How did you get into the industry?
I was Director of sales at a company called Tactician. There, I worked with several big companies. They taught me how to use business mapping in franchising. I worked with co-workers who created territories and sold sites. I also worked with operational people. Sales people would sell a territory and I would add data to enhance that territory.
I would help the sales team strategize through business mapping, ultimately helping them sell franchises. I taught Jimmy John’s how to run an analog model. Chris Conner, President of FMS, and I met through this account. We worked with the model for 3 years. Chris started sending me leads. The first deal, Biz Card Express, was the first one that he and I did together.
One day, I called FranCorp and they told me that Chris had started his own company. He and I reconnected and I began to bring several of my systems over.
Franchising is a complicated business. It takes a long time to understand franchising. I was trained by the guy who modeled Dunkin Donuts and the guy who modeled Chick Fil A. I worked with Curves, Subway, Culvers, and Hungry Howies. I learned demographic analysis and site selection through my real estate exposure. I can do site selection like a real estate guy; I understand commercial real estate.
Funny side note: I told Tactician to get out of franchising and they went into territory planning. So I got them out of it and I went into the franchise business.
What’s new in the franchise industry?
We need to discuss the effects of the pandemic here. People are wanting to become entrepreneurs. They want to take their own destiny into their hands. They don’t want people to tell them that they have to work from home. There is a whole new entrepreneurial spirit. Franchising is a great outlook. You can have a one-man business or a 200 person business depending on your level of sophistication and skill. People can say “I love sales, why don’t I start a franchise that utilizes my sales skills?” They can do that now.
It’s not just the entrepreneurial spirit. People don’t want people to tell them what to do anymore.
Where do you see opportunities or challenges in the industry moving forward?
The opportunity is that people want to become entrepreneurs. They want to run their own businesses. They want to be responsible for the bottom line. They don’t want to be responsible for 1000 people and only make a salary. They’d rather be responsible for 10 people. They want to build a legacy and equity. The pandemic taught people how to handle pain and unpredictability, so now people know how to push themselves to different levels.
I don’t like to talk about the challenges, because anyone can easily overcome a challenge with skill and determination. Franchisors know how to become successful with the knowledge and drive they have.
What are your personal goals in the near future?
It is to create a top echelon sales and marketing organization. I want to take it to the next level so that I can effectively maximize the sales effort for our customers and help them make sales. We have good momentum and are selling several franchises, so the natural next step is to create a facet to push the sales potential even further.
Talk to us about Franchise Sales.
Franchise Sales are run as a separate division. Sales are the second offering in what we do here at FMS. Once you go through the franchise development process we offer a sales and marketing effort as a separate package. You can go and sell your own or you can engage us in a separate agreement.
We have a really effective sales team that is growing and is very talented. It’s all about sales training. We are a cohesive group in which everyone works together as a team to improve each other. We are all working towards a unified goal of helping our clients achieve success.
Our sales associates in the month of August sold 30 franchise units, for example. We’ve created a really unique partnership through our team players and sales associates to help maximize the effort for the success of our clients. We work together to train, bring success, and inspire best practices. We support each other everyday.
We teach our franchisors how to effectively monetize the consulting effort. This is extremely important to what we do. You just need to sell one franchise to get our franchisors’ their money back.
Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Everything I do is for our customers. We work long and hard. We’re dedicated to our customers. We’re driven by the success of our customers and that’s our message. I work for my clients as hard as I can, as effectively as I can. Without clients, there is no FMS. We understand entrepreneurism because we are entrepreneurs. There is no other firm out there that compares.