Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello, my name is Andrew Hoffman. I am the founder of My Franchise Partners.
My Franchise Partners is a $15-20K/month consulting agency focused on helping people understand the franchise industry before they take the plunge and invest in a franchise.
I help people find the best franchise for them through in-depth research, analysis, and due diligence. The best choice is always an informed choice.
Educating a franchise candidate is the primary focus of my business. Some people just need to slow down and expand their horizons to be made aware of comparable options, benefits, and pitfalls.
I work with franchise options at all investment levels and in virtually every industry one could think of. I offer a no-fee service to clients investigating purchasing a franchise.
Franchise options include work from home, mobile, bricks, and mortar, retail, IT, service, B2B, B2C, single unit, area developer or master franchises for the empire builder.
There are times a client is focused on a business that is perfect for them, right from the start, that is exciting to see. Others may have the desire and will but not the education to make an informed decision.
Selecting a franchise is a big decision and it can involve a tidy sum of money. The goal is to help every candidate make the most informed decision possible.
The quality of my work has enabled me to grow my business through referrals. Collaborative strategic partnerships have developed with lawyers, accountants, immigration consultants, business coaches, bankers, and franchisors.
Consistently delivering outstanding service is the best way to grow my business. It is rewarding to regularly hear comments that I consistently do things at the upper level of my industry peer group.
My Franchise Partners works with the sales and development of franchises. Sales is actually a bit of a misnomer as the process is more about education and matchmaking. In-depth research, analysis, and due diligence help people find the right fit for them. The goal is for every client to be awarded their first choice. Franchises are awarded, not sold.
The education process begins with a five-step in-depth discussion of their skills, experience, passions, desired lifestyle and finances. We develop an understanding of the best fit, their motivation, goals, needs and succession plans.
We discuss their likes and dislikes about their current job, have they run a business before, why franchising, what motivates their search at the present time, is their family supportive, will they be hands-on or more of a semi-passive owner.
They are introduced to financing, accounting, and marketing experts who can help them in the immediate and long term. There is plenty of dialogue that will inevitably lead us to what should be a natural conclusion.
We also discuss their management style and core values. Will their personal style and values match the requirements of a given franchisor. Are they a farmer, hunter, builder, follower, adventurous person or a social person?
Every client is invited to follow the link to the Business Owner Profile that can be found on the home page of my website. This is a series of well-formed questions that have proven to offer valuable insights into a person’s management style, tendencies, and values.
Clients are also educated in the process of awarding a franchise. They need to understand their rights, obligations, and costs.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
My background includes varied experience with the finance, operations and business development of retail, wholesale, manufacturing, distribution, importing, exporting, sales and consulting companies.
I was very fortunate to enjoy many challenges with start-up, turnaround, and fast-paced opportunities. This includes multiple locations, union and non-union shops, international commerce, restructuring and defining roles, policies, and procedures
Over the years many people suggested I had the experience and attributes required for success as a consultant. As I explored a variety of ideas I was drawn to the franchise world. I get to work with people who have a strong desire to operate their own business, build a better future and want to leave a legacy for their family. I thoroughly enjoy working with entrepreneurs who are ready for the next step in their growth cycle.
An important step in my validation process was interviewing a number of people in the franchise sales profession. This included franchise brokers and executives in franchise broker associations.
My background in finance, operations, and business development has benefitted me tremendously. People fail to realize there is actually a fair degree of sales type thinking in a senior managerial role; selling budgets to the ownership group or the board of directors, capital acquisitions, integrating new technology, enveloping new processes, developing new product lines.
I was certainly not flush with cash at the time, so I needed to be sure this was a good idea and I could make it work. As a single parent with no alternative source of support, this was a very important decision.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Fortunately, there is no manufacturing. My inventory is comprised of the franchisors who have joined the franchise broker groups that I align with.
My obligation is to learn about franchise rules and regulations, related industries such as financing and marketing and identify a niche of franchisors that match my experience and comfort zone.
As much as I could present over 800 franchisors to candidates, it serves everyone better if I focus on a particular niche with tremendous confidence.
On the flip side of the coin, my years of work experience in finance, operations and developing business growth strategies help me tremendously when discussing growth strategies with entrepreneurs who are considering franchising their business.
My franchise development process taps into my business development experience that extends beyond franchises. This includes an array of industries and companies in various stages of development from $5M to $85M
Business development successes include emerging brands with a small, single location, developing the re-birth of a company that is rising from the ashes of bankruptcy and taking a firm from a domestic market to an international presence.
It was important to feel comfortable that my experience and skill set could bring value and that there is a real opportunity for a person with my background.
Franchise development involves finding the right funding partner, aligning legal advice, evaluating business development structure and options, developing cash flow projections and management of the process and the events therein.
Just like a prospective franchisee, we evaluate the skills of the business owner, their team and the structure of their organization.
Some clients are simply not ready yet, they do not have the all-important proof of concept nor the structure. Other business owners only need the feel of a confident, experienced hand on their shoulder to help them navigate the early steps
My franchise development process covers three aspects:
The early development phase is really about building the model the right way with the appropriate legal documents, building processes and procedures, defining the training and support systems, developing support staff, building a marketing focus, establishing fee structures
Attracting and developing quality applicants and placing them in optimal franchise locations
The last stage focuses on managing and supporting the franchisees once they have opened their business
Describe the process of launching the business.
The process of launching the business consumed close to 6 months of research, analysis, due diligence, and preparation.
In this process, I interviewed a number of in-house company franchise representatives as well as a handful of franchise brokers and associations that train franchise professionals.
It was important to feel comfortable that my experience and skill set could bring value and that there is a real opportunity for a person with my background. I am confident my body of experience is relevant and brings value.
The name My Franchise Partners reflects my desire to play a key role in the process of franchise sales and development. It is about mindset and the level of client engagement.
My goal is to always act as if I am an invested, collaborative partner with my clients, helping them along their journey. Their success is my success
I wanted a career that offered the opportunity to build businesses, worked with motivated people and offered tremendous flexibility. The latter point is particularly important as I am a single parent with a very active son.
It was also important for me to affiliate with professional organizations within the franchise industry that will enable me to pursue ongoing professional development as needed.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
The most effective method and process for attracting and retaining customers for me have been delivering an outstanding quality of service.
I embrace a number of valued referral contacts with whom we refer clients back and forth. Consistent posts of relevant material on social media have drawn attention over the years.
When a referral partner asks a question or submits a potential client, it is imperative that I respond in the most timely manner possible. The answer may not necessarily be immediately imminent but they should know that I have received their query and I am working on it.
My business has been built on word of mouth and referrals. Knowledge, service, communication and being good to people has enabled consistent growth.
Regularly posting on social media has been very helpful. Clients have consistently found me in that forum.
Through my posts, I try to add value, not just promote a particular business opportunity. This value can be general business advice or specifically focus on a certain industry.
My suggestion to business founders is to do as much as you can yourself but not to be afraid to outsource things. You do not need to be good at everything or even most things. Learning to delegate is an important attribute.
Just get started and listen to what is happening in your industry. You do not need to be on the leading edge but it is helpful to know where the leading edge is heading.
You do not need to be the biggest nor the best to succeed. But if you do not take that first step you will never realize your dreams. Execution is key.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Things look great and I foresee a continued upswing over the immediate future. Opportunities arise now from seeds planted a while ago. People I touched months ago are coming back to re-engage.
I expect 2019 to close with 100% growth per 2018. 2020 is shaping up to show 100% growth over 2019. A lot of things are beginning to connect very nicely. A very nice base of referral sources is starting to become reliable with a regular stream of activity.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Running this business has given me non-stop lessons. I have learned from peers, competitors, and clients. Thankfully the learning process is ongoing. That makes things fun.
My approach and habits have evolved for over 5 years. My approach to franchise shows is well refined and very systematic now. As such, my takeaways from a show are usually much better.
I think my demeanor with clients is also more refined so we both benefit. I have learned to better uncover unconventional opportunities, usually on the franchise development side but also on the franchise sales side.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
I find each platform requires a slightly modified approach to attract interest.
My posts are generally broad-based with a smattering of posts specific to a particular franchise concept. I also share relevant articles. LinkedIn is my favorite platform right now.
It is important not to sell, sell, sell. People appreciate receiving information and being educated.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
My reading includes a variety of business books and novels. There are valuable insights to be taken from the writer’s journey in bibliographies.
When reading business-oriented books I keep a pen and paper at my side. I will circle back to the notes to flesh out an idea for later application in social media posts.
For me, the key takeaway from reading is the stimulation of my intellectual process. Reading offers a variety of perspectives, helps initiate creative thinking and develop an appreciation of different aspect of life.
There is much to be learned from entrepreneurs who stopped talking and waiting until their idea was better formulated. As imperfect as it was, they took what they knew and executed.
The greatest successes do not necessarily come from the best ideas. The greatest successes come from the best execution and an attitude of continuous improvement.
I also derive value from tapping into webinars offered by franchise associations, network groups with a special focus and videos offered on social media by a few of my connections. My advice is to start small and simple and grow from there. You are not even in the race until you take the first step.
Take the first step, solicit and listen to feedback, fine-tune quickly, keep moving forward.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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