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Strategic Franchising Systems: The Entrepreneurial Franchise Launchpad

The multi-brand company was created by a team of entrepreneurial-minded leaders to help aspiring entrepreneurs overcome their fears, buy a franchise and take control of their destiny with low start-up costs, service-based business models and ongoing coaching support.

Strategic Franchising Systems (SFS) provides management and consulting services to five independently owned but affiliated national franchise brands: Growth Coach, Fresh CoatCaring TransitionsTruBlue Total House Care, and the Pet Wants franchise. When the company was founded over 20 years ago by Gary Green and Daniel Murphy, the primary goal was simple: create an Entrepreneurial Franchise Launchpad to facilitate business ownership. Today, that mission is kept alive by everyone on the Strategic team, who spend their days helping others feed their dreams and starve their fears so they can become business owners and leverage all the advantages of the franchise business model. 

“Since I was a teenager, I’ve always admired small business owners as they tend to be passionate people pursuing their own path, purpose, as well as seeking greater freedom…the freedom to take charge, create, serve others, manage their own schedule and maximize their income,” said Murphy. “Now, helping people to achieve their business ownership dreams and gain greater control and freedom is immensely addictive and satisfying. At Strategic, we love assisting people in getting out of their comfort zones to make the entrepreneurial leap. I love doing that and feel blessed to have done that on a daily basis for the last two decades.” 

The Creation of the Entrepreneurial Franchise LaunchPad 

Before diving into his career, Murphy attended Xavier University and majored in business and accounting. Upon graduation, he worked for a prestigious national accounting firm for three years as a CPA in their Entrepreneurial Services Group, interacted with dozens of inspirational business owners and learned what made them tick. This experience “stoked his entrepreneurial fire” enough to take the first step and approach his Managing Partner at the time to ask for more involvement in marketing and business development. Murphy knew he wanted to strengthen those skills to one day own and run his own business. 

“During all that time, I discovered that most small business owners felt overworked, overwhelmed, and prisoners to their business,” said Murphy. “They needed help becoming more strategic and effective owners and creating better businesses, results and personal lives. They were trying to do way too much on their own. Those problems awakened a burning desire in me to help coach them to achieve greater success and personal balance.” 

The accounting firm had no such coaching solutions and was not interested in creating new ones, so Murphy left the firm in 1992 and started a small business coaching practice himself. He was a “recovering CPA”, he says, on his way to a new adventure: to become a business owner and, surprisingly and eventually, a multi-brand franchisor.  

Murphy successfully ran his own coaching business for 10 years and even wrote a book, “Becoming a Strategic Business Owner,” which shares his coaching processes and strategies at a high level so readers can get more out of business and life. 

“While business and life were great, I knew I had an even bigger calling,” said Murphy. “In the back of my head, I wanted to help people more easily discover a simple and direct path to business ownership and freedom since mine was a bit convoluted and lucky. Fortunately, I met a client and my future business partner, Gary Green, and he educated me on franchising and how it could help hundreds of people become business owners, using the coaching model I created and that Gary helped me perfect. He was a marketing genius and expert in franchising.” 

To help others become coaches themselves and, in turn, help thousands of small business owners around the country, Murphy and Green launched The Growth Coach in 2002 as a business and sales coaching franchise. Murphy says he loved helping ordinary folks like himself become successful and highly fulfilled business coaches. Growth Coach expanded to over 150 markets and even several other countries. But soon, Murphy caught the franchise bug from Green, and Strategic Franchising Systems expansion was put on steroids. 

Under the Strategic Franchising umbrella, Green and Murphy co-founded Caring Transitions (2006), TruBlue Total House Care (2011), and Pet Wants Franchise System (2015). Fresh Coat was co-founded by Gary and Ralph Martin (2005), and the original founder of the Pet Wants concept was Michele Hobbs, who sought strategic guidance and investment from Franchise Funding Group LLC (co-founded by Gary and Dan) to franchise her successful pet food business (two stores and home delivery). Before 2002, Green also founded the very large and successful Home Helpers franchise system (in-home senior care) in 1997 and sold it in 2016. 

Today, Green is fully retired from SFS but remains an investor in all five SFS franchises, as does Murphy. Additionally, Murphy serves as an Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of SFS and serves on the Board of Directors for the companies they own.   

“It’s been a fantastic and extremely rewarding journey the last 20 years helping several hundred people become business owners in all five brands with total system revenues fast approaching $200 million,” said Murphy. “Franchising done right provides people with proven business models and all the training, marketing and operating systems, and ongoing coaching they need to develop and become strategic business owners. That enables them to truly scale a business and achieve the success, freedom and personal balance they were seeking.” 

Keeping the Flame Alive

Over the years, Strategic Franchising Systems has continued to build out its team with like-minded leaders passionate about the power of entrepreneurship.

Chris Seman, for example, is the current President of Strategic Franchising Systems. He first entered the franchising space back in the early 2000s while working as a business coach for a handyman concept. Right away, he loved helping others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams, and it proved to be a fulfilling career. 

“I learned what makes a small business owner tick and the key dynamics of what makes a good business,” said Seman. “What metrics to focus on, the business practices to employ and the successful behaviors that translate to winning as an entrepreneur.” 

In 2011, Caring Transitions was looking for leadership opportunities, and Seman joined the team as President. “Business owners tend to be a very limited audience — you need good capital, resources, training,” he said. “That is why the average middle-class person who has had a standard career can’t always find and fund a franchise business. But Caring Transitions, and really all of our brands, are very affordable and different. That opened up the dream of business ownership to a lot more ordinary people. That got me excited about the company.”

Seman spent the next few years working with franchise owners and building out the company’s infrastructure, growing the Caring Transitions footprint from under 100 locations to close to 200 locations. “I’m very proud of that, and it was a very fulfilling part of my career,” he said. “Seeing the success and helping families all over the United States is really a passion of mine now. I’ve been doing it for almost 22 years, and I’ve really fallen in love with franchising. It is truly a unique business platform and opportunity to have a huge impact on hundreds of people.”

For example, Murphy notes that Strategic Franchising not only focuses on creating great experiences for the franchisees and the customers but also for staff members as well. “We employ around 75 people at our Corporate Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio,” he said. “Additionally, our franchise owners hire literally thousands of employees around the country, making a huge, positive impact in hundreds of communities and with thousands of families. Entrepreneurship is a proven way to help lift people and communities up. It allows anyone with a larger vision, drive, strong work ethic, grit, and stamina to greatly improve their life and lifestyle — and those of their families, employees and customers.”

Now, Murphy says the Entrepreneurial Franchise Launchpad has never been more impactful, allowing leaders like him and Seman to make a real difference in communities all over the country. “I’ve been able to help coach hundreds of franchise owners as well as our executive teams overseeing all five of our franchise brands,” he said. “I have really been able to find a perfect platform and purpose to utilize my superpowers of developing businesses and developing others. Helping others to truly reach their potential and dreams is so rewarding.”

Why Entrepreneurs Love Strategic Franchising Systems

Since day one, SFS has been creating and offering affordable franchise business models and proven blueprints to franchise owners, which has allowed the company to establish itself as a top choice for entrepreneurs. “A good franchise gives the buyer the best of both worlds,” said Murphy. “You are still 100% an independent business owner, controlling your own destiny. But with a good franchise system, you get incredible training and proven operating and marketing systems out of the gate — a solid safety net and risk reduction. You can also start serving customers immediately after training, getting your cash flowing early and often. With successful franchise owners already in the system, it’s not a matter of if you can be successful, but will you be successful? You can follow the same mindsets, habits and work ethic of the top performers to build an incredible business to whatever size that best meets your goals and lifestyle. It’s your choice and responsibility.”

When it comes to training and support, all new Strategic Franchising business owners are trained to understand the industry dynamics and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and are provided with technical and operational training, business coaching, staffing strategies, marketing programs and trade secrets for each brand. That’s why Strategic Franchising requires no previous industry or business-ownership experience; you are taught everything and provided with all systems. 

“There are a lot of people denied great opportunities because of high investment levels, but we have several wonderful and affordable brands that allow ordinary people with ordinary means to own and operate extraordinary businesses,” said Seman. “We have the support, the proven business models, the low costs and simple operations. At their core, these are just staffing and marketing businesses. Our franchises are designed to help everyone who works smart and hard to be successful, both personally and financially.” 

Every SFS brand is affordable and home-based to start, which allows owners to keep operating costs significantly lower than competitors. The costs associated with starting a franchise will vary across the five concepts, but all offer competitively low initial investment requirements, ranging from $40,000 to $202,000. The higher-end range is for a Pet Wants retail location. 

As part of this strategy to stand behind their proven business models and franchise owners, SFS also offers an industry-unique Winner's Circle Program, which over time reimburses franchisees for up to their entire franchise fee as they achieve certain performance milestones.

“With Strategic Franchising, we want to support those ordinary folks looking to follow their entrepreneurial dreams to achieve extraordinary lives with more freedom, flexibility, fun, fulfillment and financial success,” said Murphy. “It’s an absolute honor and privilege to do that, as well as a huge responsibility. Trust me; if I can do it, anybody can do it as long as they properly feed their dreams and starve their fears. After all, everything we truly want in life is usually outside our comfort zone and on the other side of fear. We must be okay with taking reasonable risks and being somewhat uncomfortable to create a truly fulfilling life. I’m so glad I bet on myself. That is why we want to help more franchise candidates do the same thing for themselves and their families.”

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*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.