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Inspiring Conversations with Asia Thomas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Asia Thomas.

Hi Asia, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a graduate of Clark Atlanta University that has worked corporate for about ten years in Sales. The job was always high stressed, and I would often think about how can I maximize the money coming into this household to benefit my children for years to come.

As single moms, we often juggle our careers and nurturing our children or are feeling pressured by taking sick days to care for our children. I researched for a year, asked questions, and began the process. Once I was approved, I lit up with excitement, walked into my store to began the process, and all of the employees walked out. They quit! I was extremely stressed and had to learn how to run the store on my own. I was nervous, scared, and experiencing a lot of other emotions, but I was doing this for my children, so quitting was not an option. I ended up hiring staff and increasing sales from $3,000 weekly to $7000 weekly in a matter of weeks. I had a plan, and I was more than dedicated to sticking with that plan!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It was not a smooth ride at all, but I did not walk in prepared for it to be easy. I learned that I am the first Black woman to own a Subway Franchise in the city of Duluth which means all eyes are on me. The day-to-day struggles include developing a loyal team of employees who are just as excited about your vision as you are. Hiring the right people is the key.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a subway Franchisee in the Duluth, GA area. Food safety and cleanliness is our number one priority. What sets us apart from others is our customer service. The number one rule is when you hear the doorbell sound of a customer either entering or exiting. You greet them loudly. We made sure to read the reviews of the store under previous management and use those reviews as areas of opportunity for improvement. People felt strongly about not liking the customer treatment they were receiving.

I am most proud of developing a marketing plan that included me going out into the community and offering catering services which assisted in the increase in sales rapidly. I want my readers to know to expect the hard work and accept the challenge of ownership. When I did the virtual franchisee training, I noticed that I was the only black owner in the class. Yes, I was proud and extremely excited to represent as a mother, Detroiter, HBCU grad, and woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, INC. I also decided that I would spread the news of steps to take so that the world would see more black franchisees.

What are your plans for the future?
I plan to purchase at least three more Subway’s within the next two years. I also want to open a full-service restaurant within the next year and venture off into real estate purchasing commercial property. With the profits from these businesses, I plan to open up a 24-hour child care center to accommodate families with any type of work schedule. I remember how hard it was, and I want to make a difference to assist others.

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