1. Find the emotional connection
When Jim Ryan decided to take a leap out of the corporate world and become a franchisee, he thought deeply about how he could make a difference. He thought of his mom, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and quickly deteriorated. While his mom was sick, he wasn’t able to care for her as much as he wanted because of the distance and worried about her well-being. Six months after being diagnosed, Ryan’s mother passed away. After his mother’s death, Jim says he knew he had to help adults that might be in his mom’s same situation.
After weeks of research Jim stumbled onto Right At Home, an in-home care company for seniors and disabled adults who need some assistance to maintain their independence. Jim says it’s the perfect brand for him because it combines his life’s two biggest passions: honoring his mother and helping elderly veterans. He says finding the emotional connection with your business is the ultimate key to happiness and finding the perfect franchise.
“I wanted to find a brand that helped the elderly, specifically veterans, because of my Navy background I want to find any chance I get to help them. I also wanted to find a way to honor my mother. Those are my two biggest passions and I knew if I found a franchise that could connect the two I would find great success,” Ryan said.
2. Connect your knowledge with your passion
Patrick DeLaRosa spent 20 years in the service, doing two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he got out of the service, he decided he wanted to make a big change and give owning his own business a try. When doing research, he knew he wanted to be involved with a food-based franchise.
When Patrick was overseas, he would search for wing restaurants to remind him of home. After years of experimenting with many different flavors and recipes, he knew would find success with the wing brand. DeLaRosa decided on Wing Zone because of the brand’s wide variety and selection.
“The Wing Zone brand has an effortless way of mixing wings and simplicity. The brand connected all of the dots: passion, nostalgia and knowledge,” DeLaRosa said.
Garret Peterman’s story is a little different than the rest. When he was 17, he began working for a franchise called TWO MEN AND A TRUCK as a mover. At that time, he thought it would be a summer gig but little did he know one day he would own his own location. Now, 9 years after he got his start, Peterman is a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchisee with one of the most successful location in the franchise. He advises potential franchisees to be aware of what’s right in front of them, and know that past business experience can lead to great opportunities.
“I got my start, just needing a job. Being a mover was something fun that I enjoyed, it felt like I was getting paid to workout. As I started seeing people growing within the company, I was like this is more than just a job at this company, I can grow my career within this company,” Peterman said.
3. Make sure the brand aligns with your core values
Randy Bergeson had help from his two sons when choosing the perfect franchise. When searching for the right brand, he wanted to find a franchise that put family atmosphere first and matched their core values. Randy’s son found MOOYAH Burgers, Fries and Shakes and immediately knew it was the right fit. Now, the Bergeson family has two MOOYAH locations with another in the works. They’ve been nicknamed the franchise family that encompasses the MOOYAH brand and core values.
“The reason I wanted to go into business with my family is because I know I have people who I can trust with every aspect of the business and we are all working towards that common goal. We learned very early on what each of our strengths and weaknesses are, so by default we each have very well-defined roles. We are very fortunate that where one of us is weak, the other is strong, which gives us great balance,” Randy said.
Eddie McMillen spent the bulk of his life working in the McDonald’s franchise, owning several locations across the greater Charleston area. After nearly 20 years of working long hours and late nights, McMillen knew he needed to find to a brand that aligned with his core values and now teenage daughter. He researched brands with daytime hours and family-atmospheres. McMillen and his daughter decided on Famous Toastery. He advises new franchisees to search for a brand that have hours that align with your stage in life. McMillen knew he wanted to free up his evenings to spend time with his wife and daughter.
"Famous Toastery is the type of brand you just can’t go wrong with. My daughter is so excited to begin working with us and learning the do’s and don’ts of the franchise world. The store opens early and closes in the afternoon, which will make it possible for Karen to be hands on too,” McMillen said.
Collectively, the 5 franchisees say when searching your perfect franchise make sure the brand aligns with your core values, find your emotional connection to the brand and connect your knowledge and experience to your passion.