This month we’re spotlighting our Bronze-Level Broker of the Year, Sid Lee, the President of Choice Franchise Advisers. Sid became a broker when he joined the FBA in January 2013. He comes from a long career as an executive with Starbucks. He personally experienced what so many people do in corporate America and was RIF’ed (Reduction in Force) because of his age and elevated income. Devastated, and with no income, he was forced into launching his own company as a franchise consultant. He now spends his days helping others find their futures, as he has found his.
“Pain is different for everyone. But without the pain busting through the ‘break glass in case of emergency’ capsule it’s been sleeping in, the American dream will remain unrealized. For those 6 in 10 who ‘dream’ but never ‘do’, the pain is still sleeping.”
Sid’s Process and what to look for in a franchise
“When I look for a business for someone I think what would I do if I could design the ideal franchise for them. It’s a service that’s in great need out there due to such a large market of franchises. I get specific about their goals and expectations. Then I use my knowledge to match them to systems I know and have personally vetted. I look for two must-have things, a solid system with a driven team and a great training program.”
“Two specifically I love are America’s Swimming Pool’s and Patrice & Associates. Both have a niche that they play in and dominate.”
“ASP’s IT systems and its programs for support are unparalleled. They can tell where any of their trucks are at any time and know how long it takes to go from account to account. So they provide a schedule to for their accounts and can quickly tell if there’s a problem and address it early. They also have their marketing down to a science and are releasing a brand new call center for their franchisees. They have so much experience that they know exactly what they’ll get if they send out brochures or conduct an online marketing push. With these results they really push their franchisees into success. They don’t leave it up to chance.”
“With Patrice & Associates they are a professional, no inventory, low overhead business with national accounts. The franchise has a huge database of people all looking for jobs. As a franchisee all you have to do is match people together.”
Sid just recently closed two deals for Patrice & Associates in March, along with a Parker Anderson Enrichment, Enviro-Master, and Healthier 4 U in June. Within a month or two, Sid will be placing two more clients into a Liquid Capital and Cruise Planners.
Sid tells us that he will typically have 11 to 13 franchise placements within a year. “I try for one a month. They don’t always come in regularly, but it’s my goal.”
Growing and developing your pipeline
Closing consistently requires a consultant to have a full pipeline of active clients. Usually they come from several different sources. With experience, consultants learn which sources are the best use of their time and what works best for their personality.
“At this point I have really nailed down what my target market is and who I want to work with. So I am able to really target them and go to where they are. Of course, I am still buying leads from internet sources. I won’t ever stop. I’ve just gotten more specific about who I choose to buy from. Lately, my contact rate with my source has been pretty good! However, I’m doing a lot of experimenting with social media and landing pages.”
“There is a lot of power with LinkedIn if you can figure it out. You can use their features to really target a good audience. Everyone I’ve ever sold to is on LinkedIn. When I retired, they set me up with three months of outplacement. Through this they taught me how to use LinkedIn. Through this discovery I discovered something about myself – that I didn’t want to get another job. Now that I am my own boss I love it! I could never go back.”
His work on social media takes his traffic to custom built landing pages where they can download his new free E-Book, Pink Slip Paradise. In it, he goes over his plan to help people in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s reinvent themselves as business owners. A lot of the inspiration within his E-Book comes from his own experience transitioning from being a Starbucks executive to being his own boss. He’s also taking this further by conducting a live webinar series where he discusses his plan in detail.
It’s amazing to see someone like Sid who can take life-changing and painful events, such as suddenly finding yourself unemployed after years of success, and build from that a career that is able to bring such opportunity to so many people. Meet him in person at the 2016 Intl. Franchise Brokers Conference & Expo, one of the FBA’s mentoring sessions, or his live webinar series!