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Young Ones to Watch: David Blue, Co-Founder of Blue Moon Estate Sales

The co-founder and director of operations behind Blue Moon Estate Sales offers his advice for those looking to grow in the franchising industry.

David Blue is from Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2013 he co-founded Blue Moon Estate Sales Franchise systems. Blue Moon liquidates all forms of personal property. To bring the business to new markets, Blue franchised his systems and operations to help families in need across the country. He and his company have been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fox Business, and He is also a grand-prize winner of the IFA Nextgen in Franchising award and successfully exited his startup through acquisition to The Riverside Company private equity firm.

The young entrepreneur spoke with 1851 Franchise as part of our Young Ones to Watch series to discuss his story, the challenges facing the franchising industry and more.

1851: How did you get into franchising?

Blue: My family opened the flagship Blue Moon Estate Sales location in 2009, right after the recession, and we quickly rose to market share in Raleigh, North Carolina. My family saw that there was a need to be filled in the estate sale market for professionalism, proven marketing and standardization. At Blue Moon Estate Sales, we liquidate all forms of property for our clients, assess the price and then sell everything to our customer base. 

I joined the company in 2011 with the intention to franchise the Blue Moon Estate Sales concept. I saw a demand that needed to be met across the country. There was no dominant player in this very fragmented industry, so I got to work. I founded the franchise entity in 2013 and from there we put our operational manuals in place, created our FDD and offered our first franchises for sale in June 2013. We have 34 open locations to date, and three awaiting training. 

Blue Moon Estate Sales is also a part of Best Life Brands LLC. Based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Best Life Brands LLC is a holding company that includes ComForCare and At Your Side, premier franchised providers of home care; CarePatrol, the nation's largest franchised senior placement organization; and Blue Moon Estate Sales, the leading estate sale franchise in the U.S., which together include 375 franchise locations across the U.S. and Canada. With a private equity investment from The Riverside Company, Best Life Brands is a platform of award-winning complementary businesses that serve people along the continuum of care.

1851: What do you love about the industry?

Blue: The franchising industry allows us to empower business owners and create jobs. Blue Moon Estate Sales meets a very specific need for our clients, often at a time when they are entering a new chapter in their lives. Through franchising, we are able to scale quickly across the country, train business owners and provide this streamlined service to more and more people. 

1851: What makes someone a good fit for the franchise industry? Are there traits that are shared by the most successful franchise professionals you know?

Blue: There are a lot of different brands and concepts out there, but the top three attributes that we look for are: sales experience, grit and coachability. Successful franchisees need the ability to receive coachable advice and constructive criticism to ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

1851: How do you feel about the industry's response to the coronavirus crisis so far? Are there challenges or opportunities that the industry still needs to address?

Blue: The franchising industry, from an operations standpoint, is perhaps one of the most prepared industries when it comes to the pandemic. Each franchisor features team members who are determined to help franchisees solve problems, pivot on a dime and implement best safety practices. Smaller, independent business owners are struggling more than franchisees through the COVID-19 crisis because they don’t have the support of a larger company, whether that be help with marketing, legal advice, or operations. A good franchisor is worth their weight in gold right now.

1851: What advice do you have for other young up-and-comers in the space?

Blue: I would tell young, aspiring franchisors that they need to make sure that customer service is one of their highest priorities right now. Whatever service you provide, make sure it is the best. People remember how they felt after they’ve dealt with your company, and if you don’t bring something compelling to the marketplace, it won’t be scalable.