Many small-business owners dream of someday franchising their business, whether it be a fast-casual restaurant, fitness studio, home service or any of the hundreds of kinds of establishments across the country. By Patty Horansky
Many small-business owners dream of someday franchising their business, whether it be a fast-casual restaurant, fitness studio, home service or any of the hundreds of kinds of establishments across the country.
“Everybody wants to franchise their business. The question is, can they afford to do it?” asked Robert Katz, managing director and senior franchise adviser for The Stanwood Group, a network of nationally recognized providers committed to helping small businesses franchise affordably.
For those who choose to go it alone, the process can be daunting and costly. They may turn to their accountant or business attorney unfamiliar with franchise law. “Some people end up getting very bad advice about how to franchise,” Katz said.
The Stanwood Group’s goal from the beginning “was to disrupt the franchise community by addressing the severely underserved sector of the business community – specifically, those small businesses looking to franchise their businesses but facing the high financial entry point to franchising,” Katz said.
The Marlton, New Jersey-based group works closely with well-known franchise law firms, such as Spadea Lignana, Drumm Law, Warshawsky Seltzer, Roda Chalfant and Stanwood Law, to assist emerging franchisors launch affordably.
Traditionally, emerging franchisors can expect to pay $50,000 to $150,000 or more by the time they launch their franchise, said Katz, a franchise adviser for more than 20 years. “We knew there had to be another option in the market for those small businesses that have the potential to scale through franchising and to do so affordably.”
The Stanwood Group takes a longer view toward its client relationships, not charging excessive upfront fees or collecting monthly fees or or even a portion of the franchisor’s royalties. “Our interests are directly aligned with that of our clients, as the lion’s share of our fees is contingent upon their future success,” Katz said.
Among its hundreds of emerging franchisors are the wildly popular La La Lobster, a fast-casual lobster roll restaurant chain in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Flood Rewind, a water-damage repair business based in Kansas. The Stanwood Group also helps to grow young franchisors, such as RockStar Martial Arts and Santucci’s Original Square Pizza.
“I think the consensus among those in the franchise community is that the future of franchising relies on the inclusion and success of these small emerging franchise brands,” Katz said.