What about SMB makes it unique within its industry?
When you look at other consultants, they do a good job; they write a good operations manual and create a good FDD. But, the difference with SMB is the great relationships that we bring to the table and the contacts and experience we have in the industry.
What have been some of SMB's most important milestones over the past five years?
We started as a regional franchise consulting firm based in the Northeast. After a few years people we knew kept contacting us through referrals and asked for us to help them in the Midwest and beyond. A major milestone was taking on a project outside of our area and now the business has boomed and has grown across the U.S.
What plans does the brand have in the coming years (to highlight momentum)?
We plan to continue to evolve throughout the United States with emerging franchisors. In the next five years, we’d like to continue to expand with new franchise clients but also to continue our services to include working with private equity firms with some of our clients.
What types of franchise brands do you typically work with?
We work with emerging franchisors in various industries including food, retail, service, children's education, fitness and pets. We educate them on what franchising a brand actually entails and how becoming a franchisor of a brand is much different than running one of their corporate locations.
We also work with existing franchisors to implement better systems and processes. When franchisees are struggling or a brand has validation issues, we’ll come in and figure out what areas to focus on, educate the management team and help them improve the support to their franchise system.
What do you want potential franchisors to know?
Brands looking to franchise need to be profitable. Franchisees need to make money. If they don’t make money that is a problem. It doesn’t matter how good of an idea you have if franchisees can't become successful. Brands also need to have certain systems in place in order to think about franchising. If the owner has to be at the location every minute of every day, then this is not the time to franchise.
Also, people looking to franchise often think they’re going to make money on the first day they are a franchisor. People need to know they’re probably not going to make money in the first few years. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. It takes time to build a successful franchise system.