Should I buy a franchise?
How do I decide on the best franchise? What’s the process of buying the right franchise? Why are true entrepreneurs not the best franchise owners? Anita Best of Find Your Franchise, Inc. answers these questions and more on this episode of “Decision Vision,” with Host Michael Blake.
Anita Best, Find Your Franchise, Inc.
Anita Best is the President of Find Your Franchise, Inc. Anita has spent the last ten years consulting others who are considering owning a franchise. She is passionate about small business ownership and lifestyle independence. She specializes in helping people leverage their beliefs, attitudes and transferable skills into a franchise opportunity that will meet their financial and personal goals.
Anita has owned four franchises, including a Keller Williams franchise she opened as a managing partner. Through her stewardship, the business achieved profitability in year one and her office grew to over 125 agents in less than 3 years. Because of her inimitable business acumen and success in running the franchise, she was invited to join the business coaching program at KW, where she coached other business owners to reach their peak performance.
Michael Blake, Brady Ware & Company
Michael Blake is Host of the “Decision Vision” podcast series and a Director of Brady Ware & Company. Mike specializes in the valuation of intellectual property-driven firms, such as software firms, aerospace firms and professional services firms, most frequently in the capacity as a transaction advisor, helping clients obtain great outcomes from complex transaction opportunities. He is also a specialist in the appraisal of intellectual properties as stand-alone assets, such as software, trade secrets, and patents.
Mike has been a full-time business appraiser for 13 years with public accounting firms, boutique business appraisal firms, and an owner of his own firm. Prior to that, he spent 8 years in venture capital and investment banking, including transactions in the U.S., Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
Brady Ware & Company
Brady Ware & Company is a regional full-service accounting and advisory firm which helps businesses and entrepreneurs make visions a reality. Brady Ware services clients nationally from its offices in Alpharetta, GA; Columbus and Dayton, OH; and Richmond, IN. The firm is growth minded, committed to the regions in which they operate, and most importantly, they make significant investments in their people and service offerings to meet the changing financial needs of those they are privileged to serve. The firm is dedicated to providing results that make a difference for its clients.
Decision Vision Podcast Series
“Decision Vision” is a podcast covering topics and issues facing small business owners and connecting them with solutions from leading experts. This series is presented by Brady Ware & Company. If you are a decision maker for a small business, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to listen to every Thursday to the “Decision Vision” podcast. Past episodes of “Decision Vision” can be found here. “Decision Vision” is produced and broadcast by Business RadioX®.
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Intro: [00:00:01] Welcome to Decision Vision, a podcast series focusing on critical business decisions, brought to you by Brady Ware & Company. Brady Ware is a regional, full-service, accounting and advisory firm that helps businesses and entrepreneurs make visions a reality.
Michael Blake: [00:00:20] And welcome back to another episode of Decision Vision, a podcast giving you, the listener, clear vision to make great decisions. In each episode, we discuss the process of decision making on a different topic. Rather than making recommendations because everyone’s circumstances are different, we talk to subject matter experts about how they would recommend thinking about that decision.
Michael Blake: [00:00:38] Hi. My name is Mike Blake, and I’m your host for today’s program. I’m a Director at Brady Ware & Company, a full-service accounting firm based in Dayton, Ohio, with offices in Dayton; Columbus, Ohio; Richmond, Indiana; and Alpharetta, Georgia, which is where we are recording today. Brady Ware is sponsoring this podcast. If you like this podcast, please subscribe on your favorite podcast aggregator, and please also consider leaving a review of the podcast as well.
Michael Blake: [00:01:03] So, our topic for today is about franchising and, specifically, should you buy or maybe buy into a franchise? And this is a model for business that has just been exploding in the last couple of decades. And we’re going to be a good friend and expert come on and talk about this in a minute. But it’s a very exciting topic because entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly important. But not only that, entrepreneurship is changing.
Michael Blake: [00:01:33] Historically, when we think about entrepreneurs, especially in my generation as a Gen-Xer, we think about Silicon Valley, we think about Steve Jobs, we think about Mark Zuckerberg, we think about Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk, and so forth. And they’re entrepreneurs. No doubt about it. Nothing wrong with what they did. But only one person, not everybody can kind of be a genius that’s going to start a business that literally changes how civilization works. And it’s not a stretch to say that those are the kinds of businesses that have done that.
Michael Blake: [00:02:13] There’s a lot of entrepreneurship that that occurs. It’s what I call kind of meat and potatoes businesses. They’re not sexy like the Silicon Valley kind of businesses, but all they do is they make money. And at the end of the day, businesses are supposed to do that. Companies like Uber and Pinterest that did IPOs, and they’re so under water, the next CEO’s going to be Aquaman. These businesses make money. There’s nothing wrong with them. And I think we’re going to see an even greater interest in franchising because we’re seeing a lot of people, kind of, in transition in their careers.
Michael Blake: [00:02:54] And for my part, I reached a point where I needed to stop being an employee sometime in my early 40s, a few years ago. And one of the things that people, then, might look at if you’re going to start a business, and you’re not going to go the venture capital route, is franchising. And it works very well for some people. And for other people, it doesn’t work as well. But that’s the nature of, really, any business. That’s not unique to franchising. But we’re going to talk today about how do you find out if franchising is the best fit for you, or, frankly, if it’s not a good fit for you, stay away from it, and do something else.
Michael Blake: [00:03:33] So, joining us today is my pal, Anita Best. Anita is the President of Find Your franchise Inc. She has owned four franchises herself and has spent the last 10 years consulting others who are considering owning a franchise. She is passionate – and that’s an understated passion with a capital P – about small business ownership and lifestyle independence. She specializes in helping people leverage their beliefs, attitudes, and transferable skills into a franchise opportunity that will meet their financial and personal goals. Anita, thanks for coming on the program.
Anita Best: [00:04:09] My pleasure, Michael. Thanks for asking me.
Michael Blake: [00:04:11] So, how’d you get into this business? You’ve been doing it for 10 years. What led you to this path that you’ve chosen?
Anita Best: [00:04:21] Like many things in life, it was really an accident. I sold real estate all through the ’90s. And when Keller Williams came to Atlanta, Keller Williams Real Estate, they were a younger company at the time, they were recruiting me. And through the course of those discussions, I had been selling real estate a long time, and the opportunity came up to buy into the Buckhead franchise when it was opening up. And so, I did became an investor in the franchise and was the managing partner for the first three years. So, I really started from the inside of the franchise business. Keller Williams has a very sophisticated coaching program that they recruited me into. So, I helped coach other Keller Williams franchise owners around the country on how to grow and build their franchise and be successful.
Anita Best: [00:05:11] A few years later, I did that for three years, built it into one of the top, at the time, one of the largest franchises in the country. And, now, I decided to take a little break. The coaching was very lucrative that I was doing with them. And so, I hired a new broker to run the office, retain my ownership, and move down to Florida to spend some great years with my parents. They were getting older. And looking back on it, that was a great decision.
Anita Best: [00:05:33] I decided to come back to Atlanta a few years later, and they wanted me back in the Keller Williams system. But it was a great job but a very difficult job. And I started thinking about the fact that I had been down in Florida for three years, and had not worked at the franchise even through ’08 and all that downturn, I still got a check every quarter. So, mailbox money was nice and decided that maybe buying another franchise would be a good thing to do.
Anita Best: [00:06:02] And so, in my research, looking at franchise opportunities, I came across a franchise broker and was really intrigued by that business model. So, again, I started researching that, in addition to looking at some franchises, and decided that with my coaching training and background, with my franchise ownership background, it was a perfect fit. So, I got some education, got some training, hung up a shingle, and the rest is history.
Michael Blake: [00:06:31] And how did you move from franchise, or do o you consider what you do now franchise brokerage or more of an advisory?
Anita Best: [00:06:39] I never felt like a broker. That’s a technical name for what I do. But almost, from the very beginning, my business was very consulting-based. I tell my clients that I am a a research assistant, a subject matter expert, and a coach. And I tell them right from the beginning, the majority the people that come to me, that are referred to me, my business is virtually all referral, don’t buy a franchise. They’re on a dual path. They’re looking at another corporate job. They’re in transition. But almost without exception, they refer people to me. So, my goal is to have them have a good experience, get educated, and not for them necessarily to buy a franchise. Although happily, I can say it does happen often enough.
Michael Blake: [00:07:27] Okay. So, when I broached the subject of franchise, and you’ve taught me a lot about franchise over the years that we’ve known each other, so now I can have an intelligent conversation for about eight minutes or so, and I said, “Well, people will come to me, and they’re in various kind of situations.” We’ll talk about that later in the interview. But the question I always get back or the reaction I always get back is, “Well, I can’t do a franchise I don’t want to be in the restaurant business. I hate food service. I don’t want to own a McDonald’s.” I mean, the franchise world is a lot more than food service now, isn’t it?
Anita Best: [00:08:00] Yeah. I’ve been, as you said, doing these 10 years, I’ve only sold two food franchises. I, typically, tend to talk people out of it just because I think there’s so many other incredible opportunities out there. Only about 20% of franchises are food. Franchising is just a business model. Most people don’t know but most of, if not many of, the Coca-Cola bottlers are franchises, traditional franchises. Your favorite sports team is a traditional franchise.
Anita Best: [00:08:28] I’ve challenged people to name an industry that I can’t find a franchise in. One time somebody said drones. And at the time, I didn’t have one. I have since found one in drones. There’s one that’s gone out of business in the marijuana business in states where it was legal there. They’re no longer around. But there’s franchise in everything – health care, technology, home services, education. Just about every industry you can think of, there would be a franchise, at least, relative to it.
Michael Blake: [00:08:57] Now, that one that went out of business, was that the drone business that went out of business or the marijuana that’s just going out of business.
Anita Best: [00:09:03] No, no. I think the drone business is doing well. It was the marijuana business.
Michael Blake: [00:09:06] I was just kind of wondering. Marijuana and flying drones may or may not be the best combination out there. Just sort of my gears kind of turning on that.
Anita Best: [00:09:18] [Crosstalk].
Michael Blake: [00:09:18] So, the Small Business Administration provides a list of franchise failure rates. Not all franchises are created equal. And they get a lot of — Frankly, I think, they get a lot of negative attention, sometimes undeserved. And I think it’s because nobody wants to read a story about a plane landing safely, right. But it’s always fun to beat on some franchisor that is taking too much money, whatever they’re doing, right. But I think the Small Business Administration has a list of the franchise failure rates as a function of where the SBA provides the financing to buy a franchise, and then what is the default rate. Have you seen that list? You think that’s a good thing for somebody to consult as they think about the kind of franchise or the specific franchise they might consider buying into?
Anita Best: [00:10:12] It might be a small data point, Michael. I’m very familiar with it. It’s the Coleman Report. The last one that I have the entire report of was from 2011. If a franchise sells a hundred franchises, and two of them use SBA, and one of those fail, it’s going to show up as a 50% failure rate on the SBA’s list.
Michael Blake: [00:10:38] True.
Anita Best: [00:10:38] So, you can extrapolate all kinds of crazy numbers that would come up. I think the Coleman Report is more effective to use from an industry perspective if you are to take all the restaurants out of the Coleman Report and see how many restaurants fail versus how many, let’s say, auto repair franchises fail, versus how many homecare franchises fail. You can come up with some data there that’s interesting from which industries may have higher failure rates, but there’s so many other things that go into it.
Anita Best: [00:11:09] And the simple fact that it’s, in my opinion, very few people use SBA loans. A small minority of my clients use SBA loans. They use everything from home equity, to commercial loans, to a lot of retirement funds. There’s government IRS-approved programs where you don’t have to pay penalties and interest on the money that you use if it’s done under very strict guidelines. So, I don’t see it as a strong indicator without having a lot of other information to look at as well.
Michael Blake: [00:11:41] Okay. So, maybe, it’s one piece of the whole conversation, but don’t make it your whole conversation.
Anita Best: [00:11:45] No. I typically don’t even look at it anymore.
Michael Blake: [00:11:49] Really?
Anita Best: [00:11:50] Yeah.
Michael Blake: [00:11:50] Okay.
Anita Best: [00:11:50] As I said, other than from an industry perspective, you can sort the list, if you buy the current list, which I’ll quit doing because I didn’t find it to be that important for me. You can sort it. And the perfect example is there’s one — I don’t want to mention the name. It might be too controversial.
Michael Blake: [00:12:08] Got it.
Anita Best: [00:12:08] But there’s a household name franchise that everyone would know that is very successful and has made many, many millionaires. And for 2000 to — I’m sorry, 2000 — yeah, 2000 to 2010, they showed a 20% SBA loan failure rate-
Michael Blake: [00:12:26] Ha.
Anita Best: [00:12:26] … which I find very difficult to believe. And even if some of the units failed, the operation didn’t fail. It failed for other reasons. And the franchisor took it back, ran it successfully, sold it to someone else. So, I think, it’s not one of the stronger tools to use.
Michael Blake: [00:12:45] Interesting, okay. So, somebody walks in the door or hit you by e-mail, and they say, “Anita, I’m interested in exploring franchises, types. What kind of franchise might be right for me?” what does that process look like.
Anita Best: [00:13:03] Yeah. A lot of it is a getting-to-know-you process. Personally, I have a business personality assessment that I use. It’s very similar to the DiSC Profile. You’re probably familiar with the DiSC Profile.
Michael Blake: [00:13:15] I am. I took one for my old job, and they said I was clinically insane.
Anita Best: [00:13:19] Yeah. Actually, those tests are not a good predictor of mental illness. So, I use that. By the way, I do see assessments more of a conversation tool, not a dictate. For example, like my DiSC Profile shows me all DI, low SC, which means that I would be terrible with details. And it’s more a matter of comfort. I don’t like details, but I use computer lists. Very disciplined with using my computer. Nothing ever falls through the cracks. If I had to sit in front spreadsheets all day long, I’d be miserable. So, we all have compensating factors for our natural personality styles, but it’s a great conversation piece for me to get to know people.
Anita Best: [00:14:05] And then, I also have a four-page candidate questionnaire that my clients tell me really helps them think through business ownership, and everything from B2B versus B2C, service versus product, number of employees they’d like to have, lots of questions like that, and a list of industries to rate which ones they have higher or lower interest in. And by going through that process, after I get that information back from my clients, we then have another conversation, I have more questions, they have more questions. I send them information to read. And then, I start doing my research based upon what they said. There’s no magic wand that comes out of that, like, poof, the perfect franchise with for them doesn’t pop out, but that getting-to-know-you process really helps me to refine things that would be good for them..
Anita Best: [00:14:55] And then, I’d been remiss. The economics is crucial. I’ve taught many people out of buying a franchise. Right now, I know a guy’s out of work. He’s maybe got $100,000, and he’s got four kids, and his wife doesn’t work, and he wants to buy a franchise. I go, “You need a job,” you know.
Michael Blake: [00:15:12] Yeah, good, yeah.
Anita Best: [00:15:13] Yeah. And-
Michael Blake: [00:15:13] That’s a sign of a great professional, by the way, that will look at somebody in an instant, like, “I’m going to talk myself out of work here, but this ain’t for you, man.”
Anita Best: [00:15:23] Yeah, but that’s okay. They send me business. They appreciate it.
Michael Blake: [00:15:25] Yeah, that’s right.
Anita Best: [00:15:25] So, that works out just fine. But both their current financial situation, how much money they need to make, their comfort level with it, obviously those, how much they have, and how much they need to make, and what their overhead is, have them look at all of those points and make sure that it makes sense. And, of course, there’s franchises you can buy for $50,000 without brick and mortar, that don’t have the high overhead, but as a general rule, it’s going to be more than that.
Michael Blake: [00:15:56] So, it sounds like you invest a lot of time, maybe as much or more, but you can correct me, on the personal match as opposed to just the raw economics of the franchise. Maybe there’s some — I’m sure there’s some very good franchises out there, franchise systems that enjoy consistent success, maybe they’re booming, they’re capturing a great trend, right. But is it fair to say that could be trumped if the personality match isn’t right, then, maybe you’d go with something that on the surface is financially a little less lucrative if it’s clearly a better personal match?
Anita Best: [00:16:35] It’s probably both.
Michael Blake: [00:16:37] Okay.
Anita Best: [00:16:40] A lot of people come to me wanting to do something they love. They love to play golf or they — well, let’s just use golf. If you look at most golf professionals, they’re out there hot and sweaty all day. They’re not making a lot of money. They don’t become golf pros. They become golf teachers. And it’s not necessarily doing what they like, and they don’t make a lot of money. Most people that are doing what they really love aren’t making a lot of money – artists, musicians. So, oftentimes, that kind of fit is not as important as finding something you can be passionate about delivering really well and loving what a day in the life is all about. That’s more, to me, what a great fit is. I’m not sure if I exactly answered your question there.
Michael Blake: [00:17:28] You did. No, you actually did.
Anita Best: [00:17:30] That, yeah.
Michael Blake: [00:17:30] Yes, you did. So, I mean, it sounds like it’s a pretty even — it actually sounds like a pretty complicated balancing act matching economics with personality.
Anita Best: [00:17:39] Yeah. Well, I spend probably half of my time looking at franchise opportunities, so that I have a mental inventory. I’ve got contracts with about 600 brands, but I have access to detailed data on over 2500 brands through a service I subscribe to. And I also have a mastermind group of a dozen top women. We call ourselves the Power Women Brokers, a dozen female brokers around the country. We have a once-a-month scheduled call. We have daily e-mails going back and forth where we share good concepts, bad concepts, clients we’re having trouble fitting. It’s a great support group because this kind of consulting can be very lonely. You spend a lot of time in front of a computer by yourself doing research.
Anita Best: [00:18:24] So, I’m reading about, learning about good brands in many different areas, many different price ranges, researching their success rates, it gives me a mental inventory of concepts. And then, when I have a client, and I learn a lot about them, the financial piece, really, is first. If the financial piece isn’t there, then it’s not a good fit.
Michael Blake: [00:18:48] The rest wouldn’t matter.
Anita Best: [00:18:48] Right. Then, it becomes something that they can get excited about, can see themselves executing on a daily basis. And so, therein lies the fit. And there’s no franchise that has 100% success right.
Michael Blake: [00:19:02] There’s no business that has 100% success rate.
Anita Best: [00:19:05] Yeah. I mean, I usually say there’s like a 33/33.33. When you look at franchises, you’re going to find 33% of the people that buy them that are miserable, and wish they hadn’t done it, and aren’t making enough money. You’re going to find that 33.3% in the middle that are out of their corporate job. They’re not killing it, but they’re happy. It’s improved their lifestyle. And then, you’re going to find that top third, hopefully, that are go-getters. They’re executing at a very, very high level. They’re exceeding their expectations from a financial perspective and from a lifestyle perspective.
Anita Best: [00:19:43] Oftentimes, I compare it to real estate. I was a real estate broker for three years. And before that, I sold real estate for 10 years. Talk about a revolving door. Probably 90% the people that get a real estate license a year later are not selling real estate. It doesn’t make real estate a bad business. It’s got to be the right fit, and you have to be passionate about it, and you have to execute. And franchise ownership is very, very similar.
Michael Blake: [00:20:04] So, that segues nicely, kind of, in the next question in that a franchise, and maybe even entrepreneurship, in general, is not for everybody, right. And thank God. If everybody in the world was an entrepreneur, it’d be chaos.
Anita Best: [00:20:16] Yeah
Michael Blake: [00:20:17] Nobody would ever take direction, and nine billion people going in different directions. But what’s kind of a profile where you kind of know pretty early in the process that somebody is not a good candidate to be a franchise owner? What are, kind of, the warning signs you frequently see?
Anita Best: [00:20:38] I’d like to come back to that in a second, but I just want to touch on entrepreneurship for a moment.
Michael Blake: [00:20:42] Yeah.
Anita Best: [00:20:42] I heard a great definition of entrepreneurship. It’s the Harvard Business School definition actually, and it says, “The pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” When you’re buying a franchise, it has to be in regard to resources currently controlled or, at least, that’s my coaching on the subject. So, depending on your definition of entrepreneurs, I find that true entrepreneurs, by that definition, don’t make good franchisees.
Michael Blake: [00:21:13] Really?
Anita Best: [00:21:13] Because they want to do it their way.
Michael Blake: [00:21:15] Oh, but a franchise has — I mean, they have a playbook-
Anita Best: [00:21:18] They have a playbook.
Michael Blake: [00:21:19] … which you, more or less, have to follow exactly.
Anita Best: [00:21:21] Exactly. So, senior executives make great franchisees because even though they’ve got a lot of control, they have to execute. Even if they’re the president, they’ve got to execute according to the board’s control, or there’s lots of restrictions. There’s a budget that they have to follow. They’ve got a chief marketing officer that’s going to give them direction. So, senior executives make great franchisees typically. A true entrepreneur is going to want to do it his way or her way.
Michael Blake: [00:21:54] Right.
Anita Best: [00:21:54] And in my experience, the two reasons franchisees typically fail, one is under capitalization, which I’ll do everything I can to keep that from happening to somebody, at least, on the front end. And number two is not following the model. You’re buying a franchise because it’s a proven business model. Well, there are those that come in there and think they have a better way to do it. And that can be a recipe for disaster. Oftentimes, after the first year or two, after you’re executing according to the model, great. You got some good ideas, try them out. Talk to other franchisees in that system, see if they’ve tried it, if it’s worked or not. That’s called the franchise family.
Anita Best: [00:22:33] Most franchises they talk to each other, and so they can compare notes on that, so you’re less likely to make mistakes because there may be others that have already made those mistakes, or tried those things, or you might come up with a great way to make the brand better. Most franchise companies have, not board, but a board of franchisors awards that get together regularly and talk about new systems, new models, new ways to do things. So, you’ve kind of got that bigger brain working on your business with you.
Michael Blake: [00:23:06] All right. So, if you’re not a rule-follower, right, then being a franchise will be difficult. What else? Are there other kind of warning signs or features that you, kind of, flag somebody away from doing a franchise?
Anita Best: [00:23:19] Really, the capitalization piece. If you’re well-capitalized enough, and you want to be independent, and have more control over your life, and you’re willing to follow a model, which, by the way, many franchisors, in their process of taking someone through learning about their franchise, if people don’t show up for calls, or weren’t willing to follow the models, or don’t do “homework” that’s given to them – homework in quotation marks – they won’t want them as a franchisee because they have to report their success rate in their FTD every year. So, there. There you have it.
Michael Blake: [00:24:02] Okay.
Anita Best: [00:24:02] Yeah.
Michael Blake: [00:24:03] So, in terms of the capitalization, does that mean you’re basically talking about how much runway they have, so that the — not every business will just start making money hand over fist right away, right. Even a franchise most won’t. So, is there a rule of thumb in terms of how much runway you recommend somebody have before embarking on this?
Anita Best: [00:24:24] It depends. It depends on the brand.
Michael Blake: [00:24:26] Okay.
Anita Best: [00:24:27] If you’re doing a home-based franchise or something that can be run out of a small warehouse or a small office, you don’t need a lot of runway. And those typically cost less on the front end. Oftentimes, it can have a much higher long-term income potential. You got to be able to pay your bills. If you’re looking at investing in anything in a strip shopping center or real brick and mortar where you’ve got to sign a five-year lease, and you’ve got to pay employees, and you’ve got to have inventory, you need to have 18 months to two years runway, both working capital and personal living expenses. Some can ramp up much faster than that. But if it doesn’t, if you don’t execute as quickly as you think, or there’s a blip anywhere, that’ll take you down; whereas, if you’re working out of a warehouse or a small office, a lot less money is needed to have a much longer runway.
Michael Blake: [00:25:28] Okay.
Anita Best: [00:25:28] So, it depends on the concept and the type of franchise.
Michael Blake: [00:25:29] And some franchises are much more capital-intensive than others, like you just alluded to. If you have a highly service-based business where you, yourself, even could kind of show up and provide the service, that’s one thing. But if you’re going to do — I don’t know. If you’re going to do a hotel, for example, many of which are franchised, right?
Anita Best: [00:25:54] Right.
Michael Blake: [00:25:54] That’s millions of dollars potentially of upfront costs
Anita Best: [00:25:58] Yeah, and ongoing capital investment for sure.
Michael Blake: [00:26:00] Right, right, okay.
Anita Best: [00:26:02] Yeah.
Michael Blake: [00:26:03] So, I would imagine a lot of the people that come to you, they may have an interest in a franchise, but they haven’t necessarily been in that business before. Is that a deal breaker if somebody wants to get into health care, but they’ve never done health care, they don’t even know how to put a Band-Aid on? Does not preclude them from being in the business, or can they be trained up, or how does that dynamic work?
Anita Best: [00:26:33] The vast majority of people that I see buying franchises wind up in an industry that they are completely unrelated to. Now, there are some that having knowledge of that industry is helpful, but that’s part of the beauty of a franchise. It’s more your skillset, your desire, energy, and ability to execute. Feeling an affinity for the business, that is important. But in most cases, you don’t need to have a lot of experience in that industry. You have to have the skill set to execute the business model.
Michael Blake: [00:27:12] And in most these franchise systems, not only offer training, they’ll require you to participate and do well in the training before they’ll grant you the franchise, correct?
Anita Best: [00:27:25] Well, no. Actually not.
Michael Blake: [00:27:27] Okay.
Anita Best: [00:27:27] Most of them do have extensive training. And the research process with any franchise concept is typically going to take, at least, six weeks. They’ll have webinars. They’ll have different people in the company they want you to speak to. You’re going to want to be doing some research on your own. But I only have heard of one franchise over the years that actually allows you to go to training before you purchase the franchise because, I think, that would be kind of fraught with trouble for the franchisor because of insider knowledge and information to not let just anybody come-
Michael Blake: [00:28:02] Yeah, that makes sense.
Anita Best: [00:28:03] … to their franchise training.
Michael Blake: [00:28:05] There are trade secrets there.
Anita Best: [00:28:05] Right. But every franchise has training. Some of it is distance training. Some of it is you go off to them for a week or two weeks. I know many that have a two-week training program. Some of them, obviously, have required reading for you to do. Some of them send people into your territory. And most of them have some combination of those three. So, there is a lot of training once you sign on the dotted line and purchase your franchise.
Anita Best: [00:28:34] And there’s ongoing training to, varying degrees. Many franchisors have coaches that you talk to once a week, and you can call more often if you want to. Many of them have annual conventions where there’s a lot of training. A lot of them have weekly calls that all the franchisees can get on, and talk to each other, and compare notes, and share, or intranets where you can type in information. And another franchisee that has the answer will respond and jump on a call with them if you need more information. So, there’s lots of resources for ongoing support-
Michael Blake: [00:29:12] Got it.
Anita Best: [00:29:12] … in a good franchise model.
Michael Blake: [00:29:14] So, do you have a favorite success story of somebody that you’ve helped get into the franchising business?
Anita Best: [00:29:21] One of my favorites, and this is just about two years ago now, a female executive here, a Kettering member, a good friend of mine called me and said that her daughter was a meteorologist in Alabama, and they were married, and her husband was selling insurance, and she was looking for change, he was looking for a change of what I talked to them about franchise opportunities. Of course, that’s very flattering when somebody will trust you with their children.
Michael Blake: [00:29:47] Yeah.
Anita Best: [00:29:47] And so, I worked with them probably for five or six months. They purchased a franchise. It was a home modification franchise for seniors, a rather small warehouse. And they loved it. They’re so excited. They sent me these lovely notes. They were rookie of the year their first year. And when I see their mom, she’s so grateful. I mean, it’s just to see younger — must my candidates our senior executives just because that’s the world I’ve been living in. That’s rewarding too, but to have the children of a good friend achieve that level of success, and to see these young kids starting out on this entrepreneurial journey.
Anita Best: [00:30:29] And I think it’s great because most — and I use the entrepreneurial warden, but most people, they get into business for themselves, it’s usually not the last one. It usually turns into multiple streams of income. You’ve got the freedom to control your schedule. So, oftentimes, other opportunities present themselves or additional territories possibly with the concept that you’ve already are working within, or just other opportunities start to present themselves. So, it was really fun and exciting to see this young couple do that.
Michael Blake: [00:31:05] All right. So, we’re running out of time here. So, I think, the last question I want to ask you is, if someone wants to learn more about this kind of opportunity, this kind of direction for themselves, how can they best contact you? Can they contact you? And if so, how can they do that?
Anita Best: [00:31:21] Of course. Thank you, Michael. That would be very nice. They could send me an email at Anita@findyourfranchise.com, just like it sounds. They could call me 404-218-7808, or they could send me a text, and I’d be delighted to chat with them.
Michael Blake: [00:31:39] Okay. So, that’s going to wrap it up for today’s program. I’d like to, again, thank Anita so much for joining us and sharing her expertise with us today. We’ll be exploring a new topic each week. So, please tone in, so that when you’re faced with your next business decision, you have clear vision when making it. If you enjoy this podcast, please consider leaving a review through favorite podcast aggregator. It helps people find us, so that we can help them. Once again, this is Mike Blake. Our sponsor is Brady Ware & Company. And this has been the Decision Vision Podcast.