1851 Franchise sat down with Robert Stidham, Chief Executive Officer at Franchise Dynamics, to talk about his experience in the franchise industry
Franchise Dynamics works closely with development teams from a broad range of brands to seek out and vet strong franchisee leads. That dedicated focus on lead generation allows franchise development teams to focus their efforts on strategy and support, which in turn has made Franchise Dynamics one of the most sought-after vendors in the franchise industry.
Franchise Dynamics’ founder and CEO, Robert Stidham, did not initially set out for a career in franchising, but after nearly 30 years in the industry, it’s safe to say he’s found his niche. Stidham talked to 1851 about the power of the industry to transform lives and communities and his frustration with fee-oriented franchisors.
1851 Franchise: How did you get into franchising?
Stidham: It was a complete accident. A former client of mine—a very large technology consulting company—had recently lost their director of franchise development, and they reached out to me to ask if I was interested. I was hesitant at first, but I decided to meet with them. What was meant to be an hour-long interview turned into six and a half hours, and three weeks later I was in franchising.
1851 Franchise: What do you love about franchising?
Stidham: Being on the franchisor and development side, what I love about the industry is our ability to positively change people’s lives. I’ve personally been involved in over 2,000 franchise sales in the nearly 30 years I’ve been in the industry. When I think about all those families that were able to build lives around their businesses, I’m genuinely humbled. It’s also exciting to think about the economic impact at large and the communities that benefited from all the new jobs that come along with each franchise opportunity.
1851 Franchise: What do you wish would change in franchising?
Stidham: One of my biggest frustrations is people and organizations who try to get involved with franchising to make a quick buck. Those are people in the franchise-fee business, not in the royalty business. Everyone in this business should be using franchisee success as the measurement of their own success. If you are not concerned with the franchisee, then you are not delivering any real value. Those are the people and organizations that can promote a misconception about the industry among media and regulating authorities.
1851 Franchise: What makes a great franchisee?
Stidham: In my experience, the best franchisees share a few common characteristics. They are excited and passionate about the brand or business they’ve chosen, they have hands-on experience building teams, they have the capital and resources required to run their business effectively, they have a community of family and friends supporting them, and they are trainable and capable of fully adopting their franchise system.
1851 Franchise: What’s the most important thing that drives a prospective franchisee to sign up?
Stidham: So many of the best franchisees are driven to create or operate something, regardless of what the business is. They want to take charge of something that will benefit their families and communities. It’s important to show prospective franchisees that your model will allow them to own something that will have a powerful influence in their life and in their community.