Koydol Exec Q&A: Amadou T Agne, President & CEO
1851 Franchise: Tell us about your background.
Amadou T Agne: I grew up in West Africa, and I think the most formative experience of my childhood, at least in terms of my career now, was watching my father build his own business. He managed to provide a better life for our family through sheer determination and hard work. Eventually I was able to go to college in France, and I knew I wanted to carve out a path for my own success just like my father had.
“Koydol” is a West African expression in the Fulani Tribe that translates roughly to “a strong desire,” and that really was the basis for this business even before I had settled on exactly what the business was. I had a strong desire to do something great, and I wanted that passion to drive the business.
Today, my father is sort of a business advisor to me. We speak frequently about the business, and I deeply value his instincts and advice.
1851: Tell us a little bit about the leadership team.
Agne: Aside from my father, who I work with closely but is not technically associated with Koydol, the team consists primarily of myself and my partner Zhanibek Zhumadil, our VP of Operations. Zhanibek joined the team in 2018 as a business manager, and he has been critical to our growth over the past few years. Together, Zhanibek and I came up with the franchise concept for Koydol, and he has been essential in getting that concept off the ground.
1851: What makes Koydol a good franchise opportunity for an investor?
Agne: Koydol is the first franchise brand focused exclusively on commercial flooring, which is an enormous industry, and one that is growing fast. It’s also an industry that is fragmented without a clear leader in the space, and that’s a gap we are extremely well positioned to fill.
Subcontracting can be extremely lucrative businesses, but they are very difficult to get off the ground. You need technology, you need relationships and you need to be able to outbid your competitors for projects and then have the resources to actually complete the job on time and on budget. Those can be insurmountable hurdles for most subcontractors who try to build their own business independently, but we have already cleared those hurdles and packaged up a thriving business for our franchisees. All they have to do is run with the processes we’ve already established.
We have a fully established off-shore estimating team and best-in-class outbound prospecting, which our franchisees can use to secure major, high-dollar projects. As a brand, Koydol also has a uniquely positive standing among general contractors, who know us for our work on the MGM National Harbor in Maryland and other high-profile projects. We’ve built a reputation for being reliable and living up to our word, which is hard to come by in this industry.
We are also offering our franchisees very large territories, which can be difficult to find in franchising. Most brands are looking to grow through royalties, which means onboarding as many franchisees in as many markets as possible. But that’s not our strategy. We don’t want our franchisees competing with each other over projects, so rather than taking on a high number of franchisees, we are looking for only the most passionate entrepreneurs — those who align with our goals and values — to open large and exclusive territories. Ultimately, our franchisees will have the opportunity to turn a $100,000 investment into a $5–$10 million business.
1851: Who is the ideal franchise candidate?
Agne: We’re looking for people who have experience in the industry and are looking for a good opportunity to level up. That may mean existing commercial flooring contractors who are struggling to break through. In this industry, lots of independent operators are able to grow from $0 to $1,500,000 in a few years, but they have a really hard time going beyond that. Someone in that position may have great experience and know-how, and we can help them build a bigger, better business.
A great Koydol franchisee may also be a senior project manager or even a salesperson in the commercial flooring industry who knows a ton about the business but hasn’t found a good opportunity to grow. In addition, general business owners with sufficient capital that have a successful track record of running a business may also be a good fit if they can hire or partner with industry professionals to run projects.
Ultimately, though, what we are looking for are people who understand the value of what Koydol is offering and are fully committed to following our processes. We’ve built a rare and special opportunity in this industry, and we’re looking for people who see that and who share our passion.
1851: What are you excited about for the future of Koydol?
Agne: Everything. We are just getting started, and we’re already in such a strong position. In a few years, every general contractor in the country will know the name Koydol. We’ve built an incredible company and established a pristine reputation, and now we’re just looking for franchisees to introduce us to new markets. Once we begin to grow our footprint, the sky’s the limit.
1851: What are your growth goals for 2021 and beyond?
Agne: By the end of 2021, we hope to launch our first franchisees. We are targeting Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania as our first franchise markets. Then, starting next year, we are aiming to add 10–15 new franchise territories per year, with the ultimate goal of covering all major metropolitan areas by 2026.
The cost to open a Koydol franchise ranges from $79,500 to $122,000, including a $30,000 franchise fee. For more information on franchising with Koydol, visit http://www.koydolflooring.com/#buy.