Top Players in Franchise Development: Jeff Panella
Top Players in Franchise Development: Jeff Panella

Jeff Panella, the Vice President of Business Development for Wireless Zone, says the brand’s focus is on finding the right franchisees to grow with.

Jeff Panella serves as Vice President of Business Development for Wireless Zone, the nation's largest wireless retail franchisor—a position he has held since January of 2016. Prior to his current role, Panella spent just under 11 years as the brand’s Vice President of Sales and Operations. With his wealth of brand knowledge and experience over the last decade, Panella is now working to grow Wireless Zone’s already stellar franchise system and propel the brand into an even greater future.

We recently spoke with Jeff to discuss his business development role and learn the secrets to Wireless Zone’s incredible franchise growth. Wireless Zone’s focus is on finding the right people, and empowering those franchise partners to cultivate the brand’s culture while giving back to the communities they serve.

What makes your brand’s franchise development process tick?

Any great franchise system begins with a solid brand, a solid selections process, and sincere care for the success of franchisees while maintaining the brand standards. We are no different. The greatest advantage we have and the reason we have been successful for almost 30 years is based on our locally owned and operated franchisee owners caring for the system, the brand, and most importantly, their customers. Our repeat business is the highest in the our category for Verizon nationwide

What have been some of your brand’s major milestones?

Although we are proud of so many achievements, we are specifically proud that our Wireless Zone franchisees have helped us earn the number one spot for customer service and customer retention nationwide. We also surpassed the 350 store number, which was a big milestone for us. The larger we become the more benefits we can offer to franchisees and the stronger our franchise system will be. I must also mention that we donated over $320K last year through the Wireless Zone Foundation for Giving. All of these donations were allocated through our franchised locations and donated to local organizations that our franchisees have individually selected. We are very proud of our franchisees’ philanthropic efforts in local communities.

What are you most proud of?

We are most proud of our franchisees’ unwavering commitment to customer service and to their local communities. Our franchisees are giving back to their communities nationwide. As I write this, there is someone benefiting from our franchisees’ services. I am proud of our franchisees’ commitment to their businesses and to our overall Wireless Zone System. We are very fortunate to have an incredible team.

What specific steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their respective businesses? And what do you do to set them up for success?

First we make sure they are right for the business, are well capitalized, and have the skills to handle becoming a franchisee in the Wireless/Retail industry. Once we know this, as a full service franchise system we train them to understand everything they will need to run a wireless retail location, to manage finances and customer service, and how to work with Verizon. New franchisees train in one of our best locations with one of our most seasoned franchisees. We offer turn key locations, so when they are ready to open, they are trained and up to speed and ready to hit the ground running with the first customer.

What are your goals for your brand in the next few years and how do you plan to grow the brand?

Our goal is always to become better at what we do. We will first continue to strive to be better at serving our franchisees, and by doing this, our system will grow naturally. We do intend to continue to grow the system as economies of scale will continue to benefit the franchisees and the franchisor. We have a good system and we are growing in new markets while being very well received in local communities.