Franchise Development Players: Bob McQuillan of Hand & Stone
Franchise Development Players: Bob McQuillan of Hand & Stone

1851 asked the VP of Franchise Development about his professional journey and the qualities of a great franchisee...

How did you fall into franchising?

It’s kind of a long story! Back in the late 90s, I was in the medical industry for about eleven years. During that time, I watched the technology sector go crazy when the dot com’s were achieving four digit plus growth in stocks. I saw an opportunity to get involved with a tech company during this growth. I ended up on the software end when I joined Cisco systems. I thought my plan had worked, but then in 2000 the industry crashed. I could have gone back to medicine, but decided to look at other opportunities.

On November 11, 2001 I had my last interview scheduled in a building across from the towers. I never made it to the city because the interviewer canceled. After that, my fate was sealed. I said to my wife, “If not now, when? Why don’t we start our own business?” From there, we turned to franchising and became involved with Hollywood Tans.

What makes you love franchising?

I actually lived the American dream part and like helping others to do the same. I can talk to you about how the journey is because I have done it and continue to build it.

What do you wish would change in franchising?

Good question--the regulations that we go through every year. If we could have one set of rules for all states that we do business in, it could prevent a loss of great franchisees and opportunities.

What makes a great franchisee?

The best franchisees follow the playbook. They don’t come in and change the recipe--there’s a reason that it works. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

What’s the No. 1 thing that sells franchisees?

Other franchisees are a powerful tool. Don’t listen to the sales guy--do your due diligence and speak to franchisees.