First, let me offer you a heart-felt “Congratulations!” on taking the first step of an extraordinary journey. Starting a business is thrilling, challenging– even a little scary, and the search for the right opportunity is no exception. My role as your consultant, is to help you, every step of the way, as you explore franchise ownership.
A little about my background: I earned a BA from Drake University, began my career in Chicago in the graphics industry, and discovered a natural aptitude for small business operations, quickly advancing to General Manager of a family-owned promotions company. That experience planted the seed, and I knew I would have a business of my own one day. During this time, my father experienced the kind of corporate reorganization we’re seeing today. I watched him reassess his career, and pursue an entrepreneurial path instead. He not only achieved the American Dream of business ownership, success and wealth, but later sold the company to his employees– who still own and operate it to this day! I share this story because it serves as a real life example of the liberation and potential for success that self-employment holds.
I went on to add sales experience to my resume, working for a national marketing firm, but my entrepreneurial spirit kept calling. So I left the corporate world and started a business called PROMO Inc., creating promotional materials for the corporate events of Fortune 500 companies. As a small business owner, it was an honor to work with giants like Allstate, Kraft, Quaker Oats, United Airlines and Motorola, and I attribute PROMO’s success to my high standards, professional demeanor, and unwavering commitment to customer service. This is yet another real life example of the potential for success that self-employment holds.
In 2002, I discovered the exciting world of franchising when asked to help turn a successful 12-year old, local Chicago business into a national franchise. After revitalizing their branding, and creating a more expansive and effective franchise sales process, the franchise began to really grow, and continues its national expansion to this day. I was then invited to join FranChoice as a consultant, and I’ve been “helping people realize their dreams” ever since. My 50th franchise placement was truly a career milestone, and a commemorative note I received from my father says it all: “Think of the security and independence (and perhaps wealth) that has been gained by 50 families, through your efforts. While 50 is, in itself, a very laudable achievement, helping to improve the lives of a couple hundred people is even more so.”
Your time will be well invested in me. My goal is to serve as a significant resource for you, as we work together through an organized and informative process. I combine 25 years of self-employment and business experience with a thoughtful, supportive style to guide you in your quest to own a franchise. If you have the drive and ambition, I will commit to finding the right franchise opportunity for you.
My office is in Chicago, but I work with candidates and franchisors all over the US. I have two children; my daughter, Sarah, graduated from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, now a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. My son, Jack, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, now a Naval Officer and MH-60 Helicopter Pilot serving aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. I reside in Barrington IL with my husband, Ted, and third child, our Collie, Aiden.
You can reach me at LaurieBurge@FranChoice.com or call me at 847-634-8976.
Who We Are
Founded in 2000 by Jeff Elgin, FranChoice is the premier franchise consulting company in the United States. FranChoice matches would-be entrepreneurs with a franchise opportunity that best matches their needs, skills and interests. Our Mission Statement is “Helping People Realize Their Dreams” and our consultants are the best in the industry at helping people find the perfect business for them.
What we do
FranChoice helps people realize their dreams of business ownership. People come to us who are interested in becoming a franchise owner but don’t know where to start. Sometimes our candidates have tried to do their own research, and have become overwhelmed by it and are looking for expert guidance. There are thousands of franchise companies in existence and trying to find the perfect fit can be confusing and frustrating. That’s where our industry expert consultants come in.
How We Do It
We get to know our candidates and take them through a very thorough consultation process. Our consultants gain an in-depth understanding of the candidate’s goals for business ownership, their desired role in the business and all kinds of details relating to the characteristics the business must have to meet their needs.