ECOMAIDS owner and all-around franchise guru Internicola talks about his vision for the future of franchising.
Charles Internicola is an attorney at his namesake Internicola Law Firm specializing in helping entrepreneurs, business owners and companies in a wide range of franchise matters.
Further maintaining an active role in the franchising industry, Internicola is the owner of Staten Island-based ECOMAIDS. After discovering the brand, he decided to actually own the franchise instead of just representing them through his law firm. Intercola acquired ECOMAIDS more than two years ago with visions of preserving and strengthening the pioneer in the green cleaning services segment. To achieve this, he suspended all franchise sales at ECOMAIDS for two years in order to evaluate and improve every moving part of the brand – from operations systems and marketing programs to inventory requirements and capital structure.
He is recognized as one of the franchise industry’s most influential consultants and advocates for business ownership.
What inspired you to open your law firm as opposed to working for someone else?
Like the clients we represent, a law firm is very much a business and so, for me, the reason for starting my own law firm was to build an organization and business around principles and values that I very much believe in. Starting my own law firm and building a team focused on entrepreneurship and delivering value for entrepreneurs was a natural progression.
How do you assist your clients in achieving their business goals while achieving your own?
Our team and the legal and consulting services that we offer are focused exclusively on business expansion and business protection. So by design we have limited our services to those areas where we know we can deliver the biggest impact and value for our clients in achieving their business goals. What is really great about this is that when our clients succeed, so does our law firm – the growth of our clients propels the services that we offer and the growth of our law firm.
What challenges did you, as a founder and owner, face this past year?
This is an interesting question. The biggest challenge that I faced this past year related to educating and equipping myself to be a better leader. I think I have done a good job in the past, but as the opportunities available to our firm have grown – we are fortunate to represent entrepreneurs and businesses ranging from start-ups to national companies – we have grown and so has the need to build a more precise organization with an enhanced focus on performance metrics and client satisfaction. This is definitely an ongoing process, and the good news for me is that I have a great team backing me up.
What is your vision for the future of your firm?
We would like to scale up from where we are at now. In terms of our firm, we want to really matter to our clients. In the marketplace, we’d like to be a service provider that supports entrepreneurship and business growth.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when first opening your business?
So many things - but I have also learned that the type of knowledge that I am thinking about only comes over time and through experiences. However, if I have to answer the question, I would say this: That in life and business there are a number of fundamental factors - success and life principals if you will - they are almost a universal truth that a small fraction of the population understand. Identify the people that "get it" and study them. Also, read Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich."
Do you have any advice for failure or perhaps a misstep in business?
Understand "failure" for what it is – stepping stones for success.