The Making of a Home-Based Franchise – Part III
By Michelle Rodriguez
As I prepared for my meeting with Mike Pagani of Franchise Resources, I didn’t know what to expect of my interaction with him. After all, my online research on franchising had shown me several companies with a “get rich quick” appeal to them, and I secretly feared that I was going to meet the LIVE version of those sites.
Boy was I wrong!
Mike provided me a brief overview of what his company provided, which is basically a franchising matchmaking service for large corporations such as McDonald’s. He also described his relationship with BigAustin as a resource to business owners, like me, who need advice on growing their business to the next level. Finally, he mentioned that he was a member of SCORE , with those three credentials, I felt comfortable in discussing Well Styled with Mike and that’s exactly what happened, a jammed-packed hour of information toward “evolving” Well Styled to the next level.
Below are the four key general points discussed during our meeting which I feel are good to share with others wanting to learn more on the process of expansion:
- A business doesn’t necessarily have to “franchise” in order to evolve and branch out. In my mind, I assumed that the only way to expand my business (without hiring employees) was via franchising. According to Mike, franchising is recommended for businesses that require a large ticket investment (over $150,00) thus “requiring” a franchise license for credential and legal purposes. Since I was definitely not in that selling bracket, nor did I want to dive into a business model with tons of legal documents, Mike introduced me to other models that could possibly fit my needs: Business Opportunity or Training & Consulting Opportunity.
- Consult with a Small Business Attorney – After learning about the other two expansion buckets, Mike highly suggested that I meet with a Small Business Attorney to make certain that Well Styled was an appropriate candidate for one of those business models. If so, then that attorney would also be a source for creating an agreement which outlined payment, what a buyer would get for their payment, how the company brand could or could not be used, etc. One thing was crystal clear, I could not pass Go and collect $200 until I consulted with an attorney.
- Outline an Operations Manual – Mike also recommended that I begin outlining all of my daily administrative To Dos and service procedures, since these would eventually turn into an Operations Manual – a must when selling your business model to others!
- Outline a training program – Finally, I learned that along with an Operations Manual a training process was key. After all, these were going to be people representing Well Styled. Mike suggested that I begin this task by making two lists: one on what I will train and for how long and (gasp!) what I won’t do.
Needless to say, at the end of our meeting, my brain was on information overload. In one hour we had discussed four major points that I needed to digest a little more and come up with a way to get started on each task. I was nervous, excited, but more importantly confident in growing Well Styled as a wardrobe consulting resource for any woman not just in Austin, TX, but…everywhere! I really appreciated that Mike left the door open for me to continue working with him on a need-be basis and never imposed his services as an end-all, be-all factor for my success. As a fellow entrepreneur, I think he understood that I needed some space to fly, experience, and make decisions on my own vs. leaving me with specific homework assignments with due dates. For me, the further, just works better for me. My next key step to evolving Well Styled was to find a small business attorney, which was not as easy as I thought it would be.
Stay tuned for part IV…
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