Getting to know WSI franchisees from around the world, Francois Muscat interviewed seasoned entrepreneur and new Digital Marketing Consultant, Larry Barnaby.
Tell me a little about yourself, and where you are located?
Originally from southern California, I moved around from places like Knoxville, TN to Dallas, TX. For the last 20 years, I’ve called Thornton, CO home. I love living, working, and playing here, surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains and thousands of acres of open spaces.
How long have you been with WSI?
I’m a newbie to the WSI network, having bought a franchise just six months ago.
Tell me a little bit more about your previous job, before you started your WSI business.
Having done my time in the corporate environment, I started my entrepreneurial journey 12 years ago. I owned direct mail franchises that distributed magazines in four different cities. And while this started out as a relatively easy, low barrier to entry way to own my own business, the direct mail franchise is where I honed my advertising, marketing, and sales skills.
Who has helped influence you into starting your own business?
I attribute my father as the person who influenced me to start my own business. My father worked for himself for almost his entire life.
What drew you to being a WSI franchise owner?
When considering my options for a new business, I did a lot of research into franchises across a wide range of industries. It made sense to take advantage of my background in advertising and sales, and I was immediately impressed with WSI’s approach and global network of Consultants who are open to sharing and collaborating.
I noticed that most other franchise owners are in it for themselves and regard their peers as competitors. This is in sharp contrast to the support and partnerships encouraged and enjoyed at WSI. From the fantastic onboarding, training, and coaching follow-ups to the wealth of knowledge and advice from fellow ICs, WSI really does feel like a big family.
What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your business?
Already being an entrepreneur has made it easier to transition from one business to another. Because I spent the last 12 years in sales and marketing, selling is a natural conversation for me. Instead of being intimidated by my relative inexperience in digital marketing, I’m able to focus on networking, meeting people, and how I can help businesses.
I intuitively know that my role is not about doing the work as much as it is in getting the work.
What highlights have you had since joining WSI?
When I read Neal Lappe’s “Secret Sauce: The oracle's guide to success as a franchisee” I felt like I was reading my own story! The book underscored the value of Neal’s weekly meetings and the inspiration he brings.
Another highlight is serving companies across the whole of the U.S. compared to the few local areas that I previously worked in.
What are the biggest obstacles that you have faced in running your business and how have you handled them?
The massive learning curve required to learn about the complex world of digital marketing means that putting together proposals takes more time and research.
While I continue to learn, I have overcome this challenge by using the right people in the network.
What goals do you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?
My goal is to make a sale a week for the first quarter of 2022 to really ramp up the business. By the end of the year, I would like to have 30 clients.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
My five-year goal is to have two production staff and two salespeople on my team.
What advice would you give a new WSI Internet Consultant?
New WSI Consultants should be well-rounded individuals. When starting out, they will need to fulfill the roles of legal, operations, sales and marketing, HR, accounting and more.
What is your personal motto?
“You can’t make a bad day good, but you can make a good day great!”
If we went to happy hour, what would you order?
Either a whiskey on the rocks or a blonde ale.
If you could be anywhere other than here talking to me - right this minute, where would you be?
It is a toss-up between being on a beach in Mexico or enjoying a good round of golf.
The WSI network forms the world’s largest digital marketing agency. For more information on franchise opportunities, contact us without delay.