The Staff

Our team has owned and operated both small businesses and franchise companies. We understand the challenges you face in growing your company.

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Our commitment

When you partner with us, you partner with a sales company that guides candidates through the process with grace and honesty.

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Dec09

Blog

by Ray No Comments »

The Franchise Sales Solution is a full service franchise sales company. Our services are based on what our clients need. We understand that our franchise clients are busy operating the franchisor company and helping the franchisees with the day-to-day operation of their locations. Though we may not actually sit in the office next door, it sure feels like we are there! The TFSS team loves to work with your team and support their efforts in both franchise marketing and ultimately strengthening our validation with current franchisees.

Our services are integrated into our overall sales and marketing plans and our system and the processes we use help the TFSS sale professionals ensure that your franchise candidates learn more about your opportunity and meet your qualifications. Our goal is always to bring strong candidates to you that have gone through a complete validation period prior to attending Discovery Day.

To learn more about our processes and systems Complete Our Contact Form Now.

Mar06

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »

This is the final portion of my interview with John Armatas, principal at The Franchise Sales Solution. We continue our discussion about how his company helps franchisors rise above this difficult situation of finding good franchisees.

David: What services and tools do you provide your clients?

John: If you look at it from a franchise sales support perspective, we take them from the lead strategy to the initial calls, through the discovery, and through a physical discovery day, and (in most cases) we are actually there for the signing of the documents to guide the new franchisor through the signing of the papers. Because we believe so heavily in organic content to drive leads, we also provide social media monitoring and interaction, blog writing, and have developed relationships with individuals like you (David) who are on the cutting-edge of driving strong potential or qualified candidates to a brand. We also have relationships with public relations companies. I come from an operations perspective, so we really strive to provide a very thorough list of services depending on where our clients are in the process. A young franchisor will need us a lot more in these pieces, and a more mature franchisor will need us less. Ultimately, we want to be working with franchisors even if they have their own in-house marketing or PR or other external firms. We want to have a pipeline to that franchisor so we are promoting the right opportunities so we can be found organically and begin to engage people who are in transition. Our list of services is pretty wide depending on what our client’s needs are.

Read The Rest of The Interview – Part II

We want to thank David Stein from The Producers Network for taking the time to get our thoughts on Franchise Sales, Franchise Lead Generation and Franchise Sales Support.

 

Feb27

How To Bring Qualified Entrepreneurs and Franchise Brands Together

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »

The following is a two part interview that was conducted by David Stein of the Producers Network with yours truly.

David and I have had the opportunity to get to know each other over the past few months.  The Producers Network is an independent business development and marketing consultancy founded by David G. Stein, former direct marketing executive for Home Shopping Network.  David  is the author of “The 30-Minute Lead Generator” and patented the Telephone Redirect System, an innovative lead generation process.

The Producers Network provides a range of services, from brand creation to sales acceleration design to demand generation system projects and is working with The Franchise Sales Solution and Franchise Counselor to help generate and qualify individuals who may be in transition.

Our franchise clients expect us to be on the cutting edge of what is new in franchise lead generation.  Our partnerships with franchise sales professionals and lead generation specialists help us to identify qualified candidates and help those individuals who are looking for their next opportunity.

Read Part 1

Feb13

Thinking About Starting a Home-Based Business or Franchise? Consider These Tips . . . .

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »

The 5 Disciplines That You Must Learn To Run A Home Based Business

Starting a small business has more then enough innate challenges.  There are over 28 million small businesses in the U.S economy and over three-quarters of small business are non-employers and over half are home-based businesses.

I have owned brick and mortar business and when we divested ourselves of those businesses and looked at our next opportunity, the thought of working from home with no employees had a strong allure.  Couple that with the reduced overhead and the upside of protecting cash during the early growth stage, it was easy to see the benefits of giving the home based business a try.   Lean was good.

If you zero in on why so many small businesses fail you will find that most have significant operational inefficiencies’ that are accelerated by a lack of capital.   By running our small business from our home, we would eliminate rent, utilities, employees and all other expenses tied to having a brick and mortar location. Yes, it would mean that my wife and I would be handling the marketing, sales and accounting for the company and would operate in a house fraught with constant distractions.   We would also need to trust that our contract employees could perform with no direct oversight.

Once we committed to the lifestyle changes we were off to the races.  Today, we have had three successful years of operating out of a home-based environment and  we have learned quite a few things.   The most obvious of which is the need for an organized and disciplined daily plan.   From a strictly business perspective we have confirmed the benefits of working from home:

  •  Free Rent
  •  No Utilities
  •  No W-2 Employees
  •  No Gas
  •  No Commuting Time/Traffic
  •  No Office Drama/Associated Time Wasters

It wasn’t long into our first year that we had also identified a number of challenges:

  •  Keeping Your Workday Hours In Check
  •  Distractions
  •  Motivating Yourself
  •  Staying Out of The Fridge
  •  Networking

Here are some things we learned along the way and a few tips that may help you be more productive:

Keeping Your Workday Hours In-Check.   This single item will be the key to the success of you running a small business from your home.  I would routinely find myself sitting at my desk at 6:00 AM responding to emails and still at my desk at 6:30 PM returning calls to franchise prospects on the west coast.   I could not walk past my desk without checking email or my to-do list.  The home-based business had swallowed me whole and was effecting the time that I spent with my family.  A change was necessary.   The first thing I did was to take 15 minutes on Sunday morning to schedule the upcoming week.   I Schedule everything.  Every meeting, phone calls, lunch time, car maintenance, children’s carpool, walking the dog, etc.  I scheduled my daily workout and to-do list.  I even scheduled my coffee breaks. Schedule a reasonable starting and finishing time. Working at home will afford you flexibility in your daily schedule, however you should be as disciplined at scheduling your time as your are checking off items on your to-do-list.

Distractions.  Working at home affords you enormous flexibility.    It also provides for distractions that can pull you away from the task at hand.   Focus is a skill set that you can improve over time.  Be disciplined.  Stay the course.   Set deadlines and goals.  Meet the goals and then reward yourself.  The reward is one distraction that you deserve.

Motivating Yourself.  Though you wont have someone else evaluating your performance on a quarterly basis—you should set goals for yourself and monitor your progress.   Your goals should be tied to your overall business objectives.  You can’t grow your business if you don’t a roadmap for your future success.   How you reward yourself for reaching a goal is up to you, but you need to constantly review and evaluate the plan.

Stay Out of The Fridge.   As I noted, scheduling a daily workout is extremely valuable and will help you stay focused the balance of the day.   Working in such close proximity to the kitchen and your fridge is a sure fired way to put on a bunch of extra pounds if you are not extremely disciplined.  Schedule time for lunch and otherwise stay out of the kitchen.

Networking.  Schedule time on your calendar for networking.  This may be with a local BNI Chapter or through LinkedIn.  If you are blogging regularly, post your blog to various industry LinkedIn Groups.  Connect to other professionals in your industry and schedule introductory calls.   Besides the benefits of potential business that this may yield, you will develop a group of friends that you can bounce ideas off.   But most importantly,  it will keep you connected.

About the Franchise Sales Solution

The Franchise Sales Solution, is a Tampa-based franchise sales and development company. John Armatas has owned and operated both small business and franchise operations and has a unique understanding of the challenges that entrepreneurs face in growing their companies. For additional information on the franchise systems they represent or to discuss their services contact, John Armatas at 855.844.8377.

Franchise Sales Support

John Armatas
President
The Franchise Sales Solution

Nov22

Could Your Franchise Benefit From Changing Your Perspective On SEO?

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »

imagesInevitably, one of the first questions that a new client brings up in our set-up sessions is “what lead generation sources are we going to use to get quality leads”?

And equally inevitable, is the glazed-over look that comes next when we begin to talk about organic search strategies.   Before we even begin the review of existing processes, we have a pretty good idea of how the franchisor thinks based on what we gather from the initial overview of the website and social media strategy.   What we typically find is:

  1. There is no clear voice and style for content messaging for the franchise system
  2. The social media is usually managed by the owners niece or nephew who has a Facebook page and Twitter account
  3. Content on the website has not been updated since it was initially published
  4. Page titles and keyword research is non existent
  5. Large image files (and sometimes music) dominate the website landscape

So let me take a second and share what I know you already know.  This poor franchisor has been spammed and called and received LinkedIn requests and Liked by every SEO Firm and expert on the planet.  Some have engaged a company and stuck with them for a few months – didn’t see any substantial results and kicked them to the curb.  They have sworn off any company who promises increased rankings and that would rather just keep the social media in the family.

Sound like someone you know?   If your business or franchise is anything like most small businesses – the last things you believe you have time for is improving organic search results and social media engagement.   So, could what you think be influenced by how you think and what you don’t know or understand?

Andy Andrews (one of my favorite authors and one of the great storytellers of all time) has a central character in a number of his books called Jones.  Jones is fond of telling his flock “sometimes you just need a little perspective”.   Webster’s Dictionary defines perspective “as the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance”.

With that definition in mind let me pose a question to you.

When you started your business, did you network faithfully (even though you were out of your comfort zone) to attract new customers?  Do you still network with the same frequency today?   I would imagine that as your business has matured, your need to do the grassroots marketing/lead groups etc., that you did initially, may not be as important as it once was.   And in the same vein, would you invest time and energy in improving your businesses organic SEO today (even though you are out of your comfort zone) if you were confident that it would pay huge dividends in the future?

Lets assume for a minute that the answer to the question is yes.   Humor me for a moment and repeat after me . . . I “Your Name”, do commit to change how I think so that I can change what I think about the need for me to engage a different perspective on committing to long term strategy to improve the chances of a potential franchisee or customer finding my business.   Whew! One long run on sentence – but packed with a commitment to view your future success from a different perspective.   Ok, so now what?

First step, even before you find a company or person that you trust who can guide you through the process of selecting a company to work with, you must understand and commit to the realization that the SEO process takes time and needs to be a long term project that is constantly reviewed by you and your team.  Once everyone has bought in to this thinking, you will be on your way to improving the relationship you have with existing customers and opening the door to new potential ones.

Happy Selling!

Jul11

6 Tangible Items To Evaluate When Selecting a Franchise Opportunity

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »

We have the pleasure of working with some incredible franchisors.  I am not talking about the organization as much as I am the founder.   Each of them have built hugely successful organizations (both affiliate and franchise locations) by flat-out delivering on a pledge to support franchisees and affiliate store team members by doing the basic things that made them successful from the get-go.

I know there are plenty of great franchise organizations out there, but I am just excited to be working side by side with the folks that we represent on a day-to-day basis.  We talk to some 50 prospects a day for the brands we represent, and we always begin the conversation with a number of key questions that a prospect needs to consider when determining if our franchise opportunity is the right fit.  From our standpoint, it all starts with the leadership, and specifically, the franchise founder. Personally, I think it is the most important question that the candidate will evaluate.  Can I and/or do I want to form a partnership with this person?

The following six tangible characteristics may help a prospect during the due diligence process:

Can the founder or CEO “make the soup”?   Is the top dog an operator or sales guy? Is he/she still in touch with all aspects of the business?  Can they reel off existing store sales?  Are they involved with the real estate selection process?  You get the jest.

Proven Affiliate Success.    Are the existing affiliate stores successful?   Have they had any affiliate failures?  How many proven successful affiliate locations do they currently have?  What makes them successful?  Do the affiliate stores and franchise locations follow the exact same game plan?

Honest & Trustworthy.   This could be the single most important intangible that you need to evaluate.   Open the back door.  Ask for a list of suppliers and vendors.  Call them.   How does the industry feel about the franchise and the founder?   In addition, you need to call as many of the existing franchisees as possible.  Besides providing you with a financial performance picture, they will share things that the Franchisor is not legally able to.

Peek Under The Kimono.    No one likes sharing dirty laundry, but no system is perfect.  Ask him to share his/her biggest challenges in growing the system?  What strategic deficiencies are they working on?  Can they identify the top challenges that a franchisee has in the system?

Does He/She Leave the Selling to the Franchise Sales Guy?  All founders have a “little salesmanship” in them or they probably would not be where they are today.  That being said– they should not be selling you anything, but rather helping you evaluate if this is the right fit for the two of you.

Big Brother.  In George Orwell’s fictional novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Big Brother was the central character and provided complete surveillance to the citizens of Oceania.  The over-controlling behavior popularized the phrase, “Big Brother is watching;” but in the franchise world, having “Big Brother” watching may not be such a bad thing.  You are buying into a system with a proven success model.   The franchisor should have metrics that they watch on a daily basis to ensure your business is on track.  The question you need to ask is “How quickly will you share with me when my train is off the track?”  In the end, this is your business.  However, your success should be as important to the franchisor as it is to you.

If you are in the process of selecting a franchise and you need some advice or just want to chat with someone, give us a call.  We will be happy to share our experience with you.

Mar15

8 Franchise Sales Tools To Beef Up Organic Search

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »

ex-pert/ekspert.  Noun.  A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.

Nope.  Jack-of-all-trades, master of none.  Now that is more befitting of my particular skill set.  And, frankly, I am pretty darn proud of it.  There are too many expectations that come with the mantle of “expert.”   I am happy as a franchise lark to be well rounded when it comes to franchise sales and advice.

And why would you want to be an expert when there is so much good stuff circulating out there.  Have you paid attention to your Twitter feed today?  I am not one of those Twitter types that have blasted into the Twittersphere and have used a service to acquire a bunch of followers (who by the way aren’t paying attention to what I am posting). I only follow people and groups who I really respect.  (I have provided lists of those Twitter handles at the end of the post). In the last 58 minutes, there have been 6 franchise sales-related posts, 6-franchise marketing-related posts, and 3 public relations/content creation-related posts.  All of which provide good solid advice from experts.

So from my “jack of all trades” file comes a short list of ways to increase lead flow without spending a bucket of your monthly lead-generation budget.

  1. Find a voice for your franchise brand.  This is particularly important in ensuring that any messaging or content is created around the brand.
  2. Content Creation.   Blogging is effective.  The key is finding a writer that can extend the reach of the brand through the voice that you have chosen. Here are a few examples of what we have done with some of our clients.   The Brown Bag Blog is focused on everything healthy while the RNR Wheels and Tires is an advice blog focused at women and tire upkeep and safety.
  3. Social Media.  Use social media to spread the message.  Loyal customers and clients will go to work for a brand that they love.   Decide which social media channels will be most effective for your messaging.
  4. Monitor and maintain the conversation.  Assign this task to someone who understands your brand and the voice you have established.  Having the franchisor control the messaging for the system is highly recommended. This strategy should be part of your best practices.  If you don’t have the time or a qualified team member to monitor and maintain the conversation, contract with someone who can handle this for you.
  5. Pay Per Click.  Running an Adwords PPC campaign will not help with organic searches.  However, running an Adwords PPC campaign can have an indirect impact on the overall success of an SEO campaign.   Depending on your particular industry, it make take years to elevate your company in direct search results.  A well run Adwords PPC campaign can put you on the first page while you are working on the keywords associated with the organic search.
  6. Organic Optimization.  SEO includes site optimization; link-building content marketing and social media.  All of this will help increase the SERP (search engine results page).  SEO is a long-term strategy and finding a trustworthy partner to manage the program is important.  If you are focused on #2 and #3 above, your rankings will increase over time.
  7. LinkedIn Groups.  There are plenty of franchise-related groups within LinkedIn Groups.   Joining groups that have something in common with you is “Networking 101.”  Post your most recent blog or share company news (via press releases).  Each relationship will further the cause.
  8. Public Relations.   How often you publish press releases depends on your overall marketing strategy and what news you have to share.  A good starting point would be once a month.  Here is a great blog post to inspire you:  “Ideas for Writing a Press Release.”   Once again, our goal is to increase organic search, so you need to have a plan and execute the plan through timely, consistent posts.

 

What we lack in “ekspert” advice we more then make up with resources.  Check out these additional links to see what The Franchise Sales Solution is doing for its clients.  Good luck with increasing your organic search parameters.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day—establish a go-forward plan and execute the daylights out of it!

Worth the Twitter follow if you are in Franchise Sales or helping your clients with social media and lead generation strategies.

@PaulSegreto

@hubspot

@franchiseking

@nolimitagency

@franchising411

Nov14

Avocation and Vocation Join In My House Fitness Franchise Opportunity

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »

The fitness industry has always attracted sport types who have a strong inclination toward health and wellness.  I personally can identify, as I spent the better part of my career with the YMCA. When I wasn’t working out, I was working with youth and adults to promote a healthy lifestyle. It was a natural for me and though I have moved on to helping others in the franchise world, fitness still remains a daily part of my life.

My House Fitness has designed a business that combines the benefits of working in a job; while pursuing what you love, the result is a perfect franchise opportunity for someone looking to join their avocation and vocation. So you can imagine how excited I was when they engaged us to help them with franchise sales and development. It took me back to my past, when I was able to encourage members to integrate fitness into their daily routines.  Exactly, what My House Fitness is doing today.

Over the past few months, we have witnessed an up tick in the number of prospective leads that we receive for the brands that we represent.  Not everyone has the financial resources to own and operate a franchise business, but they all have the passion.gI_99811_Jen Boot Cammp

The increase in the number of prospects has supported my theory that more and more Americans are looking for opportunities, where they can control their own destiny.  The role that we play in ensuring that we place prospects with the right opportunity, is more important then ever.  We are talking about people’s life savings and retirement accounts–there is very little room for error.

Franchise prospects come from all walks of life.  We have foodies who want a food concept like the Brown Bag or Thumbs Up Diner and car lovers who like brands like RNR Custom Wheels & Tire Express and Carsmetics.  Our entire team understands that providing opportunities which are aligned with a prospects avocation provides us with the best chance of success.  My House Fitness allows a fitness enthusiast to do what they love.  Scotts Lawn Service provides the do-it -yourselfer a chance to do-it for others, and list goes on and on.

More and more franchise brokers are bringing us candidates who not only want to find a business; but who want to find the right business.  In my view, that begins with ensuring that the actual franchise sale is less important, then ensuring the right placement.  Early in my career, I helped people realize fitness goals and today I am proud to say that our team is helping franchise prospects realize their dreams to own a business.

Oct15

Carsmetics. Making It Easy For Us To Sell Franchises.

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »

The Franchise Sales Solution was very excited to have Carsmetics come on as a franchise client.  This is a quality operation that has both breadth and depth in leadership and organizatonal culture.  As I have repeated numerous times while talking to franchise candidates over the past few months, “they really have their act together and are a great franchisor”.

Our team as TFSS believes in each of the franchisors we represent.  They all have proven business and financial models.  In a nutshell, each has “great economics”. But it is the intangibles that really get us excited, as was the case with Carsmetics this past week.macs car before carsmetics

My 17-year-old son had a fender bender a few weeks ago. He prides himself on being a safe driver and just the thought of driving around in his Saburu with a messed up front end bothered him (in addition to the gentle nudges he was getting at school about his driving habits). My oldest son had a similar addicent back in 2011 and the collision center we took his car to had his car for nearly 5 weeks.  So our main concern was how quickly we could get the car fixed (and alleviate the stress of acting as chauffeur, shuttling him around from activity to activity).

He dropped by the local Carsmetics on his way home from school. The sales technician assessed  the damage and gave him a quote and sent him on his way. The one thing that Mac did not find out was how long the car would be in the shop.  He called back, talked to one of the sales team and was told that if he could bring the car in on Thursday morning, they would do everything they could to have the car back to him on Saturday afternoon.  We dropped the car off on Thursday morning, as requested, and had planned to pick up the car on Saturday around noon.

Fast, Flawless and For Less– that is what Carsmetics Promises.  Since the staff at Carsmetics had no idea who I was, we didnt expect anything more then what they promise everyday.  To our surprise, we got a call on Friday morning letting us know that Mac’s car could be picked up after school.  So the day after we dropped the car off, we picked it up.  And as promised, it was flawless.

The Carsmetics business model makes sense.  Did you know that 75% of all vehicles that have been in an accident are still drivable, and that the majority of these accidents can be repaired for a cost as ot below a cnsumers insurance deductible?  This translates into an enormous market of consumers who are in need of Carsmetics.   Mac Car After Carsmetics1

Needless to say, Mac is very happy with the result, and I am happy to provide a personal testimonial to a franchise brand that I believe in.

Jul06

Know Thyself: Fate or Destiny, Choosing The Right Franchise

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »

It usually only takes a few minutes of conversation with a prospective franchisee for me to form an opinion about the net result: fate or destiny? Sometimes the word fate and destiny are interchangeable; however, I have always been partial to the thought that where fate provides no choice, destiny provides a window of hope and a level of control of the outcome.  In other words – your business or franchise should be your destiny; and if it feels more like fate, maybe you should walk away.

I talk to so many people everyday who are looking for a franchise opportunity.   The reasons may be slightly different, but generally most believe they want to build something and control their own destiny.

Self-assessment is really all about the process of knowing yourself and understanding your tendencies.  It is more then just taking an inventory of your likes and dislikes.  It is too easy to rationalize and justify your weaknesses, or to let yourself believe that those weaknesses are overshadowed by your strengths.  Example, “I really don’t like talking to people I don’t know, but I am extremely organized.”  Unfortunately, if you purchase a franchise which requires the franchisee to be the rainmaker, and you don’t like talking to people you don’t know, it won’t matter how organized you are because you won’t have any customers to organize.

Frankly, I don’t know of many franchise opportunities where the owner doesn’t need to be a people person and enjoy sales (regardless if it is selling a product, service or motivating your staff).    So, before you begin taking an inventory and assessing your interests, work values, lifestyle considerations, skills and abilities, first determine if your personality fits the type of franchise opportunity you are evaluating.

Buying a franchise should put you into a position to control your destiny and not be an unfortunate fait accompli.

If you know someone looking for some emerging franchise opportunities, check out the brand new www.bigfranchisingopportunities.com.

Jun03

Why Outsourcing Franchise Sales Make Sense

by JOHN ARMATAS No Comments »
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Building a business to a point where franchising is a viable option is difficult enough without having to worry about how you are going to sell the franchise opportunity. Business owners are typically tied up with the day to day operation of their business and should be focused on maintaining the profitability of the operation while giving considerable thought to outsourcing the franchise sales. When it comes time to take that step, a business owner would be well served to consider hiring an expert to at least guide them through the process.

By relying on a professional to sell your franchise opportunity a business owner can stay focused on what he or she does best while the sales professional works to build a distribution channel for the franchise. A professional franchise sales company will be focused on catering to the needs and concerns of the business owner and keep their vision in mind while developing a marketing plan for the franchise sales and development strategy.  Hiring a franchise sales company is a big step in the long term strategy for any franchhisor and finding a franchise sales partner that makes it a priority to have an open line of communication is just important.

How often and what the franchisor wants to be kept aware of will happen naturally as the franchisor and franchise sales team get to know each other.   There are many new technologies that can aide in the open communication between the business and the franchise sales professional. One example is text message communication. Every one has a cellphone close by (I feel naked without mine) and a large number of people use text messages as their primary source of communication. Did you know that 90% of all texts are opened within 4 minutes of receipt where only 10% of emails are opened before 4 hours of receipt?  A well rounded franchise sales professional will be integrating texting, as well as other technologies for updates, follow up and any other content communication that the business owner requires.

So, to sum it all up:

  • By outsourcing your franchise sales, the business owner stays in control while relying on the expertise of an experienced professional.
  • By keeping open lines of communication the business owner gets real time updates on the sales process.
  • Open communication leads to trust between the two parties and leads to a positive and profitable working relationship.
Be sure to research the franchise sales organization that you are thinking about hiring.  Do they practice what they preach?  This can be an exciting time for the franchisor . . . and brand new franchisees can really make it fun!


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