Clint and DeAnna Lewis Balance Faith, Family, and Franchise - Black Enterprise

Clint and DeAnna Lewis Balance Faith, Family, and Franchise

Clint and DeAnna Lewis, Franchise, wingstop, fatburger
Clint and DeAnna Lewis (Photo Credit: Gervel Sampson)
Managing and building a successful business is no easy task. Building a successful marriage while building a successful business is even harder.
Clint and DeAnna Lewis are owners of five Wingstop and four Fatburger franchises and have made a commitment to growing their relationship as they do their joint business ventures. The recipients of the Million Dollar Store Club and Top Sales Increase awards, Clint, a certified personal financial analyst, has over 25 years of experience in financial planning and wealth management industry. DeAnna received a bachelor’s in Business Management and a master’s in Educational Counseling and has over 25 years of experience as a social worker. The Lewis’s have taken their learning and put it into a book entitled Faith, Family, and Franchise to help couples and singles navigate the path to business success and family wealth building.
Black Enterprise had the opportunity to discuss their new book, balancing business and relationships, and lessons to take away from COVID-19.

Why faith, family, and franchise?

We have a faith-based walk that we try to live every day. Our plan was always to build together as a family. I was already doing real estate investing so during the early 2000s before the bubble burst; real estate is very good to us. Once we found out that in my wife’s hometown of Bakersfield there weren’t a lot of eateries. We started to research and see what it would take to own a franchise. 

There was such a myth out there that if you own a franchise you’re not a real business owner. The part of saying franchise is about educating people on what that means. From the day-to-day responsibilities including operations, payroll, etc. 

How do you successfully balance the business of building a business and building your relationship?

It’s not easy but we work together well. One of the most important things is that we like each other. In the early stages of our relationship and then our marriage we made a pact that we will go ahead and get away every 90 days. This didn’t have to be an expensive getaway but something within the budget at the time. We would use this time to talk about our future, goals, and dreams that we share together. We were just really committed to building a solid foundation for each other, which in turn helps develop and grow our franchise business and most importantly our family.

What are two lessons from your book that you think are most important as we are going through the COVID-19 pandemic?  

As a business owner, it is extremely important to know your numbers. Basically, this boils down to understanding your budget. Your overhead, payroll, materials, and other expenses have to be accounted for accurately. 

If you are thinking about a new business startup or franchise, do your research. Also, talk to people within the industry you plan to start your business in. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You would be surprised how many business owners will give you advice.  

What three pieces of advice would you share with couples starting a business together?

Get to know each other. Have a real conversation. Don’t pretend with whomever you want to build your life with. Be vulnerable enough to share those areas of possible insecurities including finances, family, divorce, and career. This will create a solid footing for all the other things that come along.