Franchise Your Business – Fortune Favors the Bold

It struck me the other day when I was speaking with someone considering investing in multiple units of a Papa John’s Franchise how much of success in entrepreneurship depends on taking a calculated risk.  In interviewing this person, he was considering multiple unit investments in the Papa John’s franchise system the easy answer would always be “no” because it’s safer to do what you’ve always done and avoid the unknown. 

So with that in mind, I began researching Papa John’s and John Schnatter, the company’s founder came up.  Mr. Schnatter has had his fair share of bad PR and rough patches over the last year, so plenty of news came to the forefront.  He has since stepped down as CEO of the company and is transitioning to other things, but his net worth popped up front on the searches.  As of the date of this article, Papa John’s founder is worth an estimated $1.1 Billion.

That was when it hit me.  Here is this guy who started a business in 1984 selling pizzas with $1,600 to his name and by 2019, was able to become a billionaire.  How many other pizza entrepreneurs are there out there who make a better pizza than John does and never were willing to take the risk and grow their brand.  They were in effect bound to the inside of their four walls and maybe never would have achieved the levels of success that Mr. Schnatter has, but could have been something much bigger than they were.  So much of doing big things can be tied to someone just being bold and taking a risk.

With the success of the Papa John’s franchise, I began looking into other franchise success stories and brands that took a risk to scale their model and do something big.  Jimmy John’s Founder, James Liautaud came up next in my search.  Here again was an entrepreneur who started a business in 1982 with $25,000 and in 1994, franchised the sandwich brand to grow faster and more efficiently.  The brand had obvious success and provided Mr. Liautaud with incredible wealth – an estimated $1.8 billion by 2019.  Again, a case where how many other sandwich shop operators are out there who have something great, but were never willing to take the risk, but Jimmy did and won big.

Next on the list were several in industries outside of food service that franchised their brand and scaled their business model.  Mr. James DeVoe, the founder of JD Byrider, a used car sales brand started his business in 1989 and franchised the model to 125 locations and in 2011, was able to sell the company for $115 million to a private equity group, again I start thinking about how many used car entrepreneurs who just never pushed outside of their single lot or operation and possibly missed an opportunity.  Then there is the GNC franchise in the supplement industry, a business that was started a long time ago in 1935 by David Shakarian, as a single store in Pittsburgh and grew to 8,400 stores at its peak and in 1999, sold to a private equity group for $2.5 Billion.  Yet another example of an entrepreneur who took a risk, scaled their brand and was able to take an entire market segment through franchised expansion.

Ultimately, the risk associated with doing something different is always scary and when you are considering “Change”, it can be paralyzing for many business owners.  I’m not saying that franchising or conquering the world is for everyone, but that it’s worth considering that you might have something bigger than a single operation and with the right vehicle, there could be a lot of opportunities.  As the saying goes, “Fortune Favors the Bold”, it couldn’t be more relevant in entrepreneurship and when considering where to take your business.

Contact us for more information on how to franchise your brand and discuss whether your business could have potential as a franchise system.

Franchise Marketing Systems Opens New Office

Just north of Atlanta, tucked behind the bustling scenery of McFarland and Alpharetta Highway, you will find a business that is changing lives, one franchise at a time. Franchise Marketing Systems, or FMS, has been in business for over 10 years, rocking an expansive range of industries, from restaurants to medspas, as a leading full service franchise consulting and development firm. The company, launched by franchise development specialist Chris Conner, has worked with hundreds of satisfied clients since the company’s founding in 2009, spanning the United States, as well as international work. Franchise Marketing Systems’ growth and success has inspired the company to open new doors within an easily accessible location just moments away from the ever-popular Halcyon Forsyth and other hot spots.

6110 McFarland Station Drive, 105, Alpharetta, GA 30004 serves as the new home to FMS and the Atlanta-based team. Made up of team members that span the country, this elite band of heroes have helped companies of every size make dreams come true. Knowledgeable, friendly, accessible, and welcoming, FMS strives to partner with organizations that are hoping to launch into franchisement and also offers a wide range of other services. Developing business plans, franchise documentation, working with third party law firms to develop FDD’s, franchise operations manuals, marketing collateral, and more are all part of the perfected offerings from this amazing company. FMS offers free consultations to those who are curious about the franchise process and have asked themselves, “is this right for me and my company?” FMS will have the answer. Beyond this, FMS will walk alongside mature franchise companies and new franchise organizations, focusing in on the sales and screening process to bring in qualified leads.

Within the doors of their new digs, you will find streamlined offices, a modern atmosphere, professional attitudes, and friendly faces. The oversized conference room echoes the voices of past successes and now stands ready for new companies to welcome in. For those who are looking for experienced, capable hands in which to place the future of their own company, look no further than Franchise Marketing Systems. McFarland Station, west of 400, is a short drive from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, as well as other major interstate routes.

For more information on the span of services that FMS offers or for a free consultation, visit contact us at

Why Would I Franchise My Business?

Entrepreneurs face many of the same obstacles to growth essentially regardless of industry or type of business.  Businesses start out almost entirely owner-operated where the founder is touching every part of the business with their own two hands and working feverishly to keep up with multiple jobs.  As the business expands, the first employees are brought on, many times which are family members and then a few “founding member” employees.  During these early years, business is grinding with a very little strategy, just making it happen every day.  It’s the second phase of growth where problems start to arise, the business owner’s ego, a shortcoming in operating systems, deficiencies in staffing and personnel or lack of funding all start to constrict the growth of the business.  It is in these instances that businesses many times will turn to franchise the business as a means to scale and grow the model.  

It starts with disappointment in employees, not once or twice, but maybe a dozen times.  Someone leaves after you’ve invested time and money Into their notice, no conversation, just an email saying they are submitting their resignation.  Or the upset customers who call or email or worse yet, Yelp their concerns to you about interactions with employees who just didn’t put forth any effort.  Sometimes it feels like your own team is greater competition than other brands in your industry.  That’s not to say all staff are bad, but the more you expand organically, the higher the percentages get that you will run into difficult staffing obstacles. 

Then there is the need for capital which is certainly a significant obstacle for any entrepreneur who is trying to expand their brand.  Fixed location businesses have enormous capital needs with each location that is opened possibly exceeding $500k per unit along with lease and operating liabilities should a location not succeed.  Investors ask for the world and want such a large percentage of the business, it seems that there isn’t much left over for the one who has put the most blood sweat and tears in.  In addition, partnerships get tricky and complicated and many times end up in divorce.  The reality becomes that unless a family member or friend is going to invest, the market is very small until you prove the model for scale.  All of this creates a very compelling argument for franchising.  

When you franchise your business, you have achieved the ultimate version of the scale.  It is the epitome of trust from the entrepreneur to empower a franchisee to take your entire business and duplicate not one element of your business, but the entire model.  To franchise a business you create a vehicle to allow for investment into your brand without giving up equity in the brand.  The model also creates a dynamic where the franchisee becomes an owner-operator for the brand in each market they open a franchise.  The franchise platform allows for both the infusion of capital and addresses the staffing issues inherent in growing a business.  

For more information on how to franchise your business, contact us

Franchise Marketing Systems Wins the Clutch Award 2018

Franchise Marketing Systems (FMS), a leading full service franchise consulting and development firm, has won the highly sought-after Clutch Award for 2018. The coveted Clutch Award is only given to the top 1000 B2B organizations around the world that boast a list of perfected qualities. Clutch analysts choose each winner based on impeccable client reviews, illustrious customer service, and a top-notch work portfolio.

FMS has perfected its consulting and development services over the past several years and now boasts itself as a favored firm among its current client roster. It offers free consultations for those pondering the move towards franchising, as well as step by step support to make the transition and day-to-day of franchisement flawless. They have helped over 200 businesses grow, including Anytime Fitness, Synergy Homecare, Blimpie, Bruster’s, Rosati’s, Matco Tools, and UPS, just to name a few. Whether a business is an emerging franchise or an established franchise, FMS knows how to move a business upward using dialed-in marketing strategies and business plans specifically developed for the franchise model.

Here’s what some of their past clients had to say:

“Franchise Marketing Systems helped us build franchisee centric systems that are profitable for both the franchisees’ and the franchisor. Their experience helped guide us to the best solution, the first time.”
-Lance Jensen, CEO of Global Garage Flooring

“Franchise Marketing Systems provided a consolidated and professional franchise package that included Franchise Disclosure Document Development, Operations Manuals and a Marketing Strategy. They also included a complete Business Plan, something that I didn’t find with other franchise consultants.”
-Alix Douyon, Founder of Opti Car Care

Franchise Marketing Systems has worked with a wide range of brands and businesses in a number of industry segments, for more information on client references and work that FMS has performed, visit the client reference pages here:

FMS Clutch -

FMS Business Reviews -

FMS Facebook -

FMS Better Business Bureau -

Based on their clients’ testimonies, it’s simple to see why FMS has earned the Clutch Award for 2018 as a top performing service provider in the franchise industry. Franchise Marketing Systems strives for excellence in every element of supporting scaled growth in franchising. The entire team and organization has been defined to support success in launching new franchise systems. For more information on FMS - Franchise Marketing Systems, or how to franchise your business, please contact Franchise Marketing Systems -

How to Start a New Franchise Effectively

Starting a new franchise requires careful planning, vision and the ability to develop excellent relationships. There are many businesses and industries where franchise distribution is a viable expansion model and certainly, in most business categories, there are examples of fantastic successes in franchising. But how did these entrepreneurs start their franchise expansion journey?

First, it started with an understanding of scale and a single entrepreneur's humility to understand that there is more of a market for their product or service than they could conquer on their own. Starting a franchise model to scale and leverage independent franchise ownership allows the business owner to leverage the franchisee’s capital and commitment to their own small business. Next, the business owner must develop a mutually beneficial structure for the franchise offering.

To start a franchise means to offer a partnership to new franchisees who will invest their money, time and hard work into the business. They too must win and see value in the franchise not only to make the decision to join but also to stay and support the franchise brand.

Then, when you start a franchise, you must develop your systems, processes and operating models in a way that will allow approved franchise candidates to duplicate your business in their markets. Training, support, technology and other variables will play a significant role in how effective a franchise will be. Then, to start a franchise, marketing, business development and branding need to be structured to attract and sell the vision of the franchise offering.

Franchisees should see and understand what potential for success they have with your brand and be able to understand how they fit into your plans for expansion. Particularly when first starting a franchise, you should plan on attracting a large volume of potential franchisees due to the lower conversion ratio of leads to franchisees.

A new franchise brand will require a larger number of candidates to convert franchise sales, so you should have the marketing, lead generation and sales processes in place to facilitate this franchise marketing venture.

Great franchise models are selective in who they allow into the franchise network, set your buyer profile and be careful in who is given the opportunity to join. Finally, when considering whether to start a franchise, you should understand your personality and ability as a leader.

Great franchise systems are facilitated by great leaders who see value in others and are effective in nurturing relationships and helping others be successful. Before you start a franchise model, you need to be willing to take on the responsibility for other financial futures, lives and well-being.

For more information on whether your business is ready to take the next step in franchising, contact us for a consultation.

Alan George of FMS Franchise Talks with Business RadioX

Alan George of FMS Franchise Talks with Business RadioX
Alan George of FMS Franchise Talks with Business RadioX

Cumming, Georgia, February 1, 2018: Franchise Marketing Systems (FMS) Vice President, Alan George, was interviewed by Business RadioX to discuss the topic of franchising and how it can help budding entrepreneurs grow their own businesses. During the course of this interview, George discussed his promise to the company's President and Founder, Chris Conner, to create the ultimate system for franchise marketing.

Franchise Marketing Systems takes great pride in helping businesses that want to become franchises and then teaching them how to more effectively market them. Even though businesses often see the benefits and potential growth franchising can offer, they have little idea how to accomplish this task. With the help of the professional team at Franchise Marketing Systems, business owners will learn how to effectively find entrepreneurs interested in buying into a franchise and how to train them to recreate the same experience for their own customers.

George is a prime example of how individuals can work hard to become an expert in whatever they set their minds to. This makes him the ideal individual to speak on how this company can assist others who are interested in expanding their business through franchise opportunities, whether on a local or national level.

Listen to the Whole Podcast:

Alan George with Franchise Marketing Systems and Calvin Graves with Young Entrepreneurs (

About Franchise Marketing Systems

Franchise Marketing Systems was founded by Chris Conner in an attempt to help business owners learn how to effectively grow their companies through franchising. The franchise consulting company strives to help their clients understand how franchising works and help them effectively find entrepreneurs and train them to provide the same customer experience. They can also help with franchise marketing and management so their clients can achieve a high level of success.

What Impact the Tax Reform has on Franchising

Tax Reform
Tax Reform

The upcoming tax reform is certainly catching everyone’s attention and has been front and centre in the news.  The question is how will this tax reform affect the franchise and small businesses in the U.S. 

The wide sweeping repeal of tax law has what most business people would consider extremely positive potential effects on the business community and as a result positive effects on the consumers.  The thinking is that more money in people’s pockets equates to more spending more job growth and more opportunity for everyone.  Regardless of political stances, this formula sounds very good in theory.

Unlike many personal tax exemptions which will expire in a few years, most business reforms are permanent and will have lasting effects.  Corporate tax rates today vary from 15% to 39%.  For this reason, many businesses in certain cases refuse to expand and increase their profitability with an increasing tax burden.  This is also the supposed reason why companies like Apple refuse to bring their profits into the United States and keep funds overseas in more tax-rate-friendly environments. 

The new corporate tax rate is set at a flat 21% rate which makes for an attractive way for businesses to invest in their business grow and expand their businesses in the U.S.  In addition, Trump has suggested that he will work towards a one-time tax credit for companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google to bring these funds back into the United States and invest in business, jobs and other economy-boosting elements.

With this drop in the corporate tax rate, in order to keep uniformity between personal and business rates, there is a 20% deduction against individual tax rates.  There are limitations to this deduction based on income levels, but the end result is a significantly greater degree of attractiveness for individuals to start a business and take the first step into entrepreneurship.

The threshold limit of $315,000 for married couples filing jointly is most likely above what the large majority of these small business owners make in income meaning that the tax code is simplified and more understandable. 

What many maybe don’t realize is that the majority of business growth in the U.S. is through what is defined by the SBA as Micro-companies.  These are businesses with 10 employees or fewer, they are typically operated by a person who works in the business every day. 

This trend started in 2014 when the number of new businesses in the U.S. finally turned to growth whereas in the decade before the number of new businesses shrunk considerably.  This new tax reform should drastically increase this trend with more entrepreneurship and more job creation.

The SBA presents that an estimated 67% of all new jobs created since the recession have come from these small firms. Once again, this new tax reform only supports and should expand this trend of new hiring and business growth. 

And how does this affect the franchise market and what impact will these tax reforms have on the franchise industry?  The short answer is that all effects seem to be very positive.  Franchises by nature are generally in the small firm category and would be considered owner-operated in most cases. 

This tax reform will create yet more incentives to invest in a franchise and open a business.  The traditional value proposition of a franchise investment remains the same where a new business owner benefits from business plans, training, support and a proven model, but in the end, the franchisee is still a small business owner. 

Only time will tell how much of an impact this tax reform has on franchising, but from most perspectives, this should be an excellent starting point for a strong growth curve in the franchise market. 

How to Franchise Your Business Well

Why is it that some franchises seem to expand so quickly and others can’t seem to get off the ground?  In the franchise development world, you have the opportunity to see some “out of this world” ideas and business concepts.  The really exciting part of working in franchising is that we are able to work closely with entrepreneurs who have more vision, insight and ability to innovate than anyone on the planet.

We are confident that what drives the global economy is the small business owner and entrepreneur who is looking for ways to create, constantly looking for ways to build and always taking a positive spin on how to approach opportunities.  Franchising is a nice way to keep your finger on the pulse of the global small business economy and to see what, who and how people are doing business. 

In most cases, what happens in the small business and franchise markets is what is coming to the broader market.  On one hand, the franchise market has produced a multitude of amazing success stories, but why do some not scale as efficiently and achieve duplication of their brand through franchising?

When you franchise a business, you enter a new world of business, some business leaders just aren’t great at being a coach.
Just because an entrepreneur makes a fantastic product and excellent pizza, doesn’t necessarily mean they have the business skill set needed to teach, coach or mentor others. 

Franchising is a business where the franchisee invests in the business because they need advice, guidance and counselling from the franchisor.  A Franchisor needs to be able to share and teach intellectual property to new franchisees and sometimes the entrepreneur can hold back the growth of the company if they are unable to communicate effectively to teach, train and sell the vision of the franchise model. 

Our direction to a business that is just starting to Franchise the Business model, do a hard self-evaluation, if you don’t have the skill set to do this, there are lots of professionals out there you can bring into your system to support your growth and be a leader within your franchise business.

Franchise Development is a Serious marketing and sales business

There are cases in franchise development where “Build it and they will come” holds true, but the majority of the time, it takes a concentrated effort to market, promote and sell the franchise.  When you franchise your business, you now are tasked with the responsibility of sharing your vision and convincing other people that what you have to offer is worth the investment and offers value to them overdoing it on their own.

Franchise development is unique in that you are effectively selling “air” when you promote your franchise brand.  This transition from selling a physical good, product or item to now selling an idea requires a good marketing plan, franchise sales process and resources to support these marketing efforts.

Typically, this requires the involvement of franchise brokers or professional franchise salespeople who can assist the new franchise in going to market.  The franchise systems that have success in franchising invest the time, money, and effort into franchise collateral materials, promotional tools and overall branding.

The great franchise systems certainly have a look, feel and presentation that resonates with a potential investor and looks bigger than a “mom and pop”.

You Should have a Great Concept when you Franchise your Business

Good ideas are never easy to come by, but when you do find one, the process of franchising allows a business owner to leverage that idea and monetize the concept through growth and duplication into new markets. 

Some markets are just tough to the franchise when it comes down to it.  If you have a QSR foodservice model and are considering franchise expansion, you better have a strong differentiator to be able to attract attention and draw interest from other foodservice franchise brands.  In some cases, established and mature markets can be franchised with a good concept and a unique approach to the model.

OrangeTheory is a great example of this idea, it started with a new approach to fitness and health services using the group fitness model and what started out as the “Ellen Latham” fitness program used innovative technology and system to help clients measure their heart rate as they went through the fitness program.

With partners, the business rebranded to OrangeTheory and in only 6 years was able to expand to over 1,000 locations worldwide.  Fitness is a crowded and competitive market which makes this growth even more incredible, but what has helped drive the expansion is a great concept, something innovative and different from what had been done in the past.

The branding and overall look, feel and presentation are what have helped carry the model forward and in an essence have been the vehicle to support new franchisees' willingness to invest in the model.  Ultimately, if you are going to franchise your business, you should have something innovative and something that will create interest and ultimately spark the investment in your brand and franchise model.

Good Numbers are the Heart of a Good Franchise

It only makes sense that when you franchise your business, you are ultimately selling an investment opportunity.  If the numbers and return on investment exceed expectations for franchise investors, odds are that the model will continue to sell and grow. 

The Creamistry Franchise model is a good example of this which is a new brand in the ice cream and frozen dessert market segment that has in a way redefined the market niche.  The model incorporates liquid nitrogen to freeze the ice cream product and at the unit, the level has produced significant revenues and profitability for early adopter franchisees.

Impressive financials have been part of the presentation for Creamistry and the response has been nothing short of miraculous with over 200 units sold in the first three years of franchise development. 

Fortunately, franchisees have been able to generate similar numbers in their units and continue to validate the brand and financials which in turn only drives more unit growth.  What Creamistry has realized, much like other brands is that when the model works and financials exceed the norm for an industry, multi-unit and master franchise growth becomes a reality. 

Multi-unit franchisees are capable investors who have the capital to invest in 2 or more locations at one time.  In some cases, they will invest in large numbers of units at one time exceeding 50 units over a defined time period.

For more information on how to decide whether to franchise your business and when is the right time to franchise, contact us for a no-obligation consultation to review the model.

FYB7- You Sold a Unit at Your Franchise Companies

Be prepared for the relationship to change once you’ve sold a unit to an individual. You will want to build a stronger relationship with your franchisee now that they have purchased a unit from you. Mutual trust and respect must be shown as the individual who bought your franchise just spent a lot of money on your concept with the little faith they have from the few times they met with you. The faith an individual puts in a franchisor is even greater the smaller the franchise is.

After the signing of the franchise agreement, you should already have it in your mind how much attention you plan on spending with each new franchisee. This doesn’t have to be set in stone now, but you should know how much time you want to devote to new franchisees and how to balance that out with selling franchises. You want to show that you support them and will be there when they need it, but you don’t want to get in the habit of spending all your time at one franchise location.

The problems with spending too much time helping one franchisee as they start are:

If You Make Mistakes When Selling Franchises

If you happen to make mistakes when you’re selling our franchise companies, approach the mistakes objectively. No franchisor is perfect when they start out. The difference between the franchisors who fail and the ones who succeed is that the ones who fail do not know how to pick themselves back up. They take a mistake or a roadblock as a reason to stop instead of something pushing them harder to succeed. Franchisors who meet success see mistakes, accidents, or problems with expansion or their systems and cash in on those as opportunities to better their processes and their companies.

Join the winning franchise companies by facing mistakes head-on with an objective mind and a will to succeed. A big name brand might not be as unachievable as it may seem.

Bottom Line on Selling Your Franchise

As you prepare to sell units for your franchise, you need to plan out the concept for your franchise companies, marketing, and who your target franchisees are. Remember that anyone can sell a franchise. The hardest part isn’t finding buyers, it’s finding the good buyers and maintaining a strong brand with every new location you open. The first five years of franchising will almost always be the hardest.

To better insure success for the sale of your franchise companies, consider franchise development plans to:

Read More From the Franchise Your Business Series 7

Greeting Startup Challenges in Franchise Companies

If you’re looking for ways to sell more franchises faster, you may turn to the internet. We’ve already discussed how it’s an excellent resource for business owners and franchise companies. Online, you can find brokers that will help you sell franchise locations and as a new franchisor, you might find this to be a relief.

However, be aware that there are many franchise brokers who will not take on clients who lack a certain number of already established locations. Brokers may not be willing to take the risk on a new business and you may have to do longer searches in order to find a team that is willing to take on your franchise.

Looking at Brokers for Your Franchise Companies

You may also find a broker who handles newer franchise companies, however, they may already be representing far too many franchises to keep up with and they can’t take you on or give you the attention that you want in order to build your franchise quickly and efficiently with high-quality candidates.

In order to make selling your franchise easier whether working with brokers or not, franchise industry experts encourage pulling together a proven model that works and is easy to duplicate. You will have an easier time talking with franchise brokers, and franchise candidates, and building your franchise companies as a whole.

Finances Must be Prepared for Expansion

Finances should be in order before you begin the sale in your franchise companies. You should have a competent management team in place at all of your company-owned locations. The last thing you want during startup is to have huge problems popping up in your current locations that you must leave your developing locations in order to attend to.

Problems in your established locations don’t do much to help the confidence of your new franchisees or your franchise sales team either.

Franchisors should know what they want to price units at and the exact cost to quote franchisees with when it comes to startup costs. This means investigating property costs in the market area that you plan to build, whether it’s in the same town, the one next over, or another state.

You will want to go through the cost of a startup for yourself and what money you actually make from opening a franchise versus what you pay from the franchise fees for marketing, grand opening, and getting that franchise up on its feet. Consider if you will be paying for leads, commercials, and any other way you plan to bring attention to your franchise companies opening in the area.

Remember That Brokers Are Not Free

If you do plan to work with a broker, you will have to remember that most do charge a fee. Depending on the individual company, the fee may be taken out of the amount the franchisees give you when they buy a franchise or they may take money upfront for their efforts. It’s up to you as the owner of franchise companies to do background research on the brokers and find out what would work best for your company operations.