E28: Creating a Global Franchise - Laura Coe, Snapology




Ten years ago, Laura Coe and her sister launched their company, Snapology. She was inspired to create a social and educational outlet for kids to fuel her sons’ curiosity for learning outside the classroom. Laura shared how they discovered a market niche and eventually adopted a global franchise model expanding to 150 locations across twelve countries. During the pandemic, Snapology quickly shifted their model online to help fill academic and social gaps for kids.


Listen to learn more about:

  • Growing from her kitchen table to 12 countries around the world

  • How letting go was key to their growth

  • Bringing in capable leaders and advisors

  • Working alongside her siblings

  • How Snapology’s company values helped drive their business decisions during the pandemic

  • Quickly adapting to an online environment benefiting kids and their families when they needed the support most



Show Links:

Snapology website: https://www.snapology.com/


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Episode transcript:


Laurie Barkman:

Welcome to Succession Stories, insights for next generation entrepreneurs. I'm Laurie Barkman. I've spent my career bringing an entrepreneurial approach to mature companies struggling with change as an outside executive of a third generation, 120 year old company, I was part of a long-term succession plan.

Now I work with entrepreneurs, privately held companies, and family businesses to develop innovations that create enterprise value and transition plans to achieve their long-term goals. On this podcast, listen in as I talk with entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and culture change. I speak with owners who successfully transitioned their company and others who experienced disappointment along the way.

Guests also include experts in multi-generational businesses and entrepreneurship. If you are a next generation entrepreneur looking for inspiration to grow and thrive, or an owner who can't figure out the best way to transition their closely held company, this podcast is for you.

Subscribe to our newsletter for more resources to build value in your business and plan your transition. Visit SmallDotBig.com and sign up today.


Ten years ago, Laura Coe and her sister launched their company, Snapology. She was inspired to create a social and educational outlet for kids to fuel her sons’ curiosity for learning outside the classroom. Laura shared how they discovered a market niche and eventually adopted a global franchise model. The company has expanded to 150 locations across six countries. A key part of their growth story was Laura letting go to grow, and bringing in capable leaders and advisors. Laura talked about the pandemic, and how Snapology’s company values helped drive their business decisions and quickly adapt to an online environment benefiting kids and their families when they most needed the support.


Laurie Barkman:

Laura, thanks for being with me today on Succession Stories. I'm really excited to talk to you because your story is an interesting one. You created a business that is now global. I'm thinking of you as the first generation. I've talked to different entrepreneurs on this show who might be second or third. You and your sister together are Gen One and that's really cool. I want to learn more about your story with your company, Snapology, and also talk about today and what's been happening with your business with the pandemic. I think your story is about growth and innovation and it's probably also about resilience. So welcome. The first thing I'd love to hear about is if you could tell us about you, and just give us an overview of the company.


Laura Coe:

Yeah, sure. I spent about 20 years in the healthcare industry as an actuary, which is basically a math geek and needed something more flexible in my life. And I started owning a couple of different businesses and that ultimately led me to Snapology. And what Snapology is we essentially provide educational play opportunities to children, mostly ages two to around 14, but we use a hands-on interactive approach, teaching STEM concepts. STEM is science, technology, engineering, art, and math. And that includes things like coding and robotics and all kinds of fun things. We do classes and camps and parties, but the fun part is we're using toys that kids are familiar with or objects that they're familiar with. We're using Lego bricks, Kinects drones, iPad, basically whatever medium children are interested in these days. So the older they get, the more technical they get. So that's where the drones and the iPads and the computers and things come in, even virtual reality and things like that. And we just often say, don't tell them it's educational because what we're trying to do is provide something that's so fun that the kids just come in and think they're having a great time. But we know underneath it, they're benefiting both academically and socially so much from the programs we do at Snapology.


Laurie Barkman:

It's a really clever way to get kids involved. And you were inspired by your son, is that right?


Laura Coe:

That's right. Yeah. So my son, Sebastian who's now a senior in high school when we started it, he was just about six years old. And he's a very neat kid, just very academic, gifted in so many ways, but he wasn't really interested in playing sports. I mean, he dabbled with it here and there, but that really wasn't his thing. And when you're a little boy that doesn't play sports, the social opportunities are really lessened to a great extent. And so I was trying to get him into different activities that would get him around kids his age and get him to have more peer interaction. And it was really challenging. And that's what really kind of led to this. He was a crazy Lego kid. He's just kind of got that engineering mind and it's really been neat to watch him grow up and he's got an entrepreneurial mind as well. When we started Snapology, it was really for him. It was really to help him interact with other kids in his wheelhouse, in an academic, but yet social and super fun environment. And he certainly benefited from it. And now we've been able to have hundreds of thousands of kids benefit from it.


Laurie Barkman:

Yeah. And we'll talk about the growth in a minute. I want to stay on Sebastian for a second. I love how he was your inspiration. Because as a mom, you saw a market need, you discovered a market need through your son. How did you pursue that? Do you just wake up one day and say, I’ve got to create a Lego company. I mean, how did this come to life?


Laura Coe:

It's interesting. The way things unfold in your life, and I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and even your good and bad experiences happened for a reason and lead you down a path. I had owned a couple of businesses when the kids were super little and the businesses were great and they weren't really, I didn't really feel the passion for them, but I knew that my parents were entrepreneurs. I knew that I wanted to own my own business someday. So I kind of had that in the back of my mind. And then when I became a mom, your whole life changes and my world just started to revolve around these two little boys. And so as I was really kind of searching for just activities, just Googling activities for kids my sons’ ages.


Laura Coe:

That's when I started to see people all across the country. My son was really into Lego. Lego is the number one toy in the world. And so when I started to Google activities that maybe he would be interested in Lego robotics programs came up, like 4-H Clubs and just different mom and pop shops, doing different things with Lego. And that's really when it hit me. So it was kinda like my worlds collided. So as a mom, I was searching for things for my kids. But then as an entrepreneur, I'm always looking for what's a good business opportunity. And it just, all of a sudden one day I was like, that's it, we need to start a business where we're doing something with Legos or engineering type toys.


Laura Coe:

And in those types of things where the kids can be social and participate almost like…there's actually a program called First Lego League and they often call it the sport for the mind. And so that's really what I was looking for was a simple activity, a basic activity that a kid, as young as three or four could get into that would be their sport or their thing. And so I don't know that it was accidental, but it was certainly not like I set out on a mission to find, okay, what's my business going to be. But it was just kind of like the perfect storm, I guess, that kind of created it. And I went to my sister, she actually didn't have children at the time. I'm more of the boots on the ground, operational finance kind of person. She's more salesy and creative and she's sometimes more of a strategic thinker than I am. And she's my best friend as well. And so it was a perfect partner for me. I went to her and asked her if she'd be interested. And she was like, yeah, I mean, that's awesome. Well, yeah, I'm in, and that's how it began. And so my operational skills along with her strategic and creative skills came together and really helped form the foundation of the company.


Laurie Barkman:

So the company launched, I guess, ten years ago. Happy anniversary.


Laura Coe:

Yeah. It was not the anniversary year we were hoping for.


Laurie Barkman:

No, not at all. We'll take a do over. We'll do it again. Next year.


Laura Coe:

That's right. Eleven is the new ten, I guess.


Laurie Barkman:

Right. Yeah, exactly. But you started from scratch as a mompreneur, if I can call you that, and now you're in 150 plus locations, is that right?


Laura Coe:

That's right. Yeah. So we've got 150 locations. We're actually in 12 different countries. It's been super fun watching the company grow and really, like we talked about, I mean, I just started this for my own child. And so it's just amazing to me to see now that so many kids like Sebastian are benefiting from this. I've got a younger son Garrett. I should probably mention him. Hi Garrett. And it's obviously benefited him as well. And as similar type kid, very academic, he's a little more social, a little bit more inclined for the athletics and that kind of thing. But the way Snapology has just benefited both of them with teamwork and partnering and social skills. And it's just been incredible to watch it grow. From nothing from one location 10 years ago. We started franchising five years ago, and now we're at 150 locations in 12 countries. So it's just really kind of cool to watch it boom.


Laurie Barkman:

That is so great. It's so interesting because you hear about these startups and you think about the startup garage for these tech companies and the HP garage in the seventies that we all think about. For you, you probably had the equivalent at your kitchen table with the boys playing Legos, and you had a built-in feedback mechanism with their friends and you knew inherently you're onto something. So let's fast forward. You mentioned that you started a franchise model about five years ago. How did you come to the conclusion that that was the growth for you?


Laura Coe:

It wasn't actually an easy decision. And what happened was about two years into the business and we were just running a local Pittsburgh operation. At that point, we started having people come to us and say, Hey, this is awesome. They would come visit our center or take one of our classes in Pittsburgh. Hey, I want to take this back to my hometown. they had family in Pittsburgh and they were just visiting and they wanted to take it back. And that's when we started to realize, you know what? Yeah, we should do that. And so we actually started under a licensing model about seven to eight years ago. And we grew about a dozen locations under this licensing model in the licensing model was good. I mean, I think there's definitely a nice space for some businesses to be licensed.


Laura Coe:

And what we realized after a couple years was that we were much better off as a franchise. I was almost anti franchise in the beginning, and that was really lack of knowledge on my part.


Laurie Barkman:

Why were you anti?


Laura Coe:

Well, my parents actually owned a business under a licensing model. And so I kind of grew up under that model and it worked really well for them. And I had actually owned two franchises in the past and one, or actually at the time I was doing that, I think I still even owned one. One of the franchises was absolutely wonderful. I mean, it was great. It provided the support we needed. It's actually a franchise that I model a lot of what we do with Snapology after, because they had a lot of really nice bells and whistles and tools and support and things like that.


Laura Coe:

The other model really just didn't have their act together at the time they may now, but they really just, I didn't get the value. I felt lost. I was young. I mean, at that point I was heck in my late twenties trying to run a business early thirties. And so I needed the help and they just weren't there. And so I had a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth with that. And then you hear of franchises who are all about the franchise that charge you $3 for a small cup and you have to buy it through them and that kind of thing. And so I just had in the back of my head, this, I don't want to be big brother. I don't want to, I want my people to be successful.


Laura Coe:

I want them to keep 90 plus percent of the profit. I didn't think I could do that under a franchise model. I ended up changing legal counsel and thank goodness for the Internicola Law Firm. I mean, they completely turned us around. They provided so much support to us and really helped us understand. No, you can be a franchise and do the things that you want to do. You don't have to be big brother. You can set this up in an effective way. And thank goodness we did because honestly our franchise disclosure document was approved in mid 2015, and we doubled our growth in a year. And now, I mean, just five years later, we're at 150 locations. So it was the best move we ever made. So, but not to say that licensing is bad. I mean, I think there's probably a time and a place for that, but for us, the benefits of franchising and that just the connections that I've made through the franchise industry has made my franchise better. The ideas that I get from other franchise owners, it's amazing, even franchise owners in my same industry that are kind of technically competitors are so willing to help and to share ideas and we all kind of help each other move forward and it really makes the whole franchising industry better.


Laurie Barkman:

So Laura, this is an incredible growth story, and I love that you've taken this idea from your kitchen table to 12 countries around the world. And I want to talk about today. we were laughing a second ago about your 10th anniversary and how it's not that fun this year. And I want to talk about the impact of the pandemic on your business, because it's a hands-on experience for the kids to come in and do the learning and the activities and use the curriculum that you have. How have your company values driven your business decisions during the pandemic?


Laura Coe:

I think company values are so important and it's something that I think when you start out in business, sometimes you're so busy that you don't take a step back to really figure out who you are. But really during this pandemic, we really had to draw on those core values because we didn't really want to deviate from who we were. So we didn't want to change to a company that sold widgets. We wanted to stay true. We wanted to continue to support our community in a meaningful way. We wanted to continue to provide these types of opportunities that we've always provided to children. We've always focused on the fun, the academic enrichment, and social development. And when the pandemic started, we found ourselves in a situation where schools were shutting down and who would have really even ever thought that that could have even happened.


Laura Coe:

It was nothing that we ever really anticipated. So, we had to adapt pretty quickly because what we found. And if you remember back to what seems like a lifetime ago, March, I mean, the kids were basically ripped from their friends. They were ripped from school. The littler ones didn't even really understand them. It was literally one day they were with a billion other kids and the next day they were home alone with mom and dad. We found the community in a situation where parents needed our support. The schools were having trouble adapting quickly because online learning is not as easy as it sounds. So these parents were all of a sudden at home with kids all day with no learning opportunities and the kids weren't being social.


Laura Coe:

So what we really had to do was figure out which of our current programs we could adapt for an online environment to get kids social. The academic enrichment is always baked into what we do, but what we really have focused on in the pandemic was more the social aspect. Even the fun aspect to some extent. Kids who had birthdays, their birthday parties were canceled and everything. So we wanted to have virtual birthday parties. We had a lot of in the beginning, we had a lot of play dates just to get kids on the screen with their friends, having fun and everything facilitated by Snapology staff members. So it's like a controlled online play date. It was super fun for the kids and they love when they get on the screen, hi Billy, hi Jenny, they just love interacting and talking with each other.


Laura Coe:

And in the end it got them a lot more comfortable, even just with an online environment. It got them to learn how to use the different Zooms and Google Meets and all of those kinds of things. And it got them to be social. But what really, from a company value perspective, it really helped us zoom in and focus on our customers, both the parents and the kids to make sure that we could continue to fill those academic and social gaps and provide a meaningful program during this time.


Laurie Barkman:

And that happened really quickly didn't it?


Laura Coe:

It did. I mean, honestly we adapted our programs and probably, we adapted, I'll say in a two-week period, although then we had a long run out of fine tuning. But we came out with over 60 programs fairly quickly. It was I think March 15th or 18th or something that we rolled out about 60 programs. We had a whole bunch of free Facebook activities that would keep the kids at least doing something every day and give the parents a little bit of peace to get some stuff done. It was a crazy time back then. And then, we parlayed it right into, we did two and three hour a day, summer camps online and it went incredibly well. It's not a hundred percent of what my owners were doing. It'd be nice if we could get back there, but heck, we're back to 50 to 70% of what we were doing and in a pandemic world, I'll take that as a win.


Laurie Barkman:

Definitely it was a win along the spectrum. I mean, to pivot quickly to create 60 new programs in less than a month. And to roll that out. Did you roll that out to your franchisees in China and Vietnam and Jamaica, all around the world?


Laura Coe:

We did. Yeah. We rolled it out basically globally, and I think it's funny because when you roll it out to one country, sometimes you can't stop the spread. I mean, I think that we've actually had children enroll in our programs from probably about 30 to 35 different countries because of that. Every country is a little bit different. Some are doing better with the online programs and just because of culture and how long that Snapology location was in business before the pandemic and things like that. But yeah, I mean, internationally, we've seen a pretty nice response to the programs as well.


Laurie Barkman:

That's amazing. And when you say you you're about 50 to 70% of where you were, does this mean that this is all online revenue or are the physical locations open?


Laura Coe:

Depending on the state or the country that you're in there's a mix all summer there. Well, up to June, it was all online. And then in June, some of the States started opening up. Some of the countries opened up a little bit here and there. And so for the summer, for the last couple months, yeah, it's been a mix of some limited small group, social distanced in-person programs mixed with then the online program. So owners depending on where they live are kind of seeing a mix of both of those.


Laurie Barkman:

Yeah. It makes me think about the reinvention of K through 12. I've read some interesting articles about that lately, and I'm sure you spend a lot of time thinking about education, educational models and with this rapid changeover for educators to put things online when they had no experience with it previously, what are your thoughts about that for going forward? What do you think of the implications of COVID-19 on the learning environment as we move forward, hopefully out of this environment, do you think it's going to stay in our culture?


Laura Coe:

I hope that aspects of it stay. I think for us, for example, we've always been looking for a way to get to children that were hospital bound or home bound or in super rural areas. And so for us, while we do truly believe that the in-person hands-on experience is really the true way to learn STEM and STEAM. The online definitely has some great applications. We do plan to continue some online in those limited cases. And I think the same will be true for schools. I actually was talking to my Director of Operations the other day, and she said that they're using online like the new snow day. I mean, why do you have to have a snow day anymore? Just put the kids online. And now they're all familiar with that, at least they will be, once we get back in school and kids get used to it having an online class will be second nature to kids.


Laura Coe:

And so if a child is, there are also kids that have surgeries or get sick, why can't you just pipe them right into the room and have them do online learning? So I think there's like what I said before. You learn from bad experiences and you learn from good experiences. Sometimes you learn more from bad experiences, to be honest with you. And I'm hopeful that this is one of those bad experiences that some good comes out of. I think there definitely can be some long-term positive impacts of just learning to teach this way.


Laurie Barkman:

I think that's a great perspective. As you talk to other small business owners, but you're not a small business anymore, you're larger than that. But as you talk to other independent business owners, what do you hear? How would you advise them for how to plan for next year?


Laura Coe:

Yeah, it's interesting. I mean, gosh, I'm hoping we get back to kind of a normal cycle of things and that we're able to spend much more time in person with our clients. But for us, and this was something that I really tried to emphasize with my franchisees. Things did slow down a little bit and I'm hopeful that small business owners took this time to take another look at their business to it's really a chance to reboot your business to solidify the foundation of the business, maybe make some needed changes. And that I think is going to help in the next year. I know for us, we did take the time to really take a fresh look at things and see how we could do things differently and come up with some new programs and some new ideas.


Laura Coe:

And the hope is that it really energizes entrepreneurs and provides a new jumping off point for the future. The definition of entrepreneurs, they make something out of nothing. That's certainly what we've had to do. In the past, gosh, has it even been six months? It feels like forever, but yeah, I'm excited about the future. I think that for our business in particular, I look at there should be a boom in enrichment to fill the gaps that this pandemic caused academically and socially for kids. From a franchise perspective, I think parents are realizing that flexibility is super important and we're seeing now in particular, I think people are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.


Laura Coe:

I think now we feel like maybe we're on the down slope of the pandemic and people can start to think about the future and owning your own business now. People need jobs that are flexible. How can somebody be home with their third grader homeschooling them while they're working. Well, if you own your own business, if you own a franchise particularly a Snapology franchise, you can do that. You can flex your hours and do those things. So both from my local business, which really truly is a small business, the local Pittsburgh Snapology operation, I see a ton of opportunity there. And I think we've done a lot to strengthen the core of that business. But then also as a franchise, I see a ton of opportunity for people who are rethinking what am I doing with my life? Do I need a job with more flexibility? Do I want something more fulfilling or more meaningful? And so it brings a ton of opportunity. It's like anything. I mean, you got to see the positives instead of looking at all the negatives and, Oh, I lost X amount of revenue and all of these things. Think about where that can drive you forward and what can improve. I'm excited for the next year.


Laurie Barkman:

I think you've got a great attitude. I think so many things that you mentioned are really important, taking a fresh look, looking at making needed changes. You've got to have the balance sheet in order. And then I also think that there's probably a readiness to do things differently. That's probably the most important because if a company is going to keep doing what it's doing and not adapt, it's not going to survive and that's emphasized now more than ever, but when was that not true, change is constant. And your company's a great example of really being at the forefront of understanding what the customers needed from you. And you quickly turn that around. So kudos to you and your team. I wanted to ask you about your team. You've made a lot of investments to grow your business. And I think I read somewhere, you were doing an interview and you talked about that challenge of an entrepreneur realizing you need to let go of eventually you can't do it all. And you and your sister realized that I'm sure early on when you're working so many hours in a day, and she said, ah, we’ve got to grow. How are we going to do that? How do you find the right people? What are some examples of how you've developed talent in your company?


Laura Coe:

Yeah. developing talent is really kind of critical. The faster we grow, the more critical that becomes because you can't do everything yourself. I'd love to have enough time to be able to do it. But then at some point you realize you're just not the right person either. I've been really fortunate to hire most of my leadership team from within which is nice because they know the ins and outs of the business. So for example, our curriculum director is unbelievable. She's just fantastic. Ashley started as a teacher and then grew into an educational services role where she was hiring and onboarding and training, and then eventually grew into the full curriculum director role where she's in charge of all of the curriculum, all of the hiring, basically all things teaching and her time in each and every role that she had has really made her invaluable now, because she understands the business inside and out.


Laura Coe:

When a franchisee asks a question, she's done it, she's lived it, she knows it. And she's just awesome. She's energetic, she's enthusiastic. She really believes in the mission. I think that's where I've really been fortunate. I've hired people who care as much about this business as I do as the owner. So Ashley's just super enthusiastic. And she really cares about this business as much as I do. And that's, I think, the key. All of my leadership team, my director of operations, her husband actually owns his own business. And so she gets business ownership. She truly cares about Snapology as much as I do. And just having that perspective, even when we've hired from the outside, making those hires and making sure it's the right cultural fit, it's the right attitude.


Laura Coe:

Our director of marketing is unbelievable as well. I really am blessed to have a great team. They know the ins and outs of what we're doing. They care about the business the way we do. And, and of course, we want them to do professional development, we try to provide, going to conferences and learning new things and whether it's online or in person and, and developing their, their careers. But really, I think just, as an entrepreneur, you have to let go. And sometimes it's hard for me and I give them probably too much direction on things when I should just let them go and see what they come up with. But sometimes you really just have to do that and say, you know what? They know more than me on this, and they're going to come up with a way better idea than I could've ever come up with. It's that balance of as the entrepreneur steering the company in the right direction, but making sure that you're listening to every member of the team as you go along so that they can steer it and in an even better direction than you could have done yourself.


Laurie Barkman:

That's a great way to describe it. Certainly they have the passion like you do, and then they have the skillset that augments you. It builds upon what you need, and they care about the outcomes as much as you do, which is fantastic. Do you think of your company as a family business? I know you co-founded it with your sister. Have you thought about it that way?


Laura Coe:

Oh yeah. Snapology is a thousand percent family. We've got the entire Coe family wrapped up in this. My sister and I did found the company but when we started franchising five years ago, we very quickly brought in our brother. And that's the whole Coe sibling group. There's three of us. And he actually is phenomenal with franchise sales. He works with all of our broker sales and consultant relations. And he's been with us for over three years now and just adds a ton of value. Then it's funny where the real family comes in is that between my brother, my sister and I, we have five boys ranging in ages from 10 to 22. And so my college age nephews, they work summers helping us in marketing and operations.


Laura Coe:

My own sons have always kind of helped out where they can, but now they're high school age and it can really help with the local franchise. My younger son he is a sophomore high school actually even writes some of our escape games. Cause he's just got that creative mindset. And he's in between that thing still thinks a little bit like a kid and can make it super fun, but he's old enough to understand the academic value and can provide some assistance to the curriculum team. To then take it and obviously run with it after he's written the basic story. It's amazing. Even the little one, my sister's got a little guy who's 10, and he's a great help with the business. It's basic stuff for him, but gosh, he might be our best salesman for local business. He's so enthusiastic about it. For me, it's a dream come true. My brother and my sister are my best friends. I just absolutely love that we can do the business together and that we can involve all the kids in a truly meaningful way.


Laurie Barkman:

That is so incredible. You are literally [inaudible] and it's super cool to talk to you today and understand your story a little bit better. I had read about you and heard your story, and it's been really fantastic talking to you. I know you mentioned that the people who become your franchisees, maybe some of them are in their next act. Maybe they had a career doing something else. And if there's listeners out there that are thinking, Oh, maybe I want to be a franchise owner. How can they find out more about you about Snapology and learn more about the franchise opportunities?


Laura Coe:

There’s a wealth of information out on Snapology.com. We're pretty transparent about things. There's quite a bit of information there. But maybe the best way is really just to reach out to Bob, who I just mentioned, who is my brother, he's at bob@snapapology.com. And he can walk anybody right through any franchise opportunity that they might be interested in. It's really in this day and age, it's really a great business with a lot of flexibility. I'd say check out the website and reach out to Bob.


Laurie Barkman:

That's great. And also because you're global, I do have some listeners in other countries. So I think that because you offer that opportunity, that you never know, there might be somebody in Australia ringing you up. So thank you so much. Is there anything that you can share with us about how you feel about entrepreneurship? I love to ask all my guests, if they have a favorite quote or a mantra that guides them.


Laura Coe:

Yeah. It's funny. I've been asked that question a couple of times and I always use a quote that is funny because I'm not even sure they know who said it. They say it might be George Eliot, or it might be somebody else,


“It's never too late to be what you might've been.”

I think for me, I've gone through several career changes in my life and searching for what fit and what my passion is. And so I think, it's never too late to be what you might've been is true. You can change the course of your entire life at any point. And for me, certainly Snapology has done that, and definitely for the positive, and I'm hopeful that can happen for other folks.


Laurie Barkman:

I love that thought. It's never too late to be what you might've been. Laura, thank you so much for joining me today. And thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.


Laura Coe:

Yeah. Thank you for having me.


Laurie Barkman:

Innovation, transition growth, easy to say but hard to do.


If you're an entrepreneur facing these challenges, I get it.

I work with businesses from small to big for strategic planning with your team to achieve your vision.

Visit smalldotbig.com to schedule a call with me. I'd love to connect with you.

Be sure to catch the next Succession Stories episode with more insights for next generation entrepreneurs.


Thanks for listening.



Laurie Barkman is a Business Growth Advisor | Entrepreneurship Instructor | Host of Succession Stories Podcast| CEO of SmallDotBig working with owners to increase business value and achieve their goals. Connect with Laurie for a free consultation to plan for your future.


SmallDotBig is a strategic advisory firm for owners of small to mid-size companies. Our mission is to dramatically increase the value of your business anticipating a sale or ownership transition in the future. We help you get more freedom over your time and more happiness in your personal life. Our process combines Value Building, Executive Coaching, and Strategic Planning. Want a business and personal roadmap to achieve your dreams?  Reach out today. 

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