Oaks brings years of franchise sales experience to his new role
Scott Oaks worked his way through college at the University of Cincinnati in two very different jobs: he worked as an assistant manager at a Burger King franchise and later led the sales department at the local Cincinnati newspaper. At the time, he never thought that his career would take him to a place that would combine his experience in franchising and working at a publication.
In his role at Burger King, Oaks got his first taste of franchising, managing the store and its 12 employees, and playing a key role in opening a new store from the ground up. At the newspaper, he was responsible for selling newspaper subscriptions, which helped him to develop a thick skin and learn how to give a short elevator pitch, mastering the fundamentals of the sales process. He then moved on to a sales job at a printing company before being hired in the franchise sales department at Handyman Connection, a Cincinnati-based franchise brand. The franchising business model appealed to him, due in large part to his background and passion for sales, but also to be in a position to help people.
“What appealed to me about the franchising industry at the very beginning was helping people become business owners and achieve the American Dream. It’s exciting to watch a franchisee take a brand’s proven system and see how far they can run with it,” said Oaks. “I was also excited and focused on doing it the right way. I wanted to find the best franchisees for the long term, not just get anyone to the finish line.”
In his time at Handyman Connection, Oaks went from the franchise sales manager to running the whole department in just four years. During this time, he met 1851 Chief Development Strategist Sean Fitzgerald, then working for Wireless Zone, at the International Franchise Expo. Oaks jokes that Fitzgerald was visiting the Handyman Connection booth to steal its marketing strategies. Shortly after, Oaks joined Fitzgerald at Wireless Zone, and from there, a nearly ten-year professional and personal friendship was born.
Oaks worked alongside Fitzgerald in franchise sales at Wireless Zone, Quizno’s and BrightStar Care for nine years before joining 1851 Franchise as Vice President in September 2016.
“I have a passion for franchising and, moreover, a passion for doing franchise development the right way,” said Oaks. “I see a lot of companies that want to do things the right way but struggle to do it. I also see franchisors that are doing franchise development using the old school crash and burn sales method. Those companies are what can give franchising a bad name.”
When he learned about 1851 Franchise, he was attracted to the idea of an unparalleled franchise development tool that shares positive brand content to drive traffic. Oaks adds that he’s looking forward to working with multiple franchisors and their franchise development teams and having a positive impact on people in an industry that he cares a lot about.
“We are very excited to have Scott join the 1851 team,” said Fitzgerald. “He is a proven franchise professional that brings real would experience to the role. His years of experience and success in growing franchises systems will be a huge asset to providing additional strategy and support to our clients.”
In his new role, Oaks will work directly with franchise brands, both large and emerging, to maximize what 1851 can do, and will also consult on overall franchise development strategy.
“The complexity of the franchise sale makes awarding franchises very difficult to be great at – and Scott Oaks was great at it,” said 1851 Founder and CEO Nick Powills. “Now, as a part of our team, he will be able to share his insight and experience with our brands — which should increase our service value. Scott will be instrumental to the growth of our organization.”