The New York-based company 's new tool, bQual, aims to transform the development process for potential franchisees.
BoeFly, a leading business financing marketplace that makes it a cinch for prospective franchisees to determine their financial positions, has introduced a new weapon to its franchising cache—and it’s helping to rewrite the future of franchise development.
The New York-based company helps educate prospective business owners on the process of financing a franchise. A large part of the learning curve for many new owners begins with discovering their financial options, so the company helps to introduce prospective owners to lenders who can help them afford their new business venture.
Now, BoeFly has introduced a new tool, bQual, which will transform the development process for potential franchisees by making it easier to find a proper lender and to understand their economic circumstances while still in the discovery phase. In short, bQual provides individuals with vital financial details, such as their business credit score (SBSS by FICO), which is required by the Small Business Administration, a consumer credit score and a fundability report assessing their loan prospects.
“When we built bQual, it was with the idea that a lot of prospective franchise owners didn’t know a lot about securing finances,” said Mike Rozman, the chief executive officer for BoeFly. “We believed that if we could give them clean and objective information on what their finances would look like, it would give them the confidence to move forward with their franchise brand.”
Rozman believes that when franchisees have the same data that banks will use to judge them right up front, they’re better positioned to succeed.
“In the end, we’re helping the franchisor by giving a tool to their candidate, allowing them to make smarter financial decisions and to ultimately build a strong foundation to develop and build on their brand,” Rozman added.
When it comes to explaining the benefits of bQual, Rozman compares the tool to the home-buying process.
“A prospective homebuyer who has been prequalified is in a better position to know what kind of home they can buy. And as a home-seller, it’s important to tell the real estate broker that you don’t want to waste your time with someone who isn’t financially qualified,” Rozman said. “In the same way a home-seller wouldn’t take an offer from a buyer without that buyer being prequalified, we’re working hard to make it a standard for that prospective franchisee to already be educated about their finance options through bQual.”
To date, fast-casual restaurants like Wayback Burgers, Jamba Juice and Papa Murphy’s require the use of bQual for all future franchisees. Papa Murphy’s saw a 14-times higher lead-to-sale conversion rate when a lead received a bQual report. In the end, the results showed that the Papa Murphy’s franchise prospects who had financial confidence from the very beginning converted quicker.
BoeFly has also partnered with FranConnect, a company that focuses on simplifying operations and outreach for more than 600 franchise brands. With the bQual and FranConnect integration, franchise brands using FranConnect get all financial information inputted by a bQual user—such as cash and marketable securities, qualified retirement assets, yearly income and total liabilities—instantly delivered into the bQual user's lead record in the brand's FranConnect system.
“The goal of our company has always been to make successful franchising easier,” said Keith Gerson, president of global operations at FranConnect. “This partnership will ensure a faster opening for franchisees and quickly allow the franchisor to eliminate financially unqualified candidates sooner, freeing up time to work with more qualified prospects.
Taking nearly 18 months to develop, BoeFly believes they have come up with a unique product that will shape the future of the franchise world for many years to come. Sean Fitzgerald, chief development strategist at No Limit Agency, agrees—bQual has emerged as one of the most helpful tools in qualifying candidates.
“This type of tool—where franchisee candidates can get qualified earlier in the process—will set a new precedent for franchise development in a positive manner,” Fitzgerald said. “It’ll be able to help the franchisors identify and work with candidates, and conversely, it’ll give candidates confidence that they can get funding. In the end, it’ll help them stay focused on buying a franchise rather than worrying about how they’re going to pay for it.”