Mike Lord is the President of Independence Franchise Advisors in PA. He has had a long and successful career owning and managing franchises, as well as having been on the franchisor side 3 times, and now uses that experience to help others become entrepreneurs as an FBA Franchise Broker.
To help his clients visualize what it means to be a business owner he uses an interesting Chinese proverb. The proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”
Every day we are making decisions that affect our lives. Sometimes they are big and sometimes small, but each of decision paints the picture of our lives.
In the case of Mikes most recent franchise placement, his client Rob, had worked within the telephone directory business his whole career. He started young and worked his way up to be the Director of Operations. As time went on this industry suffered as new technology and other industries rose up to challenge it. Ultimately, Rob saw the writing on the wall and decided to take an early retirement at the age of 54.
Rob still had a family to take care of and knew he wasn’t done working. He was at a major crossroads in his life. He could use his experience to venture out and attempt to get another job, but where would that lead? Certainly, he needed more control over his life that he did not have as an employee. He had aways thought of owning his own business but didn’t really know what or where to start.
Would he take this opportunity to plant an opportunity for himself or work the rest of his life in someone else’s garden?
Rob finally decided that he would pursue business ownership as his path. The challenge that now faced him now was getting his new business from start-up to profitable. Rob knew that if he went with a franchise it would minimize his time to achieve a sustainable business. After all, with a franchise, he wouldn’t have to develop all the systems, processes and branding needed to achieve profitability.
He followed the typical scenarios and searched on the internet for franchise opportunities. He met with several franchise sales reps, but never really felt comfortable enough to move forward. It was during this step, however, that he was fortunate enough to be introduced to Mike.
As an FBA trained Franchise Broker, Mike took the time right from the beginning to really get to know Rob. They developed trust between each other and Rob was asked the questions that mattered. Mike didn’t try to sell him. Instead, he was truly interested in understanding what was important to him.
“Working with a Franchise Broker opened up options I would never have been aware of or considered. The questioning that Mike did at the beginning really paid off and I am very fortunate to have worked with him to find my franchise. His process clearly gave him what he needed to understand where I wanted to go. It’s amazing that he knew I would love this franchise, even before I did!”
Narrowing down your options and focusing on the real opportunities
As with most franchise deals, buyers begin by looking at several different concepts and focusing in on those that “pass the test.” In this case, this was a list of Rob’s criteria that he and Mike had developed before any specific franchise would even considered. Mike introduced Rob to a few franchises, but in meeting with them and speaking through his thoughts they were able to quickly identify Intelligent Office as the franchise they wanted to zero in on.
Each person they spoke with at Intelligent Office gave them a positive experience. They were organized and sharp and pulled out all the stops to impress.
Intelligent Office is a Monday – Friday, 9 – 5 enterprise and something that Rob could see himself excited to do every day. It would capitalize on his strengths, give him a clear path to sustainability and had numerous upgrades that would allow him to scale the business.
Overcoming ramp-up time to break-even and profitability
Mike used his connections as a Franchise Broker and reached out to the Director of Franchise Development at Intelligent Office. He communicated why this deal would be a great fit for both IO and Rob if they could address the immediate concerns. After some negotiation, Intelligent Office decided to offer Rob the deal of a lifetime.
If Rob were to purchase the rights to a territory in Dallas they would include an additional corporate run location for the same price! This location had been running for 10 years already and would significantly reduce the time Rob needed to become profitable and provide for his family.
The deal was finalized and Rob began running his new business on Feb 1st, 2017. From start to finish it took Rob 3 months working with Mike to discover and purchase the deal of a lifetime.
Since the closing, Mike has reached back out to Rob to see how things were going in his new franchise. Rob said that he has been absolutely thrilled with the business. He’s doing all the sales, something he loves to do, and are closing in on break even after just 3 months! He had originally projected it may take 18, but believes that just another one or two months he’ll begin earning a profit.
No one knows what tomorrow will bring and we all start today with the best intentions. Trust in yourself because you never know what you’ll be able to grow.