Feb 5, 2019
Seema Nibber always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. A native of India, Seema first arrived in the U.S. in 2005. She and her family only stayed a year, but Seema knew she would someday return. In 2012, Seema, her husband and two kids arrived permanently. They settled in San Jose, California, and Seema became a naturalized citizen in 2015. Though Seema was always successful in whatever job she held, she wanted more — to be her own boss.
A meticulous researcher, Seema looked into franchising and discovered 7-Eleven. In early 2018, she reached out to a 7-Eleven Franchise Sales Representative in Sacramento and soon developed a relationship. Her FSR informed her of a competition that Seema might be perfect for — W.E. Take The Lead, a contest that gives one hardworking woman the chance to win her own 7-Eleven store.
Seema entered the competition, but never expected to hear back. As luck would have it, Seema did get a call back. It was 7-Eleven informing her she’d made the contest finals! Seema soon arrived in Dallas at 7-Eleven headquarters, ready to test her mettle. Though she didn’t end up the contest victor, she did end up with 7-Eleven because Seema still wanted her own 7-Eleven store. On December 27, 2018, she celebrated her grand opening in San Jose.
We sat down with Seema and asked her a few questions about the process:
“I was working in management and looking for opportunities to grow. I had a dream of becoming an entrepreneur, so I really did my homework and that’s how I discovered 7-Eleven. The franchise model just made so much sense. I found Paula [Quigley, FSR] in Sacramento, and she introduced me to the contest. My family really encouraged me to enter.”
“I had done so much research. I studied the history and it seemed with every technological innovation, 7-Eleven was always on it. Bringing more convenience to the market, the first to offer to-go coffee, going digital — always thinking ahead, always focused on the future. And when you’re focused on the future, you grow. That really motivated me to pursue my own 7-Eleven store, even though I didn’t win the contest. Besides, everybody knows 7-Eleven all over the world!”
“The hands-on experience. I loved being in the store and interacting with customers. I love being around people and helping them.”
“Making my submission video! I was so nervous and scared, but my kids helped me put it together.”
“The training was really awesome. It was very educational. It really shows you what the store is really like and how the life of a Franchisee really is. [7-Eleven] takes you through each and every step of the process, what will come up, what will happen. You’ll learn how to utilize every tool, all your equipment and backup support, so that you run your business in a better way. Now that I have my own store, if I come across something I have difficulty with, I go back and read my notes and remember how to do it.”
“I talk to Paula a lot. She’s helped me so much. She’s so motivating. Anytime I talk to her, I am so motivated. I get so much energy, like ‘I can do this!’ She really energized me.”
“Increase my sales, for sure. And to have every single customer get the 7-Eleven loyalty app on their phone. I’m mostly focused on those two things.”
“I learn something new every single day. And every single day is different. From inventory to accounting, every day is a new experience. I learned so much in training, but actually doing it in the store, you learn so much. 7-Eleven really does teach you everything. But you have to pay attention! If you don’t, then there will be surprises. (laughs)”
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