There are always positives and negatives surrounding franchising, and that’s really at the heart of what I want to get to. But I wanted to start off with a little bit about you and your own words. You know I do the bio when we start the interview, but I always like to these things that the guests knows that I don’t know.
So, let’s start with a little bit about your background. You know you mentioned Wall Street, you mentioned being a franchise owner. How did how did how did what’s the story behind becoming what you are today great Paul thanks for having me, I am really excited. You know. As far as the history goes, I’m a first generation my parents were born in Italy and I’ve always aspired to be a business owner.
My parents owned the restaurant for over 40 years. I had worked in that restaurant and parents always said you know what you need to get a college education. So I pursued my undergrad and eventually my graduate degree worked for some of the larger companies out there, such as UPS and JP Morgan and after experiencing corporate America realizing the industry was great. I learned a lot in financial service.
It just wasn’t the best match. For me, it was, I felt like it was more of a number than that anything else. So, after my you know being in Wall Street learning about investments, I decided to go to business ownership. So I took a look at some existing businesses for sale in my area and I decided also to take a look at franchises and since they had such a great proven system, I didn’t have to kind of recreate the wheel and put some information online and a Bluebird, not a franchise consultant almost 15 years ago, had contacted me and we went through the process took.
I would say about almost a year at most to do my due diligence since I was working going, back-and-forth commuting to New York City and after my due diligence, I decided on a franchise here and it’s been great. It’s been 13 years of business ownership and the part I kind of make everyone laugh about is the day after purchasing the franchise I kind of went back to the consultants said. You know what I really enjoy the process.
How do i? How do I become a franchise consultant and he had a kind of a you know. Excuse me a chuckle and said you know it. We could definitely explore that opportunity down the road, but you know run the business for a while learn about business ownership firsthand, and we can explore that opportunity down the road and sure enough that was in 2007. I purchased. My first of many franchises leads us to today and now a franchise consultant so know took a little you know took, took a while definitely gained a better appreciation of what a consultant does.
But I definitely love what I’m doing and I’m here to help in any way possible. I’m glad you did I’m glad you started off that way. Giuseppe and the reason is, I think, a lot of entrepreneurs. I’ve certainly been guilty of this. I share this with you know, with with my clients and people that I work with, there’s just really no shortcut if you’re going to be in the consulting, if you’re going to be in any kind of thought, leadership position, there’s no shortcut around the hard work that You have to go through to have the expertise in the first place and I think a lot of people really want to skirt that.
Somehow, and and that’s one of the reasons I don’t claim – you know the title of business coach or something like that, because I don’t feel like that’s – that’s really something that I can legitimately say. Oh, I’ve run a business, you know for X amount of years and and that kind of thing, so I’m really glad you put it that way, because it’s a great it’s a great starting point, particularly if we’re going to talk about people who are you know, maybe On the fence about jumping into business ownership, you know, but but so I actually do want to drill on that a little bit, and that is to say, if you knew, if you, if France, I his ownership, was your first experience in business ownership.
What was the, what was it like to to springboard from that into the understanding you have now I mean: how long did it take you to become comfortable as a business owner? That’s a great question, so I helped to manage my my family’s restaurant, so that was so. You had some experiences there with managing people hiring firing dealing with financials so with the the franchise. I was involved in her that a few are I was involved in.
It took a little bit of an adjustment period to you know. Now, I’m investing my own money. This is my. This is my sole income going forward, so there was a few month adjustment of just trying to figure it all out. Luckily I was with a great franchise system, so everything was put in place. It was a newer company, so we were at the time developing new new ways of streamlining the process from billing to taking care of customer.
Maybe that wasn’t fully satisfied. So you know I come from an environment of much larger companies where you’re giving a smaller task. They’re saying, okay: this is what you’re going to do every day, you’re going to sell financial service products to this part of the country, whereas now you’re, you become a jack-of-all-trades, and I took me, I think it took me a little bit longer because I wanted to Be an expert in all areas I wanted to.
You know the accounting I’ve done accounting before this was a little bit different, so I wanted to explore every opportunity. I wanted to go out and work with some of the other franchises since I was a master franchisee. So I got some other franchisees in our territory, so my approach was very hands-on because I wanted to know the business inside out. I think it gave me a better appreciation of the overall business and really helped me to grow the business and to put people in place that could run the other business on a day-to-day mmm-hmm.
So then this goes over over about a period of 12 years. Would you say about maybe halfway through that finally had all settled in and you were just operating like a well-oiled machine, or did it come sooner or later than that it took several years? I don’t remember the exact year where we hired a general manager to take over the business, but for me it wasn’t that the systems were in place. It was more of a trust factor.
You know hiring finding that right person, you know, we’ve had management, asked to find someone that could manage the entire business and not just one part of the business. So it took a few years once we found that that person, that person actually was hired as a sales rep for our company and after speaking with them and knowing his background, had a lot of management, experience and sure enough.
A couple months later, we ended up hiring him as a a general managers to run the the entire business. I was still involved, but I had him dealing with a lot of the day-to-day questions and counting that that comes up. You know I like this just sends me off on a on a complete tangent, but it it’s funny. You should mention that, because recently, on a personal note, I’ve been exploring the concept of manage of stewardship and management versus ownership as part of my spiritual life, and I and I just you know, I really, I really think in view of what I read every day.
I think good managers have got to be harder to find than good owners. Would you would you agree with that as a sort of a rhetorical statement, not altogether true, but you know true a lot of the time good managers so hard to find somebody who doesn’t own the what you what you put them in charge of but handles it Like they do, I agree with that, because you’re looking so with the manager you’re looking for someone to run the day-to-day business, there’s that rust factor, you know, there’s no black and white.
This is just your role. You’re just handling one thing: you’re handling multiple things, and you know I was part of a smaller company that was growing, so you have to learning into that right. It’s not just this is the way it’s going to be every day is, is you’re going to start out here? Have your calendar filled and then end up at point. You know at point Z, will say from A to Z and today: you’ll have your your day plan that and then something will come up, and so you have to kind of adapt and say: okay, I’m going to I’m going to reschedule my day or maybe push My sales meetings to later in the afternoon just to address a customer that has a concern, but, yes, I would agree hundred percent, it’s the management or even stepping back employees.
Finding good quality employees is crucial to your business. There are some very strong franchises out there and, at the end of the day, some some are going to be more involved to help you find those key employees and some are just going to more or less give you a job description that you should use to Find those employees, but the employees, the the management extremely important, not every owner – is going to run the business the same way.
Some well-managed managers, you know more of a semi absentee ownership and some are going to be involved in the day-to-day and just delegate certain tasks to certain people, but extremely difficult to find good quality employees – and you know when you find them hold on to them, make Sure that happy take care of them and so that they stay, and you know at the end of the day you want. You want those employees as you grow, to bring people and just like themselves kind of like a franchise company.
They find a really good franchisee. They wan na they kind of want to in a way, I jokingly, say, clone you and find laws apply themselves yeah, yes, yeah. I want my employees to you, know, attract and bring people just like them, so makes my life a lot easier and just makes for a great overall working environment. Well – and that goes back to the whole – and I I’ve got it the questions gadget we will, but this just brings up a fascinating point.
I’ve had this discussion with a couple of the previous guests, and that is that the friend of mine Ron, Karrueche who’s, a consultant here in the Seattle area, said you know everything you do in your business has to further the vision and the the unique value that You bring to the marketplace and, if you’re not scaling off of that you’re not going to scale, and I think that I think that’s what you’re getting at there.
The franchise is looking to clone themselves because they’ve got a successful starting set of principles, visions, values whatever their and then they look for people who want to replicate that and right down to the lowest level employee. A good manager is going to do the same thing. So great way of putting it absolutely so I’ll get to the next question now now that weird now that we’ve we’ve we’ve tackled your intro and mined it for gold, and it’s been good – it’s been great so far a vague perception I would have my you know.
I think I mentioned to my dad was once in a franchise group. It was in Southern California, it stood up for a little while and then collapsed, and the CEO who was also the the majority owner was a great. I mean just a fantastic salesperson, so he could sit down a business owner or somebody of some degree of means who could invest in a franchise and he could just take a talk him into it. You know he could get them and he could transfer that enthusiasm.
So well that they would say you know this. This looks like the way forward, but it was the Peter Principle. The classic you know the guy should not. The guy should have been in charge of acquiring new accounts. He should not have been in charge of running the company, but he was the majority shareholder. So who was going to stop him now? Would you I mean? I don’t know that you pay attention to this, but would you say there’s a lawful lot of people in your industry kind of like in any other industry, where it’s it’s too much push and make the sale and get to the deal and all that and not Enough thinking it through and actually identifying, is this the right fit? Would you say that’s common in your industry as well? You know, I’m sure you know, as with any industry, you’re going to come across, that you know a lot of people looking to own a franchise.
They get excited, they get excited about a product, so sometimes it’s not even the sales force they’re just sold because they had a sandwich or a slice of pizza at a certain franchise, and that’s that’s the franchise they want. So the way I would answer that is, you know when you’re dealing with people sure I’m sure it happen. But ultimately I think I see from the candidates and people I’ve worked with and just friends and family.
You know throughout the years as people get excited and they invest or purchase a franchise for the wrong reason is okay. I can. I can even take a step a step further. So when you’re Frank choices is I’m an independent consultant with Fran choice, they don’t run since 2000, one of the innovators and what we do. We have 70 consultants total that that work for work with Fran choice, Fran choice. Our back office will actually bet that you know there’s over 3,000 franchise companies and we worked with less than 200 companies out there and why we do that is our franchise.
We’ll take a look and make sure that the companies are stable, that they’re growing, that they have great validation. You know they don’t want fly-by-night companies that just started. You know the put together at the franchise disclosure document in contract two weeks prior times. They definitely like to bet and make sure they’re dealing with some solid companies, and the reason I bring that up is not every franchisee is, is equal right? It’s not it’s not created exactly the same.
So there’s. Definitely some really good things that a lot of the franchise companies have put together, but ultimately, as a investor in a franchise, you want to make sure that fit is a good fit for you. So you are at the end of they. After working with someone like myself, I’m going to put you directly in touch with a franchise company, so you’ll be a with their franchise development person, their VP of franchising, and they will.
It’s almost like, like a two-way street. They’ll they’ll do a little bit of an interview figure out if you’re a good fit for the company, but you’ll also be interviewing that see if it sounds like a good fit. So, there’s a lot of a lot of things that that come into play, and I know I’m jumping around a little bit but kind of it’s the long answer, but it’ll cover all aspects through you, I mean when you work with someone like myself with a franchise Consultant and the reason I work with a consultant is you know we don’t I almost don’t even care about the actual franchise itself.
We kind of put that on the back burner. I want to learn about you. I want to figure out Paul, you know Paul. Are you a you good match for owning a business in general and you’ll say? Well, what do you you know? What do you mean could match them? I’m contacting you about a franchise or a small business and I’ll say well, a lot of people will get into it for the wrong reasons. Moon, you know they they’ll lose their job, they were, they were downsized.
You know the company’s going through a merger which, unfortunately, I’m coming to they’re three community. Last three companies prior being a business owner. I went through a merger, so so they’ll they’ll dive into it thinking the grass is, the grass is greener and I’ll push back a little bit and say the grass isn’t always greener. It’s not a good fit for you, let’s figure out if you’re doing it for the right reason, so we’re having a one to two hour conversations before the any mention of franchise.
More of learning about yourself learning about goals, activities hobbies any anything, you’re interested in figuring at the peace of being a good fit for business ownership, and once we get past that you know a so we’re working together, I can’t work with everyone right if they’re, if They’re not what I mean by that is, if they’re, maybe not the best fit for business ownership, I’ll give them my reasoning.
What we’ll talk it through? Sometimes maybe I misunderstood something, maybe maybe we we had kind of a aha moment as I call it and I’ll stay in touch with them. You know and say you know, maybe things will change, maybe give it a little bit more time. Give it a little bit more thought and maybe we’ll talk in six months to a year, so we have those conversations I’ll do I’ll put together a monthly newsletter that I’ll send out monthly or quarterly so I’ll.
Get that for me and then I’ll hear back from them down the road for the people that I feel are a good fit and we’re in agreeance, and we move forward we’ll sit down in and once again, not look not actually looking at a franchise say like An actual name brand well we’ll sit back and say what are you looking for, so we’ll look at attributes and characteristics which are how many do you want to work seven days a week, if you want to when you wake up in the morning view vision yourself Getting dressed and putting a key in that door and open up a location, maybe in a shopping, mall or office.
Where are you more inclined to stay in your pajamas and and go onto your laptop every day and not have to leave the house so we’ll go through multiple characteristics and only after figuring out those characteristics? I create a fully customized model. You know from my from my experience from our conversations, whet went and I’ll send them their model and say this is your ideal franchise model what it should look like from there? We would make some recommendations, typically to or through franchise recommendations.
I’m going to. We don’t even get into brands or discuss that until or just even you know, we don’t even talk about. Is food the best fit for me or fitness, we’ll figure out that model and really hone in on what you know, what type of business you’re looking at and then we’ll figure out through my research and due diligence? What are those brands that best fit that model? And you know with that being said: the behind the scenes stuff is also let us you know, we may find a brand that fits your model to a tee, but you live in Georgia and the whole state of Georgia is sold out.
So we’ll have to go to plan B and maybe look at another concept. That’s in a similar industry and or mention are you available? Are you open to possibly moving to the next state or the next city, or you know, whatever territory, we’re taking a look at so there’s a lot of back and research that we’re doing to make sure find not only the right fit for you, but also is There, a territory and availability in your market – hmm fascinating.
So so it sounds like to me, on average at least that falling in love with a certain brands, product or service is not the best reason to look at going into franchising, going in well being a franchise owner right, you’re, better off remaining just a happy loyal Customer maybe getting a job with the franchise but not owning it yourself, necessarily well what 100 % thought you know from experience, you’ll see people that maybe they had a specific brand in mind and it just happens to work out.
You know we’re not saying it’s it’ll. Never work, never yeah yeah, but it’s you know tough talking to some under some other people in the industry. It’s one of the biggest pitfalls for failure. You know people will just be so in love with the product, and I said you could be in love with a product, but not after she owned that restaurant or owned that whatever product or service the business is in so yes, I highly recommend you know being Open kind of starting clear, we call it a clean slate in our industry and just keeping an open mind.
I asked that as a favor, that’s one of the first things we talk about and if there is a particular brand that you just love and really want to consider we’ll put that aside and we’ll definitely bring that up and see how it falls into the model. Because it may just be, it may end up being a perfect fit for them, yeah yeah! No, I like that. I mean it’s so um not so long ago. I had this wonderful physical transformation and lost a whole bunch of body, fat and weight, and now I’m on the Saturday I’m competing for the first time in men’s physique and all along a lot of people have told me.
Well, you should start, you know your own training business. You know you should start your own fitness consulting her and I’m like. Oh hell, no, because I already know right III know from just anybody that I meet people I network with people. I talked to that. I am singularly driven the way you know like I mean you cannot keep me out of the gym and you in and you would have to force-feed me food that is not beneficial to you, know, maintaining low body fat and having an excellent physique, and I like To you know, stand there in a pair of shorts and hit these you know poses that.
Make me look like I’m on the cover of a magazine or something, but most people don’t like that stuff and most people, don’t you know hate going to the gym, love eating food that you know packs on the pounds and are extremely self-conscious and don’t want to Be out there on stage, you know wearing almost nothing and that kind of thing, and so I immediately made the connection and said I this is, this is a passion, but if I go out there and try to spread this, be the Evangel for this, and you Know get other people to do it and and and charge them for it.
I’m going to. I just know enough about the industry and enough about the average New Year’s resolution to say no this. This would this would turn me off of fitness if I turned it into a business, so kind of a similar principle, I’m observing there. Yes, I agree I had am just something probably to know about me. A lot of people don’t know about me in college. You know you start, you know, there’s there’s information overload on the internet and you start hearing people saying follow your passion, you know what do you enjoy doing every day? That’s what you should do and I’m not saying never to follow your passion.
But at the time I was at a big article game as a kid and you work with some nut smaller companies out here in the East Coast and did it for about six months and after six months couldn’t couldn’t stand a articlegame and stepping back and and And now I’m knowing what I know now, this is many many moons ago I turned something I enjoyed upon my downtime that I enjoyed to relax or after work or after after college after classes to a job and it kind of just lost it kind of just Lost lost interest completely, and so I I spin it the other way and say find a find, a business that will give you the freedom to do and follow your passions in your hobby.
So if we can find your business that will free up your nights and weekends and allow you to take a week off every month or every quarter so that you can go to travel over so layer games are to spend extra time at the gym. Why not you don’t have to actually own a business? You know in the fitness industry or in the article game industry, so something I’ve learned the hard way, unfortunately, but definite gain a better appreciation overall.
So yeah definitely now that one absolutely I mean that’s that’s pretty much what Arnold Schwarzenegger did while he was becoming the world famous bodybuilder. Was he had a side business that he ran when he wasn’t in the gym so that he could be in the gym and do all of the things that he did? You know he just he didn’t have to worry about how he was going to pay the bills, because he already had a couple of mail-order businesses that could be done piecemeal and for a couple hours a day.
And so you know he before he even became a silver screen superstar. He was already you know a millionaire plus he had all this prestige from winning all these titles, and that was what he enjoyed doing in life and so for me same thing. One question I wanted to run by you you’ve sort of touched on this already, but I thought of a couple of while I was still in the insurance business. I did. The online surveys for a couple of large corporate household names in insurance.
State Farm was one of them and they rejected me has the right kind of candidate, and I don’t know if state, for if those type of insurance agencies qualify as that quite the same as franchise, but it is practically. It certainly strikes me that way. You know you take on their brand and all their branding and logos and corporate practices, and you know you subject yourself to their corporate governance, but even I mean this was this was a guy with you know, four or five years by that time, experience selling insurance And I’d done very well and you know, would regularly field offers of recruitment, or you know people prospecting me over LinkedIn and that kind of thing.
So I looked back at that, though, and I totally agree with State Farm. I would have made a terrible State Farm agent because I’m I’m a rogue, you know I’m Kirill guerrilla marketer. I don’t do stuff according to their. They have I’ve had enough friends who are State Farm agents to know that they’re there box, so to speak, that you have to fit into would had driven me absolutely berserk. So, together with what we’ve already talked about, do you get? Do you get a fair amount of people who fail to consider the limits they’re going to place on themselves? You know subjecting themselves to creative in functional oversight.
Do you think they’ll do a lot of people that you that you end up talking to leave that out or do they generally come in and they they’re aware of it very good question that all a lot of that information comes out in our consultation, which is Typically, the second call, typically, I like to keep them at an hour and a half to two hours really dig deep to find out about them and then in there you make two two determinations number one is: are they business ownership material? In that you know? Are they just not? Are they doing it for the right reasons and number two is franchising, a good fit so obviously franchising.
I don’t really call it an industry in that it’s a it’s almost, you know jokingly I’ll, say a business in a box. It’s a business that it’s a structure of the system. That’s been proven and created for you, so I tell everyone: if business ownership is the right fit and you want to be in the cleaning business, you can own your start, your own cleaning business or purchase a cleaning franchise. You know so when I ask them, are they if we take a look at a specific franchise and I’ll say these are the services the franchise has to offer you? Okay with that and I’ve had people say, that’s great, that’s I don’t want to do anything more than that and then I’ll have other people say well, I want to branch off and do you know wearing cleaning, but I also since we’re at the office complex.
I also want to do oil changes and detail cars, and and and just things that are just complete outside of what the franchise has to offer. So when people want to add and have a lot of that additional flexibility and be able to offer additional services at any point in time, I may step back and say you know as a franchisee, you need to follow that their system and and sell the product Or sir, is that the franchise has created that you had it messed it in.
If you aren’t planning on doing all these other extra things, maybe we should look outside of franchising and I have a good friend of mine who could be able to help them out outside of the franchising industry. So mmm franchising, isn’t you know we may find that model or the put together that franchise model of franchising may not always be the best fit and you’ll get a lot of that just from what they’re looking for you know another way to approach, it is, if You want it to offer additional services you may want to look into if you have the capital, maybe two different franchises.
One is a mobile service that maybe services your car, the oil changes and detail, I’m just making this up, showing them your second business. Maybe commercial cleaning so that’s also an option, but I I want to be clear that if you’re investing in a commercial cleaning franchise you’re going to be filing that product or service, there’s not much more you’re going to be adding. So some people love the structure in that they can focus on.
You know the four or five revenue streams or versus worrying about how many more to add and some people just want to keep it open and just say I want to sell food. I want to clean, I want to offer tax services, they want to do it all then I’ll, just kind of step back and say: maybe franchise membership may not be the right fit for you. Yeah no yeah and made me think of it used to drive me crazy Liberty, Mutual.
When I worked there, they had their corporate marketing department, you know and everything is sanitized and branded and you can either fit the box. You can’t well. I couldn’t and the funny thing was you know they. I couldn’t get cooperation from their marketing department. It wasn’t that they were telling me. I couldn’t go out and market the way I was marketing. They just told me: you can’t get our branded materials and are in the kind of support you’re looking for in order to do it the way you think it should be done right and I think there’s there’s some degree of shortsightedness to that.
But at the same time you know made it is their company and they’re certainly at liberty to do that and and say you know, you know this is how we’re going to do it, and this is what we believe the marketplace wants and we’re not going to, And we’re going to limit that, and so I think I just think that you know that’s one important thing to consider. What would you tell somebody, though who’s listening to this thinking? Okay? Well, maybe maybe I should start looking into a franchise.
What’s the? What do you recommend people do as preliminary research, maybe even before getting on the phone with you? I do yeah that’s an excellent question so before even speaking with me, because you know – and we can we’ll talk about this in a little bit – but you don’t have to go through a franchise consultant, you can contact the franchise company there right, we’re there and instead Of looking at, as I mentioned, the product or service, so I want to get into the food about money and get into you know.
Tax services, like you just mentioned, do love us a little bit of soul-searching figure out number one. If you can see yourself as a business owner, talk to other business owners, franchise and non franchisee, if you have a friend that maybe owns a specific franchise and have them, you know shadow that would be step number one see if they can see themselves doing the Exact same thing, and it doesn’t matter the actual business, it’s just seeing what that owner does on a day to day basis, buy them dinner, buy them lunch of drinks and shadow them for a day or two a week, and then, once you establish business, ownership sounds Like it may be a good fit figure out what you want that business to look like, and you know, don’t don’t try to figure out what I’m going to make the most money at just figure out.
Okay, these are these are certain things I like. So I always start off with money aside, we’ll just we’ll figure out do I do I want to go to a physical location everyday, or do I want to work at home off a laptop that alone will narrow down your your your search over offer for a Franchise you’re out, as I mentioned before the attributes, do I want to deal with a lot of minimum wage employees and seven days a week, and you know where my business is constantly open and food costs and things like that rising.
You know kind of you see. Food costs go up, it’s kind of like the stock market, they’re going up in demo, and you know when I tell people, does that sound of interest to you and they say no and I said well, I basically just described the restaurant industry, yes and right away. They’re, like that’s a very, very good point and I leave in a Lehman I’ll, even ask them and say: well, you know what is it about a restaurant that you that you enjoy and they’ll say well, there’s a line out the door they have to be killing It and I said well so you’re, basically looking for a product or service and high demand, so we kind of step back and figure out what that line means because if you know there’s certain franchises that will sell their product at cost just to bring people in The door hope it hopefully up selling them a new product or services naming any names, but so so going back figure out if business ownership is right, figuring out what your day looks like you know what you, what you anticipate doing, that they basis if you’re, you Know you can run a franchise and have a manager run it, and if you just love sales, and that’s all you want to do you take over the sales role, you can just show up once a week for an hour and make sure everything is getting done And manage managers, so that’s the part you should really figure out and it doesn’t hurt to go a franchise Expo or a show or go online.
But it’s information overload. I I always say knowledge is not power. It’s it’s applied, applied knowledge. It is truly power and what you do with that knowledge, so mister got your hands on a copy of my book before I released it, because that’s what I said wide knowledge is everything man, knowledge information is cheap, yes, no, and – and if you talk to I Used to work with a business coach and he said believe it or not, he goes.
I don’t know if you know this, but 99 % of the stuff we’re going over is free online. You can access it right now, and I said you know why the heck am I working with you then, and he said well, because that 1 % that’s not available is me actually helping. You apply it and holding you accountable to make sure you’re actually following it. What a sales pitch I go! That’s uh! You definitely sold me on that.
So, needless to say, I had signed up with him and we worked together for a while, so but yeah it’s that there’s no right or wrong. I, as a franchise consultant, can help you get through that process. Maybe a little bit quicker, we’ll figure out the business ownership aspect. We figure out those attributes we’ll take it one step further and say through frame that will narrow them the number of franchise.
We should look at because many of them don’t meet our our criteria. Many of them are brand new or they’re, not growing, or a lot of their lot of their franchise owners are going out of business, so frame choice will bet and help with the process, and I didn’t I didn’t tell you the best part, but the best part Is our services or 100 % free there’s, never a contract, there’s never a fee for our services, and you know many people say well yeah.
You do this because you love it. I mean. How do you get compensated? I absolutely love it. I’ve been successful in my last franchisee ventures and business owning multiple businesses. We do we do get compensated, but that compensation is like a real estate agent or a headhunter where we’re paid by the franchise company themselves so bright, red new after the after the agreement has been reached and all the betting has been done and the due diligence Has been has been covered yep, that’s it just a bit, so there there’s no there’s no sales, there’s no pressure.
If you decide to to invest in a franchise great in many cases, it’s just not a good fit in other cases. It may not be the right time and we’ll stay in touch. You know, are any general questions you have. I apply, you know I’ve worked. I basically apply all my work experience, so I have the experience of being a franchisee and franchisor. I’ve been on both sides. I’ve worked for corporate America, I’ve been downsized, you know through a three mergers.
The last three companies that work I’ve worked with I’ve had the two-hour commute on the train and two into New York City, and it just one day. I said enough is enough. I am getting back in to believe it or not. People think I make this up and it’s the god-honest truth February. 2Nd of O 7 is when we, when I decided I’m going to sign that that contract directly with the franchise company and I’m going to move forward as a business owner and three days later, we found that my my wife was expecting.
So we had 10 years. Look, it was, I guess, the the definitely some great motivation and I’m not saying everyone should go out and do that right. It just happened to one way for it to happen. That’s so that’ll put some fire under your under your under your seat. There were small, multiple fires. Yes, absolutely so you know I’m here to help I I was part of a newer franchise, so there was pros and cons where there were certain things being developed, which I choose nice, because I got to give a little bit of feedback and some areas took a Little bit longer to grow them and that’s fine as well.
You take you, take the pros, there’s some pros and cons, but I learned a lot ie from my experience. I can definitely add value. I can definitely narrow that in your search and hopefully speed up your search so that if we rule out business ownership, you didn’t waste years and years of calls and and going to franchise discovery days and possibly going out of business to help you out and we As I mentioned, there’s never a cost for the service, and not only do we assist with the figuring out of everything we just discuss on the call, but I will also make a recommendation.
You have a few partners that could help with funding, because many people that will call us will say I have you know 50,000 or 100,000 Bank, and I said well, you know what else do you have to invest and they said well, you know that’s all. I have I just have the money to bank to find out, they may have a million dollars in a 401k, and our investment partners will take a full up. They take a holistic look, they take a look at just about everything and figure out.
Okay, well not sure if you realize that, but you can use your 401k or retirement assets for your first business or for any business and use that to purchase the franchise. Startup cost next off the salary without any type of any type of penalty. And coming from the investment world, I always told people or was taught never use your retirement assets they’re going to want to wait and use those. You know it use that for retirement only and over the years I said okay.
Well, that makes sense, but as a franchisor business owner, you know this is a much more active investment. I’m going to be actively managing my future and maybe taking a hundred thousand out of a 401k that was in a mutual fund, which is, let’s face it. Passive investment – it’s just sitting there and you’re hoping to make your whatever you’re making as far as returns sure. But why not? You know when I grab some ownership and say I’m going to take this $ 100,000 and I’m just using a number as an example and apply that to myself myself invested in myself in a business that I have full control over and not have to wait too.
Read about what the holdings did on CNBC or whatever, whatever station you’re reading, so it’s taking control, I’m not, and I’m not advising everyone to use their retirement assets, but where it’s not dim yeah, we could definitely give you some additional options as to how to actually Invest in the franchise or maybe keep your job for the first year, while you know managing someone, that’s running your business for the first year, while you transition out of you’re out of your job, so we’re able to bring some really good people to the table to Help out and basically give you all the options available to you, mmm mmm, that’s good.
The last thing I wanted to cover here, Giuseppe is: have you got a story, maybe more than one that you could share real briefly. If somebody you’ve come into contact with who’ve, you know, they’ve got some painful lessons. They’ve had to read, had to learn as a result of not consulting with you or somebody like you with Fran choice or any other franchise consultant before getting into it. To you. Have you met people and have you you know collected any short stories like that, then maybe you could share one or two of them just to give people sort of an illustration of the the painful lessons they’ve had to learn right.
So some of you know – and these are more shorter lessons but number one a lot – a lot of people don’t know that franchise consultants exists myself included. When I, when I was first looking at franchising, I actually fill out a form online. They didn’t understand exactly what the company did and I was was put in touch with a local company and that’s how I started speaking with a consultant and then sure enough, you know, became a franchise consultant.
So what I’ve seen what I’ve seen in the past? And this is through some family who’s for this specifically with with family, is they have fallen in love with a concept and they went full full steam ahead? You know went to the bank first and was reading the figuring out loans and things like that to find out the territory was completely unavailable and in another case the franchise was not available period.
They were just not registered in a particular state. So you know one thing that I do is: I am NOT going to show you a franchise that is not available in your territory or that may not be I mean I’m in New Jersey. We cover the whole country and there’s one brand that I truly love and we they’re not available in my home state. A friend of mine was asking about it and then just said you know we do all that that diligence for you so those there there.
Luckily, they’re not, I wouldn’t call them stories where they have lost lots of money. It was just more of they, they got their hopes up in disappointment and there are some friends of mine also that have went directly with this. This is another thing that came up. They went directly with a franchise company, they called them direct and purchased the rack, and I asked well, why didn’t you utilize the services of a consultant and they said? Well, you know I didn’t wan na, you know I figured it would cost more and, and that union said going back to our fees.
If we don’t charge any fees, the franchisor who pays us, they are not going to charge you more or less. When you bite the right, we’ll do that, so the the process is definitely, you know involving there. There’s a lot of work involved a lot of time saved by going through a consultant, but we will do all that back end research for you and to take it a step further. I am speaking directly with the contact.
It can be the owner. Typically, it’s the VP, some a VP of franchise development and that’s the exact person I’m going to put my candidate touch with so before the candidate. Has that intro call don’t know everything about I’ll, create a I’ll send them over a questionnaire that the candidate has the left for us, which covers likes dislikes financials, and things like that, and I always tell the candidate and send information over I’m going to send over That exact franchise model to them and say, I think, they’re a good fit.
This was there, and these are the reasons so they’ll have a full picture of them and on occasion the franchise company will say this. This may be a red flag or you know I think, they’re a really good fit and we talk it out and if we feel like it’s a good fit, I let the candidate know if they’re, okay with it, I send over the information directly to the franchise Company and they get a call within 24 to 48 hours.
Hmm football and they’ll get a a franchise disclosure action document, which is the actual franchise agreement directly sent to them. So the ball is rolling immediately. They already know a lot about the candidate. You know the the other, I would say this is not their experience, but a UH. Just a general pitfall is the candidate that the first time business owner just say, that’s looking to buy a franchise, they don’t they don’t know what questions to ask um.
What are you asking? Well, what kind of money can I make or what’s the royalty that that’s great, they can answer that, but what about setup and and how many employees you need, and you know the marketing spend there and all that kind of information they won’t. They won’t know what questions they’ll be given a lot of that information and the franchise disclosure document. But if you don’t know, if you’re not asking the right questions you’re going to make, I guess an uninformed decision or misinformed whatever you want to go you just you.
Don’t have the right amount of information to make that to make that decision. So I see that as a common theme. So I tell everyone you have nothing to lose, but maybe some time that you, you know maybe a few hours on the phone after the the first and second call but we’re here to help – and you know when I speak directly with the franchise company. Your name is going right on top of the list. They know you’ve been qualified, they know you sound like a good match.
They’re excited, you know, they’re excited to speak with. They want people that have been qualified, both as a good fit financially and they want to speak with. That. First is maybe a few hundred leads they may randomly receive through their website. Oh someone, Fran choice leads someone like myself. Sending over lead is going to be fully qualified. You know, we think they’re a great match and it just makes the process so much yeah yeah.
No, I agree I mean I I would rather have that one person who fits like a glove then a hundred names and phone numbers of people – I’m not you, know, know nothing about them. That’s that’s a ton, more work and yeah. You might get something out of it. You might strike a strike build in there, but I’d rather just get to that one person who fits the bill because that’s where that’s where the money is right, that’s where you get the eventually is the franchise or you know, you’ve got the right person who’s going To be is likely is to be successful, running that business and so that in the long term, that’s income that you don’t really have to work for all that much.
You know the way I perceive it anyway: you’re just you’re collecting those franchise, royalties and fees, and and that’s it yeah. Well, Giuseppe. This has been a wonderful conversation, I’m looking forward to seeing the audience reaction to this and and I’m looking forward to getting this into their hands it’s into there in front of their eyes and in their ears. It’s been great having you on the show.
If people want to know more about you or get in contact with you or learn about what you do with Fran choice, where should we send them? You can contact me directly. Nine. Oh, eight, eight, seven, three, six one, three, four! You can call or an airline people eat the tips nowadays, so you can call or text that number the email address is G gramatica. So I’ll spell it so long when it’s G G RA mm a TI, co @ Fran choice, so f, ra, n and the word choice.
Com definitely take a look. Send me a send me an email I’ll, be more than glad any questions you have on this. Podcast or article any general questions you have on franchising, I’ll, be more than glad to help and when I can guarantee you is, I don’t know the answer, I will get it for you and if I don’t specialize in that area, I do have someone that I Can refer you to so don’t feel bad, don’t there’s no silly questions any any any information any help.
I can be of definitely definitely give me a call all right. Well there he goes to simply grammatic. Oh thanks. So much for joining us on influence or networking secrets. Well, thanks again, I really appreciate it take care you too thanks for joining us for another, exciting episode of influence or networking secrets, please be sure, to hit like comment and subscribe and share this article. If it’s been useful for you with anybody, you know who might benefit also be sure to check out the show notes in the description below that’s where you can order a copy of ten secrets.
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