Most people know Brian Scudamore for his creative marketing ads that have become hugely successful in attracting clients, franchisees and fans. However, little know about the sacrifice and hard work Brian Scudamore has put forth to turn $700 and a pick-up truck into a $250 million empire.
Brian Scudamore did something big in 1989 when he started 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, a business that changed how the world views junk removal. He realized the “secret sauce” to his success was actually attracting the right people to own businesses within each of his home service brands using his unique style of franchising, therefore, in our opinion crowning him “The King of Franchisors”. His companies have made celebrated appearances on shows including Oprah and networks like CNBC. Brian is a regular contributor to Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine and The Globe and Mail, offering industry expertise and advice for small business owners.
Our Founder & CEO, Nunzio Presta, recently had a conversation with Scudamore about what makes a good franchisee. Nunzio, was particularly fascinated by his approach to finding the right franchise owner, something that we prioritize at BizON; and how passionate he is as a people-person. His relationship with his employees and franchisees is family- like rather than a strict business relationship.
Here is the Q&A between Nunzio and Brian
NP: What traits do all successful franchisees have?
BS: We’ve found there’s a very simple formula to finding successful franchise partners: they’re hungry, hands-on, hardworking, and happy. We call that the “four Hs”. Franchise partners who are successful follow our systems and processes, but aren’t afraid to innovate and share their new knowledge system-wide. The most successful ones put time and effort into their business up-front, because they know that investment is key to growth in the long term.
NP: Do franchisees need to be wealthy or resourceful? Is there a difference?
BS: Across all four brands, we have franchise partners with different backgrounds. Some were given an inheritance, which they used to buy a franchise with O2E Brands. Others saved and made investments to raise startup capital. Still others had to figure it out every step of the way. For example, a partner with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? in Sonoma sold everything he owned (including his beloved motorbike) and got loans. He knew owning a franchise would set him up for his future, so he sacrificed in the short term and it paid off: he’s on track to hit some major milestones in 2017. Franchise partners are successful when they roll up their sleeves to solve problems, whether they start with money or not.
NP: How big is “cultural fit” when granting a franchise to a franchisee?
BS: Culture is very important to us. After all, we’re all working together to grow something bigger than any one of us could have built alone. We need people who believe in what we’re doing, who are open to sharing ideas and innovations, and who work hard and play hard.
To identify if a franchise partner is a fit, we have two tests that work for our culture. First, we ask, “Would I enjoy grabbing a beer with this person?” If the answer is yes, it’s probably going to be a good working relationship. But the Beer Test only measures how one person feels about the candidate. The next step is to find out if the team is on board. So then we do the BBQ Test, asking, “Would this person fit in at a group event, like a backyard barbecue?”
The Beer and BBQ Test is hypothetical, but it allows us to tap into our gut feeling about candidates, and focus on culture fit when it comes to adding employees and franchise partners to our team.
NP: What are some red flags when interviewing franchisees?
BS: One thing that raises a flag is when a candidate doesn’t have financing in place. One example with Shack Shine really stands out: managing director Dave Notte and I met with a candidate, and he blew us away. He seemed like a perfect fit for the brand. But as we got deeper into the interview process, we found out he hadn’t raised any capital. It wasn’t that he didn’t have access to funding — he just hadn’t made a plan. To us, it seemed like a lack of understanding about what startup life is all about.
NP: Does financing kill deals?
BS: We deal with the financing piece early on in the process. If the candidate has limited capital, we work with them to find options and lenders. If they don’t chase the lenders hard that tells us that they don’t have what it takes to be a Franchise Partner. A lot of candidates will kid themselves that they can secure financing. If we are getting that vibe, we stop the process and have them get their “ducks in a row” before we move forward.
Thanks Brian for this insight, we wish you and O2E Brands all the best! And we definitely look forward to seeing these opporunities available on the BizON marketplace for our users to explore.
From The Desk of BizON
Health. Happiness. Family. Success.
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