A Place at Home's CEO and Head of Franchise Development provides advice for professionals in the franchising industry.
1851: What was it that drew you into franchising?
Dustin Distefano, CEO and Head of Franchise Development for A Place at Home: My background is in Management and Employee Development. My passion is to find peoples strengths and then utilize them to develop them into something better. To me; that is franchising. You get a franchise owner that has skills of some facet and want a business but do not want to reinvent the wheel. It is now my job to take them and mold them into a powerhouse franchise owner.
1851: How did you get in the role you’re in now?
Distefano: I started the original location and grew the revenue and service lines, along with my partner Jerod Evanich, and now I oversee franchise development for A Place at Home and he oversees on-boarding and training.
1851: What advice would you give to other young up-and-comers?
Distefano: Stick with it, you will go through so many highs and lows and you might not award a franchise in the timeline that you think. Keeping pushing yourself and you will start to gain some momentum and then suddenly you accomplish your first franchise. Then reflect, look back at what you built from scratch. You had a vision, you built that vision, and now you just sold that vision to someone else to use in their market. It is very humbling
1851: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Distefano: Be patient and don’t get discouraged. Focus on helping enough people and you will achieve what you want to achieve.
1851: What advice would you give to someone deciding to own a franchise?
Distefano: Find what fits you and your passion. Stay away from the numbers and getting bogged down with what you can earn. Although you see an item 19 and think this is great, if you do not have a passion to do home care there is no way in hell you are going to hit those numbers.
A growth plan is great, but do not let that determine the franchise you are going to buy in too. They may have wide open territory in your state today, and you may say to yourself that is great I can buy this one and then this one etc. There are zero guarantees that that territory won’t be sold next week.
Find a franchise that fits you and your passion that is it. Everything else will fall into place because you are going to be doing something you want to do.