WSI Interview

May 15th, 2008
Interview with Gilles Dandel, Internet Consultant (IC)

< France >


Interviewer : Rodolphe Hatchadourian
Interviewees : Dandel (Gilles)

With a network of over 1500 offices in 87 countries, WSI is the leading provider of Internet solutions to small and medium sized businesses the world over. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, WSI provides affordable Internet related services and technologies that deliver maximum return on investment for businesses. In 2007, WSI was the proud recipient of 3 Standard of Excellence Awards at the Annual WebAwards Competition organized by the Web Marketing Association (WMA). The company has held the Number 1 spot in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 listing for over 7 years in a row. Leading US based industry business publication Success Magazine listed WSI in its ranking of “Top Ten Franchises We Love”. Europe’s leading business franchise directory, Franchise Europe ranks WSI as Number 1 under the Computer, Electronic and Internet Services category of their Top 500 Franchises list, as also amongst the coveted Top 100 franchises in Europe. For more information about WSI’s offerings and business opportunities, please visit our websites at www.wsimarketing.com or www.wsiconsultants.com A WSI Internet Consultant (IC) shares his success story… Gilles holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from (name of University) and also an MBA from (name of University). With this background in technology and management, he has had a successful career in large multi-national corporations. His most recent assignment prior to joining WSI was with an international company called Suez. Gilles was involved in managing innovative projects to improve quality and field force productivity. Over a period of 14 years in the field of technology and management, Gilles has been rewarded with 7 trophies for outstanding innovations and 1 innovation Grand Prix in 2000 for Elyo's SmartPhone project. This project involved a solution to optimise work order management based on a GSM SmartPhone to receive/send wireless messages in real time work order/work report. This happens to be the biggest operational solution ever deployed in France, involving over 3500 Field Engineers. The project was extended with PROMODAS, a European funded project and a new wireless 3G solution in 2003.

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What factors contributed to your decision on giving up a stable, well respected and highly paid job in the corporate world and starting business on your own?
Despite being well employed in the corporate world, I always nurtured a burning desire to start my own business. Although my professional career was very satisfying and well paying, I yearned for bigger challenges. I knew that the opportunity to take greater responsibility for business performance would also bring a greater share of profits.
In anything I’ve done in life, a high level of satisfaction has always been very important to me. I realized that as I rose higher on the corporate ladder, things would become increasingly difficult and less satisfying. I had to choose between the stability of a high salaried job and the desire to be my own boss. As I started to think more about this and looked around me at other entrepreneurs, I realized that being one’s own boss often times also meant being your own sales person, project manager, marketing coordinator, book keeper and administrator. On the brighter side, the rewards held a promise of working locally, yet maintaining my standard of living with an enhanced quality of life.
I must admit though that I had not completely made up my mind about starting out on my own until I came upon the WSI franchise opportunity. That is when I decided it was the best thing for me and ever since I’ve been a `free man’. The WSI business has allowed me to leverage my professional background and management experience in a world class consulting environment. The credibility and profitability of my business is indeed more satisfying than many of the business deals I did in my corporate career.

Unlike many first time entrepreneurs who strike out on their own, you chose a franchisor. What brought you to WSI?
My experience in the corporate world made me a great believer in systems and defined processes as a way to conduct business. While innovation and experimentation always gave me the opportunity to face new challenges, my confidence came from knowing there were systems and processes in place to minimize business risks. I needed that same level of confidence when I decided to set out on my own in the world of business. From my research and observation of self run businesses, I was convinced that franchising, where the franchisor operates within a framework of systems and processes, was the best way to get a speedy start on new business and maximize my ROI. That was my discovery of WSI.
During my process of “discovery” about WSI, I learned about and understood the company’s unique business processes like the Internet Lifecycle System™ and the ABCs of Internet Marketing™. I saw the benefits of WSI Modular Development Technology™ and how I could rely on it to deliver high quality Internet marketing solutions in quick turnaround time to my clients with guaranteed return on investment. Getting to know the global reach and depth of the virtual private e-Marketplace, I was assured that I my clients would have access to advanced technology products and services available locally and affordably.
In choosing WSI, I could see my clients and myself being profitable for the long term. Truly, I have no doubts that I made the right choice.

Tell us about your initial period with WSI. What does the future look like?
When I first started, I spent a lot of time understanding relevant technology in this business so I could build credibility for myself as a true business consultant. I started with my basic Internet knowledge and skills coupled with an eagerness to learn more and apply my knowledge to the benefit of the local business community. I also realized I needed to spend a maximum amount of my time being out in the field generating inquiries. The first two years were not easy, but I was diligent to stay focused and face the challenge.
The Internet moves at a breakneck pace and this can seem daunting, but as WSI franchisees we are never alone in business. The training initiatives at WSI helped me establish my business on firm footing. In August 2006, when the WSI business model adopted a specialization in Internet marketing, I was amongst the first batch of Certified Internet Marketing Consultants. Prior to that, I was trained remotely over a period of 6 weeks through WSI’s proprietary e-learning environment. This was followed by intensive classroom training for a week at the company’s corporate headquarters in Toronto, Canada. Following certification in the classroom, I was still not alone as I stepped into the field. Business experts at the headquarters guided me through the initial days to give my business a quick start. To remain in touch with industry trends and evolving technology, WSI offers ongoing training opportunities using daily Web conferences, regional seminars, global conferences, mentoring programs and ambassador coaching. I also have access to 24 hour/7 days a week technical and business support from our skilled team at WSI corporate headquarters.
The support I have had from WSI has been immense and exciting things have happened since the time I have been with the organization. With the growing list of satisfied clients giving me highly credible referrals as well as steady recurring revenues, my goal now is to take my business to the next level. I plan to achieve this through specialization, outsourcing and expanded resources. I look forward to a good number of `delighted' clients, enhanced profitability for their and my business and most of all, a bigger, better family of WSI ICs building our brand around the world. It’s exciting times ahead!


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