our growth and expand the brand as a whole. Because of this, TapSnap can offer services throughout North America and even beyond!
After hearing from our female franchisees, you may find yourself relating to the entrepreneurial spirit that these women embody. As described above, TapSnap is committed to our franchise owners, as well as their future development plans to enable our franchisees to enjoy growth and success. These successful female franchisees show us that franchising with TapSnap is a viable business venture for entrepreneurs. If you're interested in learning more about running your own TapSnap photo booth business, contact us!