A Franchisee’s Journey: Getting to Know…Judy Praska

Judy Praska’s Fastest Labs franchise may be one of the newest businesses in Bloomington, MN, but her desire to take the entrepreneurial route in life goes way back. Yet, like most people who are ambitious enough to become their own boss, the journey took her on a winding road to get there. Praska started off as a high school teacher, focusing on classes for mathematics and computer science. After several years as an educator, Judy chased another passion of hers, sports. Over a span of several years, she rose to become the executive director of a nonprofit promoting volleyball across the Midwest. By the time she put her stamp on the organization, the outfit was working with over 800 different clubs in a three-state area including Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

But the gravitational pull of entrepreneurship continued to tug at her heart. And the feeling only intensified over time, peaking as she left the nonprofit in 2018. “I thought of a few different paths I could take in continuing my career, but to be honest nothing really stood out or appealed to me in a meaningful way,” says Praska. She discussed her entrepreneurial feelings with her husband, who supportively replied, “Go for it!”

It was during a meeting at a job transitioning support group that she crossed paths with Wes Roper, FranNet’s consultant for Minnesota. Roper developed a modified assessment for Judy which revealed her key strengths, leading to the presentation of several concepts. After careful review and consideration, Fastest Labs emerged as a clear choice. “If it’s all in a name, it was destined to be a good fit for me, because I like things that go fast,” says Praska. 

Things moved quickly once the papers were officially signed. Living up to its name, Fastest Labs allowed Judy to ramp up—a process she called the ‘fun part’. “I was very interested in what the other Fastest Labs franchisees had to say about operating their businesses,” said Praska. “Fortunately, I was able to get valuable information from current franchises. I like to be efficient, I guess. I just hate to waste time.” The business model was an attractive choice. Praska appreciated its simple business proposition. “You don’t need a large staff or too much square footage. The franchisor support team has been extremely helpful.”

Fastest Labs of Bloomington, MN held its grand opening on June 10 of last year. After the fanfare died down, Judy rolled up her sleeves and got to work. “Admittedly, it was a bit slow at first, but the more I applied myself, the better things got,” she remembers. “As I kept understanding our value proposition better, I could sell our services more easily. Now, I’m happy to report that our growth and stability appears to be right on schedule.”

Praska credits FranNet for helping her navigate through the franchise ownership process. “Wes Roper is someone that I also consider a friend, in addition to being one of the best consultants I’ve ever met. We both understand the power of networking and, to this day, we continue to send each other new business leads! We’ve stayed in close touch since I launched my business and that tells you that there is something special about the way FranNet consultants truly care about the well-being of their clients. Their interest in your success doesn’t end the day they close a deal. That’s where it begins.”

For more information, please visit Judy Praska’s Fastest Labs website.

May 14, 2020