Featured This Month

31 05, 2019

June 2019: Franchisees of the Month

2019-06-04T11:07:11-04:00May 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Franchisees of The Month

by Jill Abrahamsen

Joel and Jessica Winters
Kitchen Tune-Up, Castle Rock, CO

Joel Winters knew he made the right choice in becoming a Kitchen Tune-Up® franchisee early on. He couldn’t believe the warm welcome from the Home Office team that he and his wife Jessica received when arriving for training. “It really spoke volumes about the company and the culture. This is a family-run business, not a cold, corporate machine,” he says.

Before deciding to invest in Kitchen Tune-Up in 2018, Joel and Jessica did their due diligence and explored options in different business sectors. “Nothing really excited us. But when we looked at Kitchen Tune-Up, Jessica loved it right away. I wasn’t so hot on the concept initially, but then I examined the details,” Joel says. “The more I looked, the more I liked. I love the fact that it’s a turnkey business, it provides a niche service, and the brand has a great reputation.”

A Family Affair
Dave Haglund launched Kitchen Tune-Up in 1986. His daughter Heidi Morrissey joined the company in 2003 and took the top spot as President when her father retired. Haglund developed the original concept, a “Tune-Up” that’s an inexpensive way for customers to get a new look in their kitchens (and bathrooms) without the hassle of a major overhaul. The company continues to offer the 1 Day Tune-Up in addition to refacing, redooring, new cabinets, Granite Tune-Up, organizers, and more.

Ramping Up
The Winters were busy within weeks of opening in Castle Rock, Colorado. “The company has a formula for success that works. If you follow it, you will make money. It’s as simple as that,” Joel says. “As soon as we activated our website, the leads started to pour in. The company has a well-executed marking plan. We met our initial 12-month goals in the first six months.”

The couple divvies up responsibilities by pulling from their strengths. “I’m an ops guy, so I take care of running the day-to-day business, which includes managing two teams of subcontractors who do the hands-on work. I tried doing some of the work myself and almost cut my finger off,” he jokes. “Jessica is a natural people person and works on sales and service. She really enjoys consulting with our clients and working on the design process. The best part for both of us is the ‘reveal’ at the end of a job. More often than not, our customers are overjoyed, and that’s a great feeling.”

A Welcome Change
As Joel and Jessica get ready to open a second location, they’re excited for continued growth. Kitchen Tune-Up has been a refreshing change for Joel, who logged more than 20 years in corporate America and had to wear a suit and tie every day. “I spent years building companies for other people, and now I’m investing in myself,” he says.

For more information, visit KTUfranchise.com.

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Franchisees of The Month

by Jill Abrahamsen

Joel and Jessica Winters
Kitchen Tune-Up, Castle Rock, CO

Joel Winters knew he made the right choice in becoming a Kitchen Tune-Up® franchisee early on. He couldn’t believe the warm welcome from the Home Office team that he and his wife Jessica received when arriving for training. “It really spoke volumes about the company and the culture. This is a family-run business, not a cold, corporate machine,” he says.

Before deciding to invest in Kitchen Tune-Up in 2018, Joel and Jessica did their due diligence and explored options in different business sectors. “Nothing really excited us. But when we looked at Kitchen Tune-Up, Jessica loved it right away. I wasn’t so hot on the concept initially, but then I examined the details,” Joel says. “The more I looked, the more I liked. I love the fact that it’s a turnkey business, it provides a niche service, and the brand has a great reputation.”

A Family Affair
Dave Haglund launched Kitchen Tune-Up in 1986. His daughter Heidi Morrissey joined the company in 2003 and took the top spot as President when her father retired. Haglund developed the original concept, a “Tune-Up” that’s an inexpensive way for customers to get a new look in their kitchens (and bathrooms) without the hassle of a major overhaul. The company continues to offer the 1 Day Tune-Up in addition to refacing, redooring, new cabinets, Granite Tune-Up, organizers, and more.

Ramping Up
The Winters were busy within weeks of opening in Castle Rock, Colorado. “The company has a formula for success that works. If you follow it, you will make money. It’s as simple as that,” Joel says. “As soon as we activated our website, the leads started to pour in. The company has a well-executed marking plan. We met our initial 12-month goals in the first six months.”

The couple divvies up responsibilities by pulling from their strengths. “I’m an ops guy, so I take care of running the day-to-day business, which includes managing two teams of subcontractors who do the hands-on work. I tried doing some of the work myself and almost cut my finger off,” he jokes. “Jessica is a natural people person and works on sales and service. She really enjoys consulting with our clients and working on the design process. The best part for both of us is the ‘reveal’ at the end of a job. More often than not, our customers are overjoyed, and that’s a great feeling.”

A Welcome Change
As Joel and Jessica get ready to open a second location, they’re excited for continued growth. Kitchen Tune-Up has been a refreshing change for Joel, who logged more than 20 years in corporate America and had to wear a suit and tie every day. “I spent years building companies for other people, and now I’m investing in myself,” he says.

For more information, visit KTUfranchise.com.

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31 05, 2019

June 2019: Featured Entrepreneur

2019-06-04T11:13:27-04:00May 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

An entrepreneurial journey with purpose

by Jill Abrahamsen

Featured Entrepreneur
Peter Ross, CEO, Senior Helpers

Peter Ross spent some 20 years in corporate America before realizing he was an entrepreneur at heart. Ross had a little push from longtime friend Tony Bonacuse, whom he describes as an “entrepreneur from birth.”

Bonacuse convinced Ross to partner with him on a business, although he wasn’t quite clear on what exactly that business would be. The pair brainstormed and took some time to develop a concept. They wanted to provide a service that was in demand, had recurring revenue streams, and had a growing demographic. They also wanted the business to make a difference and provide an important service.

Looking at many industries, one kept coming up that satisfied all of their criteria: senior care. “It became clear to us that there were huge opportunities,” Ross says. The pair launched Senior Helpers in 2002 and grew the business to more than 300 locations today. The company offers in-home companion care and personal care as well as Alzheimer’s and dementia care. “Our growth and success is due to our passionate franchisees. This is a mission-driven business, so we are very selective about who joins our family,” Ross says.

The Next Step
With this huge success, you might think that Ross’s entrepreneurial aspirations were fulfilled, but he was actually just getting started. Ross was presented with a unique opportunity in January, 2018. The Glenner Foundation (www.glenner.org) introduced Ross to its innovative adult day care, which is set up to look like a town square. Using reminiscence therapy as its foundation, the goal is to trigger memories for people with dementia. The centers contain a number of vignettes that offer interactive activities for seniors, including a full-service ’50s diner and a movie theater that plays classic films. These prompts help elicit long-term memories, reduce anxiety, and improve mood and sleep quality in those with dementia.

Ross fell in love with the concept and realized that it could be a perfect complement to Senior Helpers. So he put his entrepreneurial cap back on and created Senior Helpers Town Square. “The businesses are perfect complements to each other,” Ross says. “A Senior Helpers location can fully staff the town square. The referrals are right there. It’s a perfect synergy.” But the best part for Ross is the reward of helping others. “We are not just caring for seniors – we are engaging them,” he says. “We have amazing programming that gives seniors a sense of purpose. It’s like a Disney World for seniors. They are gardening, woodworking, and socializing in a really, really cool, stimulating environment,” he says. “And at $11 an hour, it’s affordable. It’s a great way to give the family caregiver a break.”

Ross is certain that Senior Helpers Town Square will be a huge success. “We’re going to disrupt this whole industry. I pity the adult day care in the next town from us.”

Learn more at www.shtownsquarefranchise.com.

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An entrepreneurial journey with purpose

by Jill Abrahamsen

Featured Entrepreneur
Peter Ross, CEO, Senior Helpers

Peter Ross spent some 20 years in corporate America before realizing he was an entrepreneur at heart. Ross had a little push from longtime friend Tony Bonacuse, whom he describes as an “entrepreneur from birth.”

Bonacuse convinced Ross to partner with him on a business, although he wasn’t quite clear on what exactly that business would be. The pair brainstormed and took some time to develop a concept. They wanted to provide a service that was in demand, had recurring revenue streams, and had a growing demographic. They also wanted the business to make a difference and provide an important service.

Looking at many industries, one kept coming up that satisfied all of their criteria: senior care. “It became clear to us that there were huge opportunities,” Ross says. The pair launched Senior Helpers in 2002 and grew the business to more than 300 locations today. The company offers in-home companion care and personal care as well as Alzheimer’s and dementia care. “Our growth and success is due to our passionate franchisees. This is a mission-driven business, so we are very selective about who joins our family,” Ross says.

The Next Step
With this huge success, you might think that Ross’s entrepreneurial aspirations were fulfilled, but he was actually just getting started. Ross was presented with a unique opportunity in January, 2018. The Glenner Foundation (www.glenner.org) introduced Ross to its innovative adult day care, which is set up to look like a town square. Using reminiscence therapy as its foundation, the goal is to trigger memories for people with dementia. The centers contain a number of vignettes that offer interactive activities for seniors, including a full-service ’50s diner and a movie theater that plays classic films. These prompts help elicit long-term memories, reduce anxiety, and improve mood and sleep quality in those with dementia.

Ross fell in love with the concept and realized that it could be a perfect complement to Senior Helpers. So he put his entrepreneurial cap back on and created Senior Helpers Town Square. “The businesses are perfect complements to each other,” Ross says. “A Senior Helpers location can fully staff the town square. The referrals are right there. It’s a perfect synergy.” But the best part for Ross is the reward of helping others. “We are not just caring for seniors – we are engaging them,” he says. “We have amazing programming that gives seniors a sense of purpose. It’s like a Disney World for seniors. They are gardening, woodworking, and socializing in a really, really cool, stimulating environment,” he says. “And at $11 an hour, it’s affordable. It’s a great way to give the family caregiver a break.”

Ross is certain that Senior Helpers Town Square will be a huge success. “We’re going to disrupt this whole industry. I pity the adult day care in the next town from us.”

Learn more at www.shtownsquarefranchise.com.

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31 05, 2019

June 2019: Mobile Franchising

2019-06-04T11:19:04-04:00May 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

ON THE COVER

It’s All About Service

A focus on the customer is the secret to this mobile brand’s success.

by Jill Abrahamsen

President & CEO Don Powers
Fitness Machine Technicians (FMT)

Don Powers knows a thing or two about the fitness industry. He spent more than 30 years managing health clubs and exercise equipment stores, and he holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology.

Powers’ biggest takeaway from his work experience is that the customer is king. “Fitness is all about helping people achieve their goals, so when a piece of equipment is out of service, it needs prompt attention.” He was always amazed and appalled at the poor service he received when equipment needed repair. Technicians either didn’t return calls, showed up late, or left the job without any explanation of the work that had been performed.

Knowing the industry and having a desire to work for himself, Powers experienced an “aha” moment. He thought of a way he could bring a much-needed service to the market and build a business at the same time. His solution was Fitness Machine Technicians (FMT), which he launched in 2002 and began franchising in 2012.

As the name suggests, this mobile franchise repairs and services fitness machines. The concept may seem simple, but Powers knows what it takes to do it well—and why so many have failed at similar efforts. “It’s all about communication and follow-up,” he says. “We’ve put together a system that works, with exceptional service as the main goal. The bottom line is that folks want reliable service, and that’s what we provide.”

Powers is looking to partner with investors who are excited about the business and have a commitment to excellence. “We will train franchisees on everything, but a mechanical inclination doesn’t hurt. The ability to network is also key.”

FMT franchisees have a huge customer base that goes far beyond the local gym. “We work with individuals who have home gyms,
apartment complexes, hotels, universities, you name it,” he says. “This is a $10 billion industry growing at about 4 percent each year. There’s a lot of business to be had.”

For more information, visit www.fmtfranchise.com.

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ON THE COVER

It’s All About Service

A focus on the customer is the secret to this mobile brand’s success.

by Jill Abrahamsen

President & CEO Don Powers
Fitness Machine Technicians (FMT)

Don Powers knows a thing or two about the fitness industry. He spent more than 30 years managing health clubs and exercise equipment stores, and he holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology.

Powers’ biggest takeaway from his work experience is that the customer is king. “Fitness is all about helping people achieve their goals, so when a piece of equipment is out of service, it needs prompt attention.” He was always amazed and appalled at the poor service he received when equipment needed repair. Technicians either didn’t return calls, showed up late, or left the job without any explanation of the work that had been performed.

Knowing the industry and having a desire to work for himself, Powers experienced an “aha” moment. He thought of a way he could bring a much-needed service to the market and build a business at the same time. His solution was Fitness Machine Technicians (FMT), which he launched in 2002 and began franchising in 2012.

As the name suggests, this mobile franchise repairs and services fitness machines. The concept may seem simple, but Powers knows what it takes to do it well—and why so many have failed at similar efforts. “It’s all about communication and follow-up,” he says. “We’ve put together a system that works, with exceptional service as the main goal. The bottom line is that folks want reliable service, and that’s what we provide.”

Powers is looking to partner with investors who are excited about the business and have a commitment to excellence. “We will train franchisees on everything, but a mechanical inclination doesn’t hurt. The ability to network is also key.”

FMT franchisees have a huge customer base that goes far beyond the local gym. “We work with individuals who have home gyms,
apartment complexes, hotels, universities, you name it,” he says. “This is a $10 billion industry growing at about 4 percent each year. There’s a lot of business to be had.”

For more information, visit www.fmtfranchise.com.

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1 05, 2019

May 2019: Franchisee of the Month

2019-05-02T16:50:21-04:00May 1st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

Helping yourself by helping others

by Jill Abrahamsen

After 18 years on the road in sales and business development, George Sanchez was ready to spend more time with his family and enjoy a more meaningful career. So Sanchez sold his business and invested in an existing BrightStar Care® franchise, which provides in-home health care in Austin, Texas. “I looked at hundreds of options in all different areas, but BrightStar Care made the most sense,” he says. “There is a never-ending demand for this service, and you can truly make a difference.”

After caring for elderly parents, Sanchez had firsthand knowledge of what quality care looks like. “I understand the value of the service we provide. I know what it means when a caregiver doesn’t show up or isn’t a good fit. We strive to give our customers the very best service. I’ll only hire people whom I would send to care for my own family.”

With more than 200 employees, Sanchez has tripled the business since he bought it in 2013. “The first few years weren’t easy. I had to invest to grow, but it was well worth it. We have a great team and a thriving business now.”

The best part for Sanchez is giving back, both directly and indirectly. Besides the gratification of helping clients every day, he and his staff are very involved in the community and raise money for charitable organizations.

Sanchez loves getting to know his patients and their families. He recently paid tribute to client Dr. John McKetta, a chemical engineering legend and professor at the University of Texas. Drawing on his artistic talents, Sanchez sculpted and presented a bronze bust to McKetta on his 103rd birthday, just a few months before his death. “It was a great way to pay tribute to a man who has given so much to the world,” he says.

BrightStar Care Austin received the Best of the Best Home Healthcare Award from Austin’s American-Statesman e-paper.
The Austin BrightStar Care gang has fun raising money for local charities.

Sanchez’s passion has been a driving force in the success of his business. In 2018 his location was honored with the Best of the Best Home Healthcare Award by Austin’s American-Statesman electronic newspaper. “Owning this business has been great on so many levels,” he says.

For more information, call (877) 689-6898 or visit www.franchise.brightstarcare.com.

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Helping yourself by helping others

by Jill Abrahamsen

After 18 years on the road in sales and business development, George Sanchez was ready to spend more time with his family and enjoy a more meaningful career. So Sanchez sold his business and invested in an existing BrightStar Care® franchise, which provides in-home health care in Austin, Texas. “I looked at hundreds of options in all different areas, but BrightStar Care made the most sense,” he says. “There is a never-ending demand for this service, and you can truly make a difference.”

After caring for elderly parents, Sanchez had firsthand knowledge of what quality care looks like. “I understand the value of the service we provide. I know what it means when a caregiver doesn’t show up or isn’t a good fit. We strive to give our customers the very best service. I’ll only hire people whom I would send to care for my own family.”

With more than 200 employees, Sanchez has tripled the business since he bought it in 2013. “The first few years weren’t easy. I had to invest to grow, but it was well worth it. We have a great team and a thriving business now.”

The best part for Sanchez is giving back, both directly and indirectly. Besides the gratification of helping clients every day, he and his staff are very involved in the community and raise money for charitable organizations.

Sanchez loves getting to know his patients and their families. He recently paid tribute to client Dr. John McKetta, a chemical engineering legend and professor at the University of Texas. Drawing on his artistic talents, Sanchez sculpted and presented a bronze bust to McKetta on his 103rd birthday, just a few months before his death. “It was a great way to pay tribute to a man who has given so much to the world,” he says.

BrightStar Care Austin received the Best of the Best Home Healthcare Award from Austin’s American-Statesman e-paper.
The Austin BrightStar Care gang has fun raising money for local charities.

Sanchez’s passion has been a driving force in the success of his business. In 2018 his location was honored with the Best of the Best Home Healthcare Award by Austin’s American-Statesman electronic newspaper. “Owning this business has been great on so many levels,” he says.

For more information, call (877) 689-6898 or visit www.franchise.brightstarcare.com.

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1 05, 2019

May 2019: Featured Entrepreneur

2019-05-02T16:59:53-04:00May 1st, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

When the goal is fun, everyone wins

by Jill Abrahamsen

Yassen Nikolov loves his work. As General Manager of Funtopia, North America, he feels good about helping children lead active and healthy lives. An active entertainment center, Funtopia gets kids moving and off their devices. “There’s nothing better than seeing happy kids running around and having fun,” Nikolov says.

In his home country of Bulgaria, rock climbing is a huge sport. In fact, Nikolov started his journey into the business as part of The Walltopia Group, the largest producer of climbing walls in the world. The company offers wildly creative, custom-made rock walls that run the gamut from traditional rope and bouldering walls to military walls and speed walls. The company also produces themed, kid-centric “fun walls,” which were the inspiration for Funtopia.

Making fun a priority
Nikolov and his partners recognized the need for an active entertainment center where kids could get exercise in a fun and safe way. Funtopia was launched in Bulgaria in 2012 and Nikolov became General Manager of North America in 2015. Using the climbing walls as a foundation, they included several mini-concepts to the mix, including rope courses, zip lines, ninja courses, artificial caving, and trampoline fields. “Offering variety keeps it interesting,” Nikolov says. Visitors experience imaginative scenarios such as riding dinosaurs, jumping off skyscrapers, or climbing beanstalks. “At Funtopia, kids get to use their muscles and their imaginations,” he adds.

Funtopia’s dedication to healthy lifestyles doesn’t stop at rope courses. For example, there’s no junk food at the snack bar. “We offer only healthy options like baked chicken, fruit smoothies, and juices made without sugar,” Nikolov says.

Funtopia
Funtopia
Funtopia
Funtopia active entertainment center gets kids moving and off their devices. Instead of just focusing on one activity, the company offers several mini-concepts, including rockwall climbing, rope courses, zip lines, ninja courses, artificial caving, and trampoline fields.

Funtopia franchises are spreading around the globe, including locations in Australia, Israel, and Pakistan. Since 2016, franchise opportunities have been offered in the U.S. and Canada. Franchisees enjoy a feel-good business in a growing market, ongoing support, and training. “This is a great opportunity for an investor, but it has to be the right fit,” says Nikolov. “We like to see some passion for the business. Most importantly, we want franchisees who follow the system and like our culture.”

For more information, visit www.funtopiaworld.com.

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When the goal is fun, everyone wins

by Jill Abrahamsen

Yassen Nikolov loves his work. As General Manager of Funtopia, North America, he feels good about helping children lead active and healthy lives. An active entertainment center, Funtopia gets kids moving and off their devices. “There’s nothing better than seeing happy kids running around and having fun,” Nikolov says.

In his home country of Bulgaria, rock climbing is a huge sport. In fact, Nikolov started his journey into the business as part of The Walltopia Group, the largest producer of climbing walls in the world. The company offers wildly creative, custom-made rock walls that run the gamut from traditional rope and bouldering walls to military walls and speed walls. The company also produces themed, kid-centric “fun walls,” which were the inspiration for Funtopia.

Making fun a priority
Nikolov and his partners recognized the need for an active entertainment center where kids could get exercise in a fun and safe way. Funtopia was launched in Bulgaria in 2012 and Nikolov became General Manager of North America in 2015. Using the climbing walls as a foundation, they included several mini-concepts to the mix, including rope courses, zip lines, ninja courses, artificial caving, and trampoline fields. “Offering variety keeps it interesting,” Nikolov says. Visitors experience imaginative scenarios such as riding dinosaurs, jumping off skyscrapers, or climbing beanstalks. “At Funtopia, kids get to use their muscles and their imaginations,” he adds.

Funtopia’s dedication to healthy lifestyles doesn’t stop at rope courses. For example, there’s no junk food at the snack bar. “We offer only healthy options like baked chicken, fruit smoothies, and juices made without sugar,” Nikolov says.

Funtopia
Funtopia
Funtopia
Funtopia active entertainment center gets kids moving and off their devices. Instead of just focusing on one activity, the company offers several mini-concepts, including rockwall climbing, rope courses, zip lines, ninja courses, artificial caving, and trampoline fields.

Funtopia franchises are spreading around the globe, including locations in Australia, Israel, and Pakistan. Since 2016, franchise opportunities have been offered in the U.S. and Canada. Franchisees enjoy a feel-good business in a growing market, ongoing support, and training. “This is a great opportunity for an investor, but it has to be the right fit,” says Nikolov. “We like to see some passion for the business. Most importantly, we want franchisees who follow the system and like our culture.”

For more information, visit www.funtopiaworld.com.

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30 04, 2019

May 2019: Food Franchises

2019-05-02T17:06:31-04:00April 30th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

ON THE COVER

Game Plan

Lessons learned on the field help Super Bowl champ Gary Brackett lead his winning franchise

by Jill Abrahamsen

Stacked Pickle CEO Gary Brackett attributes his success as a franchisor to his time playing football. As a Super Bowl-winning linebacker for the Indiana Colts, Brackett used the same skills on the field that he needs today to run his successful business: leadership, hard work, and discipline, just to name a few. “As a team captain, I was chief defensive operator. Now I am chief executive officer,” says Brackett. “There are a lot of similarities. I run my business like I ran the defense. It’s all about teamwork.”

Knowing that professional football players have short careers, he always had a “plan B” and thought about his retirement early. “The idea of owning a sports bar always appealed to me,” Brackett says. While exploring his options, he came across the Stacked Pickle, a small sports bar chain in his area.

Brackett loved the community feel and vibe of the restaurant, and he invested as a silent partner while going back to school to earn his MBA. Brackett’s coursework inspired him to look into scaling the business. Eventually he took over the entire operation and prepared the Stacked Pickle for franchising.

“We got our processes and procedures down to a science before offering franchise opportunities in 2016,” Brackett says. “We made it as polished and brand-focused as possible.”

Stacked Pickle
Restaurant Interior
Restaurant Interior
Beer taps
Bar food

With a fun, family-friendly, casual feel, The Stacked Pickle is all about local sports, and the décor includes photos of high school teams and memorabilia from local professional sports teams. “It’s a great place to watch your favorite team or come after a local high school game,” Brackett says. “Our goal is to build a sense of community.”

Menu items include signature “stacked” burgers and wings, fun appetizers like nachos and pizza-stuffed breadsticks, plus healthier options like salads and wraps. “We have something for everyone,” Brackett says.

In designing the franchise, Brackett kept costs down for investors. “Instead of expensive build-outs, we give franchisees the option to retrofit existing locations,” he says.

Quote

He’s thrilled with the growth of the brand and looks to partner with investors who share his enthusiasm and work ethic. “While this is a simple business to run, it’s not always easy. We work together to make things run as efficiently as possible and deliver an exceptional customer experience. It’s the ultimate team sport,” he says.

For more information, call 317-677-6904 or visit www.buildthepickle.com.

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ON THE COVER

Game Plan

Lessons learned on the field help Super Bowl champ Gary Brackett lead his winning franchise

by Jill Abrahamsen

Stacked Pickle CEO Gary Brackett attributes his success as a franchisor to his time playing football. As a Super Bowl-winning linebacker for the Indiana Colts, Brackett used the same skills on the field that he needs today to run his successful business: leadership, hard work, and discipline, just to name a few. “As a team captain, I was chief defensive operator. Now I am chief executive officer,” says Brackett. “There are a lot of similarities. I run my business like I ran the defense. It’s all about teamwork.”

Knowing that professional football players have short careers, he always had a “plan B” and thought about his retirement early. “The idea of owning a sports bar always appealed to me,” Brackett says. While exploring his options, he came across the Stacked Pickle, a small sports bar chain in his area.

Brackett loved the community feel and vibe of the restaurant, and he invested as a silent partner while going back to school to earn his MBA. Brackett’s coursework inspired him to look into scaling the business. Eventually he took over the entire operation and prepared the Stacked Pickle for franchising.

“We got our processes and procedures down to a science before offering franchise opportunities in 2016,” Brackett says. “We made it as polished and brand-focused as possible.”

Stacked Pickle
Restaurant Interior
Restaurant Interior
Beer taps
Bar food

With a fun, family-friendly, casual feel, The Stacked Pickle is all about local sports, and the décor includes
photos of high school teams and memorabilia from local professional sports teams. “It’s a great place to watch your favorite team or come after a local high school game,” Brackett says. “Our goal is to build a sense of community.”

Menu items include signature “stacked” burgers and wings, fun appetizers like nachos and pizza-stuffed breadsticks, plus healthier options like salads and wraps. “We have something for everyone,” Brackett says.

In designing the franchise, Brackett kept costs down for investors. “Instead of expensive build-outs, we give franchisees the option to retrofit existing locations,” he says.

Quote

He’s thrilled with the growth of the brand and looks to partner with investors who share his enthusiasm and work ethic. “While this is a simple business to run, it’s not always easy. We work together to make things run as efficiently as possible and deliver an exceptional customer experience. It’s the ultimate team sport,” he says.

For more information, call 317-677-6904 or visit www.buildthepickle.com.

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31 03, 2019

April 2019: Featured Entrepreneur

2019-04-01T13:50:03-04:00March 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

An innovator who runs her business with passion

by Jill Abrahamsen

Sharon Estroff lives her brand. As the mastermind of Challenge Island®, she describes her unique franchise with the same playful enthusiasm that sparked her to start the innovative business in 2002. Estroff never intended to launch a leading franchise system with more than 90 locations worldwide. The growth and success of Challenge Island is a byproduct of her desire to make a difference—and she has.

A former teacher, Estroff created Challenge Island as an after-school program to get kids excited about learning. Inspired by her favorite reality TV show, she designed a curriculum that was fun and engaging, but at the same time helps kids develop important life skills such as collaboration, compromise, resilience, and critical thinking. “We turn the classroom into an island, divide students into tribes, and create challenges. Kids don’t realize they are learning. They are having too much fun,” she says.

Estroff and her team create and constantly add to the curriculum, which incorporates science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). “We have a blast coming up with new challenges,” Estroff says. Cross-curricular Island themes include Cool Carreers which is made up of whimsical engineering destinations like City Planner Speedway, Marine Biologist Bay, and Pet Emergency Room. The summer camp curriculum includes kid-approved themes such as Slime Squad Camp and Island Tube Camp.

Franchisees can customize their offerings by using the hundreds of themed lessons to run after-school enrichment classes, camps, birthday parties, scouting events, and even senior programs. “Our franchisees have a lot of creative freedom, which is something you don’t get in most franchise systems,” Estroff says.

While the brand attracts former teachers and corporate moms, you don’t necessarily need to be a parent or have a teaching degree to run this business. “Our owners come from a variety of backgrounds: former investment bankers, lawyers, marketing executives and everything in between. They all share a passion for working with children and a desire to make a difference as well as an income,” says Estroff. For more information, contact (985) 209-8430 or franchising@challenge-island.com.

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An innovator who runs her business with passion

by Jill Abrahamsen

Sharon Estroff lives her brand. As the mastermind of Challenge Island®, she describes her unique franchise with the same playful enthusiasm that sparked her to start the innovative business in 2002. Estroff never intended to launch a leading franchise system with more than 90 locations worldwide. The growth and success of Challenge Island is a byproduct of her desire to make a difference—and she has.

A former teacher, Estroff created Challenge Island as an after-school program to get kids excited about learning. Inspired by her favorite reality TV show, she designed a curriculum that was fun and engaging, but at the same time helps kids develop important life skills such as collaboration, compromise, resilience, and critical thinking. “We turn the classroom into an island, divide students into tribes, and create challenges. Kids don’t realize they are learning. They are having too much fun,” she says.

Estroff and her team create and constantly add to the curriculum, which incorporates science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). “We have a blast coming up with new challenges,” Estroff says. Cross-curricular Island themes include Cool Carreers which is made up of whimsical engineering destinations like City Planner Speedway, Marine Biologist Bay, and Pet Emergency Room. The summer camp curriculum includes kid-approved themes such as Slime Squad Camp and Island Tube Camp.

Franchisees can customize their offerings by using the hundreds of themed lessons to run after-school enrichment classes, camps, birthday parties, scouting events, and even senior programs. “Our franchisees have a lot of creative freedom, which is something you don’t get in most franchise systems,” Estroff says.

While the brand attracts former teachers and corporate moms, you don’t necessarily need to be a parent or have a teaching degree to run this business. “Our owners come from a variety of backgrounds: former investment bankers, lawyers, marketing executives and everything in between. They all share a passion for working with children and a desire to make a difference as well as an income,” says Estroff. For more information, contact (985) 209-8430 or franchising@challenge-island.com.

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31 03, 2019

April 2019: Franchisee of the Month

2019-04-01T13:40:20-04:00March 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Going all-in on their next chapter

by Jill Abrahamsen

Stephanie Basile-Drileck and her husband Chuck did their due diligence before finally investing in a FASTSIGNS® business. The San Antonio couple looked at opportunities in every area of franchising—from food to fitness—and then weighed the pros and cons to each industry. Finally, they decided that drawing on their advertising and marketing backgrounds was the way to go.

“While we didn’t know anything about creating or installing signs, we did know how to help people market their businesses. Our advertising experience helps us help our customers. Collaborating comes naturally for both of us,” Chuck says. The couple ultimately chose FASTSIGNS above other brands because of franchisees’ comments about the company. “FASTSIGNS gave us a list of all their current store owners, not just the ones they wanted us to talk to,” Stephanie says. “Across the board, everyone we spoke to had great things to say.”

For Chuck and Stephanie, the process of looking and deciding took a couple of years. “This was a big investment for us and we wanted to make the right choice,” Chuck explains. “The FASTSIGNS brand is very strong and has a great reputation.”
Once the couple signed the agreement, the corporate team guided them through every step. “The support is amazing,” Stephanie says. “There are more than 120 people working in the corporate office to guarantee our success. That’s a great feeling.”

Besides wanting to invest in a solid business, another must-have for the Drilecks was a franchise that let them contribute to their community. “We get to do that with FASTSIGNS. We never turn down an opportunity to help people,” Stephanie says. They work regularly with the Petco Foundation and the Fisher House, providing signage for events and helping raise money. “It feels good to give back,” she adds.

The Drilecks love that they can customize the business to their market and to their strengths as business owners. “We can add on services as we wish, but don’t have to offer everything FASTSIGNS produces,” Chuck says. “We are able to scale the business at our own pace.” In fact, the Drilecks plan to open another location and will bring their daughter on board to help.

The Drilecks are thrilled with their decision to go with FASTSIGNS. “We get great joy from what we’re doing now. I only wish we had done this 20 years ago,” Chuck says.

For more information, visit www.fastsigns.com or call 214-346-5679.

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Going all-in on their next chapter

by Jill Abrahamsen

Stephanie Basile-Drileck and her husband Chuck did their due diligence before finally investing in a FASTSIGNS® business. The San Antonio couple looked at opportunities in every area of franchising—from food to fitness—and then weighed the pros and cons to each industry. Finally, they decided that drawing on their advertising and marketing backgrounds was the way to go.

“While we didn’t know anything about creating or installing signs, we did know how to help people market their businesses. Our advertising experience helps us help our customers. Collaborating comes naturally for both of us,” Chuck says. The couple ultimately chose FASTSIGNS above other brands because of franchisees’ comments about the company. “FASTSIGNS gave us a list of all their current store owners, not just the ones they wanted us to talk to,” Stephanie says. “Across the board, everyone we spoke to had great things to say.”

For Chuck and Stephanie, the process of looking and deciding took a couple of years. “This was a big investment for us and we wanted to make the right choice,” Chuck explains. “The FASTSIGNS brand is very strong and has a great reputation.”
Once the couple signed the agreement, the corporate team guided them through every step. “The support is amazing,” Stephanie says. “There are more than 120 people working in the corporate office to guarantee our success. That’s a great feeling.”

Besides wanting to invest in a solid business, another must-have for the Drilecks was a franchise that let them contribute to their community. “We get to do that with FASTSIGNS. We never turn down an opportunity to help people,” Stephanie says. They work regularly with the Petco Foundation and the Fisher House, providing signage for events and helping raise money. “It feels good to give back,” she adds.

The Drilecks love that they can customize the business to their market and to their strengths as business owners. “We can add on services as we wish, but don’t have to offer everything FASTSIGNS produces,” Chuck says. “We are able to scale the business at our own pace.” In fact, the Drilecks plan to open another location and will bring their daughter on board to help.

The Drilecks are thrilled with their decision to go with FASTSIGNS. “We get great joy from what we’re doing now. I only wish we had done this 20 years ago,” Chuck says.

For more information, visit www.fastsigns.com or call 214-346-5679.

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31 03, 2019

April 2019: Home-Service Franchises

2019-04-03T00:43:02-04:00March 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

B.O.R. Restoration & Bio-One

You might think that owning two home-service franchise brands would be a conflict of interest, but for Nick Zamucen, it made good business sense. In fact, Zamucen launched Best Option Restoration (B.O.R.) as a complement to his first franchise offering, Bio-One, a biohazard and decontamination service. “After getting repeated inquiries for restoration services, I decided to explore the options and saw an opportunity. There’s a lot of synergy between the two businesses. It just made sense,” he says.

While Bio-One provides cleanup services for hoarding and in response to events like murders and suicides, B.O.R. helps customers who are victims of water and fire damage. “Both companies offer different specialty services, but both are in the business of helping people in a time of need,” Zamucen says.

Zamucen hired Jason O’Brien as CEO to run Bio-One so he could focus on B.O.R. “Jason started out as a franchise consultant who knew my brand inside out. It was a perfect fit. Now we have a healthy rivalry, which really isn’t a rivalry at all. I wanted to hire someone who was as passionate and motivated as I was to take over. Someone who could beat me at my own business,” Zamucen jokes.
Investors can start with either brand and have the option to add the other at a reduced fee when they are ready. “For franchisees, adding on is a great way to keep staff busy steadily and have backup support when needed. You just never know when a disaster is going to strike,” Zamucen says. “You can’t predict it, but the model solves that problem.” Working together as two separate companies allows for shared leads, cross-training of employees, and cross-marketing. “It’s a win-win,” he says.

Franchisees don’t require any restoration background but should be passionate about helping others and have a desire to make a difference while building a business. “Find me a person who wants to be successful, and we can teach them the rest,” Zamucen says.

For more information, visit www.BORestoration.com or call 720-204-2095.

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B.O.R. Restoration & Bio-One

You might think that owning two home-service franchise brands would be a conflict of interest, but for Nick Zamucen, it made good business sense. In fact, Zamucen launched Best Option Restoration (B.O.R.) as a complement to his first franchise offering, Bio-One, a biohazard and decontamination service. “After getting repeated inquiries for restoration services, I decided to explore the options and saw an opportunity. There’s a lot of synergy between the two businesses. It just made sense,” he says.

While Bio-One provides cleanup services for hoarding and in response to events like murders and suicides, B.O.R. helps customers who are victims of water and fire damage. “Both companies offer different specialty services, but both are in the business of helping people in a time of need,” Zamucen says.

Zamucen hired Jason O’Brien as CEO to run Bio-One so he could focus on B.O.R. “Jason started out as a franchise consultant who knew my brand inside out. It was a perfect fit. Now we have a healthy rivalry, which really isn’t a rivalry at all. I wanted to hire someone who was as passionate and motivated as I was to take over. Someone who could beat me at my own business,” Zamucen jokes.
Investors can start with either brand and have the option to add the other at a reduced fee when they are ready. “For franchisees, adding on is a great way to keep staff busy steadily and have backup support when needed. You just never know when a disaster is going to strike,” Zamucen says. “You can’t predict it, but the model solves that problem.” Working together as two separate companies allows for shared leads, cross-training of employees, and cross-marketing. “It’s a win-win,” he says.

Franchisees don’t require any restoration background but should be passionate about helping others and have a desire to make a difference while building a business. “Find me a person who wants to be successful, and we can teach them the rest,” Zamucen says.

For more information, visit www.BORestoration.com or call 720-204-2095.

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7 03, 2019

March 2019: Beauty and Wellness

2019-03-07T15:08:55-04:00March 7th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

Skin Deep

Beauty and wellness franchises tap ever-growing consumer demands

by Jerry Rieder, Certified Franchise Consultant

People everywhere view their health and appearance as worthwhile investments. The $3.7 trillion global wellness industry is expected to expand by more than 17 percent through 2020, and health and beauty franchises enable you to join this high-growth field.

People always want to look and feel good, so these businesses typically are recession-resistant, which makes them a particularly appealing investment.

Hair salons alone generate more than $44 billion in revenue each year in the United States. Health and wellness spas bring in about $17 billion a year, and massage services are at $16 billion. Personal waxing and nail salons bring in some $11 billion, with tanning salons generating more than $2 billion in yearly revenue.
If those numbers sound pretty sweet, consider that the forecast is rosy for a continuing boom. The U.S. Department of Labor sees demand staying strong, projecting that the beauty and wellness industry will grow faster than the average for all occupations through at least 2020.

So if you’re looking for a franchise in an industry with a strong past performance and a bright outlook, you might consider the areas of beauty salon/hair care, cosmetics, tanning, or med spa. These businesses are fun to operate and have a high profit potential. Another attraction: usually no industry experience is required.
Following are three high-growth categories to consider:

Lash Services

The great thing about eyelash extensions is that follow-up treatments are a must, which means that repeat visits are assured. And lash love isn’t just for celebs anymore—rank-and-file office workers to soccer moms are buying into this beauty trend.

One company that anticipated the growing demand is the Lash Lounge. It was the first business of its kind in the franchising world and joined the booming express beauty service industry as a salon that specializes solely in eyelash extensions.

Massages

After a tough day at work, tense muscles can cry out for a massage. Statistics show that most Americans suffer from back pain, other muscle pain, and routine stress, which are the primary reasons that people sign up for their first massage. Among the franchise options filling those needs is Elements Massage™. It provides a variety of massage therapy options to clients who seek relaxation or relief for lower back soreness or just an overall wellness benefit.

Barbershops

One fast-growing consumer base in the beauty and wellness industry is men, and the barbershop is the male equivalent of the beauty salon. Barbershops have begun offering a wide array of styling options and environments for the testosterone set.

One example is Diesel Barbershop®, an innovative franchise founded in 2011. Diesel’s target audience is 16- to 75-year-old men. Its customers want a place where they can relax and maybe drink a beer (21-and-older customers, of course!) while getting their haircut and a shave. Clients enjoy the masculine atmosphere where they can talk sports or other interests with the barber or other customers.

Jerry Rieder, CFC, has been a franchise consultant since 2012. He became part of the FranServe Training and Development Team in 2013 and has helped a large number of consultants become successful. His compassion and desire to see others achieve drives him to share his techniques and best practices with new and experienced consultants alike. He serves as a trainer, a mentor, and also as a facilitator for FranServe’s Power Teams. His prior 25+ years of management experience with Fortune 500 Companies provides the foundation for aiding others to achieve their goals. Contact Jerry at jerry@franserve.com.

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Skin Deep

Beauty and wellness franchises tap ever-growing consumer demands

by Jerry Rieder, Certified Franchise Consultant

People everywhere view their health and appearance as worthwhile investments. The $3.7 trillion global wellness industry is expected to expand by more than 17 percent through 2020, and health and beauty franchises enable you to join this high-growth field.

People always want to look and feel good, so these businesses typically are recession-resistant, which makes them a particularly appealing investment.

Hair salons alone generate more than $44 billion in revenue each year in the United States. Health and wellness spas bring in about $17 billion a year, and massage services are at $16 billion. Personal waxing and nail salons bring in some $11 billion, with tanning salons generating more than $2 billion in yearly revenue.
If those numbers sound pretty sweet, consider that the forecast is rosy for a continuing boom. The U.S. Department of Labor sees demand staying strong, projecting that the beauty and wellness industry will grow faster than the average for all occupations through at least 2020.

So if you’re looking for a franchise in an industry with a strong past performance and a bright outlook, you might consider the areas of beauty salon/hair care, cosmetics, tanning, or med spa. These businesses are fun to operate and have a high profit potential. Another attraction: usually no industry experience is required.
Following are three high-growth categories to consider:

Lash Services

The great thing about eyelash extensions is that follow-up treatments are a must, which means that repeat visits are assured. And lash love isn’t just for celebs anymore—rank-and-file office workers to soccer moms are buying into this beauty trend.

One company that anticipated the growing demand is the Lash Lounge. It was the first business of its kind in the franchising world and joined the booming express beauty service industry as a salon that specializes solely in eyelash extensions.

Massages

After a tough day at work, tense muscles can cry out for a massage. Statistics show that most Americans suffer from back pain, other muscle pain, and routine stress, which are the primary reasons that people sign up for their first massage. Among the franchise options filling those needs is Elements Massage™. It provides a variety of massage therapy options to clients who seek relaxation or relief for lower back soreness or just an overall wellness benefit.

Barbershops

One fast-growing consumer base in the beauty and wellness industry is men, and the barbershop is the male equivalent of the beauty salon. Barbershops have begun offering a wide array of styling options and environments for the testosterone set.

One example is Diesel Barbershop®, an innovative franchise founded in 2011. Diesel’s target audience is 16- to 75-year-old men. Its customers want a place where they can relax and maybe drink a beer (21-and-older customers, of course!) while getting their haircut and a shave. Clients enjoy the masculine atmosphere where they can talk sports or other interests with the barber or other customers.

Jerry Rieder, CFC, has been a franchise consultant since 2012. He became part of the FranServe Training and Development Team in 2013 and has helped a large number of consultants become successful. His compassion and desire to see others achieve drives him to share his techniques and best practices with new and experienced consultants alike. He serves as a trainer, a mentor, and also as a facilitator for FranServe’s Power Teams. His prior 25+ years of management experience with Fortune 500 Companies provides the foundation for aiding others to achieve their goals. Contact Jerry at jerry@franserve.com.

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