In this episode, Rick speaks with FranChoice franchise consultant Wes Barefoot. who describes how he helps people take control of their lives, and creates freedom for themselves through business ownership. With the many franchise opportunities available today, franchise consultants guide candidates to the one that is a perfect fit.
Wes’s process to match the right candidate with the right brand is like what we do here at Alloy at a starting point session. It’s all about peeling the onion to get to the real motivation behind the desire to own a franchise. He does so in a methodical process that he articulately outlines in this episode.
He also clears some common misconceptions about franchising, and expectations of business ownership, among many other fascinating things we talk about.
Franchise Consultant Process
Phase 1: Discovery Process
In the first phase, Wes takes franchise candidates through his discovery process so he can make specific franchise brand recommendations based on what he’s learned about individuals and what they’re looking to accomplish through business ownership. They determine the right business model and their role as business owner.
In this process, we ask a lot of questions and understand it correctly. After the information gathering, he has a strategic business model that outlines their goals for owning a franchise, their ideal role, and what their vision of a franchise owner looks like.
Phase 2: Brand Identification and Education
After identifying potential specific brands in the second phase, then Wes’s role is to coach people through the due diligence and research that needs to be done. Some people need more help by providing additional resources to research, but he is careful not to overstep. His role is not to make decisions for people, but just to help them gather the information they’re going to need to decide for themselves.
The initial recommendations usually suggest looking at three franchise concepts at a time. They should perform due diligence on the information the brand has in place. Clients need to keep an open mind and look at several types of franchise models. One might be a service-based business, another might be a brick and mortar like Alloy, which is a recurring revenue type business model. As they learn more about specific businesses, they become much more clear on what they like in a business and what they don’t like. So we might do a couple of iterations of comparing different franchises until we dial in the right franchise model. There isn’t magic involved, just taking the time to get to know the people.
The consulting process should be like having a real estate agent. When looking for real estate, you could spend countless hours combing the web and looking at listings and driving all over the place. By enlisting a good real estate agent that’s familiar with the market and your property criteria. Then the real estate agent does all the work and provides the property options with a higher likelihood of being a good fit.
Consulting is first and foremost about education, because it is confusing with thousands of different franchise types out there. Wes builds his contacts by helping to educate and by offering podcasts, newsletters, and LinkedIn articles. Wes believes that providing franchise education without asking for anything in exchange is the best approach to get quality leads.His pipeline funnel includes people that are serious and really contemplating investing in a franchise business and many referrals. When you do good work for people, it drives referrals.
Some consultants buy leads, but Wes doesn’t advise that approach because it is expensive and hard work. It’s usually a volume play when you buy a bunch of leads. If you are lucky, you only get one or two good people to actually work with. One word of advice, if you go to a franchise opportunity website and fill out any information, they’re going to turn around and sell your info as a lead to a franchise consultant or possibly even a franchise brand.
- There isn’t a direct correlation between how much it costs to launch a franchise business and the earning potential, or the ROI potential.
- Franchise owners don’t need direct industry experience, but a certain skill set that will translate to running a franchise business model successfully. The ability to build a good team and create a good culture can set the tone for the business.
If a prospect is willing to really keep an open mind in terms of what types of businesses they’d be open to explore, it definitely increases the likelihood that we’re going to find something that’s a really good fit.
Best Pieces of Advice
Fear Regret More Than Failure: Learn to fear regret more than you fear failure. In reality, it is just an opportunity to learn and improve. A lot of times we really overthink what failure is and how bad it actually could be. It can cause paralysis and not do things that we really should do. Just an opportunity to learn and get better.
No regrets. You’ve got to take your shot to find the brand you’re comfortable with and go for it.
In the Alloy Discovery Days with franchise candidates, Rick asks them about regrets and shares how it relates to mindset. It’s based on a book called the Five Regrets of the Dying.
Tools for Success: Good franchise models give you the tools to be successful like a playbook, systems and processes that are proven to work. As a franchisee, if you really listen and leverage all the resources, that is your key to success. You’re paying to avoid mistakes that the franchisor and other franchisees made, and that’s all incredibly valuable. But you still have to do the work as the franchise owner.
Mental Toughness and Resiliency: Mental toughness and resiliency play a part in being successful. You can train mental toughness, just like you can train your body.
If you’ve ever thought about owning a franchise, this episode will give you a sneak peek at what franchise consultants do and all that goes on behind the scenes to help you make your best decision for freedom and happiness..
- Who is a franchise consultant (00:48)
- Where consultant finds franchise candidates (09:15)
- One surprising fact about franchising (15:57)
- The ideal franchise candidate (19:07)
- Peeling the onion (21:38)
- Entrepreneurial resilience success (33:00)
- Realistic expectations around business ownership (36:28)
- Can someone be too entrepreneurial to own a franchise? (45:29)
- Fear regret more than you fear failure (49:02)
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