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Young Ones to Watch: Jonathan Pace, Co-Founder of BizFranHub

Pace spoke to 1851 Franchise to discuss what he loves about the franchising industry, what makes an ideal franchisee and his advice for up-and-comers.

Jonathan Pace is the co-founder and managing partner of BizFranHub, a marketplace, resource hub and service provider for the business resale and franchising world. Pace has always had a passion for franchising, and as a franchise broker and business broker, he brings years of experience in the field and the unique perspective of having worked on both sides of the table. 

Pace knows that franchise success doesn’t just come from the top down. Success happens when excellence is instilled at every level of the business. Pace shows professionals how to become semi-absentee small business owners by investing in franchise business opportunities.

1851: How did you get into franchising?

Jonathan Pace: My original business was called On Pace Franchising and recently we decided to rebrand to BizFranHub. I first entered the franchising industry in the QSR segment as a general manager of Moe's Southwest Grill. I worked directly with the franchisee who was opening the location, and then moved over to Smashburger on the corporate side. The restaurant I worked at became a training location, so I trained many franchisees and managers. That got me started on my franchising journey, but I ended up leaving for a while and taking a position in corporate America on the retail side. In 2015, my business partner was in accounting and he had an idea to get into franchise consulting as a way to grow his practice. I’ve known him since grade school and we decided to partner up and start a franchise consulting business where I would be a consulting professional for those who were also transitioning from a corporate job over to business ownership. Ever since then, I’ve been focused full-time on growing this business.

1851: What do you love about the industry?

Pace: It allows a professional — who may not have any business ownership experience — to utilize the support, training, marketing assistance and proven business model of an established franchisor. Essentially, franchisees have access to a mentor who is going to walk them through the process from day one and continue to provide ongoing support and training. In addition, franchise ownership allows entrepreneurs to enter a specific industry without any direct experience. Since franchising touches nearly every industry imaginable, it allows prospects to consider segments that they otherwise might not be able to break into. They can utilize whatever skills they have to take control of their lifestyle, schedule and future.

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?

Pace: A great franchisee is someone who is willing to follow a proven business model. They are able to see the benefits of following a plan that somebody else has laid out. They understand how to leverage that plan and execute it in the best way possible. They are also leaders who want to build their own team. Great franchisees also want to get out into their community and are really passionate about benefiting customers. That is why it is so important that prospects look at all the options and really understand what is available out there.

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?

Pace: Everybody has had to face challenges over this time period. It’s important for franchisors to figure out how to take their current business model and adapt it for the new world. Obviously, for those who were deemed essential businesses, it may be easier than others. It really varies from industry to industry, but everyone has had to adapt. Now, with so many people out of work and looking for opportunities, the franchising industry is becoming more relevant than ever.

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

Pace: For both the franchisee and the franchisor, it is a partnership and you want to make sure that everyone has synergy. When you find the right match, it should seem natural. Sometimes, prospects start off looking at concepts that they've used as a consumer, but it is important to take a step back and think of it as a business model. What is your role as the owner going to be? How are your skills and experience going to apply to that business? There can be two businesses that do the exact same thing for the consumer, but the franchise owner’s role might be completely different. Every concept requires a different skill set, and it is very important to understand the business model, not just the brand and the consumer offering.