Leaders behind emerging brands agree that the people you surround yourself with can make or break your brand.
Breaking into the franchising industry is no easy feat. From preparing a Franchise Disclosure Document to creating systematic training and operations manuals, there’s a seemingly endless list of tasks that emerging franchisors need to accomplish before their franchise is up and running. But luckily for them, they’re far from the first entrepreneurs to grow their concept through the franchising business model.
To learn the best tips on how to successfully franchise a business, 1851 Franchise sat down with leaders behind four emerging franchise concepts that are actively growing today. Here are their top pieces of advice for those looking to follow in their footsteps.
Robert Esposito, founder and president of Relocators: “Be cautious about who you work with. You want to make sure that you have referrals for the people that you surround yourself with—this industry can be like the Wild West, and you need to be confident that you have a good team behind you. You also want to make sure that every aspect of your business can be systemized and replicated prior to officially forming your franchise. You need to have a plan in place of how you’re going to implement everything that you do across a broad system, because as the franchisor, you might not be there every step of the way as your franchisees hit the ground running.”
Amelia Courtney, co-founder of Pretty in Paint Parties: “I think the number one thing that you need is to make sure that you have all the right people supporting you. Between SMB Franchise Advisors, No Limit Agency and an SEO company, there’s no doubt that we have a solid team backing us up as we get Pretty in Paint Parties off the ground. It’s also critical for your franchisees to fully understand your model and whether or not it’s a good fit for them. You aren’t going to be successful if you bring people on board who aren’t the right match for your brand—everyone should blend together like family. Lastly, one thing that I wish I knew before breaking into the franchising industry is how to say no. You can’t be afraid to make the tough decisions when you know that it’s what’s best for your brand. Stand firm, and stand strong.”
Patrick Morlando, director of franchise operations for Enjoy Your Party: “My first tip is that if you have a specialized product, just because you fully understand it doesn’t mean that your franchise advisers, lawyers or PR firm does. It’s critical that the people you bring on board get to know your brand inside and out, because at the end of the day, they’re the ones promoting your brand. The more comfortable they are with your concept, the better they will be at interacting with potential franchisees. Second, once you’ve been approved, it’s very easy to get wrapped up in selling franchises nationwide because you want to make a return on your investment. But I suggest that you spend a significant amount of time researching the markets close to home that you can target at first to dedicate the right amount of time to your first franchisees. Additionally, be careful when selecting which trade shows and events to attend. They can quickly eat away at your budget, and you don’t want to be lost in a crowd. My third tip is to monitor your brand and spend carefully. It’s easy to find yourself in a significant amount of debt, which can be hurtful in the long run. If you can’t self-fund, you might want to consider putting off your project until you can. Lastly, training is critical. It’s so important for franchisors to have a solid training system in place for franchisees who enter their system. You want your franchisees to be successful, in this is the first step in making that happen.”
Jason Mazarone, co-founder and CEO of SoBol: “I would recommend finding a great advisor—one who can not only help you get your concept franchised, but one who can also help you strategize your growth and keep you accountable to your goals. That’s why we use SMB Franchise Advisors, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision. It also helps to get involved with industry events such as IFA and IFE. Trade shows are a great way to immerse yourself in the industry, and the relationships that you form there are invaluable. Another tip is to build a team around you that you trust and is all in when it comes to your brand and concept. You can’t do it alone, so don’t try to. And that team is made up of more people than franchisees and employees—between lawyers, marketing firms, tech partners and mentors, vendor relationships are vital to a franchisor’s success. Lastly, be persistent, and focus on the details. That will allow you to consistently make progress, and allow you to tap into systems and relations—both of which you need to survive.”