Leading the way for women in franchising
Corina Vucic began her career in franchising in 1998. After more than a decade in franchising, the founder of FC Business Solutions was rewarded for her dedication and service to the industry, crowned the FCA Franchise Woman of the Year for Victoria.
Corina was instrumental in growing the number of services that FC Business Solutions offers, from the traditional franchise recruitment and training of Franchise Careers, to conference and events management, public relations and marketing, franchise system development, franchise health checks and organisational profiling of the new brand.
Her contribution to franchising has been significant, helping to advise, nurture and grow brands nationally and internationally. From an industry perspective, Corina has served as an FCA state chapter committee member since 2007 and was a committee member and chairperson of the FCA Women in Franchising.
Corina said the franchise sector had allowed barriers to be broken down.
“The franchise sector has enabled women to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ barrier, both as business owners and franchise executives,” Corina said.
“The only barriers to women in this sector are the ones that they choose to set themselves. For mine, the sky is the limit in the sector. If you choose franchising as a pathway to build your career, then the harder you work, the greater the results will be from both a wealth and personal level.
“The opportunities are endless. Diversity in the franchise sector is evident at many levels, which includes owning and operating a business, leading teams and providing services and support to the many people.
“Women are successful in all of these areas and through this contribution they have influenced franchising as a community.
“This is a celebration of women’s no nonsense approach to business. Women have a great ability to cultivate relationships with people within their networks and establish long standing relationships. Most of all, we have the ability and flexibility of business ownership, as well as family and personal commitments.”
Corina has been a significant driving force behind women having a greater presence in the once male-dominated franchising sector.
“One of the greatest challenges I faced professionally was as a young, female leader driving change within male dominated workplaces.
“Leading a national audit team of predominantly male auditors who were many years my senior, was particularly challenging.
“I earned my ‘stripes’ in the retail sector with Target Australia as a casual/parttime employee. From the age of 18, I was responsible for leading and managing teams of personnel.
“Credibility has to be earned.
“After graduating from University, I stepped into an Operations Manager role and was responsible for a staff of 150. Soon after, as a senior team leader in stores, I was thrust into a role managing a staff of up to 350 people who perceived me as young, inexperienced and that I could not do ‘their job’. They were right! However, I knew how to do ‘my job’.
“I believe everyone has a right to succeed and excel. My philosophy is simple - engaged, empowered and satisfied people deliver results. I am a great believer in the professional and personal benefits of lifelong learning. I am from a hard-working European background, my family has always been involved in small business and I’ve known from a young age what it’s like to take on responsibility and what it’s like to sit around the dinner table and worry about bills that need to be paid.
“Because of the way many people run businesses these days, they sometimes forget people need to be nurtured and led.
“Being a woman is tough, not because we have a different DNA, because we want to do it all, not fail at anything, not let anybody down and at the end of the day feel no guilt for wanting something small in return, perhaps a little time for ourselves.”
It’s this internal drive to engage, empower and satisfy that led Corina to want to grow and nurture the many outstanding women in the franchising sector.
“I have been an active member of FCA Women in Franchising committee, as well as Barry Plant Professional Women in Real Estate and Monash Women’s Business Network.
“These forums are a wonderful way to connect women through networking events, assist to mentor and help drive women to achieve their goals.
“My commitment and passion for helping other women to achieve their professional goals is underpinned by my involvement in Women in Franchising, which I joined in 2007 and was National Chairperson from 2009 to 2011.
“During my time on the committee I was involved in initiating the improvements to support female service providers, franchisees, franchisors and those in support office roles in building their careers.
“As a result of this drive and energy, I believe that women in the sector are more visible and drive their personal brands much harder.
“There are many examples of women leading franchise organisations across the sector and more importantly, we are hearing from them on a regular basis.”
These are sentiments that are shared by her peers in the sector.
La Porchetta CEO and former Franchise Woman of the Year, Sara Pantaleo said; “Corina is not only a role model for her personal attributes but also for the passion and drive she has for business. Corina shows great leadership in the franchise industry by working towards reforming the way franchisors interact with franchisees through induction training programs, conferences/events and communication channels.
“Corina is attentive to others’ needs and is attuned with any audience. She will go out of her way to send a card if she thinks you are down and will be available to discuss difficult business cases. She is an amazing woman that exemplifies how far hard work and drive can go.”
Leela Nambiyar, Senior Manager (Industry), Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, said; “Corina’s passion about the success of the franchise businesses in Australia is evident in her business charter which highlights her obsession for excellence in quality of the services provided and administrating them with the highest ethical standards and integrity.
“Corina is a courageous, respected and an innovative young entrepreneur, one Australia must recognise for her many achievements in a short space of time to help develop the franchise business in the country.”
Finally, Barry Plant CEO Mike McCarthy said; “Corina has become a trusted advisor to many in the franchise sector. Her ‘nononsense’ approach, along with her depth and breadth of knowledge and practical experience has made her a very important partner (and friend) to our business.
“Her involvement goes beyond just the typical professional advisor role and she displays a genuine interest at a personal level with all those she is involved with. This has resulted in some great outcomes for our company, and my staff, who have all dealt with her, hold her in high esteem. Her willingness to go the ‘extra mile’ and make herself available at short notice at times has been of enormous assistance to our company and to me personally.”
Corina said she is passionate and committed to the franchising sector.
“I am passionate about it and the opportunities it can provide to a diverse range of people. This is why I have set up and invested heavily in FC Business Solutions to help Australian franchise systems across the board prosper and grow in all areas of their business.
“As Director of FC Business Solutions I am leading a team of committed franchise industry professionals every day. In my role as mentor to franchise clients, I provide leadership, support and guidance and get great satisfaction in seeing them achieve their own business goals.”
FC Business Solutions is the only integrated franchise consultancy focussing on executive recruitment, franchise health checks, public relations & marketing, franchise system development, franchise training, advisory & mentoring, franchise expansion & growth and conference & event management, exclusively for the franchise community and other industry sectors.