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How Strategic Franchising Continues to See Growth Across Portfolio in 2022

Leveraging over 20 years of creating and providing franchise business models to bring people’s dreams to life, the multi-brand franchisor aims to add 200 new franchise units to its system this year.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 07/25/22

Strategic Franchising Systems (SFS) provides management and consulting services to five independent but affiliated national franchise system brands: painting franchise, Fresh Coat; senior home relocation concept, Caring Transitions; business and sales coaching concept, The Growth Coach; fast-growing natural pet food and pet grooming brand, Pet Wants; and the only national provider of total house care, inside and out, for seniors and busy families, TruBlue. This impressive portfolio makes Strategic Franchising Systems one of the largest multi-brand franchisors in the world, and this year its footprint continues to grow faster than ever.

“In 2021, we added 155 new franchise owners, and this year we expect to at least meet or exceed that number,” said Pete McKnight, Chief Financial Officer. “Our systemwide sales have also been growing across all the brands. There are more than 600 franchise owners in more than a dozen countries and total system sales for all five brands are approaching $200 million.”

The History of Strategic Franchising

Since being started by primary co-founders and investors, Gary Green and Daniel Murphy, Strategic Franchising has been a self-described “entrepreneurial franchise factory.” Green and Murphy became business partners in 2002 and spent the next two decades building the Strategic Franchising portfolio, now five national brands strong. The duo co-founded Growth Coach in 2002, and then went on to co-found Fresh Coat in 2005 with Ralph Martin, Caring Transitions in 2006 and TruBlue Total House Care in 2011. The original founder of Pet Wants, with two locations in Cincinnati, sought strategic investment and guidance in 2015 from Franchise Funding Group (a franchise investment & development company co-founded by Murphy and Green and affiliated with SFS) and they helped launch Pet Wants Franchise System, LLC, now in over 100 markets and growing rapidly.

Murphy stated, “I have the best role at Strategic Franchising (CMO, Exec. VP). As co-founder and investor in all these companies, I get to provide strategic guidance and mentoring to our executive teams as well as franchise marketing strategy to the brands. But best of all, I no longer have any operational involvement with the companies. After all, my superpowers are creating companies, not managing them (he laughs). We have fantastic executives/operators in place and I’m blessed to support their success, give them tons of freedom, and watch them and their brands develop and grow. Very gratifying. As President of Franchise Funding Group, I also get to look out for the next great entrepreneur and business to invest in and help them launch a new, national franchise system. Gary Green’s genius and initial vision, and the infrastructure and launch platform we developed together, has allowed us to help hundreds of people to become their own boss, take charge of their lives, and we have also directly and indirectly helped create thousands of jobs. I am so fortunate to live my purpose and passion each day.”  

Today, well over 75 employees on the SFS team are dedicated to the mission of helping ordinary folks become independent business owners. The five franchise brands have passionate personnel who help recruit and train new franchise owners and then provide ongoing coaching and marketing support. 

Chris Seman, former president of Caring Transitions from 2012 to 2019, became President of Strategic Franchising in 2019 and currently provides strategic guidance to the five independent brand presidents. Seman also helps oversee all shared resources, including legal, accounting, HR, technology support and franchise development.  

“Ultimately, Strategic Franchising focuses on one key area for success: passion. Everyone at Strategic has to be 100% committed to our franchisee’s success. This attitude rolls into our brands as we look for people who are passionate about our services and want to make a difference in their communities,” Seman said. “Through this focus, we have grown our five brands and maintained that outstanding growth throughout our history.”

How Strategic Franchising Systems Sets Itself Apart for Franchisees

Strategic Franchising Systems continues to attract qualified franchise owners for several reasons, McKnight says. Every brand is home-based, for example, which allows owners to keep operating costs significantly lower than those of competitors. All new franchisees are prepared and trained with what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, including access to business coaching, recruiting, marketing programs and trade secrets for each of the five franchise systems. 

“We are building great momentum, our brands are in good segments and we provide our franchisees with the systems and processes to thrive in those markets,” said McKnight. 

In addition to proven business models and in-depth support, Strategic Franchising Systems also prides itself on offering entrepreneurs flexible and attractive financing options. The company’s innovative Winner's Circle Program, for example, is shared by all Strategic Franchising Systems brands and reimburses franchisees for their entire franchise fee as they achieve certain milestones over time.

SFS franchise owners also have the opportunity to reap the rewards of a uniquely robust, multi-brand franchise system by reaching out to owners of other brands for cross-brand promotions and referrals. For example, if a Caring Transitions franchise owner has a client that needs a home painted, they can call a Fresh Coat franchise owner in the local market.

Why Now is the Time to Join Strategic Franchising Systems

In today’s post-pandemic landscape, the Strategic Franchising Systems concepts are catching the attention of business-savvy entrepreneurs as uniquely recession-proof and well-positioned opportunities for 2022. 

The $506 billion home services segment has grown significantly over the past two years, and the $97 billion senior care industry is growing just as fast. With over 28 million small businesses in the U.S., business coaching is an $11 billion industry that’s growing at an average rate of 2.6% a year, and when it comes to the $95.7 billion pet products industry, Americans spend over $36.9 billion a year on pet food and treats. And with Growth Coach, you can run that business with or without employees, full-time or part-time, at your schedule and pace. It’s highly flexible and what many people are looking for with encore careers, flexible gigs, or even into retirement. 

“Whether it be the senior care market, the painting industry or the pet segment, there is a lot of demand for our services right now and that translates to stronger franchise opportunities,” said McKnight. “The markets seem to be relatively insulated from the recession turbulence.”

Looking ahead, as Strategic Franchising continues to attract top talent to lead their franchise brands on national expansion, McKnight says the team hopes to add 200 new franchise units by the end of year.

“For entrepreneurs from all walks of life, the time has never been better to join the Strategic Franchising network,” said McKnight. “With a steadily-growing footprint and a proven pathway to success, Strategic Franchising Systems is establishing itself as the franchisor behind some of the most exciting franchise opportunities in the industry.”

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