Chicago native Chris Williams II is a 26-year-old Franchise Investor that went from being homeless in 2018 to now being the youngest African-American Subway Franchise Owner in Atlanta, GA today! After being homeless he became determined to pursue his dreams and to not give up on himself. Although times were hard and Chris was in a bad financial state he would still find ways to motivated about his business goals by educating himself with books and studying in his car at night. Chris remained faithful to his job search until he got hired in the city of Atlanta as a Finance Manager, and that’s where his life changed. He started saving money to open his Subway franchise and in just ten short months he had raised $120,000.00! Today outside of celebrating the opening of his business, he also spends time educating others who come from low income backgrounds on how to invest and learn how they too can open up their own business. When asked about what inspired him to go into business for himself Williams stated, “Initially I wanted to go into business for myself to create additional streams of income and most importantly leave an inheritance for my future kids.”
During our recent interview he shared some tips that helped him to obtain the success he has today.
What are some quick tips on how you were able to raise up to $250K from investors in less the 12 months?
Research and become an expert at whatever industry you are desiring investors for. Secondly your presentation is just as important as your research. You can have a great idea, but ideas are incomplete without a strong business, strong research, and plan of execution and strategy.
What have been some great lessons discovered about yourself during this journey as a young entrepreneur?
I have learned that I have a great level of dedication and faith in God and the abilities he has given me.
What are the top 5 things to know and do before investing in a franchise?
- I used entrepreneur.com/franchises to research each franchise that I had interest in. I compared all of them to each other.
- Take your emotional consumer connection with a particular brand and put on your business cap. Just because you love happy meals doesn’t mean that McDonald’s is the best brand for you. Look at the royalties, the cost, expenses associated with it.
- Also on that website is a link that allows you to take a test that matches your personality with a brand that would best fit you.
- Talk to local owners and get their wisdom on the particular brand that you want to join. Be sure to find mentors. That was crucial during my process. @Ralphdiesel Nipsey Hussle’s childhood friend really helped me and mentored me throughout my process.
- Get partners who can help and support you. If I could do it again I would have went through the process with another managing partner because it takes a brief load off of you, but I have no regrets.
Share with us your plans for teaching and educating individuals who come from underprivileged neighborhoods, on how to raise capital for startups through online courses.
I am in the process of working with felons, the less fortunate, and others to teach them how to become entrepreneurs and thrive at it. I think we have a lot of information on starting businesses, but that’s elementary of entrepreneurship. Real entrepreneurship is creating jobs and transforming your local and national economy on a major level. Instagram has watered down what an entrepreneur really is, but we are gifts from heaven because from us flows new technology, new tax revenue for the government, income for families, other business thrive indirectly because they depend on your business to purchase from their business. There are so many moving parts. So I am interested in teaching the big idea of entrepreneurship and not just the glam and glitter of it. We change lives and economies.
Williams’s story is just one of many to teach you that you have to keep pushing and most importantly believe in yourself no matter what obstacles come your way. Chris Williams II just hosted the grand opening and ribbon cutting at his East Cobb Subway store on October 12th so be sure to stop by and support!
Connect with Chris Williams II on Instagram today!
All images by Jordan C