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1851 Growth Club: We Don’t Lead the Witness

Inside brokers’ hidden desire for commission and how franchisees can fight back on their own.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 3:15PM 10/19/23

1851 Growth Club CEO Nick Powills loves pizza. So much so that most of his franchise examples involve pizza. It’s a fair guess to say that if he started a franchise, he’d probably enjoy the process of searching out the greatest pizza franchise of all time. A lot would go into this research. It’s not just “love” that makes a franchisee successful — sites have to be availablefinancials and legal documents have to be examined and, overall, it has to be the right fit for a multitude of reasons. 

“Say I call a broker, consultant, or coach and tell them I always wanted to own a pizza restaurant,” said Powills. “Now, I’m not talking about profitability or the cost or complexities of owning a restaurant. I just mean that, in general, this is what I’m passionate about. And the consultant goes, ‘Actually, you’d be a perfect fit for senior care!’ Maybe that’s right. Maybe that is a fit. But I came to the table saying I’m passionate about pizza. [Instead], they swung me over to senior care because they are leading the witness; the brand that pays them the highest commissions.”

That’s why Powills started 1851 Growth Club, also known as “Growth Club.” Its mission seeks to erase that conflict of interest from the table and look for viability and potential for success in the buyer journey

“Align yourself with a brand you fit in with … where you’ve done the homework and read the P&L,” he said. “At this point, could another brand make sense for you? Absolutely. It may not be what you were initially passionate about, but it’s up to us to educate how that actually works because you are coming into this blind.”

With Growth Club, the franchisees (as the witnesses) tell everyone else why they want to buy a business. Growth Club’s job is to educate and advise rather than to lead the witness. It doesn’t take a hidden sales approach by eliminating the obstacles such as how much commission it will make. By being transparent with franchisees, franchisees can actually engage Growth Club on their own. 

“We will educate you; we will try to coach you,” said Powills. “That sets you up for the greatest change for success. That’s why we believe you don’t lead the witness when it comes to franchise growth.” 

Learn more here.