To Buy or Not to Buy a Franchise

By Toni Jakovec

Buying a franchise is a major decision that requires responsible research, soul searching, number crunching, questioning, advice-seeking, due diligence and decision making by the prospective franchisee.  A franchisor has the responsibility to only award franchises to qualified individuals that have the financial qualifications and ability to be successful in the business.  With so much at stake, it is not surprising that for every 50 franchise seekers, only one becomes part of the franchise family and the process can range from a short few months to several months.

 

jeff-young

 

vomFASS USA Director of Franchise Development, Jeff Young, brings a unique understanding of buying and awarding franchises.  Jeff has worked for several franchisors and owned three franchises himself.

 

Toni Jakovec: Good morning Jeff. So I understand you have been in franchising a long time. How did your career in franchising begin?

 

Jeff Young:  Good morning Toni. I was the Director of Training and Development at General Nutrition Centers (GNC) in the early eighties.  The founding father of the company passed away and a new management team came in to grow the company through franchising.  They hired an expert in franchising to lead our new franchise team.  It was career changing for me to be on the team. We started with 900 company owned stores and quickly grew the brand domestically and internationally.  I think GNC has over 9,000 stores now around the world.

 

TJ:  Wow, that’s incredible growth.  Tell us, how did you get from the franchisor side to becoming a franchisee?

 

JY:  I was able to see firsthand how successful the new GNC franchisees were and wanted to reap the benefits of ownership.

 

TJ:  Was it an easy decision for you to make?

 

JY:  For me it was an easy decision because I had years of experience training people to own and operate their GNC store, so I knew I could also be successful.  My wife did not have the same confidence, so it took some convincing that this was the right direction for us.

 

TJ:  Well, I guess everyone in the family needs to be on board with a franchise buying decision.

 

JY:  Yes.  That’s why, from the franchisor’s perspective, it is so important that the spouse or partner be actively involved in the discovery process.

 

TJ:  So tell me more about you franchise ownership.

 

JY:  I opened my first GNC in 1993 and it was a success from day one.  I opened another store a couple years later with a partner, then opened a Candy Express franchise shortly afterward.

 

TJ:  Let me understand, you owned two GNC stores and a Candy Store?

 

JY:  Yes. I know it seems a strange combination of stores to own, but actually, retail is retail, and it required the same skills.  I will tell you the full story over a beer some day!

 

TJ:  I will take you up on that.  Do you find that owning franchises has helped in your franchise development role?

 

JY:  I do. I know it has made me an empathetic sales person.  I can sense nervousness, doubt, and indecision in franchise seekers and I know how to council them through this.

 

TJ:  You have been with vomFASS USA for three years, but you’re moving on to work with another franchise. What are some of your accomplishments at vomFASS that you are most proud of?

 

JY:  Well, this weekly eNewsletter is very special.  Communicating with franchise seekers and franchise brokers is very important and I have really enjoyed working with you, Toni.

 

TJ: Right back at you, Jeff.

 

JY:  Really, we can all take credit for growing vomFASS USA 400% in three years.  vomFASS had 15 stores under contract three years ago and today there are 77 vomFASS USA shops open or under contract to open.  It takes a team effort to achieve that kind of growth.  Even as I leave vomFASS I know that our construction team will be kept busy for years putting stores together.

 

TJ:  On a lighter note, what’s the funniest experience you had at vomFASS?

 

JY:  I will have to think about that. Nothing jumps out as laugh out loud funny, but fun is surely a big part of the vomFASS discovery process.  From the tour of the Yahara Bay Distillery to dinners at Lilianna’s restaurant featuring vomFASS products, getting to know each franchise prospect personally was always the best part of the job. I guess I’m a ‘people person’ and will really miss that interaction.

 

TJ: Yes, Jeff, we will really miss you.  I have learned a great deal from you and will always respect and remember your energy, enthusiasm and integrity.  We wish you nothing but the best in your new position.

 

JY:  Thank you.

 

TJ:  But Jeff, you haven’t answered the million dollar question yet.  After 3 years, what is your favorite recipe & product?

 

JY:  Wow, good question. I have been wowed by so many vomFASS recipes, but I really love when the flavors of the product take center stage over vanilla ice cream.  For instance, drizzle Maletti on vanilla ice cream and enjoy the wow. Or drizzle Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil over vanilla ice cream with a touch of sea salt….WOW!  Do these qualify as recipes?  This appeals to my simplistic approach to cooking.  Try to achieve a wow with five or less ingredients!  My favorite product has to be Maletti, but Fig Chili Vinegar run a close second!

 

TJ:  Thanks Jeff, for everything.

 

Jeff’s Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae with Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil and Pepitos.

 
pupkin-seed-oil-ice-cream

Ingredients:

  • 3 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 T       vomFASS Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • 1 T       Salted Pepitos

 

Preparation:

  1. Place ice cream in serving bowl and drizzle with vomFASS Syrian Pumpkin Seed Oil and either sea salt or salted pepitos.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states in the United States regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.