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Young Ones to Watch: Jason Revere, VP of Business Development for Honest Abe Roofing

Revere spoke with 1851 Franchise to discuss how he entered the franchise industry, what advice he has for up-and-coming business owners and more.

Jason Revere was a business owner before jumping into franchise development. The fundamental understanding of business he gained owning a marketing and consulting company called Midnight Ride Marketing has helped the now-VP of Franchise Development for Honest Abe Roofing better connect with prospective franchisees seeking to fulfill their entrepreneurial ambitions. 

In an interview with 1851 Franchise, Revere talked about being a franchisor, the challenges facing the franchise industry and more. 

1851: How did you get into franchising?

Revere: I got into the world of franchising through the CEO of Honest Abe Roofing, Kevin Newton, who mentioned he wanted to franchise his concept. It piqued my interest because I always loved the idea of franchising. I came on as the vice president of Honest Abe Roofing in 2017. We saw a void in the roofing space — there were no real roofing franchisees out there that attacked the business from the mindset of a marketing company. We decided to systematize the business model in a way that could be replicated across the country and launched the franchise in December of 2017. 

1851: What do you love about the industry?

Revere: It gives people who wouldn’t have the ability to own and operate a business in a certain sector the ability to do so. When people buy a franchise, they usually do it because they are not a “something”: “I’m not a doctor.” “I’m not a roofer.” “I’m not an electrician.” “I’m not a plumber.” “I’m not a car guy.” “I’m not a chef.” The only way those people can really enter those specific sectors is as a franchisee. I’ve always loved that idea of packaging a business model and giving entrepreneurs the ability to drive revenue.

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?

Revere: First and foremost, a good franchise owner is able to follow the system. Still, a great Subway franchisee is going to have different personality traits than a great Honest Abe franchisee. It is important to understand the ideal candidate profile for the franchisor's individual system. For example, speaking specifically of our ideal candidate, we look for people who understand the importance of customer acquisition and who have a sales background. Across the board, a great franchisee needs to be coachable and realize that the system has been built with specific processes for a reason. 

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?

Revere: The response to COVID-19 is really predicated on each individual franchise’s business model — if you run a fitness franchise, you are going to have a much different response than someone who runs a restoration franchise. In our case, we have seen a major uptick in the demand for our product because people are spending more time at home. Our franchisees have all had record months during the pandemic. Because of this, we didn’t want to pull back — we wanted to conquer the market and keep following the business model so that when restrictions are lifted, we are positioned for success. 

When it comes to the industry as a whole, prospects now see the need to be in a segment that is not only recession-proof, but also pandemic-proof in terms of health consequences. For the franchisors out there that are in severely affected industries, the response needs to be a “wait and see” approach in which franchisees are supported and kept up to date with best practices. 

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

Revere: My advice to young franchisors would be to make sure to get the right people in early — don’t make the mistake of awarding franchises to people you know are not the right fit. Even though that strategy might slow your growth trajectory up front, the wrong franchise partners will hurt the business more in the long run. We made the mistake of allowing a couple of franchisees into the system that were not qualified to run our business model. When you do that, you get the momentary win of adding a new location, but it does more damage than it does good. Be patient, be persistent and you will find the right people to grow your system.