Franchising Under 30: Meet TapSnap’s Young Franchise Owners!

By TapSnap

Whether you’re fresh out of college, or you’re close to retirement, the beauty of franchising with TapSnap is that age is not a limitation. Just take it from some of TapSnap’s young franchise owners! Read on for their insight as to why young entrepreneurs shouldn’t discount franchising as a scalable business venture.

Nick and Melanie Pagnotta of TapSnap 1165

Picture of Nick and Melanie, owners of TapSnap 1165- young franchise owner

At 27 and 26 years old respectively, Nick and Melanie are franchise owners of TapSnap 1165. Nick has a degree in Business Administration, and has been working full-time in the residential real estate industry since 2009. In the past, Melanie worked as a Brand Ambassador in the marketing division for different alcohol and beverage companies. She has a dual degree in Media Studies and Liberal Arts. Melanie also recently helped raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation and the Autism Foundation.

Referred to as the “life of the party,” both Nick and Melanie have very outgoing personalities, making them a great fit for the event industry. They love meeting new people, and enjoy working at all different types of themed events!  

  • What about franchising appealed to you over other business ventures? What about it works for you?

What appealed to us about franchising over other business ventures is that we get to be our own boss and create the road for our own success without a ceiling. The hours are flexible with both of our schedules and allow us to still focus on our other business ventures. The best part about being in a franchise is the on-going support that comes from our corporate office. They offer continuous franchise support, product and software development, and marketing on a national level. This was one of the deciding factors that played into our decision to join the TapSnap family.

  • What were you doing before becoming a TapSnap franchise owner? What has this transition been like for you?

Melanie: Nick still does real estate full-time, and being that most of our events are after hours, he is able to do the events with no problem. I focus on TapSnap full-time, and haven’t had any problem with the transition due to the thorough training provided by TapSnap’s own TapSnap University at their corporate headquarters.

  • What are your future plans for TapSnap? How do you plan on getting there?

Our future plans for TapSnap are to grow the company and get our name out there as much as we possibly can. We are hoping to scale our business to the point where we have event staff and a sales team. We would also love to be able to add to our current equipment to increase the number of machines we own. By doing this, we will be able to service multiple events in a day and continue to grow our business.

  • Why do you think young entrepreneurs should consider franchising as an option?

We believe other young entrepreneurs should consider franchising as an option because it is a great alternative to starting your own business from scratch. It is, in most cases, an already proven and successful business model with tons of back-end support. The franchisor offers an established name and a support and marketing team to each of their franchises, which makes growing your business a lot quicker and a lot less stressful.

  • What’s your advice for other young entrepreneurs out there?

Nick: Find something that you enjoy doing, and that you are good at, and then find a way to turn it into a profit. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, but more importantly, don’t be afraid to fail. Not every endeavor will be a success story; use the failures to gain experience and fuel your success. Lastly, research, research, research. I spent months researching the industry, competition, and the company before finally deciding to join TapSnap.


Grecia and Manuel Valencia of TapSnap 1195

Picture of Grecia and Manuel, owners of TapSnap 1195-young franchise owner

High school sweethearts and parents to a beautiful daughter, Grecia and Manuel Valencia are proud franchise owners of TapSnap 1195 at only 28 years young. Manuel balances TapSnap on a part-time basis with his career as a Drone Operator for INSITU, while Grecia left the dental industry to develop their new business venture on a full-time basis. Grecia dedicates her spare time volunteering for Dress for Success, a non-profit organization that empowers women and supports them in establishing or enhancing their careers.


  • What about franchising appealed to you over other business ventures? What about it works for you?

Manuel: There are many advantages to franchising. A franchise has already laid the foundation for success. It also provides a line of continuous advice and support. For us, franchising has provided the ability to work for ourselves while still having fun.

  • What were you doing before becoming a TapSnap franchise owner? What has this transition been like for you?

Grecia: Manuel and I were both employed. Since becoming a franchise owner, I have fully dedicated my time to our TapSnap business. Manuel continues to work full time and manages TapSnap on a part-time basis.

  • What are your future plans for TapSnap? How do you plan on getting there?

Grecia: Our plan is to GROW. I plan to go all IN. After all, they say hard work pays off!

  • Why do you think young entrepreneurs should consider franchising as an option?

Manuel: Nothing is without risk, but franchising lowers risk by putting measures in place to prevent failure. Ultimately, your hard work is what is going to determine your success.

  • What’s your advice for other young entrepreneurs out there?

Grecia: You’ve got to risk it for the biscuit! All jokes aside, hard work pays off. I know that’s so cliché but as a young entrepreneur, that hard work has given us the opportunity to become franchise owners at 28.

Michael Berreth of TapSnap 1154

Picture of Michael Berreth, owner of TapSnap 1154-young franchise owner

At the age of 27, Michael Berreth is the proud owner of TapSnap 1154. He graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 2011 with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Entrepreneurship. From a young age, Michael was an aspiring entrepreneur. Throughout his high school and college years, he owned a small lawn care and landscaping business which he operated for about 7 years. In April 2015, Michael left his production management job to build his TapSnap business while also working miscellaneous jobs on the side. When he isn’t managing his franchise business, Michael also volunteers as a basketball coach for a local high school in Pittsburgh.

  • What about franchising appealed to you over other business ventures? What about it works for you?

I took numerous entrepreneurship courses in my college years and one of them happened to be a course in franchising. I was able to learn a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of franchising at an early age. This concept of a business venture stuck with me for years to the point where I reached out to a business and franchise coach who I spoke with on and off for several years. After going over numerous types of franchises in different industries, I finally decided to go with TapSnap. The first reason why I chose to go with TapSnap is because it looked like so much fun and really fit my personality. After speaking with TapSnap and other franchises, I noticed that the franchisee support and communication really stood out with TapSnap compared to the others I spoke with, researched, etc. Franchising works for me because it is a proven system and I do not have any true particular skills that I could morph into my own lucrative business. I also like it because I can work the events myself and it is user friendly enough to where I can hire part-time staff. It also gives me the opportunity to diversify myself with another job or opportunity.

  • What were you doing before becoming a TapSnap franchise owner? What has this transition been like for you?

I worked numerous jobs before TapSnap. Right before I decided to go with this franchise, I was able to land a good management role in a large company, but I always had the entrepreneur itch which I wanted to take a chance at while I was still fairly young.

The early transition was exciting but not easy. I had to move states back to my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and had to find miscellaneous full-time and part-time jobs while both learning my new trade and trying to grow my event entertainment business. I took on a large financial burden purchasing my franchise so I really had to hustle after leaving my full-time job.

  • What are your future plans for TapSnap? How do you plan on getting there?

My future plans for TapSnap is to be one of the main forms of event entertainment in the Pittsburgh area. I want TapSnap to be one of the most recognizable brand names among event planners and venues. Not only do I want it to be known as the most revolutionized photo booth, I also want to build a great reputation by being a large supporter for fundraisers and charities in western Pennsylvania. I plan on doing this by always exceeding expectations at the events that I do since this is the main and most effective way to market our products and services. I want to attain this goal by constantly reaching out to new venues, planners, and organizations and eventually partnering up with large brand names in my area like sport venues and amusement parks.

  • Why do you think young entrepreneurs should consider franchising as an option?

I think that young entrepreneurs should definitely consider franchising as an option. This is because, like stated before, you are able to get into a business that you have an interest in without necessarily having any particular skills in that industry. You can also get the training and support while moving toward building the business to meet your financial goals. A franchise like TapSnap is also great because you can ease into it while working full-time. With the right motivation and hard work, you can build it into a full-time business itself. Young entrepreneurs can also take the financial risk of investing in a franchise because you give yourself more time to recover before you take on the responsibilities of things like raising a family.

  • What’s your advice for other young entrepreneurs out there?

My advice as a young entrepreneur is to take educated risks. You should also surround yourself with people who you think can help you succeed, like I did with my sister Brandy who is my main partner that offers reliability and creativity.

My other advice is to first learn your product or trade as best as you can, network as much and as often as possible, and to not get too high or too low on yourself when business is up and down. Being younger in this field can be tough because you do not have the corporate connections and relationships with teens and schools that more experienced business owners, executives, and parents may have. This means you have to work harder to get recognized and convince people and organizations to take a meeting with you and build that relationship and trust. You need to learn and mimic as much as possible from those in your industry who are successful.

Another reason why being in a franchise like TapSnap is great, is they have other franchisees that have been around and are readily willing to help you and give you advice!

These young franchise owners show us that franchising is a viable business venture for young entrepreneurs. If you’d like more information about franchising with us, take a look at how our process works or feel free to contact us!



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Topics: Franchise