It’s one thing to simply own and operate your own business. It’s another matter entirely to franchise it.
That’s where SMB Franchise Advisors can help by providing not only a great deal of business and franchising acumen but also emotional support to guide business owners on the road to franchising.
The franchise consulting company provides a wide range of services to its franchise clients, but its core focus is to help growing businesses switch over to a franchising model, guide them through every step of that process and help set them up for long-term success.
“If somebody’s interested in franchising their business, you have to make sure it’s a franchisable concept,” SMB Franchise Advisors’ President and CEO Steve Beagelman said.
He noted that business owners need to be ready from a management standpoint, a time standpoint and a financial standpoint.
“We evaluate the business and the people and make sure they are ready because it’s a totally different business than running their own existing business,” he said. “We help them through the whole process and we really take the lead in franchising their business. We act as the coach of the team and orchestrate everything.”
SMB’s support includes everything from working with franchise attorneys and getting the FDD complete to franchise marketing, franchise sales processes and drafting the franchise operations manual.
“These owners will have processes and systems in place, but they won’t have a couple hundred-page manual written,” Beagelman said. “We create a franchise sales process. We guide and direct them, help them decide what states they should expand in; those big, big decisions. And then we help with strategic decisions going into the business so it’s not just as simple as the attorney puts together an FDD and off you go.”
SMB clients appreciate the company’s approach.
“They are very hands-on,” founder and CEO of GYMGUYZ Josh York told 1851. “When trying to figure out what is the best strategic plan for our growth or structure, they are right there to help us make the best decisions. We are incredibly grateful for Steve and his team.”
Beagelman likes to point out one major fact about his team: together, they literally have hundreds of years of franchising experience. He alone has been in the franchising industry in various capacities for over 30 years.
Together, SMB has helped more than 200 brands franchise their concept and provided a wide range of services.
“They have a qualified individual in each different area that I need as a franchisor,” GolfU founder and SMB client Brad Hare told 1851.
And clients get access to all of these team members and their expertise.
The company’s Director of Business Development, the Director of Marketing and Brand Development, the Director of Franchise Development, the CFO and Beagelman are all involved in every project. If the business is restaurant-related, the COO also gets involved. And every brand gets to work with SMB’s Research Analyst.
“The most important thing to me is that we are finding ways to help small business entrepreneurs really grow their business nationwide in a format that they probably couldn’t do on their own,” SMB Director of Business Development Colette Bell said.
As far as first steps go, SMB first does an evaluation of the business to make sure it’s truly franchise-ready. SMB takes the time to get to know the brand and gain a solid understanding of the business model.
“If they’ve been in business for three years and it’s been declining each year, that’s not the time to franchise,” Beagelman said. “Franchising is not going to save their business. So we’ll help evaluate whether it’s the right time to franchise and if they are, we will take the next steps and take them through the process.”
Beagelman wants to make one thing very clear: SMB is only interested in working with owners who are going to care about their franchisees and want to provide a solid support system.
“We want to work with good people who care about bringing the right franchisees into their system and doing the right thing for their system,” Beagelman said. “We’re not interested in a client who is just interested in selling hundreds of units and doesn’t care about their franchisees.”
“We’re all about relationships,” Beagelman said. “We build long-term, valuable relationships that last the test of time. So, for us, it’s all about doing business with good people who have great values and care about their franchisees, their system and building something long-term.”
Bell echoes this sentiment.
“One of the ways SMB is different in terms of consulting is that we are not just interested in getting you into franchising today, we are interested in making sure clients stay in franchising,” she said.
For SMB, the emotional journey of franchising is also a major part of what they do.
“The support we provide at SMB is second to none,” Beagelman said.
Businesses that are looking to franchise, he noted, don’t know what they don’t know. A million things can come up, and while the client may know their business and how to make the best pizza or provide the best dry-cleaning service, they don’t always know everything about franchising, he said.
“We really act as a guide and a coach during the whole process and we really take the lead,” he said, adding that clients often thank SMB, for example, for helping them navigate the FDD process with attorneys and making sure they have the right answers. “We answer all those questions for them. It’s all about the relationship and making sure our clients are doing the right thing.”
SMB’s clients have appreciated their support.
“Working with SMB gives us a huge advantage,” SoBol co-founder and CEO Jason Mazzarone told 1851. “And it’s not just their expertise and traditional services that are helping us grow—networking with Steve and his team has introduced us to a new community of both emerging and existing franchisors that we can learn from.”
To learn more about SMB Franchise Advisors, visit https://smbfranchising.com/index.php.